I have noticed that there is in fact a lot of people that have the desire to study abroad. However, it often seems that many of them do not have any idea on how to start and are unmotivated to continue. Since I have gone through the USA college process a bunch of times, I hope to motivate you all into continuing with your dreams.
So what to do before applying?
- Look for a college counselor: Instead of wasting thousand of dollars on expensive organizations that promise you to get into the Ivy Leagues- but really just want your money, look for a place that offers individual meetings with a college counselor (These places usually have mainly English courses and TOEFL prep courses). I went to Alumni in Brazil, São Paulo and had 3 individual meetings: the first explained how the college process works, the second introduced me to college options that would fit my interests and the third helped me with my college essay.
- Engage in an SAT/ACT prep course or study by yourself: Even though there are many other important aspects to be considered in a college application, it is very important to have a good SAT/ACT score. An SAT preparatory course will help you understand how to master the test as well as learn tips and tricks that will get your score higher. For students living in São Paulo, Brazil make sure to check out the course I attended called FK Parteners.
- Create a calendar with deadlines: Keeping track of important dates is one of the most important aspects of applying to colleges. Make sure to have on a calendar all the SAT/TOEFL test dates, all college application deadlines, tests payment/enrollment deadlines.
- Create a checklist: Write down everything you need to have ready until the deadline of the colleges you are applying to.
- Research colleges: Do a lot of research. I mean A LOT. It is very important to know everything about the college you are planning to spend the next 4 years of your life.
- Engage in volunteer work: If you are not part of any volunteering organization already make sure to engage in some volunteer work. It wont be only important in your college application. It really does not hurt to start helping others.
- Visit these websites:
www.collegeboard.com Everything you need to know about college planning/SAT.
www.commonapp.org You will use this website to fill in your application.
www.princetonreview.com Amazing college reviews.
www.toefl.org Understand TOEFL and schedule your test here.
www.act.org Alternitive to the SAT test.
Keep posted if you want the complete list of what you need to apply!