The View From Campus: What to Expect When Applying to U.S. Colleges Post-pandemic
In the course of the last sixteen months, the world has changed. Many students seeking study opportunities in the United States (and other English-speaking countries) have had their plans cancelled, delayed, or dramatically altered due to the pandemic. As we in the United States are coming out of the pandemic with vaccines readily available, mask orders and other social distancing requirements being lifted, a sense of normalcy is beginning to return to everyday life, slowly. While there are many countries still struggling with the effects of Covid, we want to provide some tips for how you can go about applying to U.S. colleges and universities in the coming months.
College social media and website
While never a substitute for physically visiting campus or interacting with an admissions officers, faculty, or alumni from a college or university you are interested in, institutional websites and social media accounts can provide useful information to assist you in making informed decisions. Here are a few examples of what you can access to get what you need.
- Reviewing Facebook pages and groups for important updates on changes and announcements.
- Viewing YouTube videos from international student offices explaining how students can travel.
- Checking out Instagram posts about what’s happening at the college.
- Watching students talk about their success stories during Covid-19
- Visiting university Covid-19 web pages, like this one from the University of Washington.
Particularly if you are looking for admissions information, these university sites that have specific details about any changes to the application process in terms of tests required, alternatives available, and changes in deadlines or deposits.
Virtual tours and events online
One unintended consequence of the impact of Covid-19 is how U.S. colleges increasingly connect with their prospective students through digital means. Here’s a regularly updated list of different virtual events and tours for prospective and admitted students. These resources will help you in:
- Seeing campus through online videos and self-guided tours gives you a window into what life would look like for you at colleges you are considering.
- Hearing student experiences about everything from arrival on campus, attending class, studying, participating in activities and events paints an important picture.
- Learning process/procedures related to applying for admission, funding your studies, getting your visa and more.
- Attending student pre-departure events to make sure you are ready for your journey to campus.
These virtual connections will be essential as you ensure you are making the right choice for your higher education options in the United States.
Chats with current international students
In the end, nothing means more for prospective students like yourself to have conversations with currently enrolled students at the colleges and universities you are considering. That insight from a fellow international student, maybe even someone from your country, is invaluable to get the full perspective you need about where you will spend the next two to four years (or more).
- Asking questions directly
- Connecting with students from your country
- Dispelling rumors about what’s happening
As you narrow down your list of colleges you may apply to, be sure to ask the international admissions office about opportunities to chat with their international students. To hear some of the discussion around this topic, check out a recent Facebook Live Chat we did that shares some useful insights. Good luck!