#YouAreWelcomeHere and US Higher Education with Jessica Sandberg
Jessica Sandberg is the Director of international admissions at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She is also an active NAFSA (Association of International Educators) and AIRC (American International Recruitment Council) member.
In 2016, she started the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign to promote US higher ed to international students. The campaign is a welcome message from U.S. higher education to international students around the world. It is designed to affirm that the institutions are diverse, friendly, safe and committed to student development. “You are welcome here” demonstrates the support internationalization across campus communities and across the country.
On the 20th of November 2017, Jessica hosted a live q&a session on Goodwall talking about the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign as well as Temple university. The session was joined by 121 students from around the world.
"One of the best parts about U.S. study is the choice and flexibility you get."
In most cases, you will need the SAT or ACT to apply for undergraduate studies in the US. Generally speaking, U.S. universities require your official secondary academic records (including any external exams you’ve taken), a personal essay, 1 or more recommendation letters, and the results of the SAT or ACT exam. Some schools also require the results of the TOEFL or IELTS exam for non-native speakers of English. Be sure to start early! Most universities begin reviewing applications almost a year in advance. For info about where to take the SAT: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/find-test-centers.
The TOEFL is a test of English for non-native speaker so it is not compulsory for Americans.
Some schools will provide it based on financial need.Temple offers merit scholarships to international students ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 annually.
The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign was developed a year ago to demonstrate how much U.S. colleges value having international students on their campuses.
I do not know of any scholarships specific to that major. In most cases at the undergraduate level, universities determine scholarships based on your academic background and not on your choice of major.
For advice about choosing a major or writing a college essay. I strongly recommend consulting with the EducationUSA office in your country. The advisors are incredibly knowledgeable about U.S. universities and will provide assistance at no charge. https://educationusa.state.gov/find-advising-center
Most universities will make a decision based on your earlier results. The offer of admission would be contingent on your June results. Hope that helps. As for general admissions requirements, U.S. universities typically require your official secondary academic records (including any external exams you’ve taken), a personal essay, 1 or more recommendation letters, and the results of the SAT or ACT exam. Some schools also require the results of the TOEFL or IELTS exam for non-native speakers of English.
To prep for the SAT, I recommend doing practice tests online to familiarize yourself with the format. You may not find it necessary to take a prep course. It is meant to be a general knowledge test.
I would consult with the EducationUSA office in your country for advice. They may know of online centers or ACT option.
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Here is some scholarship information:
Scholarships are usually tied to academic merit and not country of origin but, yes, there are certainly universities who offer generous scholarships to students of exceptional academic talent. It’s important to inquire with each school because many will have separate criteria and deadlines for scholarship consideration.
Check with individual schools for portfolio requirements. Many schools offer awards for strong portfolios but they are typically smaller ones that come in addition to merit or aid offered from the admissions office.
Temple has a biology program and many professional medical schools –Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Nursing. We also have an academic hospital attached to the university. http://bulletin.temple.edu/undergraduate/campuses/health-sciences-center/
I leave art assessment to the experts! But seriously, it is usually art faculty that would determine a student’s level of talent. Admissions staff wouldn’t try to guess.
Yes, the US allows international students to work for 1 year after graduation. It is called OPT. STEM students can often work longer.
Outside of academics, we are interested in students who will contribute to life on campus –so activities count –especially leadership roles. However, I must say that we place the MOST emphasis on academics. You might have guessed that.
Yes, A-Levels are recognized in the U.S. Many schools offer advanced credit. Here’s Temple’s policy: http://www.temple.edu/vpus/transfer/equivalencies.htm#Alevel
Good question. In the U.S., international students can work if the job is on-campus, up to 20 hours a week. This is a good way to supplement living expenses –like pizza on the weekend!
If your curriculum culminates in A-level exams, an Abiter, CXCs, WAECs, etc, a U.S. university will want to see the results. In some cases, national exams may be considered for advanced credit which can shorten the length of your degree and save you time and money.
Medicine is studied at the graduate level after a bachelor’s degree is earned. Some medical schools have restrictions on international enrollment so you will need to research each one.
Most merit admissions scholarships will be determined by your GPA (which includes any national/external exams you’ve taken) and results of SAT or ACT. We don’t give preference to one country or credential over another.
That can be quite tough. Your best bet is to ensure you have a strong academic record from your high school and on any national exams taken in Liberia. I also recommend doing some practice SAT testing online and then retaking it to try for a better score. If your score is low ONLY in verbal, you might consider taking a TOEFL exam, even if English is your primary language. The SAT verbal questions are written for American speakers and can be misleading.
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Final my advice:
The cost of higher education in the U.S. can be quite expensive and students should consider the cost of living, annual transportation, and books in addition to tuition fees. However, costs vary tremendously and some schools are able to offer generous scholarship discounts to students with exceptional academic abilities. For example, many international students find that community colleges can be an affordable way to begin their undergraduate education in the U.S. before transferring and finishing their degree at a more expensive university. It’s best to do your research and plan ahead.