Looking to apply to an American college from abroad? You’re in good company! The United States offers a wide array of world-class research universities and liberal arts colleges, making it an attractive choice for international students every year. But the US college application process, and the undergraduate experience in the US, can be unusual for students used to the university system in their home countries. So what are some things to bear in mind as an international student looks to apply to an American college? Let’s have a look:
Most American colleges and universities require, or at least strongly encourage, applicants to take one of the two standardized college admissions tests offered in the United States—the ACT and the SAT—and your scores will be crucial for your chances at admission. As an international student, there will still be ways for you to take these tests, but it’s important to prepare for them. Prep materials are highly available both online and in physical formats, and once you’ve decided which test you’ll be taking and when, it’s important to take full advantage of them.
Better yet, consider a tutor, like one of our experts at A-List. Having someone help you with a personalized prep plan can make all the difference!
Essays and Extracurriculars
Your grades and test scores may make up the bulk of your application, but they’re far from the only things admissions officers care about. You’ll be writing an essay and personal statements, and listing any extracurricular activities you’ve been involved with in high school. While universities in many countries don’t pay much attention to your record outside the classroom, American college admissions can be a very holistic process. The admissions officers want to know you as a person, not just a collection of data. Be sure to emphasize the things that make you unique, and why they make you a good fit for the school!
Visas and Immigration
Studying in a foreign country is going to involve some paperwork. As you begin your application process, be mindful of the requirements to attain a student visa for the United States. The process can vary depending on your circumstances. International students arrive in the US in large numbers every year, so you’ll be far from alone in this process. However, you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten all your paperwork in order with plenty of time to spare when the time comes to make your visa application.
The college experience in the United States is a highly social one, with many opportunities to make friends, get involved in the arts and athletics, and try new things. In addition to the exemplary academic opportunities, this unique sense of community at American colleges is part of what makes them so appealing! Be sure to make it clear on your application that you understand what an American college has to offer, and that you welcome the experience. Once you’ve been accepted, your American college adventure is just the beginning!