Applicants from African Nations
Who is an international student?
An international student is an individual of foreign nationality who will be entering or has already entered, the United States with a student visa. Students already residing in the United States and holding other non-immigrant visas (for instance, an E2, H2, or L2) are also considered international students.
With the few exceptions noted below, international students follow the same application steps as other first-year or transfer applicants.
International students often underestimate the amount of time required to apply for admission to a college or university in the United States. You can avoid this mistake by setting a schedule for yourself that begins well in advance of the time that you plan to begin your studies.
When setting your timetable, always remember that starting the process early is the best way forward. You will need to allow yourself sufficient time to thoroughly research the institution and/or program that will best serve your academic and professional goals. Then you must meet the application deadlines of the universities to which you apply, which may be up to ten months before the beginning of the school term.
Especially for schools with competitive admissions, the application process takes a significant amount of time and effort. You will need to write personal statements and request recommendations from teachers or others who know you well. Even if you are applying online via the Common Application, you will want to get started early. University websites and other academic Internet sites may provide quick and convenient access to the required application forms, but you still need time to research your options, contact teachers and institutions to provide recommendations and transcripts, and sign up for required entrance exams in time to meet application deadlines.
This application timeline will provide you with detailed information about the steps you should take and when you should take them in order to plan your approach to studying in the USA. The plan starts 18 months before you wish to study, so you need to get planning soon! Of course, if you don’t have that much time you can still jump in and catch up – but there earlier the better!
Most U.S. colleges and universities require that you take one or more standardized admissions tests in order to gain entrance into their programs. SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL, IELTS – it’s like alphabet soup! We can provide you with further information about the various tests, what you need to do in order to prepare for, sign up for, and do well on the appropriate standardized tests.
For students preparing to apply to colleges, the international Student offer test preparation advice to help you prepare for any standardized tests you need to take.
School curriculum varies by country, not only in language but also in practice. Many schools accepting students from other countries require the official status of your school and need to verify the authenticity of documents. This is where credential evaluators come in. Your school may require you to submit transcripts to a credential evaluator who will examine your credentials and translate the documents into your host country curriculum for review.
As an international student, one thing you need to consider that US students don’t is the matter of student visas. You may want to visit the International Student Visa page to familiarize yourself with the type of visa for which you will need to apply.