The New Year is here and maybe this is the time to think about your dream of studying in a US high school in the fall. The earlier you start your application process the better. It may seem far away however the months will fly by! If you are really serious about applying to study in the US then you want to start researching everything you need to know as soon as you can to start the application process.
1. What visa will I need to study in the US?
The first thing you may want to do is research what kind of visa you may need as a student in the US. This will very much depend on where you live but in most cases, you will have to apply for what is called an F1 visa.
This visa will allow you to study only at your school of choice. Fortunately, when you are accepted to the high school you are applying for, the school administration will be able to help you with the paperwork. However, the earlier you start researching schools and making decisions which will give you time to start the visa application process. More information about visa can be found at this link.
2. What type of school are you looking for?
First of all, you need to sit down with pen and paper and really get clear on what you want in a school and in the experience of studying in the US.
Do you want a school with a really strong extracurricular program? Do you want a school with an impressive reputation for excellent academic results? Do you want a school with an amazing campus and excellent facilities? Really take some time to decide what you want to make studying in the US a memorable experience.
Once you have got some clarity on what you want in a school then you want to investigate specific schools, and there is a huge choice of private high schools to choose from. You can search for schools all over the US by using the search tool on the Eduhup website.
Investigate each school thoroughly. If at all possible visit potential schools or have someone you know well visit them to really get a feel for the culture, community, and facilities at the school. This will really help you make your choice!
Find out if the school has a special international school program and what support it offers to international students. For example, does it offer ESL support to international students? Does it have a diverse student body with students from different parts of the world?
You also want to research what other people think about the schools you have shortlisted as potential schools Get recommendations from their families or students who have studied in the US as to which school they recommend.
3. What Information about housing and homestay families do I need?
As you are going to be studying for a lengthy period of time in the US, you need to feel comfortable where you are staying and really feel like you are in a welcoming home. Once you have narrowed down potential schools that you like, you want to find out as much as you can about the type of housing that may be available to you and the homestay families. Look at their host family profiles on EduHup and ask as many questions as you can about the facilities in the home, what expectations the family may have, any house rules and so on.
You should also check out how far the homestay family lives from school and what transportation if any is available. You might want to consider how close you would be to shopping areas, the cinema, and the supermarket. Before you make your final choice, you should find out as much as you can, and don’t be shy to ask our educational consultants or the school staff! The best thing to do is to really find out as much as you can in detail before you make your final choice.
4. What part of the US appeals to you the most?
Are you interested in living in a warmer climate like California or Florida? Are you attracted to areas like Boston, New York, and Chicago which have cold snowy winters and access to winter sports? It’s important to really have a think about this as you choose the perfect school for you. Perhaps you would prefer living in a climate similar to what you are used to in your home country, or maybe you want a totally different experience!
You will find there is an incredible variety of schools to choose from. You may want to narrow your choices down by thinking about whether you want to study in a big city, in the suburbs or a small town or in a more rural area.
Do you want to be close to theatres and other cultural activities or do you want to be close to sports facilities. ? Do you like the bright lights and fast pace of the city or do you prefer a more low key small town lifestyle?
Of course, you may be up for an adventure and want to challenge yourself to live in a totally different environment than the one you are used to! The best thing to do is to research the areas around potential schools thoroughly and really do your homework. It is also probable that your potential schools can provide you with some of this information as well, which will certainly be helpful in making your final choice.
So, if you are genuinely interested in studying in a US high school get out your laptop and start researching, Make it your goal to achieve your dream of studying in the US in 2019!