College and University Admission Tips for International Students

Posted July 08, 2014 by
Group of young international students studying together at a college

Group of young international students studying together at a college. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Studying abroad is always a dream come true for most students. There are a number of reasons attributed to this, one of them being they get a chance to mingle with students from other countries who share their cultural values. With the number of study opportunities currently available for international students, you can understand why the preference.

Even with that said, the preparation process is not always a cakewalk. The process is exhausting considering the fact that different countries have different admission schedules. Before admission, there are a bunch of things that must be completed. This article will highlight some of the college admission tips that’ll help with the process. We will limit our scope to only the US students.

a)   Why study abroad?

Before even submitting your application, you need to understand the reasons as to why you want to go study abroad. No student has a similar answer to this question compared to another. It might be because you want to secure your future or to add value to your professional development. Whatever the reasons, understanding this can be of great value throughout the application and admission process. It will help you do the right kind of planning and seek guidance where necessary.

b)  Documentations needed

Prior to admission, international students will be required to submit some documents relating to the records and recommendations from previously attended schools and institutions. This is a requirement by most colleges and universities in the US. This is a requirement of the best business colleges and universities in the US.

  • Degrees attained
  • Academic transcripts
  • A list containing all the completed courses

The documents should be in English; if not, most institutions will demand a certified translation. Besides the academic documents, international students are also required to submit their study visa in order to verify their legality. You can learn more about this at

c)  Admission tests

Colleges and universities require international students to take up some tests before they are admitted into the institution. The majority of these tests are similar to those taken by American students seeking admission into colleges or universities. For undergraduate students, they’ll be required to sit for the SATs and the ACTs. You do not have to be in the US to take them. They are normally offered around the world. There are some institutions that will request SAT II Subject Test in addition to the above tests. As for the US graduate schools, they’ll request either GRE or GMAT.

d)  English Proficiency

No native international students are required to undertake an English proficiency test before being admitted to any college or university of their choice. The TOEFL and IELTS are two of the most popular tests taken.

Common mistakes to avoid during admission

There are some common mistakes international students make which are likely to impede their college/university admission process. Some of the most common mistakes made by international students include;

  • Not conducting ample research prior to admission
  • Avoiding to ask questions
  • Failing to think about your future
  • Failing to plan ahead
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