Studies play an important role in the USA and students pay great attention to their school years in order to succeed later in life. Colleges and universities may be very similar to secondary school, but there are enough differences for students to know beforehand. That is why university preparation is a necessary step for everybody.
In addition to admissions and payment, applicants and their families have to take into account several other aspects of further studies. While some things are enough just to know about, others have to be studied and prepared for.
Taking a closer look at the higher education system, we see that the local students and foreigners have different needs and should take care of stuff accordingly.
The first stage of preparing for university is, of course, doing some research on the possible establishments to visit. Deciding what major to pursue is really important, but many young people forget about the importance of a place until it is too late to choose. There should be no rush in this research and all aspects of each establishment should be revised. Of course, alongside looking through colleges and universities, a teenager should think about his or her academic progress. Senior high is the most important in terms of grades and how they may influence future developments. A good school record and test scores are the tickets to any establishment of the country.
Another essential option to think about is financing the studies. You will need a lot of money to be “college ready.” Federal and private loans and grants may be of great help in this case. Many students require a FAFSA application anyway to assess the financial status of a student. If you don’t want to wait for the decision of the government, you can always switch to private companies and get a scholarship.
Moving on to the other things to get ready for university, your financial situation becomes important as well. But it shouldn’t become the sole thing that robs you from proper higher education. The search for financial aid should also be done beforehand. You wouldn’t want to miss a chance because of the lack of trying.
The next thing to think about is accommodation. Those students whose campuses are near their homes are lucky to avoid the need to spend additional money on accommodation. As a freshman, a student can choose to live in a dormitory or a sorority/fraternity. On-campus dormitories are a standard offer both for local and foreign students. The major advantage of such placement is close proximity to all academic buildings. Going to university is fast and easy. In addition, such rooms are always cheaper than other options. Another accommodation some students choose are off-campus apartments. They are too expensive to just one person, so students find roommates to rent the place together. Such places are not near the campus, though you get more freedom than at dormitories. Note that before renting an apartment, you should discuss all the little details about your contract and the house in general. Making sure nothing is falling apart is a useful technique though such clients are not often found.
Also, get ready that you will sleep less and have more tasks than at high school.
Coming to study in another country is always harder and more complicated. On average, international students have to do twice as much to get into a U.S. college. Twice as many papers, time, etc.
For example, let’s take accommodation. While international students have the same dormitory option as the local ones, they are offered a way out – homestays. In the past, living in a local family has been reserved for the exchange programs; today, homestays are a common thing even for undergraduate studies. The placement may also be better than renting an apartment way across the city. In most cases, hosting families live in about 30-40 minutes from campus. Besides, newcomers get to learn the very authentic culture of the place. Language barriers will be eliminated soon enough while living among those people, also, you get to learn a new culture and how people live.
The financial issue is even more important for foreign students as they are judged by this aspect greatly. Note that there are special international grants and loans that would make the expensive abroad studies easier and more affordable. Foreign students are also welcome to apply for the private U.S. financial help. The governmental one should not concern foreigners at the moment.
Also, here come an issue of traveling and health care. Arriving a few days earlier than the start of studies is an optimal option for all foreigners. It is the necessary time to accommodate, set up all the stuff, and get a look at the property. Making sure that you can bring enough of your stuff via the transport vehicle should be done and only unitizing proved companies. As for health care, this is an obligatory paper in the country. Many schools in the U.S. have their own health and safety insurance plans for their students, including the foreign ones. And it is always mandatory. The health system in the country is great, but without an insurance, people face huge bills.
The most important preparation for a foreigner is getting a student visa. For the USA, it is an F1 visa that grants the pass to stay in the country during the studies and up to two months after its completion. An important rule for international students to remember concerns working. In general, the student visa doesn’t allow getting a job with the only exception of work on campus. Many students grab this offer to get at least some money back. Campus work is the only profit source for the future years. Besides, the employment shouldn’t exceed 20 hours a week and a bit more during a break.
All these tips on preparing for university students should consider before applying.