Our Vision: To be the foremost Educational Consulting Services provider in Nigeria
Our Mission: To be the most engaging, efficient and supportive educational consulting firm, being there for our students all through their career with their respective institutions.
Our Core Values: Professionalism, Integrity, Resilience, Innovation(PIRI).
STUDYING ABROAD AMERICA
AMERICAN FOOD AND CULTURE____________________________
A big concern for many of our students is whether they will ‘survive’ the culture shock and miss their traditional food.
Rest assured that the US is a very diverse country and you are bound to find restaurants that cater for your local cuisine and/or get together with others from your countries and cook together.
However a big part of studying in the US is all about learning the culture and joining into the American way of life.
American food is more than just McDonalds, although this is probably the most famous!
Different regions have their own cuisine and styles of cooking.
Louisiana is known for Cajun and Creole, these being influenced by French, Acadian, and Haitian cooking, although the dishes themselves are original and unique.
Other dishes you may come across are Crawfish Etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Seafood or Chicken Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Boudin.
Other influences include Italian, German, Hungarian and Chinese, traditional Native American, Caribbean, Mexican and Greek dishes.
America is ultimately a nation of immigrants and is populated by people from many different foreign countries but all Americans, in one way or another, trace their ancestry back to another culture, Irish, German, Italian or Scottish, for example.
You may already know a few things about the US people through TV. Some stereotypes are true, especially American friendliness and informality - others not so.
Most students learn to get together and cook in their years at university. This is by far the cheapest and most economical way to get through your studies. The universities we work with have a diverse range of nationalities and as such you are bound to find others from your country or region that you can get together with. Larger cities like Oregon, Tampa, Boston and New York have a good selection of Kenyan, Nigeria, Ghanaian and Pakistani food outlets and restaurants.
WEATHER IN THE USA
Depending where you are the climate in USA varies across the country.
The western and southern parts have warmer weather compared to east and north.
Harsh winters with heavy snowfall are prevalent in the East and North but the summers are mild.
Extremely hot summers and tolerable winters are found in the west and south.
The US is divided into six climate regions (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and outlying territories) and the climate varies between different regions.
The regions are as follows:
Average Temperatures in America (°F)
TRANSPORTATION WITHIN AMERICA
There are many options of transport available for getting around:
Taxi – can be very costly to use. The iconic yellow cabs in New York cost an average of around $13 per journey. The fare is based on time of day, distance travelled and time taken. Fares elsewhere will vary from place to place and are more expensive in the evenings, at weekends and during public holidays.
Bike – cheap alternative and healthy too! But wear a helmet and buy a good lock for your bike. Many cities have bike lanes. These are designated lanes just for bikes. Citi Bike, a cycle-hire scheme, will be available in New York across 600 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens from May 2013. This will cost $9.95 per day or $4 an hour. For further details checkout the following website www.citibikenyc.com for more information.
Coaches – offers efficient travel between major cities. Further information can be found at: www.coachusa.com or www.greyhound.com. Megabus operates in some of the major cities across the US and offers a cheap fare for just $1 plus 50c booking fee. Route information can be found at http://megabus.com. Chinatown buses www.chinatown-bus.org offers cheap journeys serving the East Coast and Southern California to San Francisco (even to Las Vegas)
Buses – convenient way of getting around. Public transport can be inexpensive if used with student discounts on offer. The cost of travelling on Boston’s T buses is 75c for a student ticket if you buy a CharlieCard. If you are going to travel on the buses or underground frequently then buying a CharlieCard may be a more cost effective option. Boston bus information can be found at: www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/bus. Outside of Boston check your local town government website for details of buses in your area.
Trains - America’s train networks are vast and fairly inexpensive. If you are able to plan your journey in advance and book online it is generally cheaper than buying a ticket at the station. For details of tickets, train times, and journey planners contact Amtrak www.amtrak.com free: 800-USA-RAIL (800-872-7245). For discounted travel visit: www.amtrak.com/student-discount. The Advantage Card costs $20 and saves you up to 15% on the adult regular fare. You are eligible for this if you are aged over 16 and in further education.
Plane - There are many airlines that fly to America, try a comparison website like Expedia www.expedia.co.uk/Flights or Sky Scanner www.skyscanner.net. These will search many providers for the flight you are looking for. America has many domestic airlines offering internal flights within the US. Delta Airlines www.delta.com, Southwest Airlines www.southwest.com and JetBlue www.jetblue.com to name a few. There also many international airlines that fly to America: American Airlines: www.aa.com, United Airlines: www.united.com, British Airways: www.britishairways.com.
New York Subway - The subway and is a cheap and convenient way to get around the city. The cost for a ticket is $2.25. A Metrocard offers larger discounts. One day travel cards are also a cost effective way to visit the city. Visit the website for details: www.mta.info. The following link will take you to an interactive map of the subway: www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm
LIFE IN AMERICA
The population of America is 311,000,000 and the US is also one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. There is an ethnic minority of 37% of the nation’s total population.
The US does not have an official language, but the majority of the population speaks English. The Spanish language is the second most common language.
There are approximately 337 different languages spoken meaning every language and culture in the world has some representation in America.
And you may have heard of living the ‘American Dream’. As defined by James Truslow Adams in 1931, ‘life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement’
Love shopping? New York is a shopper's paradise.
Browse New York State malls, antique shops and food stores, visit the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. Need inspiration - have a look at the following website http://iloveny.com
The Americans love their sport. The nation’s favourite sport is American football, Baseball, basketball and ice hockey also features strongly.
Fancy following some local teams then check out the following:
Buffalo Bills – American Football
New York Knicks – Basketball
Buffalo Sabres – Ice Hockey
New York Yankees - Baseball
The US boasts the city that never sleeps so you are sure to find somewhere to go, but every city and larger town offers a vibrant clubbing scene
Check out what’s going on in your area: http://nymag.com/nightlife/
If you fancy seeing the latest blockbuster most large towns have a cinema, if you use you student ID most offer discounted prices. Regal Movies www.regmovies.com, AMC Theatres www.amctheatres.com.
If you are in New York why not catch a Broadway show. Details of what is showing can be found here at: www.broadway.com
ACCOMMODATION IN THE USA
Where you decide to live is a very important decision as you will be living here for the duration of your course. Choose somewhere where you are going to be happy. There are a number of options when it comes to deciding where you will live when you are living and studying in the United States.
Once you have accepted your offer Admissions will send you a "pre-departure orientation" packet. This will give you options on where to live while you are studying
Halls of residence
Most universities provide their own accommodation for students. These are usually based on campus or very close by. These can be en-suite rooms or a room with shared facilities. Most universities have a variety of good value meal plans. They are usually overseen by a resident member of the university to ensure the welfare and safety of the students.
Many students resided in properties owned by private landlords. You will have your own room, but will be sharing the kitchen and, usually, bathroom. You will usually split all bills with the other students. You will be responsible for your own cooking. The universities usually have a list of approved properties and can help you find somewhere to live.
Homestay allows you to rent a room from a local family near to where you are studying. This helps you learn the local lifestyle and language. You would normally live, eat and share the majority of your time with your host family. Usually all meals, bills and laundry are included. Your university will have a list of approved families.
It is advisable to apply for your accommodation as soon as you have chosen your university. Demand for accommodation is very high and availability of on-campus accommodation, (if available) cannot be guaranteed.
USA STUDENT VISAS
Experience shows that students who attempt to apply on their own find the whole process complicated, time-consuming and daunting. The vast majority of all student visa applicants get visa refusals and such refusals will stay on your record at the Embassy.
This is where the visa expertise of the Riabisel Education team can make all the difference – often turning those painful refusal letters into joyous student visas!
So how long does it take to obtain your visa? Each case is different, but the system now being operated by the American Embassy tends to rely very heavily on meticulous paperwork and all students are interviewed by the US Embassy. Putting such documentation together can take up to 2 or 3 months – but the good news is that the Riabisel Education Visa Protocol Officers have been rigorously trained in helping you to prepare and submit such documentation.
Our visa specialists will help you to complete the visa application forms, advise you as to the bank statements you must normally provide and counsel you as to the sponsorship letters and other documentation that is so vital if your application is to be successful. We will also provide you with a vigorous mock interview in preparation for what you should expect at the US Embassy.
If for some reason you get a visa refusal after applying through Riabisel Education, unlike other education agencies, Riabisel Education does not close its doors to you. As long as we feel that you are genuine and still have a fighting chance, we will help you turn around the rejection.
We have a high success rate amongst student visa applications as long as you follow our advice throughout
Our statistics show that you are twice more likely to get a visa through our help than on your own and our advice to students is that no matter how confident you feel, check things through us.
There are two major categories of US universities: public (state supported), and private (independent).
International students’ tuition fees at state schools are based on non-resident costs. These are usually less expensive than private universities. The cost of a program does not necessarily reflect its quality.
The following table gives an indication of cost:
Private Institutions (High Cost) $35,000
Private Institutions (Low Cost) $18,000
State Institutions (High Cost) $25,000
State Institutions (Low Cost) $12,000
You can expect to spend around $10,000 annually on accommodation and other necessary expenses. However this will depend on you expected standard of living. A good idea to save on costs is to share an apartment or house. You will save on utilities, phone and to some extent on groceries
Aim to budget around $700-$1000 a month.
The following is a guide for the things you need to budget for:
accommodation; will vary depending on the type of accommodation you prefer (private rental excludes heating, lighting, electricity and, in some cases, water rates)
books and photocopying
clothes and toiletries can be a large expense
entertainment and sports will vary depending on your interests
travel expenses, phone calls, birthday presents and additional course costs
When you first arrive in the US it is advisable to take some money in the form of currency notes and some Traveller's cheques.
Make arrangements to have your money transferred to your account in a bank in your home country, which can later be transferred to your new bank account in the US.
Make sure you apply for your American University ID Card as many local shops, theatres, cinemas and museums offer student discounts and special fare prices are available on buses and trains.