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questions to ask your education counselor

From advice on academics to career opportunities, asking your counselor the right questions is the first step to a successful study abroad experience.

An education counselor is your guide to getting into the perfect U.S. university. When you work with a enrollment counselor, be prepared to answer questions about your interests, what you want out of your study abroad experience and what you want for your future. However, you should have a list of questions to ask your education counselor, as well.

Asking the right questions will ensure you make a well-informed decision when choosing the U.S. university where you could spend the next four years. To get you started, we compiled some of the most popular questions international students ask education counselors.

1. Academics

Unsurprisingly, most of the questions international students ask their education counselors have to do with academics. With tuition costs so high, you will want to be sure the schools you apply to have recognized programs in what you want to study.

When you begin searching for a U.S. university, you may not know what schools are best suited to your interests or how to choose a major. An education counselor can match you with programs that have good reputations, cutting edge technology and professors with real-world contacts for internships or work-study programs.

4 questions to ask your education counselor about academics:

  • What scores do I need to get into my school of choice?
  • What happens if I do not get into the school of my choice?
  • Do I have to know my major before I apply?
  • Can I take classes in subjects outside my major?

2. Location and lifestyle

The top-ranked school in your field of study may not be the U.S. university you should attend. An education counselor can help you weigh different factors that will significantly impact your happiness and success while studying abroad, such as where the school is located and what life is like on campus.

Your education counselor knows which clubs and student groups are at each school. Counselors can help you weigh the advantages of big and small schools to help you find the right fit. They can help you reach out to teachers, alumni and even other international students. You do not want to learn after you have landed in your new home for the next four years that you cannot find your favorite food or that it snows all year long when you like to go to the beach.

4 questions to ask your education counselor about location and lifestyle:

  • How do I know if this school is the right fit for me?
  • What is the weather?
  • Are international students welcomed by U.S. students?
  • What clubs and other extracurricular activities are available at my school of choice?

3. Funding for school

An American education can come with a hefty price tag, and you cannot get into a U.S. university without showing how you will pay for it. Your education counselor can help you get your financial paperwork in order before you apply. They can also help you find grants, scholarships, loans and other financial aid to help pay for school.

4 questions to ask your education counselor about funding for school:

  • How much is tuition for my program?
  • What other expenses and fees will I have at school?
  • What scholarships are available to me and where can I find them?
  • What should I have on my application that will help me get a financial aid package from my school of choice?

4. Completing your university application and applying for a visa

The value of an education counselor is perhaps best seen when you apply to school and when you apply for a visa. Your advisor can help you with school application paperwork. They can make sure you send in your I-20 on time and prepare you for the interview part of the visa application process. Your counselor will check over your work, keep you on schedule and help you answer questions.

4 questions to ask your education counselor about the university and visa application processes:

  • How does the application process work at U.S. universities?
  • Can I transfer credits?
  • How do I get a visa? How long does it take?
  • What questions do they ask during the visa interview?

5. Career opportunities

One of the biggest advantages of studying at a U.S. university is the career opportunities you will have. From New York City to Silicon Valley, there is no better place in the world to find an internship or start a career in many prominent fields. Working with your education counselor can help you make informed decisions about career opportunities available to specific schools and in certain locations.

4 questions to ask your education counselor about career opportunities:

    • How can I get an internship?
    • Can I work part-time? If so, where?
    • What jobs available in my chosen major?
    • What can I expect my starting salary to be?

Many international students report working with an education counselor had a significant impact on their study abroad experience. Some even say they would not have been admitted to their school of choice without one.

Connect with an education counselor today and give yourself the best chance possible of getting into the U.S. university of your choice.