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EDUCATION REPORT - Foreign Student Series #7: Applications - 2004-10-13

Broadcast: October 14, 2004

This is Gwen Outen with the VOA Special English Education Report.

This week, in part seven of our Foreign Student Series, we discuss the application process to get into an American college or university.

Earlier, we explained how to begin your search by going to one of the American educational advising centers around the world. We described the rules for entering in the United States. And we talked about programs that let students get an education by computer.

But if your goal is to come to the United States to study, then it is time to make a list of colleges or universities that interest you. Be sure to choose more than one. Directors of foreign student admissions say students should apply to at least three schools.

You can request an application in the mail or, in many cases, find it online. For example, the Ohio State University provides international student applications on its Web site. You can answer the questions by computer. In this case, you must use a credit card to pay the application charge. Or you can print the forms and mail them with payment.

Many colleges and universities have their catalog online. Or you can request one in the mail. A catalog is the publication in which a school tells all about its programs. Make sure also to ask for an international admission application.

Describe the education you already have. Explain what you want to study and what degree you are seeking. Tell when you want to begin. You should request application papers at least two years before you want to begin studies.

Once you send in your applications, there is one more thing to do: wait for a decision. But there are other steps before your application is complete. Next week, in part eight of our Foreign Student Series, we discuss college admissions tests.

Internet users can find our series at voaspecialenglish dot com. The State Department Web site for international student information is

And there is travel information at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement site: Click on the link for SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

We said last week that SEVIS involves more than seventy thousand schools. The number is seven thousand. Our thanks to John Pluebell at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco for correcting us.

If you have a general question for our series, send it to

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. This is Gwen Outen.