The U.S.A is regarded as one of the countries with the best education systems, in fact, it is for this reason that there is a continuous growth in the number of international students seeking to study in America. Below you’ll find 10 things to remember when applying to American universities in Nigeria.
1. Limit your search
You can find over 2,000 Universities in the U.S., so limiting your search can present you with an improved chance of having admitted. It will also save you lots of time and confusion. Decide whether you wish to study in the east or even the west coast or locations the climate is much more familiar with you personally. This is also a crucial consideration when cost is concerned.
Tuition prices are much higher in big, popular cities like Boston, Chicago and NY while costs are much more affordable in minor cities or those found in the south. Some of the popular cities for international students are NJ-new Jersey, Florida, Texas, Maryland, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts and California.
2. More schools, better chance
If you are seriously considering pursuing a university degree in the U.S., you need to acquire the maximum amount of information as you can, from at least 5 universities if you’re targeting living in just one state or from no less than 10 if you have no particular state planned.
Admission requirements in American schools are extremely competitive and, usually very stringent. Applying at many schools as you can will give you a better chance of getting admitted. This is especially true if you’re thinking about a degree in areas like business, IT or engineering.
3. Include less selective schools
About a twenty-five percent of your university target schools should be those that are less selective with regards to admissions of international students. You should find this by researching about the minimum scores they require on admissions tests. Sure, famous and well-known schools are always a good choice, but competition is very tough regardless whether you’re an international student or you aren’t.
4. Consider cost
Getting a college degree from among the best universities in the world can be really expensive. An undergraduate institution can account for this by at least $15,000 to as much as $45,000, including room, board and tuition. If you’re getting a graduate education, expect the price being even higher.
It could also be difficult to get funding for international students since most of the loans, scholarships and grants are to college students who are already in the USA. Don’t depend on getting a job on US soil to fund your school fees, since there are restrictions on employing foreigners. On-campus jobs can be nearly impossible to find and they don’t pay much. Expect a maximum of $2,000 on the regular school year with an on-campus job.
5. Take tests
Another major consideration for international students is admissions testing. Every university has its own set of tests and standards which an international student applicant will need to pass to get admission. Testing may include an English Proficiency test or TOEFL to determine whether the international student can communicate efficiently in the English-language institution.
6. Come with your documents
International students are going to be required some travel documents, as well as the required personal and academic documents. This includes a valid passport and a visa. The type of visa you will need will depend on if you are taking an academic or vocational course. Make sure you get the right documents months before your intended departure.
Bring a certified true photocopies of the official academic records, diplomas, transcripts and certificates. Include originals and/or photocopies of valid IDs, birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver’s license, medical, dental and insurance records. Keep all of the brochures, course catalogs, written communications along with other materials that you’ve received from the institution of your choice in a separate folder.
An essential thing to note: transcripts and other important documents need to have an English translation or an accompanying English-translated document when they are written in your native language. Most schools will demand translations to be done by a translation company, so make sure you ask questions when you’re confused.
7. Schedule a campus visit
This is the consideration that isn’t designed for most international students, although it is strongly recommended. If (in support of if) you can, visit a school campus during the school year, when is in session to have a feel about the university. Hang out, speak with other students and check out the facilities. This is simply not a necessity, but is a good option if it is possible.
8. Take note of the cost of living and accommodations
A times it’s about location. Some places will be much more expensive to live than other places. Know how much you’ll be spending through your stay and ensure you do have a reliable financial source to cover your expenses. You might also want to consider on-campus accommodations.
9. Choose schools that have an international student population
You might want to consider schools which have a great number of international students in their population. This is a good indication that these schools are responsive to the special needs of international students and are more familiar to diverse cultures, and that means you are more likely to feel at home in that university.
10. Don’t depend on rankings
It’s tempting to choose a university based on its published rankings. You’ll probably find this in annual university ranking lists and publications, however the best university for you may not be what people voted as the most admired one (number one). Your option should be made depending on your purpose, needs, interests, standard and budget.
Do you have anything else to add to this article? Leave your comment below.