You may be an international student who is still living outside of the U.S. and attending a university in your home country. Or you may be an international student who is already living in the U.S. and studying at a U.S. institution on a student visa. Whatever the case may be, deciding to complete your bachelor's degree in the U.S. is a huge decision. Now what? I have worked with international transfer students for over six years in my role at Drexel University, and these are some of the things I recommend:
- Reach out to the undergraduate admissions office. Some universities may have a separate international admissions office, but your best first contact will be the undergraduate admissions office. They will be able to put you in touch with the best person to answer your questions.
- Check the application requirements. Each school may have slightly different transfer application requirements for international students. Be sure to check their websites and ask the admissions office any questions you may have about these requirements. Things to consider:
- Does the university require that you submit a transcript evaluation from a NACES organization like WES or do they require your official transcript from your university or college?
- Will you need to submit your I-20 application documents with your admissions application or does this process happen after you are admitted?
- What is the English language requirement? For most institutions, there may be some type of English language requirement you need to meet if English is not your first language.
- Follow Deadlines. International applicants may have different application deadlines than other transfer applicants, especially if you are coming from outside of the U.S. Be sure you understand all of the application deadlines so that you can complete your requirements on time! View Drexel's application deadlines.
- Take a virtual tour. If you are not currently living in the U.S., see if the universities you are interested in have a virtual tour on their website. This will help you get a sense of campus and if it is in a city area or in a more residential area.
- Research the city where the college is located. The U.S. has very different regions, and for those of you that are not familiar with all the areas of the U.S., do some online research about the weather patterns there, if the city your university is in is big or small, and how close it is to the airport.
- Review finances. This may seem obvious, but as someone who likely is living without family nearby, there are often other costs that won't be billed through the university. Also, ask the university you apply to if international students are considered for scholarships or other financial aid!
- Submit course descriptions for any international coursework. Be sure to include official course descriptions or syllabi for any coursework you completed outside of the U.S. This will help the university you apply to review your international credits to see if any of them can transfer into your program of study.
Learn more about Drexel University's requirements for our transfer international students.
Best of luck finding your right-fit U.S. school!
Jennifer Brown is an Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel University. In her free time, she watches movies, reads fiction, and writes nonsense.
Jennifer Eichorn Brown