Indian Students' Association

at the University of Idaho

Frequently Asked Questions

Funding for Graduate Students is generally available through Scholarships/Fellowships and Assistantships. Fellowships and Scholarships are generally awarded on academic basis and require very high academic credentials. Contact your department /College for more details. These involve committed/non committed academic work/research for the specified time frame.

There are three types of assistantships: Research Assistantship (RA), Teaching Assistantship (TA) and Graduate Assistantship (GA). All these Assistantships entitle waiver of out-state tuition component alone and the In-state tuition will be deducted from the students assistantship funding in some cases only. Research and Teaching assistantships are generally confined to the students of the departments and the numbers vary from department to department. Graduate Assistantships involve working mostly in outside departments or agencies in areas like computer maintenance, Office management, Library etc. RAs and TAs depend on the availability of funds in your department. For more information on this, contact your department and professors in your area of interest. Regarding GAs, the availability of assistantship varies widely from year to year. If you are familiar with Windows NT, Visual Basic, Web technologies, C programming etc., you have a better chance. There is intense competition for assistantships and it is all up to your credentials and efforts. We cannot guarantee your chances about getting an assistantship here. So please come prepared to support your self for at least one semester. Having a fair knowledge of computers certainly furthers one's chances of obtaining an assistantship.

You will receive a full tuition waiver only at the time of admission based on your academic credentials and so it is advisable to apply early. This does not mean that all students will get a tuition waiver and its up to your academic standing. You are also eligible to apply for a out-state tuition waiver after completion of one year at University of Idaho. However competition is very high and you need to have very good GPA to stand a chance.
Student Worker jobs are regular on-campus jobs and they do not come with out-state tuition waiver. You will have to pay for your tuition and other fees. They are available throughout the campus and the minimum pay is $8 per hour. A student worker job will suffice only for your monthly expenses and will not help you much in paying the tuition. You can work a maximum of 20 hours/week during regular semesters and 40 hours during semester breaks and summer.
These jobs are available in most of the departments in University of Idaho. You can work in Cafeterias, Library and Computer labs. Most of the students manage to find a student worker position after coming here but the same cannot be said for assistantships. You cannot apply for these positions from India. You need to come here and try for it.
It is very difficult to answer this question in terms of a yes or no. It again depends on the availability of funds and the efforts put in by the prospective student to obtain an assistantship. Nothing is certain. So please come prepared for everything.
Most of the Indian students stay off-campus. Four students usually share a 2-bedrooom apartment. Apartment rents at present vary from $500-600. Groceries/Food will cost you around $100 a month per head. The electricity bills will be varying between $20-$150/apt. You also need to make some initial deposits like $200/head for Apartment and $150 for electricity. So on the whole, monthly expenses excluding phone bill will be around $325-$350 per person. Your phone bill will depend on your personal use and the basic charges will be around $40/connection per month. Local calls are free and calls to India cost 5-6 cents/min.
Accommodation can be arranged by the ISA on request. You need to email the ISA well before your arrival. We recommend that you contact ISA for accommodation only after you decide your university and get your Visa on University of Idaho. Otherwise it is hard for the ISA, if you change your plans at the final moment. Initially students will be put up as guests with some of the seniors and later on allocated to their own apartment. You can directly arrange your on-campus housing if you follow the material provided by University of Idaho, along with your I-20 (or check ' Residential life ' in University of Idaho website). On-campus housing is expensive than Off-campus housing. Also Off-campus housing is not too far from the university. Both are almost at the same distance from campus.
Yes, but you need to provide us all your details (Name, flight number, date and time of arrival) as soon as you finalize/confirm your travel plans. You need to submit this information through the form available in the ISA website. ISA can arrange for a pickup only if you fly to Moscow/ Spokane.
Moscow typically experiences very high temperatures (21-38°C) in summer (March-October) accompanied by high humidity and is very cold (up to -20°C) in winter. Typical clothing here is casual wear like T-shirts, Jeans and shorts. Get a formal pair, leather shoes, sport shoes, sandals if u wear, thermals if u think u cant resist the cold, but we usually don wear them. Don't get leather jackets or fat rugs as they only add to the weight, you can buy a jacket here. It is also advisable to bring along some sweaters for winter but it wont be enough for preventing the cold. You can bring along some dry masalas and spices for your initial use. For toiletries get 2-3 soaps, one shampoo bottle, shaving kit, small scissors etc.. Don't get mugs, buckets, washing soaps etc. There is an Indian store in Spokane and therefore there is no need to bring items like Rice, Dhal, sugar etc. As for utensils, you can also bring along a pressure cooker, frying pan and 2-3 multipurpose vessels. Don't get steel plates as we use microwave often and plates are quiet inexpensive. You are restricted to two bags/suitcases of 32Kgs each and a hand luggage and so don't pack too much.
It is generally advisable to carry the money in the form of a DD (demand draft) and/or traveler's checks. Don't carry too much cash with you. Only some $150-$200 in different denominations will be sufficient for your travel expenses. If you do not have an assistantship and you need to pay the tuition fees. Please bring along at least $6500-7500 for your first semester if you do not have an assistantship. You can address the DD in favor of "BURSAR University of Idaho" for that tuition amount. The tuition fee is mentioned in the I-20. You can also make out the DD out in your name and then open a bank account here and then pay the fees with your personal check. You also have a provision to pay the fees in installments but you may be required to bear at least 50% of the tuition in the first payment during the orientation. The rest of the amount can be paid in 2-3 installments within that semester and the amounts are as specified by the University. If you have an assistantship, the out-state tuition fees will be waived, but you will have to pay the in-state tuition fees. This is normally deducted from your Assistantship amount. For student with an Assistantship, you will get your paychecks only after one month. But you will have a number of initial expenses like apartment advance and so we would advise you to bring at least $1500-2000 with you.
We would advise you to arrive 7-10 days before the orientation, so that you can settle down and start searching for funding. Remember, arriving too early may not fetch you a job and also it will be expensive for you to stay without a job (because you are not permitted to work until you get a valid work permit, which is only given after the semester starts). Also if you arrive too early, it may be difficult to arrange temporary accommodation for you.
It depends on the department. Check out US school rankings.
Please contact your department students here in University of Idaho and know about what courses you should take and what useful books you should bring.
You will have enough time to register for the courses after you come here for the orientation. You can register Even when when you are India if you dont have any Advisor hold or by emailing your advisor. If you want to know about what courses will be offered, check course offerings .
The minimum score requirements vary from department to department. Check them in the websites of respective departments. Usually the minimum TOEFL score requirement is 90(IBT).
University of Idaho usually doesn't permit students shifting in their first semester. They generally expect you to be at University Idaho at least for one semester. Trying to shift universities at the Port of entry is risky and is generally not advisable.

This information has been given based on personal knowledge and it is up to you to make enquiries and check out the facts. State Bank of India (SBI) and Canara Bank are among the best for student educational loans in India and they usually allot the maximum funds towards education among the banks. However you may also approach other banks and it?s up to your convenience. The average annual interests will vary from 14-15 % and they are almost the same in all banks. Most of the loans are granted on the basis of pledging your property (House & Land) to the bank. (They will retain your property documents till you repay the entire loan). Generally banks don?t accept Stocks and Jewelry. Property needs to be usually evaluated by a person recommended by the bank. Your property value needs to be around 1.5 times the loan you are seeking. For example, for a loan of around $6000, your property value needs to be around $9000 (this is my personal info and pls. verify it with your bank). Also in banks like the Canara Bank, you may need to contribute 25% towards the total loan amount.

Bank loans are given mainly on basis on the expenses quoted in the I-20 and so decide the University and then apply for a loan because the fees may vary from university to university. I-20 is the reference document for any bank loan. For repayment, the time given is around 5 years/ 60 installments. One repayment option would be to pay the annual simple interest from the year you take the loan. Another option is to start the repayment, 6 months from the date you graduate. In this case, the interest gets compounded every year. Say for example, for a loan of 1000$ and interest of 15%, the interest would be 150$ for first year, 15% again on 1000+150$ for the 2nd year etc. In the 2nd option, you obviously may end up paying more than what you would as in the 1st option but we would personally advise you to go for 2nd option where you get to start the repayment after you graduate instead of paying the yearly simple interest, which is a big burden for your parents. It may be usually around 2000-2500 Rs/month payment for a 6000-7000 $ loan and well this is unwanted and cumbersome if you have a middle class background. You can easily repay the amount after you go for a job, (It will be very less when you see the amount in dollars) never mind even if the amount is compounded and you pay more.

There are many formalities involved in granting of bank loans. It may take more than a month's time. The faster you act the better for you. Foreign exchange from the bank isn't released till you show the Visa on your passport. And then Air-tickets aren't issued till you show the Visa. Some of you may be paying for the Air-tickets through the bank. It is also possible to pay for the personal expenses (clothes etc) through the bank. You may need to show the bills for this. Foreign exchange is released in form of Travelers checks, DDs and Cash. Get the first semester fees in form of a DD in favor of "BURSAR University of Idaho" if you do not have funding. The rest can be in form of Travelers checks (TCs). Don't carry too much cash, as it is risky. $150-200 will be more than enough when you travel. TC's are encashable at Airports and you can depend on that for immediate cash.

You are advised to get adequate amount that covers your first semester fees if you do not have an assistantship.