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August Timeline for International Students: Are You on Track?

Friday | August 18, 2017 | by WES Advisor

Quandrangle lawn at the University of Washington

Application season has already started so make sure to stay on track with WES Advisor. The following checklists will help ensure you complete all the necessary steps in time.

If You Are Enrolling for Fall 2018

  1. Get started on the Common Application. If you are applying for an undergraduate program, be sure to visit the Common Application website and create a login. The Common Application helps you apply to multiple schools using one application system and can potentially save you many hours.
  2. Start your college essay. Check out the Common Application essay prompts. If the university you are interested in does not accept the Common Application, make sure to check all the different essay prompts and personal statement guidelines.
  3. Retake any proficiency exams. If you took a proficiency exam during the summer and were not satisfied with your score, you should retake the exam as soon you can. If you haven’t taken any of your proficiency exams yet, get started right away and register for a test date.
  4. Create a college application chart. List all of the universities you plan on applying to and include each university’s application requirements that need to be completed before the deadline. Start checking off each item you complete throughout the next few months.
  5. Practice your English. If you think you need to improve your English, consider watching American shows and movies. Listening to music and studying lyrics is also a fun way to learn. Consider reading English versions of novels that you may have read in your native language. This could help increase your reading comprehension and can make the reading process a little easier if you are just starting to learn English.

If You Are Applying for 2019

  1. Choose the courses in your last year of school wisely. It may be your last year in high school or undergraduate school and a part of you may want to take it easy by enrolling in simpler courses. Try to avoid doing this because admissions officers will see how challenging your courses were throughout your academic career.
  2. Get involved in extracurricular activities. If you were not very involved in school or community activities, then it is not too late to start. Consider joining a student club or volunteering at a community organization to gain extracurricular experience that you can highlight on your university applications.
  3. Plan to take proficiency exams at least once this year. Many U.S. proficiency exam results are valid for several years, so it is better to start early. If you are applying for an undergraduate degree program, consider taking either the SAT or ACT. Also, consider taking the TOEFL or IELTS at least once this year.
  4. Research different majors. Focus on learning more about majors that you are interested in. You do not have to make a final decision right away, but consider what options you have. In the U.S., students can sometimes change majors from engineering to art while they are still in college, so keep an open mind.
  5. Make sure to get enough rest. Does this sound silly? In our experience, many students tend to over-exert themselves during the application process, so try to enjoy the summer as much as possible when you have spare time. Try to read some books in English, watch American movies, and listen to music in English. These are all great ways to relax while improving your English at the same time.

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WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 40 years of experience in international education. We provide tips and advice for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, and immigration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.