Do Your Research
Before coming to Brussels College Night, look at the list of universities attending and highlight those you find interesting. Do some research and review information available on the university websites.
Ideally, you should come into the college fair knowing what is important to you when it comes to things like student activities, university housing, study abroad and academic programs, support offered to international students, employment opportunities after graduation, etc.
Keep an Open Mind
Did you know that the Ivy League is by definition a sports league in the Northeast? Do not get hung up on the so-called “brand name” universities. With over 4,000 universities in the U.S., it is likely that you will apply to at least one school that you and your parents have never heard of!
Remember that some of the well-known universities are extremely selective. To avoid disappointment when you receive your admissions decisions next spring, apply to a range of universities. If you have time, visit other booths when you are done with colleges on your primary list. Even if you think that you have already found your dream school, try not to get hung up on one particular university. You don’t want to miss out on a university that could be perfect for you by being focused on just one.
Plan Your Journey
Have a look at the floor plan (available when you enter the event and in this booklet) and circle the exhibitors you want to visit. Do not forget to visit the EducationUSA stand for answers to your general questions about undergraduate study!
When approaching a university stand, be prepared to introduce yourself to the university representative. Try practicing a three sentence introduction that includes your name, the year you intend to enroll, your anticipated major and what you are looking for in a university.
You should also make a list of questions to ask, preferably beyond what you could read on the university website. Ideas include:
- How would you describe campus life at your university? Ask about extracurricular activities, athletic teams, and clubs and community organizations.
- What can you tell me about the student population (size, diversity, etc.)?
- What support services are available for international students on your campus?
- What characteristics does the admissions office look for in a successful applicant?
- Does your university offer financial aid for international students? If so, how do I apply for this funding?
- Parents – we know it’s hard, but let your child do the talking! This is a unique time for students to speak directly with university staff or alumni who are likely to be involved in the selection process.
When you go home, organize the university materials you collected and jot down any notes while the information is still fresh. Remember to throw out the pamphlets of colleges you have ruled out!
You may want to follow up after the fair with an email to the admissions representatives you met tonight. In your email, recap what you discussed and thank them for the information. Also consider taking the time to ask any additional specific questions you have!