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Part 1: First Steps - 2001-09-10


Today we begin a series of reports about how foreign students can prepare to study at a university or college in the United States.


Experts agree. The most important advice is to plan early if you want to study at a college in the United States. In fact, the experts say to begin planning at least two years before you want to start your studies.

You might begin by talking with people who have studied in the United States. Their experiences could save you time and effort.

Then visit an American educational advising center. There are more than four-hundred such offices throughout the world. The Public Affairs Office at the United States Embassy in your country can tell you where the nearest one is. There you will find an educational advisor to answer your questions and offer information. Every center should have information about American colleges.

Some educational advising centers have computer programs to help. One example is a CD-ROM program called “U-S Academic Explorer: A Guide to Higher Education in the United States.”

The program shows an imaginary American college. It tells about each building, such as the student center and the library. It answers questions about food, housing, health care, social customs and banking. It even shows a day in the life of a student.

The CD-ROM also provides information about higher education in the United States. It shows a national map. And it includes interviews with international students. The students talk about their American college experiences. They discuss English language requirements, money, personal safety, making friends, dating and other subjects. You can hear one student discuss all these issues or hear many students answer just one question.

The CD-ROM does not contain information about any one American college or university. The advising center should have books to provide that kind of information. Many centers also have computers that can be used to search for information about American colleges on the World Wide Web. This computer information describes each college’s programs and gives an address where you can write or e-mail to get more information.