If you’re an international student, spend time researching colleges and looking for the best match for you, not necessarily the big name school. You may not be able to visit campuses, but you can explore universities’ websites, watch virtual campus tours, and join online student forums.

If you don’t have university counselors at your high school – or your counselor is not familiar with U.S. university application systems and requirements – you should begin your college research early and work on your college applications as soon as you are ready. As questions come up, you’ll have plenty of time to ask, get answers, and fix.

Finally, find support systems – for during and after the application process.

As an international graduate student eight years ago, I experienced adjustment issues and felt lonely at the very beginning. Thanks to my parents and friends, I gradually overcame the difficulties and started enjoying my life at college. I would have enjoyed life earlier if I had reached out sooner for support.

About the Author

Michelle Shen, M.S.Ed

Michelle Shen holds a Master of Science in Education in Psychological Services: Secondary School Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor's Degree in Management in Education Administration....