The professor knew me since the time I was in India. I had managed to get a score of 4.0/4.0 which actually impressed the professor. As soon as I landed here I got a call from professor as I had already applied for graduate assistantship. I was offered TA but had competitors from china. Generally Chinese students get more chance to become TA. It is tough to get Ta but if you can shoe excellence, you are sure to get what you deserve.
I am paid $6000 salary per term and a fee waiver for two courses which is approximately $5700. Being TA helps a lot as you have a chance to guide students, handle worse situations, meet different people. Which will be really helpful when one enters S/W industry.