Category Archives: USC

Application Process Gyaan: MS in the US

Spitting out some gyaan, some common questions people asked me over the last few weeks about their “Application Process for Masters degree in the United States”. The following information is based on my experiences and are my opinions. If you do not agree with them, please ignore them. If you find them useful, well, that’s why I am writing them down for.



  1. How is university XYZ?

    • University XYZ is very good. Please do your research first and ask more specific questions.
    • I’d strongly recommend asking questions specific to my university (USC) to me.
    • I’d love to direct the rest of the questions to the folks I know at the respective universities.
    • You can put Facebook Graph Search for a better use. 🙂
  2. How is the job scenario at university XYZ?

    • IMHO, the best way to know this is by looking up “Career fair <Fall/Spring> <year> XYZ ” page. This page usually has a “List of companies” that participate in the career fair.
    • If you find the companies that you’re looking to work for in there, then you know that the opportunity to talk to one of the recruiters of the company is there for you at XYZ’s career fair.
    • Most of the companies have online application process for jobs/internships. In most cases you end up filling their forms irrespective if you spoke to them on campus during the career fair. So even if you don’t see the name of your dream employers in the list, you can always apply online.
  3. Tell me good professors at XYZ that work in the ABC area.

    • For USC CS department, I’d start at the Faculty Page. Current or ex students at XYZ can surely give you more valuable insights.
  4. How much will I end up spending if I study at XYZ?

    • The following costs are approximate, just to give you an idea. You should check XYZ’s website for exact numbers. I’d split the essential cost into the following categories:
      • Tuition FeesUsually there is a per unit tuition cost mentioned on the university website. You can multiply that by the number of units required for you to complete the course to know the exact tuition fees. Usually the per unit cost goes up each year and also has additional (not hidden per say) costs such as Lab/Equipment Fees, Library fees etc.I’d add approximately $2000 to the multiplication
      • Living Expenses: I managed to survive with $700 (tops) per month (including rent and other amenities)  in Los Angeles. I do not expect any other place in the US to be more expensive for living. This cost largely depends on how you live, what/where you eat and how much you party, if you know what I mean. 😉
      • Health Insurance: Approximately $1400 ($800 for Spring+summer, $600 for Fall) per year.
  5. How are on campus jobs at XYZ?

    • They’re always there. You need to be at the right place at the right time to get one and be flexible, disciplined to manage your studies with them.
    • Please remember that you’re coming here and pouring dollars to study and not to work on campus.
P.S: There are many more questions that get asked frequently. I will try to address them here in a later post.

Packing packing

2707 Portland Street has been my home away from home for more than 9 month now. Indeed I am going to miss this place and the fantastic people here. I am not able to imagine it right now, but I am not going to be here for the next FOUR months!

I don’t know who will go and buy milk on every alternate day there!

I don’t know who’s going to cook that amazing “Sabudanyachi Khichadi” or “Palak Paneer” or “Batatyachi Bhaji”.

The 3 idiots

Who’s going to crib about everything in life!

Who’s going to solve the ultimate “dhamadhol”?

Who would it be at the receiving end of all those abuses :p

The Happy Singh!

Who would say at 11:30 pm, “chal re Ralph’s, do six pack leke aathe hai”.

Who’s going to mimic “Campus Cruiser, where-you’re-located?” and laugh their ass out?

Man! I am going to miss it!

It feels like I am on a turn once again, too soon.



Phase shift

It’s been more than three months now since I left India and started studying at USC. It’s been great so far and I am really enjoying everything out here. The weather, the university, the courses, the people, the everyting! :p


I was talking with some of my college friends yesterday on google’s hangout and that’s what made me write this post.

The experience of talking with people from VJTI was so refreshing! ( Thanks Deshpandu and Khajiv!  🙂 ) It’s surely is one big family!

It made me go back in time! I’d read post from my seniors mentioning how they miss being at VJTI, the quad, the canteen and so on.. but I never knew what that would be like in real! I had been so busy with the projects and assignments at USC  (never did them at VJTI :P) all this while that this emotion was somehow not popping up. Yesterday it did!

I was talking with some people from a batch junior to me and I felt like going back! Sit on the stage in the quad.. basketball.. the lukhagiri,, the spontaneous plans.. man I am missing it.. big time.

The phase has changed and I have to change with it. But I consider myself very lucky to know such awesome people from VJTI.

Miss you guys!

Aamchi aai tumchi aai……