Dear Mentor:

Is it difficult or unsafe to go to college in the US?

I appeared for the GRE [Graduate Record Exam] in January and had applied for admission in the spring 2002 semester in the universities in US. But now because of the situation that has arisen due to attacks in US, it seems difficult for me to go there. And even if I go there, it will be tough out there. Does any institute in India accept the GRE score? Kindly answer this question urgently as this is not a problem for me alone but for thousands of people like me who have worked really hard to get a good score and now it seems all that is going to be wasted.

Concerned About Attacks, Sakoli, India

Dear Concerned About Attacks:

We appreciate your concerns due to the recent developments in the US, and around the world to some extent. We would, however, suggest that you and others think through the situation with calm and rationality.

Although the frightening attacks did occur in the US and the world will never forget them, life in the US has not changed much. Despite tightened security and some associated inconveniences, there is no lawlessness and no troops on the streets. There is obviously concern for additional attacks, but life has pretty much returned to normal. Even during the first few days after the attacks, the streets of the USA did not look anything like they would have in India if the heinous acts had occurred there. There is no panic and no riots on the streets. It was oddly the opposite; for example, New Yorkers, famous for their rudeness, came together. So we would advise calm to you and others who are considering studying in the US.

Some lawmakers in the US have indeed proposed to stop or delay issuance of student visas for a few months. But, at the same time, there is an equal and opposite resistance to such proposals. How this kind of talk turns into action is anybody's guess. Our view is that student visas to the US will not be stopped, but the process of background checks will become more rigorous and thorough. This may cause the process to be more time consuming, but that only requires more patience and greater cooperation on your part. If you wish to study in the US, we would strongly urge you to not give up on your ambition.

We are not aware of any colleges in India that offer admission on the basis of the GRE, a standardized entrance exam.

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