Our previous post in this series provided information on the types of academic institutions available in the U.S. and what questions you need to consider in order to start creating your college list. This post will help research and “visit” schools you are interested in.
Once you determine the best type of institution that fits your needs and abilities, it is important that you do as much research as possible. Visiting schools is the best way to determine if they are good fit for you, however most international students are not going to have that opportunity. Therefore, it is essential that you do as much remote research as possible to learn more about the schools you are interested in.
• Virtual tours are a great way to get a feel for a campus. Some schools may offer virtual tours on their websites. There are also a few other websites that have compiled virtual tours of several schools.
• Contacting the admissions office and asking to speak to a student representative is another great way to find out more about a school. You can also ask if an admissions representative will be at a college fair in your area.
• School websites are another great resource of information. From the website you can evaluate academic departments, research resources available to students and determine what types of living accommodations are available.
• Interviewing is the best way to get a feel for a school and present some aspects about yourself that may not come through on paper. Find out if there is an opportunity to interview with an alumnus in your area or to do a phone interview with an admission representative. Remember to do your research prior to the interview and compile a list of well thought out questions. You should only ask to interview at schools that you seriously intend on applying to.
Educational consultants are a great resource for the research portion of the application process. We have the background and the know-how to determine which schools will fit your goals, abilities and background.
In the next post, we will get into the details of the application process and how it may be different for an international applicant.