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Study a graduate program in Louisiana

State overview

Louisiana is a state of contrasts, with rolling pine forests and conservative thinking in northern Louisiana and the wild debauchery of New Orleans party atmosphere in the south.

This is a place which stays true to its roots. French Cajun speakers still hunt alligators in swamps, street musicians still inspire impromptu parties and French, Spanish, Creole and African American cultures all mix freely.

Although Hurricane Katrina devastated the region in 2005, revival and regrowth efforts are starting to bear fruit. There aren’t many more exciting places to be a graduate student than in Louisiana.

Education profile

Louisiana has four public university systems and several private institutions and is a popular destination with international students looking for a taste of the Deep South. You can study a graduate program in Louisiana at the following public systems:

Private universities in Louisiana include:

Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).

Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

Immigration and visas

If you want to study a postgraduate course in Kentucky you will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Kentucky you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in Louisiana

Most international students coming to study a graduate program in Louisiana will live in the south of the state, with New Orleans being a big draw for students. The city is one of the most exciting in the US and is known for its distinctive French Creole architecture.

The city (as is most of Louisiana) is known for its cuisine and music, particularly its famous Mardi Gras carnival. However, it has many other popular events, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Experience and Southern Decadence.

Louisiana is a music lover’s paradise. Jazz, Delta blues, Cajun and Zydeco are all popular forms of music and it’s not unusual to see impromptu performances on the streets.

Working in Louisiana

Apart from tourism, Louisiana is best known for its Port of South Louisiana. The port is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world, as well as being the largest bulk cargo port in the world.

Agriculture also plays a big part in Louisiana’s economy. The state is the biggest producer of crayfish in the world and also exports other seafood – more than 16,000 people are employed in seafood production in the state. Cotton, cattle and sugarcane are also popular.

Tourism is also a great driver in Louisiana’s economy, with New Orleans a popular destination for visitors from overseas and other states.

Accommodation

Most international students coming to study in Louisiana will opt to stay in on-campus accommodation provided by their chosen university. Most institutions will offer graduates housing on a first come, first served basis. The benefits of university accommodation include being able to meet fellow students, living near your university and ease of moving.

Weather and climate

Louisiana has a typically subtropical climate, with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters influenced by the nearby Gulf of Mexico. The state receives lots of rainfall which contributes to the humid atmosphere.

Louisiana is often affected by tropical cyclones and hurricanes, particularly around the New Orleans area. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a major disaster for the state, leaving the majority of the population homeless.

What to do next

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