The thought of leaving high school behind and moving on to other adventures fills the hearts of most soon-to-be graduates with both giddiness and trepidation. This is particularly true for international students. On the one hand, these students know studying abroad will expand their horizons in ways they can’t even begin to imagine.
On the other hand, there are practical matters to attend to, like financing and possible language issues. It’s a lot to take in. If you’re considering a study-abroad experience, you’ll want to take note of the following tips for international students. They’ll help to clarify your thinking about studying abroad before you apply to FNU and other universities around the country.
1. Preparing to Apply
The application process can be tough, even for students studying at their local universities. There are SAT or ACTs to take, application essays to write, and letters of recommendation to gather.
However, for study-abroad students, there is even more to do. The foreign-exchange student’s checklist can include many time-consuming tasks, like applying for a passport and a visa. They must also get their transcripts in order and have them translated and then evaluated by a credentialing service, like the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
All of this requires time and planning. Depending on the issues at hand, some applicants must wait up to a year before they can apply to Florida National University.
In light of this, please make sure you make your application a priority. It’s helpful to contact all of the US schools on your list to get an idea of what’s required for each application, including the deadlines.
2. Studying for the TOEFL
It’s hard to fully describe the immersion experience. It’s a situation that requires you to read, write, think, and speak in a language that may not be your native language and to do so at a level of near-native proficiency.
That’s why FNU and other English-language colleges and universities have an English-language proficiency requirement. The way most universities determine a student’s English proficiency is through testing. In this case, you’ll be asked to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Passing this test is a key component of the application process. Passing the test requires hours of study, though nothing replaces the foundational language skills that you get by taking several years of English in school.
3. Financial Matters
According to the US News and World Report, the average cost of attending a public university as an out-of-state student for the 2019 – 2020 school year is $22,577. The average cost for a private university is just over $36,000 per year. The truth is college costs can be high.
However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be affordable. There is financial aid available, even for international students. That said, the time to secure this money isn’t when you’re getting on the plane to fly to the US. This counts as another critical aspect of the application process and one that you’ll want to begin researching a year or two before embarking on your trip abroad.
4. Citizenship Requirements
Foreign students studying in the US must secure either an F-1 or M-1 visa, depending on the school, to study in the US. Incoming study-abroad students must take care of this matter before attempting to come to the US, due to the regulations set forth by the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.
5. Research Schools
To ensure that you have the best study-abroad experience, you must think about what kind of experience you want to have. Do you want to delve deeply into the arts? Or would you like to study outdoor recreation and lifetime sports? Or maybe law is your interest.
Researching colleges and universities that meet your academic requirements allows you to select the college or colleges that fit your academic and career goals.
6. High International Student Enrollment
Under the most normal circumstances, college life can feel intimidating. However, it is even more so for the foreign exchange student. The culture is different. The language is different. Being around other students who are having the same experience as you are is very helpful. When you are researching schools, you may want to find out if there is a high number of foreign exchange students. Connecting with these students once you’re in America can provide you with a great deal of comfort and support.
7. Multicultural Experiences
The United States has a reputation for being a melting pot of cultures. Since the country’s beginning, it has attracted people from all over the world, who sought new opportunities and a better way of life. Their contributions to American society remain today.
The campus of Florida National University is a good example of the American melting pot. The school is located in Miami, Florida, which is known as the “Gateway of the Americas.” It is estimated that nearly 60% of the city’s population is foreign-born. A full third of Miamians are of Cuban descent.
Because of the city’s Latin influence, life here is an explosion of rich cultural experiences, excellent international cuisines, and important business centers. Study-abroad students who choose Miami as their American home base immerse themselves in this experience, and of course, add something unique to it.
Become a Student at Florida National University
You have a great deal to think about if you’d like to study in the US. Florida National University intends to provide all students with an excellent education while being immersed in an atmosphere that’s steeped in a rich diversity of peoples and cultures.
We encourage prospective foreign exchange students to think about these tips for international students as they go about choosing the American university they study at. If you feel like FNU might be a good home away from home while you’re in the US, reach out to our admissions office today.
You can also find out more about our requirements, benefits, etc. through our International Students page.