Many universities in the U.S. welcome the the possibility of hosting international students during their educational career. By taking the time to prepare and familiarize yourself with the process of applying as well as the agencies from which you can seek help, you can increase your chances of becoming accepted into a U.S. university.
Start the Process Early
Finding the right school can be challenging for international students. Many international university advisors suggest that students who wish to study abroad begin considering schools two years prior to high school graduation. A general idea of what to do two years prior to applying is as follows:
- Begin researching schools, and then narrow it down to the top five choices.
- Determine the necessary admissions tests including SATs, ACTs, and language proficiency tests that will need to be taken.
- Research any financial aid.
- Begin seeking letters of recommendation.
Look for Scholarships for International Students
After you have the list of the top five schools to which you would like to apply, you can begin the process of searching for scholarships. Many colleges offer scholarship awards specifically to international students. Be sure to reach out to the financial aid office at the university for help exploring funds that are available through the university’s financial aid office. The types of scholarships you are eligible for can range from the country in which you live to the field of study that you wish to explore.
There are many unreliable scholarship search services out there that will ask you to pay for scholarship searches. These services do not offer reputable scholarships, and they will be of no benefit to your goal of financial assistance. Do not use them!
Complete the Applications on Your List
When completing the application to your list of schools, it is imperative that you carefully read the list of requirements that you will need in order to be considered. While there are approximately 450 universities in the United States that use a common application, each university is allowed to ask for additional requirements. Often times, students reach out to reputable agencies to help them with their applications. It is a safe way to be sure that you are getting all of the necessary information, documents, and testing requirements fulfilled. The paperwork you will need to get in order can be intense, and these programs can help you make sure you have everything you need. Start by gathering the documents you know you will need.
- SAT or ACT scores
- Letters of Recommendation
- Vaccination Records
- TOEFL scores
Seek out Fellow Students from Your Country
Contact the universities on your list and ask to speak with the international advisor. Often times, these advisors have programs set up with other international students. You can meet with other students from your home country to get feedback on their experiences. This will help you determine if the university experience and campus life at that particular university will be right for you.
The prospect of attending a university abroad is very exciting. By starting early and by reaching out to get assistance, you can increase your chances of getting accepted to a college that will truly fit you.