With so many thousands of American universities and colleges to choose from, it can understandably seem overwhelming and sometimes frustrating.
Thanks to another great post by Hussain Nayani, we get to have an insider’s point of view of the thoughts and ways students go through when picking a university that’s best suited to their own individual needs. With these great write-ups, we just might to keep him around for a while!
Without further ado:
Choosing an American University
Written by: Hussain Nayani
Choosing an American university that’s thousands of miles away from home can present some challenges — especially when there are so many great institutions to choose from in the United States. However, if you plan ahead and do your research carefully, the process of finding the right university won’t be as difficult as it seems.
Every student is different which means that when making your choices, you should carefully consider the factors that are important to you.
Below are some tips about how to begin researching so that you may find the university best suited to your needs:
College Websites and E-mailing
Almost every American University or college has a website with information about degree programs, application procedures, academic departments, facilities on campus, and other topics that may be relevant in any way to the admission process. In some cases, you’ll also find a copy of the college catalog and e-mail addresses for alumni (including international students) who are more than happy to answer your questions!
You may also drop in an email to the admissions personnel to ask specific questions related to your individual case before you decide where to apply.
College Searches on the Web
Some websites allow you to search for institutions by different preferences that you might have for some reason or the other. These searches are specifically tailored to cater to the needs of the students who know about the kind of American university experience they’re looking for in the United States.
Because this is a more detailed approach, there are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself before surfing these websites. Some examples of these questions would be:
- Do you want to live in a big city, or do you prefer a more rural or suburban location?
- Do you want to attend an institution that has tens of thousands of students, or are you looking for a small or mid-size college or university?
- Do you want to live on the campus of the institution you attend or would you prefer to live off campus?
By answering these questions and others like them will allow you to refine your search criteria and generate a list of schools that are closely matched with your needs.
Overseas Education Fairs and Visits by Representatives of American Universities
Read the newspapers regularly because the advertisements will always mention upcoming fairs when they roll around and that might give you an opportunity to speak with university representatives from colleges you’re interested in, face-to-face.
The best way to go about searching for universities and colleges is to take it very seriously. This is a lifetime opportunity that will change your life for the better so treat it that way!
Once you find your ideal university, talk to their admissions team or their local, international representative to verify that this institution meets all of your needs and is indeed, the university that you’ll want to enroll in.
Usually, getting a student visa is the most intimidating part of the entire process so we’ll end this with a few positive statistics to show that getting a visa to study in the US isn’t as stressful and difficult as many students think:
- Since Fall 2005, the issuance of student visas to Pakistanis increased by almost 20%
- U.S. Consul. General Kay Anski on 28th September 2006 said that, about 75 percent of the Pakistani students got visas whenever they walk into the US Embassy.
The bottom line is that getting an American world class education isn’t an impossible target to achieve!
It just takes a little bit of know-how and a little bit of work to give yourself the future you’ve always dreamed of!