It’s overwhelming to think about all the pieces of the puzzle that have to fit together in order to become an international student in the USA. You have to complete all the requirements to apply to a school, calculate if you can pay for tuition on your own or if you’ll need loans, organize your visa and plane tickets, pack the right things, and, eventually, actually go to classes…and that’s only after you’ve figured out where you want to apply!
But we’ve got your back. Your first step in the process should be to visit an EducationUSA center, which are run by the U.S. government and are located in more than 400 places around the world. These centers are excellent resources for anyone interested in studying in the USA, and offer information ranging from the application process to details about living on campus to information about financial aid to how to deal with emergencies. They also hold events featuring advice about admission requirements, job fairs, and meetings with alumni of universities in the USA. Keep in mind that they may ask you for personal information in order to provide you with the most relevant suggestions.
Other ways to learn more
If you’re looking for advice from a professional yet personal perspective, consider talking to college advisors at your own secondary school. These advisors know you and how you might fit into the American university culture, and can steer you in the right direction about the easiest colleges to get into or which area of the country might be best for your lifestyle.
And there’s always the internet. Spend some time checking out social media of your friends and family who attended university in the USA, and then contact those people directly to ask questions and to hear the truth about their experiences (not just the shiny stuff they’ve already shared). There are also numerous blogs – both of students studying in the USA as well as of those studying in other countries – that have specialized tips and can answer questions you didn’t even know you had.