For some time now, leading companies have been looking for a specific professional: the young with a global mindset. In a world where organizations need to establish commercial relationships in other countries, managers must understand cultural differences and identify business opportunities in other markets. Entering an American university is one of the ways to develop this highly valued competence.
So, if you are interested in studying abroad and adequately prepare yourself to work in a globalized market, this is your chance! But do you know what to do to get a place at an American university? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this post.
Why join an American university?
American university quality
There are many reasons why a young person or an early-stage professional might seek a place at an American university. First, they are the institutions in the world that invest the most in research and development. Therefore, they not only transmit knowledge — they definitely revolutionize the world with what they discover in their laboratories dedicated to the most diverse areas.
And if when you think about research, development, and laboratories, what comes to your mind are just areas like health, this is a wrong view. They develop a series of studies in Human, Political, and Economic Sciences, among others.
Therefore, it is not without reason that, of the 10 universities in the world with the highest number of Nobel prizes, 9 are in the United States. Without a doubt, American colleges are a great center for producing and disseminating knowledge and innovation.
Possibility to develop the global mindset
But in addition to these advantages, studying at an American university can give you a differentiator that the market is currently looking for: a global mindset.
At the beginning of the post, this is a very important feature for managers of large organizations, especially multinationals. Nowadays, these companies need to establish contacts with partners from all over the world.
These partnerships are essential, as they ensure that they get the cheaper raw material from international suppliers. In this way, it is possible to practice competitive prices. They also need to find opportunities in other markets to expand their business. Therefore, a manager who has the knowledge and a global vision can leverage these results.
And why do this at an American university? In addition to the quality of education they offer, the United States has the largest immigrant population of any country in the world. Almost 14% of the current population living in the US was born abroad.
Therefore, your chance to live with many immigrants, learn about their culture and through their life stories, understand how these different societies work is very great.
Besides, you won’t just live with inhabitants and students from other countries. Overall, 22% of professors at American universities are foreigners. Again, studies show that this group comes from China, India, Korea, Canada, Mexico, and 149 other countries.
Furthermore, on average, they are more qualified than even native teachers. This same study shows that 43% of foreign university professors have a Doctoral Degree, while only 30% of American professors have this degree.
Therefore, American universities offer an essential knowledge combo for forming a global professional: professors of the highest quality, who also add to their teaching their experience in their countries of origin and in others where they have worked and have worked throughout their careers.
Appreciation of the American diploma in the market
Finally, an excellent reason to study at an American university is the recognition that this type of diploma finds in the market. It is a kind of excellence certificate that can put you ahead of thousands of other candidates in selection processes for large companies in Brazil and worldwide. Therefore, it can help you professionally.
How to enter an American university?
So far, we believe that the advantages of studying at an American university have been very clear. However, some students and professionals give up even before starting the process because they believe that getting a place in these institutions is very difficult.
It is certainly a very challenging process. However, you can count on an important factor: because they value diversity, several universities favor the entry of international students and even grant them scholarships.
In addition, the way to enter an American university is completely different from the traditional Brazilian entrance exam. They do not assess the student based on a standardized test of knowledge. They consider his trajectory, effort, performance throughout High School (equivalent to high school), and even his life story.
Are you excited about the new possibilities? So, check out our tips for joining an American university below!
Research the institutions and their admission criteria to start trying for admission. It would help if you researched the universities that interest you. Do a good search on the internet, see what courses the different institutions offer and even the assessments regarding their quality.
After choosing some universities you find interesting, go directly to their website to see how the selection process works. As there is no entrance exam there, each institution establishes its own criteria. So make a list of requirements to know how to qualify.
1 – Take care of school records.
If you’re still in high school and intend to go to college in the United States, it’s important to take care of your academic record. For American universities, a student’s trajectory is more valuable than performance on a single test. Therefore, the idea is to keep a good average in as many subjects as possible.
However, if you have difficulty in one or another subject, don’t give up. If your background is good in other subjects, the examiners will understand this as a minor aptitude for that area, which can even be compensated with other qualities demonstrated in your admissions process.
Another possibility for those in high school is to do a High School program in Brazil. You will study some subjects from the American curriculum in parallel to your course here. At the end of the program, you will receive a diploma valid for admission to American universities. Admission is guaranteed easily at partner colleges, which do not require students to take SAT, ACT, and TOEFL exams, and it is much easier at other institutions.
2- Take the SAT
Although there is no entrance exam in the United States, at the end of High School, students prove that they have a basic knowledge of Elementary and High School subjects through a test. Its purpose is to show if the student is prepared for college.
Most schools choose to take a test called the SAT — Scholastic Assessment Test. It brings basic questions from the main subjects: English (as their mother tongue), Mathematics, Science, History, and Foreign Languages.
While the SAT is mandatory for college admissions, that doesn’t mean that all students must take the entire exam. They take into account your grade in subjects related to the course.
Anyone who intends to study law only needs to demonstrate that they have mastered English and History. So, if you intend to study Engineering, for example, the college may only require the Mathematics and Science test. However, it is the institution that defines these criteria for each degree it offers. So, once again, get this information straight from the source.
3- Achieve fluency in English
As you saw, you will need to take the High School exam. One of the required subjects is English. Plus, it’s the language teachers will use during class, which you’ll hear on campus and in all your everyday activities.
So, while you take care of all the documentation and do your best to meet all admissions criteria, invest in learning English and achieving fluency. This will allow your use of classes to be the best possible and that your performance at the university justifies all the effort and investment made.
4- Provide documents translated into English
After checking the established criteria for admission to universities, you will need to prepare the documents they require. They often ask for your personal documents, your school curriculum, and letters of recommendation.
However, to send them to the institution, they need to be translated. This work must be done by a registered professional translator to have legal effect and the documents to be accepted by the American universities of your choice.
5- Ask for letters of recommendation.
American universities take letters of recommendation very seriously. Therefore, it is common for them to be part of the selection process for candidates for vacancies.
However, forget about that idea of a letter of recommendation that follows a predefined template and says almost nothing. What they want is a real dossier on the student, in which people who have had a relationship with him at school or work point out his characteristics and qualities that the university can expect from him.
In this letter of reference or recommendation, it is important that the person really talks about their characteristics and experiences, both as a student and professional. It must emphasize dedication, active participation in classes, demonstration of leadership, proactivity, involvement in volunteer projects, and so on.
If you are in high school, it is ideal to ask for this letter of recommendation from some teachers or the school’s management team. It is also worth requesting this testimony from the person responsible for any social project you have participated in.
If you are a graduate and intend to do a specialization, it is also possible to include the evaluation of your bosses. If these testimonials manage to show the American university that you are a positive influencer, a person who seeks to make a difference in the environments you attend, your chances of winning the position become greater.
6- Take the foreign language tests.
For foreigners to take a course at an American university, they must demonstrate that they can communicate in English. This proof comes through standardized foreign language tests, such as the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
Each college requires a different minimum grade to certify your fluency. Therefore, once again, it is important to consult the website of the desired institution. There are several preparatory courses for these exams, and investing in one of them is probably the best way to boost your chances of admission.
7- Prepare an intent essay.
If there’s one thing Americans admire about a candidate, it’s passion. They know that whoever really has a dream and is willing to make sacrifices to achieve their goals is capable of changing the world and giving great pride to the university that participated in their training.
So, in your intent writing, demonstrate that passion. Explain why you want to take the course, why you chose that profession and university, and what you have been doing to become qualified in the area and become the best professional possible. Would you please talk about your curricular and extracurricular activities and how they helped you develop important skills in this area and confirmed your vocation?
8- Bet on differentiated experiences
American universities do not only consider the knowledge that the student acquired during school life. They also appreciate the interest in extracurricular activities, such as volunteer work, international exchanges or experiences, and awards at the knowledge Olympics.
Examiners understand that these activities reveal something of the candidate’s personality and show their interest in broadening the range of knowledge and developing a broader general culture.
Thus, they understand those who engage in activities outside the classroom during high school: theater, sports competitions, music classes, and debate clubs. So, if these possibilities do not exist in your school, try to do them in other ways or through volunteer projects.
They also give a lot of thought to the trajectory that the student has gone through. So if he had lifelong challenges to finish high school and still performed well, examiners consider this effort and provide academic development.
9- Register and face the selection process
Finally, after all this process, you need to submit your application. To do this, you will need to present your translated documents, your SAT and English test scores, letters of recommendation, and your wording of intent. Add items that are a specific requirement of the chosen college and send them according to their instructions.
In addition to documents, this selection process may involve face-to-face or telephone interviews. After that, wait for the answer and get ready to get your visa and arrange the change! Despite the nervousness that may appear at this point, be honest in your answers and try to talk openly about your expectations with the interviewer.
So what’s your situation now? Have you finished high school, and are you ready to compete for a place at an American university, or is there still a long time to get to graduation?
Did you know that it is possible to earn an American High School diploma and be guaranteed access to more than 10 universities in the United States? Discover the benefits of this program right now and find out how it can make your admission easier!