What International Students Should Know About College Admissions
” It’s your college experience, so make it what you want, not what anyone else says it should be”
Applying to college is an exciting time in a student’s life – especially if you’re looking at studying in a different country. With additional requirements and transitioning into a different culture, the college admissions process and attending college for international students can be a bit stressful if you’re not aware of some important points.
Not every college admissions process is the same, so it’s important to pay close attention to the details your prospective colleges require. Here is a list of some key factors to look for when researching.
- Deadlines: Each school has designated the date by which they want to receive your entire application. That means your transcripts, test scores, essays, and anything else required needs to be submitted by that deadline. If you’re applying for a specific program, check their application deadline, as it may differ from the college’s general application deadline.
- Common Application: There is the Common Application for students to complete that can be sent to numerous schools you choose. This could save you a lot of time when it comes to applying for multiple schools. Even when completing the Common App, deadlines for each college still apply.
- English proficiency: Many colleges will want to see that you are proficient in English since the majority if not all of the instruction is conducted in English. One way colleges do this is by requiring a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score as part of the application. The score required for consideration will vary from school to school.
- Other test scores: Nearly every college requires either an SAT or ACT score from their domestic student applicants, and some require it from international students. Become familiar with your dream school’s admissions requirements on this in case you need to prepare to take one of these exams.
“An excellent resource for is each college’s admissions website”
You’ll usually find a list of admissions requirements and tips for international students that you can use to ensure you’re applying correctly. Contacting the admissions office is another great resource for answering any questions you still have about applying.
The financial aid office at your college can assist you with finding scholarships and grants to apply for. Private student loans are also available through banks and other lending companies if you don’t already have other means to pay for your education.
If you’re borrowing money, be sure to create a budget! You’re borrowing the money for school, so it should be spent only on items that pertain to your studies.
If you want to make extra spending money, look into a student worker position at your college once you arrive since your visa status will likely not permit you to work off campus.
“You’ll usually find a list of admissions requirements and tips for international students that you can use to ensure you’re applying correctly”
Moving to a new place is a great way to make a fresh start, but you don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not to fit in. Consider joining a cultural student club to make new friends who share a similar background as you. Many universities have cultural organizations, such as dance teams and religious clubs, that bring together students from or who enjoy a particular background.
Also, take the opportunity to experience new cultures. It’s your college experience, so make it what you want, not what anyone else says it should be. There are many beautiful cultures represented in the college landscape, so meet people from other countries and learn their points of view about different issues.
About the Author
Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, a college admissions and mentorship company that provides boot camps and tutoring on college application, college essays, AP exams, academic subjects, and SAT prep.