Find programs and universities in the United States that align with your interests and aspirations.
(!) Make sure the university is accredited. Go here.
If you're an undergraduate and not sure what to major in, try a liberal arts college.
Make a list of interested programs, their requirements, and application deadlines.
Connect, through social media, with students who may already be at these Universities to learn more about them. Be sure to ask about student life!
Complete required testing (undergrad SAT, or grad testing like GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT etc), english testing if needed (TOEFL) and collect transcript(s) from current / most recent program(s).
Prepare your application (CommonApp for undergraduates, university websites for other students).
You may need letters of recommendation, essays, or other questions' answers.
Financial Aid: Understand what financial aid opportunities are offered by the Universities you plan to apply to, specifically for international students by way of scholarships or on-campus employment (non-work study employment typically applies to international students).
OPT and Career prospects: Look up OPT / STEM OPT statistics for post graduation and any assistance the University provides in career services and job placement, if you are interested in pursuing them. Remember, OPT / STEM OPT is intended to be a period of temporary practical training in your field of study as a supplement to your education.
Apply by the deadline. Submit all your materials, and give the person(s) recommending you enough time to write their recommendations.
Note that each university or program may have different deadlines, including separate ones for Financial Aid / Scholarships.
Rolling admissions means applications are weighed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Weigh each program before accepting one, and be sure to submit your deposit by the deadline.
Factors to consider include program or university's reputation and rigor, financial aid package, location, research prospects, career interests etc.
Remember to balance and think about the return on your investment, both in educational and monetary terms.
GET YOUR VISA
If you're an Indian citizen, you'll generally need a visa to enter and study in the United States, unless your situation is different, for example if you were born in the U.S., are a U.S. Permanent Resident, or a citizen of Canada etc.
Consult the U.S. Dept of State / U.S. Embassy or Consulate's website for more information on how to apply. Buy your tickets after you receive your visa.
ENGAGE WITH THE EMBASSY OF INDIA AND READ OUR TIPS
Register with the Embassy of India before or when you arrive.
Save 'Emergency' contact information in your phone in case you face a consular emergency.
Consider engaging with other Indian Students and Scholars in the U.S.
Read up on your University's offerings, services, clubs, and get in touch with your professors. On campus, build connections with your peers, professors, and deans.
Study hard, engage on and off-campus, and make the best of your academic experience in the U.S. Make yourself, your family, and your country proud!