When reviewing all the visas available to foreigners who wish to receive instruction in the U.S., I am reminded of my kayak trip in the Everglades. It started out clearly enough: blue sky, green trees and sawgrass, water beneath. As I paddled deeper in, however, everything became murky. At one point, the vegetation surrounded me above (interlocking tree limbs), around (confused with the green of the alligators), and beneath (more tree roots underneath the kayak than water).
Visas for studying and instruction are almost as disconcerting. The easier ones are for pure academic (F visa) and vocational (M visa) education. However, there are also visas for students on exchange visitor programs (J visa) and temporary employees who receive instruction (H-3 visa). Furthermore, the Q visa involves working, training and demonstrating the culture of the foreigner's home country. It is important to fit the foreign peg into the right visa hole because employment authorization, length of time to stay in the U.S., and limitations on remaining in the U.S., all depend on the visa category chosen.
Did I mention the snakes in the swamp?