Hey, not sure if this is the right place to create this thread, but since it's about school I figured it should be here. Anyway on with the thread! This year I'm planning on going to university, though I'm still undecided on which one. I'm Portuguese/Scottish, but instead of wanting to study in Portugal or the United Kingdom, I'd much rather study in America. The reason why being that from what I've seen and heard is that the academic life is closer to what I want compared to the other two nations, plus I would like to study in someplace foreign to me yet with the added bonus of the official language being English (not that I have a problem studying in Portuguese since it's the language I've spoken most of my life). The problem is that I'm not American and money seems to be a big issue. There's the possibility of me and a friend going together, but it still turns out pretty expensive. So what I'm asking here is how someone like me can study in America?
Sorry if this comes across as confusing, I would have liked to explain my situation a little better.
I'm not American, but with the limited education options in Singapore I have considered an overseas education before and the US was one of my options. I didn't do as much research into it and eventually didn't apply to the US, since I was more interested in the UK, but I did attend a number of talks so here's what I remember from them I hope it helps!
Money wise, it will definitely not be as cheap as studying at home in Portugal or even elsewhere in the UK... But the good thing about the US universities is they have a lot of schemes to help students financially (financial aid), their policy is really that no-one should be denied an education (if they are deserving of the place) just because of financial situation.
When you apply, you would probably need to furnish proof of your financial situation (parents' tax returns and all that), and then when they give you an offer they'll also mention the kind of financial aid (how many % of your fees) they will be giving you. So, I say go for it! Do some research and talk to your school career councilor, I'm sure they will be able to guide you in what to do, what forms to fill in and all that. I have some PPT slides I could send you but they're all geared for Singaporean students and even more specifically for students of my school, but if you can't get any decent info from your school's career councilor I could send it to you (PM me if so)
The problem is, the universities are like business as well, they want to try to make as much money as possible. Some colleges may be more expensive for people out of state or out of country. Getting as much scholarship as possible is better before going for financial aid so you can borrow as little as possible.
All in all, if you know someone that lives near the college you wanna go to, it's best if you stay with them. Dorms and cost of food can add up quite a bit, especially if you're going for more than two years. Same with textbooks and such, especially when colleges like to get new editions and render the older ones unable to be bought back. While their policy is that no one should be denied education because of financial problems, the universities also believe in getting as much money as possible.
Of course, I'm probably pretty cynical towards the universities for costing so much and stuff. :\
Thanks for posting guys, and I'm really sorry I didn't answer earlier. I'm going to do a little research on financial aid and ask a teacher of mine more info since the school itself (as far as I know) doesn't really help when it comes to applying to a university. I'm not sure a scholarship would help. I would have to have really good grades right? My grade point average is 15 out of 20 (in Portugal it goes from 1 to 20, I can't remember the exact number but it's 15) which is above average but nothing spectacular. However, I am planning on resittting two exams I did last year, doing one of them "externally" in that the grade I get on said exam will be my final grade. I'm thinking that my grade point average would then increase to at least 17.
By the way, how do American universities accept you? What I mean is what do they take into account? From what I've heard it's mostly the money that counts. I also heard that it hasn't much to do with your exam scores. Here in Portugal most "good" courses (I really don't know how to put this) require at the very least a grade point average of 16, though it may vary depending on the number of applicants.
I've heard that American universities look out for all-rounders. Someone who can contribute more than just academics. So they would look out for sports achievements, leadership appointments, volunteer work, that kinda thing. I'm not 100% sure about this, or how they judge applicants based on this or weigh academics and extra-curricular stuff, but they definitely put more emphasis on all-rounded students. This is unlike, say, the Uk, where when I applied, I was not even required to submit a list of my "achievements".
Your SAT or something similar to it for foreigners (?) OR ACT needs to meet the university's minimum first before you can even think about applying, unless there's exceptions in your case or I'm wrong or you already hurdled this loooooooooooooong and annoying bridge (wrong saying, methinks).
You might also have to do an essay, but I'm not hundred percent sure on this either since you're a foreigner and all. It's not just contribution to more than just academics though otherwise I wouldn't have been accepted by like, three or four colleges I've applied to. Academics and extracurricular do play a big part though.
This is an interesting thread! I've been thinking the same thing lately but not for college, for my masters. If i make it through my 4th year i'll have a degree *gulps* ~here's hoping~ but there's no jobs suitable that i can find in this country and no masters either! I've heard that internationals can get American scholarships but it's reeeally hard and it can be down to country's popularity too... ah I just don't know >_<