The U.S. is a great place to attend college. Because there are colleges and universities of all sizes and descriptions, international and domestic students alike have a wide selection of choices which can make finding several schools that have exactly what you’re looking for a bit easier.
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Just like domestic students, however, there are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. Here are a few tips that you may find helpful.
College Tip #1: Take rigorous courses and do your best in them. Admission to many U.S. colleges is very competitive because they accept a limited number of international students. Taking rigorous courses and getting the best grades possible will increase your chances of being admitted.
College Tip #2: Do everything you can to improve your English skills. The more comfortable you are reading and writing English, the better you will be able to express yourself in the essay required by many U.S. colleges.
College Tip #3 Take the TOEFL early. If you are a student whose native language is not English, you must achieve a certain TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score, set by each individual college, in order to be considered for admission. Taking the TOEFL as early as possible may give you a little extra time to improve your English skills if necessary.
College Tip #4: If you will need help paying for college, find out about the colleges that offer scholarships to international students. U.S. colleges require that international students provide proof that they have the finances they need to pay for at least the first year of college. A limited number of colleges offer full or partial tuition scholarships to international students, so finding the ones that do will need to be an important part of your college search. Because the number of scholarships is often very limited, they are often highly competitive; the more you are able to exceed the requirements, the better your chances of receiving a scholarship.
College tip #5: Become familiar with admissions requirements as well as governmental regulations for international students. Because many colleges have additional requirements for international students, it is important that you know which colleges you will be applying to early on. You want to be sure to have enough time to meet all their requirements. You should get on their mailing lists as well. That way you may have the opportunity to meet with the school’s representative if they travel to your city. Knowing the U.S. regulations for international students can help you be prepared to complete all the necessary paperwork once you are admitted.
College Tip #6: Keep an open mind. The U.S. has many excellent colleges. Don’t rule any out just because you may not have heard of them. Many of those “less famous” colleges offer excellent academic programs in addition to good scholarships and strong support to their international students.
College Tip #7: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are an international or domestic student, applying to college can be a daunting task. Most colleges have at least one person who is an expert on helping international students. They can be of great help to you, so don’t be afraid to contact them if you have any questions.