Hello everyone, my name is Yazeed Aljebreen and I am from Saudi Arabia. I am currently a Finance student at George Mason University in the U.S. It is my pleasure to share my experience in applying to ESL and pathway programs in the U.S.
1. What was it like applying to a U.S. university? Do you have any advice for your fellow international students?
Appling to a university was something that I used to be afraid of when I was an ESL student because many people told me that it is hard to get admission especially from good school. However, it turned out to be very easy thing if people get to work on getting the admission they desire instead of just describing how hard it is.
The process seemed to be similar in most universities. For example, most universities require the students to fill out an online application. Plus, some universities ask the students to write a statement of purpose (goal statement). In the statement the students would write about their major of interest and why are they interested in that particular university. Students can find many samples of statements online if they are not aware of how to write a statement of purpose. The last step in the process is to send the required documents either by scanning them and sending them via e-mail, or by mailing them.It may seems like it is a lot of work; but, believe me, I have done it more than five times now and it can be done.
2. How did the intensive English and pathway program prepare you for the undergraduate degree program? What were some challenges and benefits of taking these programs beforehand?
Intensive English and pathway program are a great way for international students to start their academic career even if they have enough English to get into a college directly. The reason is that, these types of programs prepare the students to be ready for the teaching style, cultural challenges, and most importantly the academic expectations such as writing style and so on. In addition, professors expect their students to know what is expected of them.
The challenges of these programs are that many students may feel that they can do better without them, and that students do not earn any credits during some of these programs which may not encourage the students to perform well and gain what they are supposed to gain.
3. What is the most important advice you would give to an international student wanting to study abroad in the U.S.?In addition, being a hard worker is not something you can be overnight and being in college and dealing with professional faculty is the best place to practice being hard worker.
- Treat your study as if it is your job, and think of your professors as your bosses.
- The more you do the more knowledge you get, and the more connection you have.
- Sleep early and be on time.
- Be prepared and do more than what is expected, because this is how faculty will treat you differently.
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