More About Housing
- The Answer to a Common Question: Believe in Yourself
- Choosing Your Campus Setting
- Getting Support on Campus
- More about Housing
- The Academic Adviser
Many students write EducationUSA Iran wondering if they should even try to apply for study in the United States. They often ask, “Will I be admitted?” The answer to that question will not be known until the day you hold your letter of acceptance in your hand but to get to that day, you need to believe in your own strengths. There are also many ways to better your chances of reaching your final U.S. study goal, such as applying to more than one university.
Another way to improve your chances is to examine your skills beyond test scores and class work.
Strengths such as knowledge of another language, artistic or musical ability, athletic talent, or work experience may enhance your application for admission to your top choice universities. Admissions officers need your help to determine whether you have the potential to succeed at their universities. Thus, highlighting your skills and including information in your essay about your work experience, volunteering, special talents—anything that makes you stand out from other applicants in a positive way—can be important elements to include.
Another common question is to which universities you should apply. Since there are a wide range of universities in the United States and admission requirements vary, your initial research is important. Some universities are more selective than others and are limited in the number of new students they accept each year. Review university websites and catalogs as well as other reference materials to see how many international students applied and how many were accepted the previous year. Applying to universities usually involves paying an application fee, so be sure that the university is somewhere you would like to enroll.
When deciding on the region of the United States where you would like to continue your studies, you should consider the type of environment you prefer. For example, do you prefer a large metropolitan area, a smaller city, a small town, or even a more rural area? Some search sites, such as www.collegeboard.com, give you the option of narrowing your search with urban or rural filters. University websites typically describe their surrounding communities. An urban setting can provide you with a variety of restaurants, cultural events, entertainment, cultural, and shopping facilities. If you prefer a different environment , you may want to choose a more rural location. Keep your field of study in mind when looking for your university. For example, if you are looking to major in arts or fashion design, explore whether there are art galleries or a fashion district nearby.
The local climate could also be important to you when looking for your university. There are fifty states in the United States. The northeastern states have four seasons with distinct changes in weather. In the southwest you’ll experience a desert climate, while in Florida you’ll be in a sub-tropical climate. Try to familiarize yourself with the natural environmental changes as much as the cultural so that you are prepared. One good source of information about the climate in different parts of the United States is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_the_United_States.
Many of you are asking about the resources that are available to international students on U.S. campuses. The international student services office at your university can help you prepare for your academic life in the United States. They can direct you to the appropriate office and provide you guidance about your questions concerning:
- Orientation programs
- Academic adviser and counseling services
- English language center
- Health and wellness services
- Housing services and meal plans
Housing options are something you’ll need to think through before entering, or even choosing, your university. Below is a discussion of housing options from book 1 of the new “If You Want to Study” series, a set of e-books that will soon be posted in English and Persian on the EducationUSA Iran website.
“Since all colleges have different housing facilities and policies, find out if housing is available for all four years of enrollment or if students are required to find off-campus housing. Investigate the price difference between on-campus and off-campus housing. Check the living arrangements for on-campus housing; students living in dormitories may be required to share a room with one, two, or three other students. Living on campus, at least for the first year or two, may help you integrate into U.S. university life more easily and quickly. It can also save you the additional expense of buying a car or paying for daily public transportation, as well as the time needed to travel back and forth to campus each day. By your junior year, however, you may wish to move off campus into your own apartment. Be sure to find out the university's policy on such a move, as well as the cost and availability of local housing. Some 250 community colleges provide dormitory living on campus. When a dormitory is not available, colleges can help international students find a host family or a room or apartment to rent. These non-dormitory living arrangements often help students become more independent and give them a closer look at U.S. life.”
An additional question to ask universities is whether housing is available year-round. The standard academic year starts in August or September and usually ends in May or June; however, you may be able to take courses during summer break or winter session if you wish to complete your degree more quickly. If you are planning to live on campus during this time as well as during the shorter winter and spring vacations, you will need to check whether dormitories are open then, or, if not, what housing options are available.
In addition to the guidance provided by the international student services adviser, you’ll be matched with an academic adviser who will guide you during your studies to help you achieve your academic goals. In particular, at the graduate level, your academic adviser will provide essential help in selecting the appropriate courses that are relevant to your research project and will help you plan your degree in your specific field.
Good luck in your application process. Please visit us at www.educationusairan.com, and continue to ask us questions.