EducationUSA | College Admissions (2019)


BUREAU CHIEF BROOKE SPELMAN:
Good morning and good evening to our viewers joining
us from around the world. My name is Brooke
Spelman, and I represent EducationUSA and the Bureau
of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department
of State in Washington D.C. Today’s Facebook Live is
about college admissions and how to apply for study
in the United States. We want to give
you, the viewers, the best advice on applying to
a U.S. college or university. Our hope is that
international students like you are able to come to
study in the United States. There are 550
EducationUSA advisors in 180 countries and territories
around the world offering free advising
services to help you. During the program, we
will be answering questions from lots of viewers. If you have any questions on
the college admissions process, please post them at
anytime during the program in the comments section below. So I am very excited to
introduce our speakers, who collectively have a wealth
of knowledge in the college admission process. Joining us in the studio
is Gayathri Attiken. She is Director of International
Admission at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In this role, Gayathri
helps students from all over the
world understand the academic
opportunities that are available in the United States. Welcome. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION GAYATHRI ATTIKEN: Thank you. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Joining
us virtually from Denver, Colorado is Mary Margaret Herman
and when Nguyen Tuong Vy Vo. Mary Margaret is the
International Enrollment Operations Manager at the
University of Colorado Denver. Mary Margaret and her
team work together to help prospective
international students learn about CU Denver
programs and assist them through the application process. Mary Margaret is joined
by Nguyen Tuong Vy Vo, who is an international
student at the business school at the University
of Colorado Denver. Welcome Mary Margaret
and Tuong Vy. Before we get
started, I would like to ask our viewers to answer
our Facebook poll question. What aspect of studying at
a U.S. college or university would you like to
learn more about today? The options are– A, choosing the right school– B, the application process– C, financial cost– and
D, living in the U.S. Again, to our viewers,
please tell us what aspect of applying
to study in the U.S. you would most like to learn
about in today’s interactive, and we’ll share the results
later during the program. Thank you. So Gayathri, I want to start
our discussion today by talking about admission timelines. So what should
international students keep in mind when
applying to a U.S. college or university
when they’re thinking about timelines? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Thank you, Brooke. I suppose the most
important aspect of it is going to be the
fact that it’s never too early to start planning. Many of us
international students come from very different
education systems, and we have different
academic calendars. And planning for
how soon we’re going to be able to navigate
the system, the variety of different application
types in the United States, the fact that all
universities very often share different types of
application systems– all of those are very
important factors to consider. We look at
international applicants in very different ways depending
on the type of institution we are in the United
States, and very often there are lots of questions to
navigate in those applications. There are common applications
that students can use to access certain schools. There are schools that offer
individual applications on their very own websites. And so the application
fees are a consideration, how many schools you
would like to choose to apply to– all of these
are important considerations. And the timeline is
the most important, because it’s never too
early to begin that. Aside from the
transcripts that you would report to your
schools when you’re applying to schools,
you’re going to be looking at the other
elements of the application process, which are the
letters of reference, for example, a statement of
purpose, an essay question. Depending on the institution
that you’re applying to, all of these require
good preparation. And we also have
academic credentials that go beyond transcripts. Certain institutions
would look for credentials that you would need to
apply to a university in your own country, such
as, for instance, in– say, for example, in
regions like South Africa you’d have the
matriculation exams, and those are towards the
end of the calendar year, but the results might not
be available at the time that a student would
start applying. Many schools consider
their applications towards the start of November,
and the deadlines for applying depend on whether
or not scholarships are obviously involved. So if you need a
scholarship, you’re going to need to
apply well in advance, especially if that’s a
consideration for whether or not you study in
the United States. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. Good, good points. And so as students gather
all of these documents together and pull together
their application package, can you tell us a little bit
about the standardized testing process and what
students should expect as they’re going
through this process and looking at
standardized tests and their different
choices there. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Certainly. Standardized testing–
it could seem potentially mysterious to many students from
overseas, outside of the United States, but it’s a way of
kind of placing everyone on a slightly
standardized scale. That’s the idea of the test. Many schools waive
tests such as the SAT. Many schools require tests
such as the SAT or the ACT. Some schools will require
just the TOEFL, or IELTS, or English proficiency
tests such as those. So it really depends
on the institution the student chooses to apply
to, but standardized testing can take time,
because, again, you have to prepare in
addition to your existing academic coursework
in high school. So that level of
preparation also comes into the timeline
question from before. So it’s a lot of planning that
is involved in this process. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Standardized testing is one
part of the application, but there’s also
non-standard things that are part of your
application process, such as extra
curricular activities. Those are the creative aspects
of the application that really tie things together and
bring the applicants to a full human being from the
perspective of an admissions review or an
admissions counselor. And the extracurriculars
are important because, as
admissions reviewers, we can then see what
kind of interests the student actually
has and whether or not our institution is going
to be a good fit for them. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. That’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And things such as your art
portfolio, supposing you’re applying to an art school,
your audition and recordings for music schools, performing
arts, et cetera, auditions for theater, acting
school, and so on. So it’s really an
interesting type of process to apply to a very different
country for admission to schools that are going to be
very different to the education system that you’re used to. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Exactly. Exactly. Very insightful. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: So
Mary Margaret, over to you. I’d like to talk a little
bit about location. So with over of 4,700
accredited institutions in the United States
to choose from, how do students
choose where to go? And how does location play
into the student experience? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER MARY MARGARET HERMAN: Right. So we live in a very
expansive country, and there are so many different
cultures within the United States, and different
topographies and types of climate climates
to choose from. That’s in addition to
the urban, suburban, and rural environments that
you might want to select from. Maybe you’re from a small town
and want to try out a big city, or you want a more
peaceful environment, so you want to go live in a
more country-like environment in a rural space. Or maybe the location
where you want to go has access
to major sporting events or some dancing. It depends on your background
and what you want to study, what you’d like
to have access to. You want to also
make sure that you’re selecting a climate that works
with your personal experience. So you may want
to stay in a place where you have 300 days
of sunshine, like Denver, and you have access
to four seasons. You may want a warmer climate,
because I know that it’s very important to some people. Also taking into account
access to airport and public transportation, as
well as the cost of living to live in
a specific location. And I know that safety is very,
very important as well, so really picking a location where
you feel safe, and welcome, and like you can
make a home there. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Thank you. So Mary Margaret,
another common question that we get, obviously,
from international students are, what options are
available for them to finance their education? Can you tell us a
little bit about this? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Right. So financial aid
and scholarships– they’re not going to always
be in one full package. Sometimes you’ll be getting
funding from different sources, or sometimes you’ll be
paying out of pocket fully. We provide an I-20
amount that is based on what we think
you’ll actually spend here. And the costs can really
vary based on the student. And with financial aid, there’s
so much variation as well. So for example, here
at a public institution you wouldn’t have access
to federal funding here in the U.S., but we
do have scholarships up to half off tuition for
our undergraduate students. At the graduate
level, you may be relying on graduate
assistantships rather than scholarships, or there could
be specific scholarships for your location or
what you’re studying. So there can be a lot
of different options. We also have students like
Vy, who work on campus. You can, at a lot
of institutions, work on campus for up
to 20 hours a week. And then there are
different institutions that do have more personal
funding sources available to students. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Great. Excellent. Thank you. So Vy, we’d like
to turn now to you, because I know a
lot of viewers would like to get your perspective
as an international student. So can you share
with us a little bit about why you decided
to study in the U.S., and what was your experience
with the application process? INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
NGUYEN TUONG VY VO: So as an international student,
the application process is not just we just
apply for the school, but we have to apply
for the U.S. visa. And you know, that
is an essential step to study in America. You know, at first
stage, I tried to find a school with
relatively high rankings and suitable with my
financial budget of my family. Also, I want to
live in somewhere that I can get a job
after graduating, and so I chose CU Denver, where
Mary Margaret is working here. Then I applied to
CU Denver, which is a right decision I have made. This, it would mean the
most interesting part in the application
process is that, when I apply for a school, since
I get all the documents myself without any help of any agents,
so I found some difficulties in researching information
about a school on the website. You know, I still
remember some days that I have to stay up
late to 2:00 AM because of the wrong time in
Vietnam and in America. And you know, the
most happiest moment that I ever got is when
I got an e-mail saying that, congratulations, you
are accepted to CU Denver. I’m so happy. I was so happy at that time. And you know,
besides those steps, applying for a scholarship is
a crucial part since my family budget cannot cover
all the tuition fees. And I also want to share to
everybody that some people says there’s no way we can get
a scholarship because it’s too hard. It’s too difficult or something. But for me, it’s totally wrong. If you are trying your best well
before in your current school and involved in
extracurricular activities, you definitely can
get a scholarship. So just be confident,
be yourself, and you can get what you want. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Go ahead. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO: Well,
regarding adjusting to life in the U.S.– BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Go ahead, Tuong Vy. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
VO: Yes, thank you. You know, up to now, I have
been here for two months. And there is not long I’m
getting used to living and studying here. You know, at first, I have
hundreds of concerns about what to eat, where to eat, means
of transport, bank account, purchasing textbooks,
and especially English, since it’s my second language,
and I can’t understand 100% what people are talking about. So luckily, after that, with
the support from the school I figured it all out. I found a Vietnamese
family here to study to live with them as a
homestay, and I go to school by bus and the light rail, which
is quite interesting, though it takes some time. I feel so excited when
I went to the bookstore to get my ID and
my first bus card. I have to bring that with
me every time, all the time, because if I forgot
it at home, I could be kicked off the
light rail, which is not so fun in this weather. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: No. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO:
I’m talking about weather in Colorado nowadays. It’s beginning with
snow, and, you know, this is my first time in my
life seeing snow, which is so [INAUDIBLE]. BUREAU CHIEF
SPELMAN: [INAUDIBLE].. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO:
I did take some picture and send to my mom
in my hometown. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Fantastic. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Great. Great. Thank you so much for
sharing that with us, Vy. We’re so glad that
you’re adjusting well, and your English
sounds fantastic. So well done. We– viewers, we are now
ready to share the results of our Facebook poll. Thank you for everyone
who participated. So just as a reminder,
we asked everyone to tell us about what
aspect of studying at a U.S. college or university they
most wanted information about from today’s broadcast. And the top answers were,
one, the application process. So 41% of responders said
the application process, which we have
talked about today, and we can delve in a
little bit more later on. And then the second choice
was choosing a school. 27% of respondents
mentioned that. So Gayathri and
Mary Margaret, what do you think about
those two top choices, and is this something
you hear a lot from students applying
to your university? Gayathri, let’s start with you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes, indeed. The application process
is quite a mysterious one for many reasons, primarily
because we’re usually comfortable with that with
which we are familiar. And for a student who goes
to school in one system to get into the university
system is a common– it’s a commonly tread path. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And so it’s easy to ask
around, and family and friends should be able to help. It’s a very brave thing to
decide to study overseas. It’s a very courageous step. Now, with the internet,
there’s a lot of information that is available out there. There are lots of
advisers, and as you said, EducationUSA does a
wonderful job providing a lot of information to students
who are interested in pursuing studies in the United States. Institutions in the
U.S., too, can help. All of our schools will have
at least one e-mail address to which you can write and
inquire about the process if you have any questions. A lot of our information
is already on our websites. Information about how to obtain
letters of recommendation, how to write personal
statements– those are very specific questions that
EducationUSA can certainly assist with,
particularly in regions where we aren’t familiar
with the concept of getting a letter of recommendation
because the education system might not require it. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So those are– those are important
questions to address. If you have any
questions about those, students are welcome to e-mail
us and contact us to ask. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. That’s good to know. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. You’re very welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
And Mary Margaret, what do you think about
those top two choices? Again, is this something you
hear from students quite a bit? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yes, it is a question that we
hear from students quite a bit, and we try to provide
resources for students to use, whether it’s a
short video or a webinar. We’re chatting with students
all day long on our website, on Facebook. We have a WeChat and a WhatsApp
to connect with students, as well, and we have four student
assistants in our office that are pretty awesome
in terms of helping out international students go
through the application process and make sure that they feel
very clear about each step. I think, also, because
the application varies and the requirements vary so
much between institutions, you can become a little
bit lost in that. The way we try to
simplify that for students is providing credential
evaluations in-house. So making sure
that you don’t have to spend the extra money on a
credential evaluation report– and that is very
helpful, as well. And then you’re able to interact
with our credential evaluation specialists to talk
about whether or not you’ll have transfer credits
if you’re transferring from another institution. What does your GPA look like
in the U.S., and the amount of credits that you’ve taken? And we really try to work
really personally with students and make sure that they have
an experience where they’re feeling taken care of
even if they’re not working with an agent like Vy. So lots of resources. Sometimes it takes some
digging, but I would always say, like Gayathri said, is
to reach out to us directly. We have a phone number. We have chat. We have e-mail. And– and I know that a lot of
institutions do the exact same, so we’re always here to help. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Great. Thank you. It’s good to know that there is
that option of direct contact there. So now I think we’re ready for
some questions from our viewers on Facebook, and I’d like to
turn to the first question. Do I need to take
a language test, like IELTS, TOEFL, or
Duolingo to get admitted? Now, let me turn that
over to a Gayathri since she talked a little bit
about testing in the beginning. What’s the answer
to that question? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: It’s complicated. So there will be a
language requirement, mainly to assess where the
student’s English proficiency lies, because most of our
institutions in the United States are going to
conduct classes in English. So at some point
or the other, we have to assess the student’s
or the applicant’s ability to communicate in English. Whether or not that
specific English test is going to be required
depends on the institution. Some schools might consider
an SAT verbal score in lieu of any of
those English tests. Some schools might require both. And it really depends on where
the student is coming from, as well. The different types of education
systems sometimes will waive– that might qualify the
student for a waiver of the English proficiency test. So it really depends. There are many students who come
from countries where English is an official language, but not
necessarily the only official language, and
therefore there might be additional requirements. So it depends. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
And some institutions offer, for example, intensive
English language programs once students get
to campus, correct? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Indeed. We do supplement the student’s
English academic proficiency. Essentially we provide English
placement testing on campus. Many schools do
that, I believe, just to be sure that the
student’s background is truly going to be suitable to
succeeding at the institution. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And we give them
additional coursework to support their academic
experience at the school. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Thank you. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Thank
you for that question. So now on to question two– what is the difference between
undergraduate and graduate programs? Mary Margaret, can
you help us with that? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yes, so undergraduate programs
are typically started right after you complete the
equivalent of a U.S. high school degree. What’s unique about
U.S. institutions is that we have a couple
of different types. And I know we didn’t
talk about this before, but we have a lot of
community colleges which offer what we
call a [INAUDIBLE].. So you could do two years and
finish an associate’s degree at a community college,
and then those credits could be transferable to
another four year institution so that you can get– you can
get the bachelors in science or a bachelor of
arts degree, which is a standard undergraduate
degree here in the U.S. We are on the Auraria Campus,
which actually is home to the Community
College of Denver and Metropolitan State
University of Colorado, and so we have a lot of
students that do transfer over from these institutions
nearby, and we take all of their credits. So it’s possible to go to
a community college and– and save some money on
tuition, because sometimes those institutions have more– have lower tuition costs,
and then transfer into one– one of the four
year institutions. At the graduate level, you know,
you’re– you’re really picking your specialization and kind of
digging in a little bit more. Some of the
undergraduate degrees can be more generalized. We– a liberal arts education
is very popular in the U.S., and that really
involves creating a well-rounded student who knows
a lot about different subjects. The graduate level
is really where you’re going to hone in on
that– that specific topic that is your passion,
and you’re going to be going to school probably
for a shorter amount of time, unless you decide to
continue with a PhD. So at that point in time– you know, some institutions
offer all three, right? So the University of Colorado
is a large public research university and a
doctoral university, so we offer degrees all the
way from undergraduate up through a PhD. Some undergraduate institutions
are just undergraduate only, and there really
is such a variety. So also what I find
is that, you know, if you don’t know what
your path is, that’s OK, because a lot of schools
have great advising built in to help you figure out what
path you– you want to go. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Thank you. Thank you. So that clarifies the
different levels a little bit. Next question, am I allowed
to work while studying in the United States? Gayathri, what’s– what’s
our answer to them? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Definitely. You’re allowed to
work on a student visa up to 20 hours per
week, and many schools have several
departments that would love to hire international
students to work on campus. The primary
objective, of course, is to study, and so always
make sure that it fits in with the academic schedule. But yes, indeed, students are
allowed to work on campus. It’s a good opportunity
to get experience with time management, as
well, to kind of balance your schoolwork
with career-work. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And also a good experience of
the work force and the work environment in the
United States, as well. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. That’s right. And can you tell us a little
bit about after your studies, the OPT program, or
Optional Practical Training? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: A little bit. So there are two types. One is CPT, Curricular
Practical Training, which is just before you graduate. And the other is OPT,
Optional Practical Training, after you graduate. We, at our school, Fairleigh
Dickinson University– we advocate for Curricular
Practical Training because that allows you to get work
experience while you’re still in school, and it’s a good
introduction into the workforce again– into the real world, as we call
it, outside of the university. And you can get academic
credit for it, as well. OPT is after you graduate. You finished your
degree program. You’re allowed to work
for up to 12 months. In most programs, you could
potentially get an extension on that if you’re in
certain subjects that are permitted by the Department
of Homeland Security. And it’s a very
worthwhile experience, because it allows you to
get practical insight using the education that you’ve just
procured at the institution. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. Right. Putting it to use. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Exactly. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Great. Next question– I have an
international baccalaureate, IB, diploma with two years
of courses in English. Do I have to take a TOEFL? So Gayathri, back to you,
the eternal testing question. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Yeah. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And it is a puzzling
question, because it always– it baffles students
because it makes sense to them that there shouldn’t
be a test of English required. Fairleigh Dickinson
University has a very broad English proficiency policy, and
it’s a very forgiving policy, I would say. And what we do is we shift the
focus onto the placement test that the student will take
upon arriving on campus. So in most cases, we would
waive the test of English for a student who has studied
in an English speaking environment– BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF
INTERNATIONAL ADMISSION ATTIKEN: –depending
on the country, and we’ve listed
all the countries that qualify for that. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: But that’s to say
our school will accept that and waive a TOEFL. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: It doesn’t mean that every
other school in the U.S. would. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So it’s a challenge, because
like we discussed, over 4,000 universities in the U.S. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Exactly. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So it is a challenge. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. Right. It’s a challenge
to find that out, but it’s important because
that could affect choices. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes, absolutely. Especially the timeline. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Because you have to plan. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. Back to the timeline, exactly. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yeah. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Yes, thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: So we’ve
got a question from Nepal. Is it OK to be
undecided about a major? And how does that affect the
college selection process? What do you think,
Mary Margaret? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yeah, so as I– I said before that is
perfectly acceptable, and we have a great– we have
our Center for Undergraduate Exploration and Advising here. So that’s a very long fancy name
for our advising team, but they really– they do assessments
with students to figure out what their
personality type is, how they work, what
their passions are, where do they want
to be located, really what work that
makes them come alive. And they work with
students to really help them hone in on what subject
areas they can be studying in. And oftentimes students may
pick more than one major. We also have opportunities
to combine and create your own major, which,
you know, if that’s the type of personality that
you are, more power to you, because you really can
create a plan of study that– that really you’re inspired
by and you feel excited by. I, myself, had two
majors, and then I went on to study something else
in my– in my graduate studies. And speaking of
graduate studies, you can always specialize in
a particular area, as well. So there really are
a lot of options, but we do have the
resources in place to help you really
make a decision and not be wasting your time and
money while you’re at school. We make sure that you do
get on a good path and– and really get going
with your studies. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Good to know. So Mary Margaret,
our next question I’m going to ask you
to answer, as well, and it touches on something
you mentioned earlier when we talked
about the difference between undergraduate programs
and graduate programs. But one of our viewers wants
to know a little bit more about the difference
between community colleges and universities. And can you tell us a
little bit more about that? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Great. OK, so we have
community colleges that have general areas
of [INAUDIBLE] built similar to a university, except
that you’re going usually for a shorter amount of time. So the standard degree is
called an associate’s degree. It’s very well recognized
here in the U.S. The– the level of education
is pretty much the same, and it’s recognized by
the larger four year institutions and
doctoral institutions. You can also do a
technical degree, as well, and these institutions
are usually public– publicly funded. And so they’re able to get state
funding to keep the costs low. You’ll find you’ll get a great
connection to the community that you’re in. A lot of community
colleges have a nice range of students all the way from a
traditional student starting, you know, right out of
high school to some– some lifelong
learners, who are maybe a little bit older than you
and have different backgrounds. So there’s really just
a great opportunity to expand your
community and really get to know who is there
in the city of Denver, or wherever you choose to study. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Fantastic. Excellent. Thank you. So are– we’ve got a
lot of viewers asking us about one other
aspect that I’m going to ask Gayathri to
help us out with, and that is the main component
of a college application. So how do admissions officers
actually review applications? I’m sure– I’m sure it
differs by institution, but what’s most important? Is it grades, essays, or is it
experience, extra curricular activities? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yeah, this is going
to be a long answer. It’s really interesting
how different schools weigh the different components. And a lot of it has to
do with the selectivity of the institution, the– the– the competitiveness
of the applicant, and the number of–
the type of program that they’re applying to, a
number of different things. So supposing– and I
hate to generalize, but I will have to, because
I work for one institution, and there are several
in the United States. And this is a very
general question that is important to many people. Supposing I was applying to a
highly selective institution and my application– say I have a 3.9 GPA, and I
have very high SAT scores, and the criteria I listed
carefully on the application itself, the school
has made it very clear this is what
I need to apply, and yet letters of
recommendation, the essays are all mandatory. In that kind of a situation,
that letter of recommendation, that essay– those could push you
above the competition to get into that institution. Supposing a
different institution looking to find a good
fit between the applicant and a program, a very
specialized program– say, for example,
hospitality management– they’re looking for something
within the student’s essay or the statement of purpose that
indicates that they understand what the program
is and that they are interested in
that particular field. So that information
comes across through those supplemental items. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: The GPA alone might
be spectacular, but they may not understand
that hospitality management is different to hospital
administration, for example. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So things like that that come out during
those little other components that we don’t think about. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, exactly. So it really is
the whole package. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Definitely. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: And it
does depend on the institution. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. So the more you know
about that institution, probably the better you can
tailor that application. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Exactly. And the nice part about it
is we are all accessible. You can contact us and
ask us because we’re very willing to help students
navigate that process. We understand how difficult it
is for international students to understand how
difficult this process is for them, being so far away. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Exactly. Right. Excellent. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So we’re here to help. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Thank you. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: So
a viewer from Cameroon has asked a specific
question for Mary Margaret. How long does it take to
receive an admissions decision from most universities? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Well, that depends on
the application cycle for specific institutions. So some have specific dates
that they’re going to tell you, you know, you’re
going to receive a decision during this time. And those are usually the very
highly selective universities that have a specific process. For our institution, really– it really varies per student,
because some students have– have some– it takes longer
to get their credentials in, so their transcripts–
getting them sent to us. And then, you know,
undergraduate students it takes a little bit less
time to make a decision because there are
less transcripts to look at and evaluate. We have a rolling
admissions process, so really, you
know, it can take, you know, 30 days up
to a couple of months depending on those transcripts. I think that’s really the–
the part that makes it take the longest, but we try to
get decisions to students as quickly as possible
because we know that you want to prepare to– for your visa interviews, and
to get here, and get acclimated. So we do try and move
that process along. So our office–
we make decisions every Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have our committee,
and we– we chat, and then we make our
decisions and send them out. So we try to do that very
quickly for students. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. That’s very helpful. Thank you. So Sherup asks, how can
we apply to colleges that aren’t listed in the Common
Application, or the common app? So for Gayathri
or Mary Margaret, perhaps you could first– and
then I’ll turn to Gayathri perhaps so you could first
explain what the Common Application is, and then– and then answer the
question, if you don’t mind. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Certainly. Just as it sounds, it’s
a common application for a select number of schools
that have signed up for it– schools that want to apply– or want to receive
applications from students who choose that very
big, very comprehensive common application. That means you submit
the one large app. You choose the name
of the institution that you’re applying
to as long as it’s available on the
common app, and you can apply to a number of
different institutions using the same application. The question is, what
if the institution you want to apply to is
not on the common app? And the answer is simple. If you know the institution,
find them on the website, and find them on the
international– you know, the world wide web, and
look at their website. Find their information for
international students, and either e-mail
them and ask them what the process is,
or you should actually see it once you get to the
international web page. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Many institutions have been
very careful about providing information to
international students. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, right. So it should be clear. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Specific. Should be clear. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, right. Excellent. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
So students from Nepal and Bangladesh have asked,
if they take a gap year, will they still be competitive
to apply to study in the U.S.? Mary Margaret,
what do you think? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yes, of course,
that is extremely popular here in the U.S. Even
Malia Obama did a gap year. So we think that is a great
opportunity for a student to– if they have the– if they have the resources to
really learn about themselves and prepare for the– the college environment,
because it is a lot. You’re taking on
basically a full time job, and if you’re going to
work, you know, you– you’ve got more to do
and more to manage. So I think– I think it’s great
when a student chooses to do a gap year, and I
think they perform just as well as students who
are not doing a gap year. And there are opportunities to
come to campus early for summer camps and summer
programs to take your time in getting acclimated
to your new environment and community. And I think that that’s really
important to take that time, and come early, and
give yourself the space to really feel prepared for
the beginning of your studies. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. Would you agree, Gayathri? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. Yes, I do, and partly also
because sometimes it’s necessary. Depending on the calendar year
of the country in which you’re studying, it might not
align with the U.S. calendar or the academic calendar,
and therefore you would need to take
some time in order to prepare for your
application to come study in the United States. It might be also wise if you
had a very rigorous curriculum during your high school
years to take time to prepare for your
standardized tests, get all the documents
that you need. A prepared application is
usually better for both sides– both for the
university, as well as for the student
and their family– because it allows
you also the time to prepare for funding
and the relocation. There’s so much that’s
involved in studying abroad. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: More preparation is always good. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, right. Good, good. Good. Thank you. So several students
have asked, if they have a poor or low grade point
average, GPA, in high school, will they still be able
to study in the U.S.? Although I think
that answer probably depends, again, on institutions,
what do you think about that? I’m sure you’ve seen that
case in several applications in the past. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: If the answer was that they
couldn’t study in the U.S., I wouldn’t be here,
because I consider myself to have had a poor GPA when I
was in school– in high school, because that wasn’t my fit. I was not comfortable in the
Sri Lankan education system. I grew up in Sri Lanka
for most of my life, and I decided to come
to the United States after watching television. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And I was excited
about the system, because I felt it was a
very kind education system. And I didn’t realize
that the idea of a GPA is a very complex thing,
because in our country, we tend to think that the
standard of achievement is so much higher than what
it translates to in the United States. So it’s very difficult
to answer that question, because first you have to
figure out what is my GPA, and then assess whether
the school considers that to be your GPA. Then what is the school’s
admission criteria? That’s a simple answer. Additional information will
also supplement an application. So in other words,
if a student has other skills that the
university could benefit from, that the university could
help the student cultivate– BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: –towards professional
success, like artistic ability, athletic ability, so
many other things. That’s where
finding the good fit is the biggest challenge
and the biggest opportunity in the United States. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: It’s one of the few
countries in the world that offers that ability
to start over and to build from
almost nothing. BUREAU CHIEF
SPELMAN: Interesting. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: And there are
several institutions that consider forgiving a
student for a poor high school GPA, assuming it’s poor
by our standards, as well. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, right, right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yeah. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: So it
definitely is one indicator, but there’s more,
again, to the package, and to the whole application
that students are submitting. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Indeed. There’s actually one
more piece to that– financial ability. The financial resources that
are available to you will shift. If you have academic
or other skills that the university
can benefit from, you will still be allowed to
qualify for a scholarship. If, however, you’re coming in
and you need a second chance to begin and start your
academic history again to rewrite your own
history, you might need to pay more money in
order to get your education. So be cognizant of that. That’s the sad part of
it, but it’s the truth. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
So, good to keep in mind. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Keep that in mind, yeah. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Right, right. Excellent. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: You’re welcome. BUREAU CHIEF
SPELMAN: So Tuong Vy, some viewers are asking how
the campus and classroom experience in the United States
is different from your home country. And you shared a little
bit in the beginning, but can you tell us a
little bit more about that and what you’ve experienced. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
VO: Yes, of course. This is a very
interesting question, because, you know,
in my home country, based on my side
of Asian people, we rarely raise our hands or
raise our voice in our class. But when I moved to
university in America, everything is different. People are so active, and
they can raise their hands every time all the time
during the lectures. Our professors very listen to
us and answer our questions very well. Besides that, I really like my
professors, because she is so– kindest. She’s so kind, and
she’s so dedicated. That helped me a lot. Although my English
is not very good, she would try to support
me, everything I asked, and help me get along
with every people here. Besides that, I have a lot of
friends, which is very good. We’re a very great
experience here, because I’m a social person,
and I make a lot of friends from all over the world. They’re from India, from
China, from Mexico, Beirut, and so on– a lot of
places in the world. And I think the
difference between U.S. and some countries– and university in some countries
is that extracurricular activities– because here we
have a lot of extracurricular activities, and for– specific for
international students, as well as for
students in general. And for a specific school,
as well as business school, or liberal art, or
some specific major, we offer for
international student, as well as for students specific
events for us to attend. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Excellent. Now, can you tell
us a little bit– our next question is about
letters of recommendation. And I’ll ask Gayathri
to jump in after you, but what did you do for your
letters of recommendation, and how many did you have,
and were they in English? INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
VO: Yes, of course. Actually, in Vietnam,
I was in a university that is an international
school of business. So everything there
was taught in English, and I have my
professor will be– he is an American, too. So I ask him for a
letter of recommendation, but I think the most
important thing here is that you have
to prove yourself as a very good student. You have your own
achievement, and the person who will recommend
you to the school just like a person who will
just evaluate it and prove it to the school just to make sure. The point is that yourself– you
have to make efforts yourself. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. So you have to choose
those people that write your letters carefully
so that they are able to really present to you in
a positive light, and they know you
and your strengths. INTERNATIONAL
STUDENT VO: Yes, yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Yes, exactly. Now, Gayathri, I know it
depends on the institution, but what would be the
average number of letters of recommendation if required? And obviously they do need
to be in English, correct? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes, at least an
English translation if it’s not in English. And we would also be
able to get translations depending on the country, but
we ask the student to provide a sort of a rough idea. Typically at the high school
level, we ask for two, but it depends on
the institution. Really depends on the
selectivity of the school and how difficult it is. And as long as the person
recommending the student knows them well, that’s
the most important thing. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Good. So Saujen from Nepal
asked, does applying early mean a better chance of
getting a scholarship? Mary Mead, what do
you think about that? I’m sorry, Mary Margaret. INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: OK. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Apologies. INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Well, you know, applying
early means that, you know, you’re– you’re on it. You’re on top of your stuff, and
you’re– you’re getting it in. And– and that’s– that’s really great,
but also there are requirements to get
into the university. So you have to meet
the GPA level– BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: –and English language
proficiency requirement. So these things may take more– more time. I would say that,
you know, you really want to focus on the
quality of your application. And be in touch with us. I think that applying
early isn’t necessarily the most important thing. It is very important, but also
your communication with us. I know some students will start
an application on their own, and get it done, and we
don’t hear from them at all, and that’s amazing. But we also have
a lot of students who are e-mailing
us, and calling us, and we love to hear from
you and help you out. And I think that
gives us a better understanding of, you know,
your story, the story of your– your transcripts, your financial
background, and really what your needs are as a student. And that is important
to us and the Office of International Admissions
at the University of Colorado Denver. And I think that we’re
able to give those students who reach
out and communicate with us a bit more care
so that they– they really get what they need. So I don’t necessarily
think that applying early is like the main thing that will
help you get into university. And like I said, reach
out, communicate with us. We want to hear what’s going on. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. Now, Arwa asked a
related question about the specific time of year
to apply for U.S. universities. And you mentioned your
rolling application process, but usually that’s
in the Fall, correct? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yes. So our main start and the
main start for most academic institutions in the
U.S. is in the fall, which is in the month
of August, generally– mid to late August,
sometimes in September. And really that depends
on the institution. We have three starts. So we have students who
will start in the fall, and that’s when the
largest group starts, and that’s also when there
are a lot more activities that are planned. But we also have students
that are ready to go, and they want to start
in the spring, which starts in mid to late January. And then we have students who
are ready to come and start with us in the summer, so
that start is usually in June. So generally because we
have a rolling application, as long as students are admitted
and ready to go at least 30 to 45 days out from the
start date of the semester, we allow them to come and
start during that time. But I would say
that you really want to get your application
into a school like ours probably, you know,
about three months out, maybe more, to give yourself enough
time to prepare to come here. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. And is that a similar case
for you all, Gayathri? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes, at Fairleigh Dickinson,
we have two semesters, Fall and Spring. So it’s about the same
timeline that Mary Margaret mentioned, which is August. The end of August is
the start of the Fall, and so we allow applications
all the way through to August 1 if they’re living overseas
and have to get visas, and come, and relocate, and
change destination basically, their living circumstances. But if they’re in
the United States, and if they wanted
to transfer in, then it’s a different story. They are already within the
school system in the U.S., and so it’s a lot quicker. So even before the
start of school, we would consider
an application. And outside of
the United States, if they’re applying to our
Spring semester in mid-January, we recommend completing
the application well before Thanksgiving
because of holidays and trying to apply for a visa. That would be kind of
a little bit tricky, but like I said, because of
the different calendars– the academic calendars– that’s
inevitable that students would apply to Spring once they’ve got
all their academic credentials. So there’s no specific time
that applies to all the schools, unfortunately. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: But as I said, the sooner you
begin, the better for you. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Earlier the better, exactly. Exactly. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yeah, no time like the present. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
No, that’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Start preparing. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. So Pato from
Argentina would like to know what the process for
identifying university programs for student athletes are. Now, that’s an
interesting question, and, again, I think
various institutions have specific programs for students. Mary Margaret, can
you give us a sampling of maybe what’s available
at your institution and what you’ve
heard is available at other institutions? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Yeah, so we’re a bit unique,
because we have a lot of what is called a club sport. So students– they
decide that they want to have a particular sport. We’ve got a– we have a flag
football league, soccer, cheerleading. We’ve got some ultimate
Frisbee, right? And so those students
have that interest, and they start the club. They get funding together to
have the club, and then those– they sometimes play against
different institutions, right? Then there are the
large universities that have their huge
football teams and stadiums, and they have– they are
active in the NCAA, which is our Athletic Association. And there are different tiers
of sports that are offered. So, right, the Division I is
your really high level sport institution that is going to
offer scholarships to attend all the way down to a
Division III, which is still a very competitive school. And they sometimes do
offer funding for schools, and each institution has
different types of sports– lacrosse, field
hockey, you name it. I mean, we really– there are 4,700
institutions in the U.S., so they all have
different specialties. And I just was at Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia, and they said,
speaking of sports, that they used to have a
requirement that a student needed to pass a
swimming test in order to get into the university. BUREAU CHIEF
SPELMAN: Oh my gosh. INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: So sports are very valued. Activities are
very valued, and it does differ based
on the institution that you’re going
to be attending. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. And Gayathri, please. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: I wanted to quickly add
that Fairleigh Dickinson has two campuses in New Jersey,
and one is Division III and one’s Division I. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Awesome. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So our Division I
campus has athletes that receive athletic
funding, and so it’s a very, very important
source of funding when it comes to studying
overseas and studying at an institution in
the United States. Yes, you will be playing part
of very, very competitive team. We have sports that range
from track and field, soccer, tennis, golf,
fencing, volleyball. It’s a wonderful opportunity,
and the Division III campus is also in northern New Jersey,
and we have sports teams there that compete. It’s amazing how
competitive the NCAA is. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Fantastic. Excellent. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Good. So lots of opportunities for
student athletes out there. Now, our last question I’m going
to ask Tuong Vy and Gayathri to answer for us, but
Tuong Vy, could you tell us a little bit
about the resources that you used as an
international student to get adjusted to living
in the United States? INTERNATIONAL
STUDENT VO: Resource? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: Resource. INTERNATIONAL
STUDENT VO: Hi, so I think there are
thousands of resources for international
students to get involved in our school and
our events, everything. For example, there is one
renewable resource in my school in CU Denver– is that the
learning resource center– is that where we
can go there, and we can have some advice and
mentor for our specific courses that we need
somebody to help us. Besides that, there is
some writing center. This is– this is really great. We have thousands of
assignments in writing, and this writing center
can help us correct it in the academic way and help
us have a very fancy assignment to submit to our professor. Besides that, there
is an advising office, where we can go there and to
ask about our future career, because sometimes we
are confused about what we can do in our future. And that office can help us
answer every question of ours and give us some advice
and very good advice based on our ability, based on our
achievement, what we can do, what we can have in our
future based on our interests. I think it’s very–
it’s very good. And a lot of
resources besides that for international students–
because we are very new here. We are brand new
in the U.S. So we can get involved to
some of that office about international affairs to
ask about the upcoming event to get involved
to the environment and exposed to a lot
of U.S. cultures here I think is very great. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Great. Very good. Good. So you’re taking full advantage. That’s great to hear. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
VO: Yes, and I think we just need to be
proactive– be active, and we can get what we want. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Very good. And so Gayathri, what sorts
of resources are at FDU? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: So certainly. At FDU, we have an International
Student Services Office that dedicates itself
to helping students acclimate to the culture,
to the education system. And we do orientation
just upon arrival. We also advocate students
to contact EducationUSA in their home
region so that they can do a pre-departure
orientation, as well. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Very good. Thank you. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Very welcome. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Yes. Yeah, just for students
who don’t know, our EducationUSA
advisors around the world do offer orientation
sessions for students heading to the United
States, and you can get a lot of good information
about what to prepare for and how to just get
ready for the big move and for your big transition
to the United States. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yes, and we connect with our students
through WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat, and e-mail, especially. And students are very
vocal about questions, so that’s wonderful, because
it’s a such a mystery. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Yeah. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Great. Well, thank you to everybody. Unfortunately, we’re almost out
of time, but before we end up, I’d like to ask each of our
speakers to just give us one piece of advice
that they would give to prospective
students as they’re thinking about the college
application process. So Tuong Vy, let’s
start with you. What would be one
thing you would tell some of your
friends that were hoping to do the same thing
that you’re doing, study in the United States? INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VO: OK. I think at first we have
a lot of difficulties when applying for a very
strange country that we need to go
to study abroad, but I think the only
thing we need to remember is that we are on the way
to make our dream come true. So just be persistent,
and be [INAUDIBLE],, be proactive, and take
advantage of everything you can, and you can get your dream. You can make your
dream come true. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Excellent. Thank you. It’s very inspiring. So Mary Margaret,
what about you? INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
OPERATIONS MANAGER HERMAN: So I would say that you really– just make a connection
with the people who are in the
Office of Admissions, whether it’s the student
workers or the staff. You know, I think that’s
really important because– Vy is a great example of this. So she met one of our– our Vice Chancellor of the
Office of International Affairs at an event in Vietnam. And then she reached out to us,
and she e-mailed us, and then she– as soon as she got on
campus, she came to our office, and she came to say hello. And now she’s working
in our office. So, you know, make
that connection. If you feel like there is
someone that– that really is taking an interest
in you, that’s a really good indicator of that. When you get to
campus, you’re going to have people
who care about you and who are going to help you
to be as successful as possible. So when you get that good
feeling that this person really cares, I think that’s
your institution, and that might be the
place that you need to go. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
Very good point. Thank you. And Gayathri, I know
there’s lots of advice that we can pass on
to students, but what would be one thing you would
leave people with today? DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: If something seems
really difficult, ask someone who knows rather
than making assumptions or listening to someone who
might not necessarily know. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN:
That’s right. That’s right. Clarify and ask. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: Clarify. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Yeah. Yeah. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
ADMISSION ATTIKEN: We’re here to help, and
we welcome questions. BUREAU CHIEF SPELMAN: Great. Excellent. Great. Well, thank you to all of you
for your excellent comments, and insights, and advice, and
for joining us here today. And we’d like to also especially
thank all of our viewers, and we have some special
viewing groups around the world that we would like to
give a shout out to. We have our EducationUSA
Gaborone in Botswana, EducationUSA Center
at the Binational Center in Colombo
Americano in Bogota, Colombia, our American
Space, Bauchi in Nigeria, EducationUSA Abuja
in Nigeria, as well. Our Lahore Center in Pakistan
also dialed in today, as well as our U.S.
embassy Kiev in Ukraine, the American Corner
Pristina in Kosovo, the American Corner
Gitega in Burundi, the American Corner
Walvis Bay in Namibia, and EducationUSA
Managua in Nicaragua. Thank you to everyone
for watching today. We’re really excited
about your participation, about your questions, and we’re
excited about the information that we’re able to share today. So for more information about
studying in the United States, as you all know well, you
can visit our website, EducationUSA.state.gov, and
you can find information about the five steps to
study in the United States, as well as where you can find
an EducationUSA center closest to you in your country. And as a reminder, we
have close to 435 centers around the world. So there is a
center close to you, and our advisors can help
connect you with universities, help you through the
application process. We also have a lot of
information on social media, and we participate in fairs
and forums around the world. We have information on financial
aid opportunities and much, much more. So thank you again
for joining us, and please think
about joining us for future EducationUSA events. You can find out all about those
events on our Facebook site, and we’ll have more interactive
web chats coming very soon. So that’s it from us. Thank you to everyone, and
goodbye from Washington.

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