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4 tips for International Athletes Applying to College in the United States

Attending school in the United States can create many opportunities for international student-athletes. You can benefit from a complete and rigorous education system while playing the sport you love. But more importantly, it will give you the opportunity to open your mind, and to become more independent by experiencing a different culture in a different part of the world.

Applying to universities in the US can seem overwhelming. It can be challenging to know where to start and which areas to focus on. So, here are 4 tips to help you get started.

  1. Do not settle

The US has countless colleges and universities, including some of the most prestigious in the world, like Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Princeton, and Yale, among others. But, it is not easy to find the perfect fit.

A lot of schools offer the type of experience that you see in the movies: big beautiful campuses with state of the art facilities and a Greek life. Others offer a small community atmosphere, like Saint Peter’s University, the school I attended for undergrad.

Related school ratings: Saint Peter’s, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Princeton, Yale

  1. Do your homework

It will be helpful to filter your options based on your preferences, such as location and sports division, as well as your personal and professional objectives. You will thank yourself for doing your research early, so you know where to reach out to coaches, visit, and apply.

Related: NCAA Member Schools Interactive Map

  1. Focus on your extracurricular activities

School and grade point average are important, but another key to success when applying to university is outside the classroom. Colleges want passionate and curious students who will have a positive impact on their communities. 

Extracurricular activities come in many shapes and forms. Your sport is a good extracurricular activity because it shows commitment; however, you don’t want coaches to think sport is your only interest. Being part of school associations or volunteer organizations will look great on your applications and show interest outside of your sport. Do not shy away from showing your interests and commitments outside the classroom in your college applications.

Related: 6 Must-Do Steps for International Student-Athletes

  1. Start sooner rather than later

There are always delays and issues when it comes to the admissions process, especially for international students. Make a note of the application deadlines and submit your documents ahead of time. It would be a shame if you missed the opportunity because you missed the deadline.

Related: 5 Culture Shock Tips for International Student-Athletes

With that said, the only thing left to do is to actually get started. Enjoy the process and check out LRT Sports for other helpful information for international students.

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