Often, international students are not fully prepared when seeking admission to the United States and other countries around the world. It is particularly important to avoid this common mistake by planning your journey well ahead of the time you intend to start your studies. For this reason, I have highlighted these major steps to guide you through your application.
- Beginning early. This is the most ideal approach to achieving success in the application process. This ensures that you have enough time to explore different schools and programs offered that fits into your career goals. It is also necessary to take into account certain deadlines such as those of application and scholarships and start your application early enough preferably ten-month to a year before the beginning of the school term.
- Admission process. This usually takes a long time and requires a lot of effort especially in institutions with competitive admissions. It is also required that applicants provide a personal statement, recommendation letters from academic or professional referees. Occasionally, an entrance examination is also required and this also should be done in due time long before the application deadline.
- Application. Forms can be usually accessed directly from the institution’s webpage or via a single platform known as “Common Application”.
International applicants are often advised to take one or more standardized tests such as SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL, IELTS to secure entrance into certain institutions and programs. These tests are particularly important as their scores serve as a prerequisite for admission. Hence, extra preparation is necessary, and it is often advised that applicants consult professionals’ assistance before taking them.
Most countries differ in their educational curriculum as well as in language and practice. Sometimes, acceptance of international students by most institutions is subject to the verification of their academic credentials. One such organization that is tasked with the job of evaluating international credentials is Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). International applicants are advised to send their transcript to a credential evaluator who in turn analyzes the document and interprets it into the host nation curriculum for assessment.