Admission for international students





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Admission for international students
By Tosh (Tosh) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 06:44 am: Edit

Hi,
I've read a lot of posts, espacially in "what are my chances?" area.
I can see that you all did a lot of extra activities and i know that it's important for the admission in a US college.

But i'm french, and it's really different here.
The first thing is that we don't have the time to do so many extra activities, espacially for high school student. During my 3 last years of high school, i started school at 8:30am and finished at 6:00pm, and then I had 2 hours of homeworks. I had school everyday except on sundays. I just found some time to practice horseback ridind.

So what i wanted to say is: Do international student have the same "criteria" of admission as american students? Do they "understant" that the system is different in other countries so that we can't do the same as american student?

By Tosh (Tosh) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 06:52 am: Edit

oops, it fits better in "college admission"...

I forgot to say
In France we don't have all you clubs and stuff like for example: (i've picked these examples in a message in "what are my chances?" area)
Student Government
Latin Club
Latin Honor Society
Latin Program Leadership Council
National Honor Society
Science Club
Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D.)
History Club
Jr. Red Cross Club (
Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen

and many other things...

So how do they judge if an international student like me can be admitted or not?

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

I know a French-American girl who just graduated from a Lycee outside of France and went through the US university admissions process. She was a very strong student 1 or 2 in her class of 25 and was pursuing a rigorous science curriculum in particular. As you say, she did not have the wealth of formal clubs and such that would be available in an American school, but she did have sustained interest and commitmment in sports and theater.

One signficant issue for her was that the recommendation letter situation was relatively new for her teachers. While American teachers who write many admissions recommendations might know what to say and how to say it, her teachers were more subtle and less forthcoming.

She was late in deciding to attend university in the US. She had been raised in a bilingual home so her conversatinal English is strong and she did well on the TOEFEL, but she worked hard and only did so-so on the SAT's.

She decided to apply to school in the US so that she could have a liberal arts education before pursuing a medical career. She only applied to highly competitive schools, as the family rationalized that the tremendous cost was only "worth it" for a clearly superior educational option to what she could get in France. She was admitted to 2/10 US schools she applied to, including her first choice. I think her personality, committment, energy and intellect shone through in her essays, even in her non-academic language.

Most schools have admissions officers who specifically read the charts of international applicants. They are aware of the educational systems and their differences- for example. I think your essays should reflect how your international background makes you an asset to the community, how your interests have sustained you and you have sustained them.

A lot will depend on where you want to go- some schools are clearly seeking an international base. I would contact the international student admissions officer for each school that interests you..

By Tosh (Tosh) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 03:08 pm: Edit

thanks for the advice.

I have some other questions.
As i've already said in an other post, I'm going this year to a community college to follow a "high school completion" course and hopefully, i'll get my american high school diploma.
Maybe i'll have the opportunity to take some extra curriculars in this community college.
My questions are: When should i start applying for US colleges (for a 2005 admission)?
How many colleges should I apply to?
You talked about schools that are seeking an international base, which schools for example? Considering that i'm intested in journalism.
Thanks!

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Tosh,

If you are going for a HS completion program, is this because you did not sit for the Bacc in France? If you are attending school in the US this year, then the teachers your will have will likely be those who write recommendations, etc.

If you are applying for admission in 2005 then you need to get started now! Applications generally are in by January or so for competitive colleges... Sorry, but I am not much help with the journalism piece...

By Tosh (Tosh) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 06:34 am: Edit

Ok, thanks :-)
i'm already making a list, i have about 20 or 30 universties for the moment but my list is going to be shorter

ps: i don't have my french "bac"

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:25 pm: Edit

Tosh, since you said on another thread that you have not yet taken the SATs, I'd recommend that you sign up for them as soon as possible if you want to apply for Fall 2005. The next testing date is October. After that the only other date where you'd be able to get results in time to apply for Fall 2005 would be the December test. If you want to apply to top schools, you will also need to fit in the SAT II's at some point in the next few months. You can get the details about signing up to take the SATs at www.collegeboard.com - don't delay, test sites can fill up pretty quickly and you'll want time to prepare as well. And, since English isn't your native language, a TOEFL test is also required by most competitive schools.

The only way you might not need the SATs is if you are applying as a transfer student from the community college - but to be honest, based on your list which included many ivy league and highly competitive schools, applying as a transfer may be even more difficult for those schools as they take very, very few transfers.

Good luck!

By Carolyn (Carolyn) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:28 pm: Edit

Tosh, since you said on another thread that you have not yet taken the SATs, I'd recommend that you sign up for them as soon as possible if you haven't already done so and want to apply for Fall 2005. The next testing date is October. After that the only other date where you'd be able to get results in time to apply for Fall 2005 would be the December test. If you want to apply to top schools, you will also need to fit in the SAT II's at some point in the next few months. You can get the details about signing up to take the SATs at www.collegeboard.com - don't delay, test sites can fill up pretty quickly and you'll want time to prepare as well. And, since English isn't your native language, a TOEFL test is also required by most competitive schools.

The only way you might not need the SATs is if you are applying as a transfer student from the community college - but to be honest, based on your list which included many ivy league and highly competitive schools, applying as a transfer may be even more difficult for those schools as they take very, very few transfers.

Good luck!


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