In this day and age, there is no getting around how important college is. Most white-collar jobs require a college degree, and advancement within your field is often constrained by your education. If you want to go to school in America in order to get your degree, then here are some tips to help you achieve your dreams.
The first step to make sure you are prepared for an American University is to make sure that you are proficient in the English language. Most universities in the US will require a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). This rigorous testing is for your own good. Classes at your school will be in english, as will all of your textbooks so it is necessary to have these skills.
There are over 4,000 colleges in the US so it can be hard to know which school is best for you. Don’t worry if you are a little lost. Try and narrow down what you look for in a school, and why you would want to go there. Is it the quality of the program? The student-faculty ratio? The location? The alumni network? The sports program? These are all serious questions to consider when looking for a school. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for advice, or to even search for advice on the internet. As hard as it is to find the school or schools of your dreams, it can be even harder to get your foot in the door. In these cases it’s often a good idea to find a program or service whose sole goal is to get you into an American college. No matter if you are looking at US medical colleges, US business colleges, or US engineering colleges for international students, companies are out there to get you into an overseas program. When you find some colleges you like, take advantage of these programs networking abilities. Often they will have connections within these universities giving you a direct pipeline to applying. This can make a difference in the thousands of applications each of these schools receive every year. You can further separate yourself from the pack by networking with alumni from the school you want to apply to. With social media platforms widely available, getting in contact is easier than ever. A well placed letter of recommendation can make a huge difference in your acceptance rate.
English isn’t the only test you need to focus on. If you are applying for a bachelors in America you will have to either take an SAT or an ACT. Both of these tests require you to be well versed in writing and reading, and to have a good grasp in math, particularly in algebra. The ACT also has a section devoted to science. Your GPA will also need to meet a certain threshold to get into certain schools.
If you are applying for grad school you will need transcripts of your previous grades, test scores from either a GRE or an MCAT, letters of recommendation from past professors/employers, your resume, and a personal statement talking about why you want to apply to their university.
Make sure you are ready to leave after acceptance into your college. You will most likely be gone for a few months to a couple of years overseas, and that departure from the familiar can lead to culture shock. Take advantage of the time you have at home to take part in some of your favorite activities. Eat your favorite meals. Say goodbye to friends and family. When packing to leave make sure to take some snacks with you and some mementos of home. It will lessen the effects of culture shock and make sure you are better prepared to face the reality of living in the United States for a long period of time.
Getting into a school in America can be hard work. It takes months of prep, but once successful, it can be a great experience. Hopefully these tips have been helpful in your future endeavors.