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How International Students Can Prepare for U.S. Colleges 2024

Isn’t life so fast-paced? One minute you’re building sandcastles, the second you’re looking for colleges to apply for. The pace can be overwhelming and scary but it has been matched to get somewhere in life.

You’re 18 something and are expected to move out, get in a top-notch university for a stellar program. If you’ve made up your mind about studying abroad and becoming a foreign student and don’t know where to start the research from, worry no more. We got your back!

Taking the first step towards college might seem daunting but trust me when I say, its not as complicated as you might think. You just have to know where to look, what to look for and details about the important documents that you might require as an international student.

To provide you a kick start, the following are some helpful tips:

  1. Don’t limit your options

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It’s one thing to be confident and another to be over-confident and cocky. When it comes down to universities, it is important to apply to multiple universities.  It’s great to have a clear cut idea but it is also great to have your options open. The best way to go about it is to apply to at least three universities and to be a tad bit safer, also look for different states.

Applying to various universities will provide you with a cushion to fall back on in case you get rejected. Life can throw lemons at you and well, you should be prepared to handle them. Don’t let micro factors turn into roadblocks to your ultimate goal.

  1. Be aware and realistic

Everyone dreams to be accepted by the Ivy Leagues or the top-notch universities out there, but do they? No, they don’t. It’s important to know your strengths but also be aware of your weaknesses. Check the academic requirement s carefully which will enable you to figure out your chances there.

To get a better view of the university, it is a great idea to contact the department of international students or an adviser from the university. If not that, you can always look up alumni of that particular university and strike up a conversation on LinkedIn to get a better idea of the ins and outs of the place and what worked for them. If adaptation in a new country takes a lot of time, and your knowledge of the language is still not perfect, you can always get help from websites such as, where professional writers will help you to cope with all the paperwork and writing assignments.

  1. Learn how to apply

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Most universities have in-depth procedures alongside the documents you would require to apply. The requirements are further bifurcated based on the country you’re applying from etc. With that, some of these websites even include additional features that can help you choose your degree, especially if you’re not 100% sure of your future field of study. It is imperative to dig deep into the websites and make full use out of them for your advantage.

  1. Pay attention to details

It is imperative to pay attention to the exact steps while applying. Make sure you place the names of universities as per your preference in the online system you’re applying through. Making even the silliest mistake can cost you the chance of attending your dream college for your dream program. So make sure you pay proper attention during the process and might even seek help from someone who is well acquainted with the process.

  1. Know your budget

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College is pretty expensive. The tuition fees is literally the quarter of the total cost you would have to bear. With that said, it is important that you contact a student volunteer or hit some alumni up to get a clearer picture.  Living expenses, rent, books and food are some major expenses that must be accounted for when applying.

  1. Write a motivation letter

Most American universities require a motivation letter. With a decent SAT score, you need to hit the ball out of the park with the motivational letter. The admission committee doesn’t know you, this is the only way you can leave a mark and stand out.

These letters make or break your chances. With that said, it is important you don’t try too hard and let your personality shine through your words. Don’t forget to be as honest as possible and share all your experiences that are connected to the academic requirements and your future study program.

Furthermore, you can always seek help from your career counselor, teachers, friends or even the online world. This one is a great online resource that can help you curate a spectacular motivation paper.

  1. Check the paperwork

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Paperwork, as boring as it sounds, is imperative to get in check beforehand. All documents should be translated into the official language (English) and legally authenticated by the competent authority.

Make sure, you read the documents required and prepare for them in advance as possible. Getting things in advance will help lessen your anxiety and jitters and instead, give you a great advantage over the rest. In case of an incorrect document or the requirement of an additional document, you would have more time on your hands to make the necessary changes, limiting any last-minute surprises.

Universities in U.S. are highly competitive and hence, to be on the safe side, you must start searching for a program two years before you intend to apply. With that, to understand the process better you can even contact the respective university’s advisors in a year in advance.

Moving to a whole new country means a major change. It is imperative for you to understand that it won’t be rainbows and butterflies all the time. Real life is difficult but moving away this early will provide you with a kick start at life. Also, don’t forget to look at the ultimate outcome which is a stellar degree and endless memories with people from all around the world and enjoy it while it lasts!

About Peter Janos