Transcript translation, English test, visa application… To enter a university in the United States, it’s best to start early and prepare well. Here is a user guide taken from the book “Leaving to study outside” by Sophie Collet.
In the United States, you will have many options for your studies (as long as you can afford it). But to choose well, identify your training and prepare for your arrival, institutions recommend contacting them one year in advance. If you go alone, outside of the exchange program, count eighteen months.
Choose your establishment and complete your form
“There are 4,900 universities in the United States, so don’t focus on the best known!” recalls Céline Ouziel, advisor to the Franco-American Commission, the official structure for the promotion of American studies in France.
If you are going to do an exchange, your university will offer you a choice of institutions. Check their website for student numbers, campus facilities, exact location, etc.
Read too: 5 good reasons to study at a small American university
If you go alone, in “free mover”, you yourself must select the establishments where you will apply. The Franco-American Commission’s documentation center offers a directory of universities. If you are unable to travel to Paris, the Commission can also provide you with disciplinary information on the Internet.
Expect to spend some time researching during this phase! Once your institution has been selected, you will need to write to the board of admissions by email to request a brochure for your course and an admissions file. Today, all universities allow these documents to be downloaded from the Internet.
Read too: Going abroad alone or on an exchange: what are the differences?
Pay close attention to all ordered parts. You will need to translate all your transcripts, provide a letter of motivation, letters of recommendation, a certificate of personal resources, but also a description of your extracurricular activities… Proceed in stages.
Mandatory English test
One obvious thing to remember: impossible to be admitted to an American course without a sufficient level of English. The degree of requirement of an establishment is indicated in the admission process. Register for the required test as soon as you receive this package, at least six weeks before the exam.
Read too: Going to Study in New York, Instructions for Use
According to Céline Ouziel, you don’t have to worry about the visa: “99% of students get it if the form is complete”, she says. The American Embassy website details all of the supporting documents to be provided depending on your situation. tell anyway two months late and a mandatory interview in Paris.
Heads up : the visa application can only be made from the moment you are admitted to an American institution, because immigration services require the “certificate of eligibility” (certificate of admission) to accept your application.
Pay attention to social security!
In the United States, a visit to a GP can lighten your wallet by €150! Therefore, consider subscribing to supplementary health insurance, in addition to the French Social Security. “American colleges sometimes impose their own private insurance plan,” notes Céline Ouziel. Otherwise, it will be up to you to choose the solution that suits you. Student loans offer them, as well as large traditional private insurers.
social Security number
Unrelated to your social protection, unlike your title, this registration number will often serve as a true identity card in the United States (to open a bank account, sign a phone subscription, etc.). Nonetheless, if you’re not working, it’s usually not necessary. Do not hesitate to inform yourself about the steps to follow to obtain it from the admissions office of your American institution.
To find out in the Éditions de l’Etudiant:
“Going to Study Abroad”
by Sophie Collet.