If you’re an international student who wants to go to America to study at a university this school season, you have quite a few challenges to contend with during the admissions planning process. And depending on which country you’re coming from, specific colleges might make you more comfortable with cultural training programs available nationwide. Overall, though, you’re going to have to deal with the most problematic element: Competition.
Applying at Multiple Colleges
While you may want to study at a college that’s specific, it’s a good idea if you apply to at least five universities. That’s because the admissions process for international students has become very competitive in recent years. Nevertheless, all the universities you apply for will have international student departments that can help you with the application process.
What those universities ask for might also pose a challenge, particularly if you have trouble speaking and writing English or haven’t taken the time to compile personal recommendations.
What Universities Require
Providing a certificate proving you completed a secondary school in your home country might be the easiest part of the application process. Afterward, you’ll be expected to take the English as Foreign Language test (otherwise known as TOEFL) and provide your scores. This could be very difficult if you haven’t had enough time to learn English. That’s why it’s going to be mandatory you learn English if you want to attend most colleges in the United States.
Scores for all of your undergraduate and graduate tests will also need to be submitted. Plenty of study guides are available for the undergraduate SAT and ACT tests. The same goes for the graduate tests of GRE, GMAT, MCAT and LSAT.
Then you’re going to need some money to pay an application fee. You also have to provide letters of recommendation from your previous schools. There’s no question you’re intellectual enough where exemplary recommendations shouldn’t be too challenging to acquire. However, if you’re from a war-torn country, perhaps you’re finding troubles in obtaining a letter.
Specific Requirements for Students from Particular Countries
Some colleges in the United States have specialized requirements for students from particular countries. As well, they offer some special programs designed for you that can be beneficial. Keep in mind these colleges are going to have a higher level of competition.
If you’re a student from Africa, you’ll be assessed much like American students, though a bachelor’s degree may be required for graduate programs. Campus Explorer says that some African students also get reprieves on the English test other than usually going by a minimum score.
Should you be one of the many Chinese students studying in America, many universities have a couple of specific requirements for you as well. That’s mostly in the SAT test and the English aptitude portion. Regardless, you may be given a break on English fluency if you excel in a particular discipline.
As with all international students, obtaining a visa while studying in America will be necessary. The U.S. State Department gives you a rundown of what’s required. But the entire application process needs to be done very early due to the demand. Because of the intense competition, it could take two years for your application to be approved.
Never give up on this protracted process, however, to gain the education you deserve. No matter where you’re from, the education you receive in America will ultimately be worth the investment of time and money.