I think I can fairly tell that I was short of money to apply for master programmes in the USA. Moreover, I have reviewed comments and recommendations from those who graduated tertiary education institutions in America and I had to conclude that the study in there is much better that that offered by institutions in other countries. Especially, it is much more fundamental when it comes to Master Courses. I believe everything is conditional in the world but the person who gets his/her bachelor degree at the university that is in the Top 10 (or Top 100 for some other countries) in the native country, can reasonably rely on enrollment at the US top-rated university, even if it is the member of the Ivy League. And finally, I have come with the strong decision to try the Harvard University.

Scholarships available for master programmes in the US

I have been always fond of science. My area of specialization is Networking Safety. As a student, I showed high academic records and was involved in investigations and publication of materials related to cryptography. Enjoying home education, I found out about Fulbright Scholar Program. It is awarded to students who plan to get their master’s degree in the USA but they have no finanacial background to do that. Fulbright Scholar Program is the state programme aimed to render assistance to foreign students. The programme is funded by the US government. It is quite difficult to get this financial aid. Especially this is a challenge for those who have no bachelor degree since diploma is one of the essential documents to submit to the committee for consideration.

Requirements to get US scholarship

However, I never planned to waste my time. I was aware that the committee considers documents applied for scholarship for about a year and so, I managed to apply for that scholarship program and submitted all my documents being a third-year student of the bachelor programme. In my case, the absence of the Bachelor diploma was supported with written reference letters from my teachers. They competently and officially proved on my perfect performance and assured that I would get my diploma soon. I attached there references to the scholarship application form. The package of documents included all my certificates obtained for participation in scientific conferences, my publications, autobiography (CV) and a cover letter.
I would like to warn those who plan to do as I did. The cover letter should no way specify your plans to become a student of the US university simply to get citizenship or highly-paid employment. Instead, it should say that you love your profession so much to be ready to devote the whole life to science. Such dedication and confession should be expressed in the way to sound real and authentic. The more creative is your cover letter, the higher are your chances to get the scholarship.

The second stage is the interview. I was invited for the interview to the capital. Especially for this purpose the committee arrived from the USA. My reading and writing skills of English language are high and I have no problems with comprehending the English speech. However, I have some difficulties with the fluency of my speech: this is because I have little exposure to the language. Nevertheless, the committee members looked very friendly. They asked me about my current works and were interested in my attitude to science. The questions were simple, I tried to spell out and I was invited to the third stage.

The third stage offered TOEFL and GRE test exams: the exam on math and intellectual test. The results of that stage were to be included as the entry exam score to the Harvard University. Even if I did not apply for the scholarship, I would have to submit all my documents, CV, references and a cover letter by December 1.

Harvard enrollment challenges

As for me, I found TOEFL and Math Test relatively simple and easy for me to pass with high scores. The intellectual test appeared to be difficult, though. That test was elaborated to evaluate consequent skills, insight and creative thinking. For example, I was given an extract from a newspaper to describe the rebellion in a country. I was to reply the question about the reporters’ position: whether they support the government or rebels. Or, for example, there was the case of the province settlement with the particular living wage settled there with a new line under construction and the case when the public transport fee should be increased. As an examinee, I had to tell about practicability of price boost. Fortunately, I passed this test, too. And so, this is the Harvard University student in front of you.

Cost of Harvard Master degree

Master programmes at the Harvard University cost rather expensive. The study takes two years. The tuition is about 42,000 USD per year including 1,000 USD for medical expenses, 2,000 USD for educational materials, about 9,000 USD for accommodation, 5,000 USD for meal, 2,500 USD for various duties and fees and other expenditure. The scholarship that I was awarded was enough to cover only tuition. I was given about 1,000 USD per month and I had to earn more to survive. Fortunately, an IT student may earn about 10,000 USD - 15,000 USD for three summer months providing the student shows perfect performance and is lucky to get employed by the solid company there. I was greatly lucky to get employment in summer. I would like to emphasize that employment during study period for master programme is quite impossible due to assignments. Study is too intensive in there.

Study at master programme in the USA

Common disciplines are mainly taught during the first year of study, like operating systems, theory of algorithms, databases. As a sophomore, the student is offered to choose disciplines which mostly comply with the area of interest and specialization of the latter. This study approach can be reasoned as follows: the student primarily gets the particular minimum of what should be studied (quite extensive program, I would say) and then chooses as appropriate to his/her niche of study (as for me, I was always interested in data safety and cryptography, in particular). Even a first-year student, I was short of spare time. The point is that my knowledge was enough to cover first several lectures and then I was given great piles of new material. I should say the academic staff was great composing true experts and professionals who participated in elaboration of operating systems and database management systems. Some materials were given by people whom I knew by textbooks they issued. The academic staff was globally acknowledged professionals, actually. The distinctive feature of the Harvard study is the rational mixture of theory and practice.

Study at the Harvard

What I mostly like in study process is that students appreciate team work to the fullest extent. Students recognize that only team of professionals may succeed nowadays. And thus, students study to develop technical skills along with leadership practices.
The technical facilities available are also worth to be appreciated. The equipment that we use is absolutely most-recent. We are offered the latest solutions in the field of computer technology.
Apart from study, the Harvard master programme student is obliged to take part in scientific investigations. I have sunk in a world of new information but I find it to be beneficial for me since I can use all this in future. Another advantage of the academic activity is a good number of intelligent and purposeful people around. To be on one footing, I have to improve my attitude to study. I especially like to study with students from India. They appear to be very smart, friendly and easy to get on with. The Americans stay reserved and do not show tendency to make friends with foreigners.

Now I am a second-year student and I take a room at one of twelve student residences (aka housing as it is called in here) allotted for master programme students. The student canteen is on the ground floor which is good to save time for meals. The tutor of mine believes that I have to go for my doctor degree upon completion of my master programme since I show high abilities for that. I think I will do it.