International Student’s Guide to the Application Process

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    The application process to attend college can be a very daunting process. As an international student, there are a few extra steps you need to take so it is always good to start early and set a schedule. Applications to most schools in the US and Canada usually open around November with many applications closed by January of the following year. Many schools also have an early decision date applicable to international students.

    Research the school’s requirements and important dates

    Begin by researching the important dates such as the early decision dates and final application dates. Then learn more about the important documents required by the colleges. These documents include the basics such as transcripts, diploma(s), letter of recommendation and bank statements and they must be in English or translated to English. As an international student, you may be required to take a language proficiency test such as the TOELF or the IELTS and standardized college admission tests such as SAT and ACT.  Doing deeper research to uncover key characteristics that make each school stand out from another school would also be beneficial to your statement of purpose or “Why college xyz?” essay.

    Commit yourself

    By now you probably know all the requirements for each school. Get started by registering for tests, setting up a study plan and getting the appropriate help for tests and applications. Using a common application, allows you to apply to multiple colleges. The Common Application is accepted by over 800 colleges both in the US and abroad. It is also advised for international students to apply to a dozen colleges or more to increase your chances of acceptance. After you have committed to preparing for standardized test, writing essays and applications, you have now paved your path to successfully studying abroad.

    Prepare other documents

    Think strategically about your best recommendations and references. The best people who know you will let your application shine through and reinforce your essays and statement of purpose. While writing your essays, statement of purpose and other essays, always be original and be yourself. Try to think of what makes you an interesting individual because this will make you stand out from the other applicants.

    Before you submit

    Before submitting your application, proofread and check every document that it is correct, legible, and authentic. Colleges are very strict with a document’s authenticity and fraud. If any document is plagiarized or false in any way you will be banned from reapplying. Remember to be realistic about your chances. Don’t apply to only top schools and spread out your probability for acceptance to both match and safety schools. Most important, learn to seek advice from blogs, experts, and other friends and family members who have studied abroad.

    Throughout this process, you will learn that it can be easy or hard depending on how well you have prepared yourself. Applying to study abroad is not a sprint but rather a marathon and CleverApply can help you with streaming lining the process.

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