If you’re an international student applying to top American universities, you’re undoubtedly filled with questions. What are the colleges looking for from applicants? How is the admissions process different in the States than in other educational systems? What are the differences between liberal arts colleges and research universities? How can I learn about the campus culture at each school? How can I figure out which university I’d be comfortable attending?
An international college admissions counselor who has the requisite training, experience and background in dealing with students from overseas can answer all your questions and help make you an informed applicant to American universities and colleges. Here are some ways:
- Guidance in developing your college list.
While developing a college list is a key component of what independent educational consultants do for all their students, the resources a private college counselor can provide to international applicants is indispensable.
Even if you’ve been to the States before, or had the opportunity to visit a few college campuses, understanding the culture of different schools is pivotal to building your college list. First, the U.S. is, obviously, a rather large country. There are regional differences that can impact differences in schools. In another broad stroke sense, the geography and climate of a region can influence what a particular college is like.
Beyond regional differences, each campus community is unique, influenced by the philosophy of the school and the type of students it attracts. Your counselor can help you make sense of these distinctive traits so that you not only have a fundamental grasp of the academics that mesh with your interests, but also a solid understanding of the social and cultural climate at each college on your list.
At IvySelect, we want you to have a successful and happy experience at your university of choice.
- Guidance in strategic positioning to help you stand out.
The American college admissions process to elite universities is very different than other systems from around the world. In the U.K., for example, the process is very numbers driven. You also need to define your background and interest in what you will “read” at university in a very convincing manner. As another example, your fate as to which university and program you attend in China is predicated on your scores on the Gaokao, China’s college entrance exam.
The system in the States is much more nuanced. Yes, grades in academic courses count. In fact your GPA and the rigor of your curriculum are the strongest determinants of whether you’re a viable candidate at top-tier colleges. Standardized tests (e.g., the SAT and ACT) also play a role in admissions at elite universities.
However, that is really just the starting point with admissions offices at top schools. The American college admissions process at leading universities is based upon a “holisitic” approach. Indeed, the admissions staff is looking at you as a “whole person” and what you will bring to the table not only academically but in the extracurricular and social contexts as well.
IvySelect’s expertise in this area helps international students like you understand the subtleties of the process. Your international college counselor will help you develop your profile so that you will stand out in the process and demonstrate how you will contribute to the lifeblood of the universities to which you’re applying.
We utilize different tools to help you build your resume based on your academic and extracurricular interests. Whether it’s internships, research opportunities, academic programs, guidance on volunteer activities or more, your IvySelect college counselor will offer you invaluable advice to help make you a more competitive applicant to top-tier universities.
- Guidance in the application process.
It’s hard enough for American students to navigate the subtleties of college applications. International students who come from very different educational systems will undoubtedly face even more issues.
Experienced international college counselors comprehend that some of the “shorthand” that they may take for granted with American college applicants cannot and should not be used with their students from abroad. They’ll provide you with a step-by-step understanding of the process.
For example, some of your teachers may very seldom, or perhaps have never, written letters of recommendation for students to American schools. At IvySelect, your counselor will help you understand that American teachers are generally effusive and very complimentary about their students in letters of recommendation. If you come from a culture where this is not the case, we’ll guide you so that you can explain to your teacher that a very positive letter can help you greatly.
In all facets of the application process – your main personal statement, the many supplemental essays and short answer questions that you’ll have to write for admission to elite universities, your interview technique, resume and applications themselves – a top-notch international college consultant, which you can find at IvySelect, will guide you in a manner that will maximize your competitive stature to Ivy League, as well as other top research universities and liberal arts colleges.