Tag Archives: international students

Top Questions to Ask When Researching Universities

choosing a collegeAccording to a recent U.S. News & World Report articlemany students do not ask enough questions or do thorough research before applying to a university. There is a lot you can learn by asking the right questions. Education experts recommend researching the following topics and asking many open-ended questions, such as: Continue reading

You can master the TOEFL!

best TOEFL scoreIf you are planning on attending a U.S. university, you will need to do well on the TOEFL, which tests how well you understand the English language as it is heard, spoken, read, and written. If you are concerned about your English skills, there is no need to worry. There are lots of steps you can take to improve your English language skills.

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Which college is #1? What’s the best school in the United States for you?

The #1 US College for You

The #1 US College for You

Those two questions in almost every situation result in very different answers for most international students. What does #1 mean? Is it the be all and end all if you do not get admitted to the “best” college? In the United States, one thing that is very different from most other countries is that there is no official ranking of institutions. Continue reading

What are community colleges in the United States?

CC in the USDid you know that nearly 33% of all new international students in the United States in the 2013-14 academic year began their studies at a community college? That’s pretty remarkable considering in many parts of the world, the community college concept does not exist. Continue reading

Should I really be bragging in my essay?

To brag or not to brag?

To brag or not to brag?

One of the hardest things for international students struggle with in compiling their applications to U.S. colleges and universities is the essay/personal statement. In many cultures, it is not appropriate to write about yourself in extremely positive terms. What does it really mean to brag or boast? Typically, to boast is to “speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.” Continue reading

Do deadlines really matter?

Are you going to meet your application deadlines?

Are you going to meet your application deadlines?

What frustrates you more – being on time for a show and it starting late, or arriving late for a train and it departing when it was scheduled? If you answered the former, there’s not a whole lot you can do, as that situation is out of your direct control. If you get frustrated more when you are the one late, use that as motivation when you are applying to U.S. colleges and universities. Why? Deadlines matter. Continue reading

Standardized tests: What’s required & what’s not



Unlike most countries there is not a specific test or set of tests that are universally required for admission to U.S. colleges and universities. Traditionally, U.S. students have had to take one of two primary standardized tests: ACT or SAT (and SAT Subject tests at more selective institutions). Continue reading

So many choices, so little time: Tips to research your choices

How do you get from 4500 to 10 to 1? That answer for mosecret of lifest international students is the ultimate goal. Finding that one college, the best fit for you (what does that mean?) can be a long journey. How much time do you have or should you plan for to achieve this goal? In last week’s blog on Beginning the College Search, the recommendation of 12-18 months in advance of when you wish to begin your studies remains the most practical timeline to use.

On the issue of what the “best fit” is for you, ultimately the answer will be different for everyone. In the movie, City Slickers, a grizzled old cowboy asks, do know  what the secret of life is? The city slicker has no idea, so the cowboy tells him: “One thing, just one thing” and the rest doesn’t matter. What’s that one thing? “That’s what YOU got to find out.” Continue reading

Beginning the college search

What's important to you?

What’s important to you?

Probably the hardest decisions we make in life are the ones where we don’t have all the information we need, or, worse yet, don’t know which questions to ask.  Researching possible college choices in the U.S., if you don’t have a significant knowledge base of the higher education system in the States, can be like making a decision in a vacuum. Deciding on what schools to apply to simply because you have heard of them is not exactly an informed decision and can actually be quite counterproductive. What really matters to you as you choose a U.S. college? Is it reputation, academic majors, location, size, or other factors? Continue reading