I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

College Admissions

Our Counselors Answered:

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

js

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

test

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

try not to match English and Chinese in translation

we have different content and requirements in the US, most importantly career relations when colleges offer students major and minor selections. if you are international students, you should not copy and learn different majors from your own definition and make assumptions on carrer choice. students should focus on skills learning and explore different curriculums in colleges.the best way to pick the right major is to work with counselor especially international students.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

There is no need to select a major prior to beginning your college career. You may want to take some time to become acclimated to living in the U.S. and to American college life in general — prior to deciding on your major. In most universities, you have until the end of your second year of college to decide. In the meantime, you can make the most of academic career by exploring new directions, confirming long-time interests, tackling general education requirements, and building a strong foundation in English.

David AllenManaging DirectorGlobal College Counselors Ltd

The Book

Ask yourself the book question….. if you were to be given a text book tomorrow and told that it was the only thing you were allowed to read for the next four years, and you had to read it for a minimum of 2 hours every day (no People Magazine, no facebook pages, no Playboy….only this book) what would the title of the book be……. that’s your Major!!

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

Is There a Correct Major?

The best advice for any student: don’t go into college wed to any particular major. College is a time to experiment with many academic areas. Typically students don’t stick with their majors, so there certainly isn’t any one major that is “correct.” Even for students who are looking to work in the United States upon graduation, there are no guarantees for visas, nor are there any foolproof majors. One trend receiving a great deal of attention, and justifiably so, is STEM, which means Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. That is one area that the United States has to strengthen. Still, you should only select a STEM discipline if you really want it, not because you think it might be a way to stay in the United States. Moreover, indicating a major such as engineering on your college application might prompt an additional review by engineering faculty, so be sure you’re serious about it.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Selecting your Major

Well, one of the brilliant aspects of studying in the U.S. is that you do not have to declare your major at the beginning of your studies (engineering is one of the exceptions). If you are interested in the liberal arts model of education then you will have time to explore and learn about various areas in the humanities. You should be assigned an advisor–and if you are not then you can visit the career center at your college or university for guidance. If there is a major that appeals to you then, by all means, indicate this choice on your application. At the majority of colleges, students change their chosen course of study a few times before their sophomore year ends.

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

First determine what things you would like to study and then you can match your interests up with the College Majors, Training, and Instructional Programs (Work Groups) description put out by the Department of Labor. Contact a college admissions counselor or career expert for more information.

Woodrow DunnAcademic CounselorFreedom High School

Correct major

Talk to your high school guidance counselor. Check out the economic reports on different majors. What do you enjoy? What are you good at. Do not be surprised if you major in a field differently than you originally planned. Remember your university years will be an adventure!

Nicholas Umphrey

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

This is always a challenge for any student because the average person will change their major 3 times in University. The average person will change careers 5 times in their working lifetime. First step, don’t view this as a “marriage” to one major that will lead to one job that you will have from age 22-65, because it is not realistic. The best advice I can give on this question is to try and find an academic subject or discipline that you are passionate about at this point in your life, and continue to move in that direction. Current trends say anything in the medical profession, accounting/finance, computers, and education are going to have many jobs in the future.

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

You have time to choose.

At most universities, students have freedom during their first and second years of school to declare a major. The best way for a student to choose their major is by trying a variety of courses in subject areas that interest them. Meeting with your academic advisor is an important component as they will mentor you through your major and course selection process. Set up meeting with different academic department heads in areas that you may major in and work with them to see what your course of study would look like in a specific major. You may even visit the career center to learn about the career opportunities for the majors that you are considering. Your academic advisor and the department heads will help you to determine a likely course of graduate school study.

Helen Cella

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Depends on what your interests and strenghths are

Jean Marie Buckley, M.Ed, MPA, CEPPresidentBuckley Educational Group, LLC

Selecting a major as an international student

During these economic times, commonly called, the Perfect Storm, students must approach college in a much different manner than previous generations. Why the Perfect Storm? The statisticians knew that the current students matriculating to college were coming as they watch the enrollment statistics beginning in kindergarten. What couldn’t have been predicted by the education professionals is the significance of the budget crisis. International students and domestic students alike should deeply research the major options available on their prospective college campuses. Double major, combined 3-2 programs, cooperative programs, internship programs are just to name a few of the options available to students. As an international student approaches their major selection, three components should be considered; availability of coursework, structure of major and internship/employment accessibility.

Dr. Stabile

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Selecting a major depends on your aptitudes and interests for various major fields of study. Some fields of study require that you be accepted into the particular college/field of study such as engineering, nursing, business, and education If you have selected one those areas of study your college courses are pretty much defined for you beginning your first year. On the other hand, if you are not sure, you can pursue a liberal arts degree which will provide you with a broad background. Then you can aspire to move on to graduate school e.g. law, business, medicine and education.

Darla Andrews

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

It is important to do some research-based career exploration. Career inventories based on Holland’s codes are very good. The more you know about your likes and dislikes, the better career decision you’ll make. The career you are ultimately interested in pursuing will help you choose your major.

Connie Boger

College Majors

Research the careers you are interested in by reading about them and talking to people who are working in that career. From that, you will choose the major which will prepare you for that career.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

Explore and follow your passions

The “correct” major is in an area you are really interested in. Explore your interests and abilities throughout high school, and find out what kinds of careers might use those. Use career exploration assessments and interest and personality inventories to help you; you can find several of those online. Remember though, that the U.S. university system does not require you to know what you want to study when you enter; there is flexibility to explore and change your mind – some students change their major two or even three times and still graduate in four years! Follow your passions and you will find a major that suits you well.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

How to take advantage of the college counseling services at boarding schools

For Chinese parents and grandparents, sending their child to the US for boarding schools is a major decision. made in hopes of improving opportunities for their children to compete in the future for US college admissions. The reality is that few Chinese parents are knowledgeable about US college admissions or how attending a US boarding school will actually improve future admissions probabilities. Parents of Chinese international boarding school students often miss out on opportunities to take advantage of services that may be available at their boarding to improve the odds of gaining admissions at a US college. Instead, they often engage in actions that do not help with college admissions and sometimes even harm their student’s chances. For example, parents of Chinese students seldom attend school functions or hold face to face meetings with school counselors due to language and geographical barriers and as a result are unaware whether their school offers additional counseling services For Chinese international students. Some US boarding schools do not actually provide additional college admission s counseling to Chinese students. Instead, these schools hire independent contractors or part time counselors to work with their senior students for college admissions. Very few Chinese students actually have a college plan and many wait until they are seniors to develop a plan. As senior year in high school approaches, Chinese parents often bring their children back to china for SAT prep and TOEFL exam prep as their first step in preparing for college admissions. Not until scores form these exams are released will college planning start as families use these exam scores as the starting point for college exploration. After receiving their exam scores, many Chinese families hire Chinese agencies to place their child into colleges and universities in the US. Unfortunately, Chinese agencies seldom coordinate with the boarding schools and college counselor’s office. Instead, these agencies actually work for colleges interested in recruiting international students, often on a commission basis. This creates severe conflicts of interest that can lead to student placement at less suitable colleges for the student. Ivy Counselors network has counseled many Chinese students at US boarding schools over the past 8 years and advises Chinese families against hiring placement agencies. Instead, IVY recommends that families start by first looking at resources that may be available at their boarding school. US guidance counselors working for boarding schools are experienced with US college admissions and can help students find colleges that are suitable based on the student’s admissions profile. Although school counselors generally limit their services to college admissions, these counselors tend to be objective since they do not earn a commission for placing students at any particular college. . College selection should not be the first step in college planning, however, warns IVY. Students need It is a fact that the majority of those students did not know how and what to do when it comes to college admissions. The relationship between the student and college counselor in US boarding schools is very much limited to school selections. In the end, a lot of Chinese students did not even consider that the schools recommended by their college counselor at their boarding schools. Although we don’t have statistics to show what percentage of Chinese students actually successfully competed for highly selective colleges, we do know that many of them did not do well on the SAT and TOEFL exams which are critical components as international students for college admissions. It is not common to see Chinese students boarding school transcripts showed challenges and with predictable grades. In other words, the Chinese students may be a straight A student as ninth grade students but fall to B students in tenth grade and then C students in 11th grade. The recommendation letters for Chinese students as part of admissions requirement are also somehow questionable. When talking to Chinese students about who is the right teachers to write their recommendation letters and how much the teacher actually tell about the students, a few students can produce quick answers and most of them have to think and rethink and could not tell why and also have any idea what the teacher would say about them on the recommendation letter. As to the college visits, a lot of the boarding students never had opportunity to visit a college before the college admissions season. Some of them managed to tour the campus and we did not see the students actually have learned additional knowledge about the school. Some boarding schools may organize group trips to visit colleges. That certainly helps students make it a lot more convenient for the parents. However, after the visit the student should be able to talk and share their experiences and perspectives about each school that they visited. The college selection process may not be the same for all Chinese students especially they’re never exposed to the outside world as much as US students. That put a tremendous limitation to the Chinese students when it comes to major selections and career choice. If the students have a lack of imagination and very little knowledge about different professions in the US, it is very hard for them to do something completely new and intangible. The evidence shows very little difference when it comes to the major selections between the Chinese boarding students and the Chinese international students from china. That demonstrated they have a shared the same common issue that is the career counseling very much unavailable to the Chinese students. No matter where they come from. College admission counseling is a personalized service that boarding schools should deliver to all students whether they’re international, domestic, or Chinese students. It is challenging for a lot of college counselors at US boarding schools to work with international students because of the cultural differences and communication barriers. Most counselors also may not able to work with Chinese parents and communicate with them effectively. Sometimes the frustration is resided on both sides. But if the trend continues, some of the boarding schools may have to face ultimate challenge of the Chinese parents that is what you can do better for my child.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

Choosing a major

Your national status is irrelevant to your major, your passions, talents, gifts, interests, all of those are the factors to use to determine a “major”. Even at that sometimes it is just as important to go into college undecided and enjoy the luxury of taking a variety of courses during your first two years of general education courses to find where your interests are. Now the only other thing that might influence your decision are your parents’.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Major selection is a challenging component of the process for international students because each college has a unique vernacular which can make identifying a desirable field of study nearly impossible. However, unlike many collegiate settings outside of the US, major choice is a much less significant component of the application process. If you are certain of your field of study and can’t locate it on a list of majors provided by a college, connect with each individual college directly. If you are unsure of your major course of study, indicate “undecided” or “undeclared.”

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Short Answer: At most U.S. colleges and universities, you don’t have to select your major until the Spring semester of your Sophomore (2nd) year. This gives you plenty of time to 1) explore your options and strengths, and 2) work with an academic adviser and/or professor who will help you make the right choice of major. Detailed Answer: Many international students pursue their degree in the U.S. in the areas of math, engineering, pharmacy, medicine, and the sciences. These areas of study are interrelated, and each has many different specialties in which you might major. The fact is you probably won’t know which major truly interests you until you explore these programs in your first years of college. The great thing about American colleges and universities is – unlike international universities that focus solely on the major — they usually allow you the option to explore. However, it can cost more to explore. If you decide to explore majors and not dive in right away, you must expect to attend college for one or two more years in order to gain the full academic program. Professional degree majors are different, however. If you are a top student seeking a highly competitive professional program, such as a 6-year Pharmacy degree or Engineering, many of those programs have specific academic progressions which you must follow from the day you arrive on campus. That means you must to declare that major on your application. In certain institutions, you may enter the college you desire as a general studies student, complete your first year or two as “exploratory,” and then elect to apply to the professional school within that same college. Many international students whose communication and math skills are not strong opt to begin their studies at a smaller, outstanding college or university. These students find that they can receive more one-on-one attention in a less high pressure academic environment that allows them to blossom socially and academically and gain confidence and skill. They also are able to hone their English skills because they are not in an environment with large numbers of similar Asian students. At a point at which they are comfortable, they may decide to transfer to a stronger, more elite institution and program. I know of several Chinese and Japanese students that attended a small public colleges in Vermont so they could be immersed in American culture and language and improve their academic record. One of these students studied Math and English, then was accepted as a transfer student to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State, one of the most elite engineering programs in the country.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

You are no different than any other student really. My suggestion would be to take a career or interest inventory exam. There are many online now with results that are online. I like the i-Strong exam for a number of reasons but mainly because the results are easy to use. This will help you to choose a college that provides a number of the majors in which you are interested. Remember, you don’t HAVE to pic a major going into college. You only need to have a general idea about what areas interest you initially and if the college provides those. You want to make sure they do so that you are not stuck in a transfer situation where you may lose credits toward your major and cost yourself additional time to complete the bachelors degree. There are so many majors that you have not experienced in high school curriculum so limiting yourself coming in can keep you from truly exploring a field that may turn out to be your career calling. Keep in focused but not too focused when it comes to majors. An open flexible mind is a good thing!

Kathleen HarringtonOwnerNew Jersey College Consulting

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Carefully read all literature available regarding the available majors at your potential school. Read course descriptions under each major to see what your likes and dislikes are. If you are unsure, you may wish to go in as an undeclared applicant. A majority of students do go in as undeclared and be assured that his will not hurt your chances for admission. A misconception is that admissions will deem you as a student who does not know what they want to do with their life. That could not be further from the truth. A college would not offer “undeclared” if they wanted their candidates to declare a major.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

It is not usually necessary to declare a major when entering most U.S. colleges and universities. This, of course, depends on the institution. At some colleges/universities, you may be asked to register into a particular “school” or department within the institution; at others, you will just apply with a general registration into the college/university. Students are usually asked to declare a major at the end of their sophomore (second) year of college, although at some schools, you may be required to make this decision at the end of your freshman (first) year. During the year or two before you are required to decide upon a major, you will be taking a variety of courses, often to meet core or distribution requirements within your college. While taking these courses, students frequently discover an interest and decide to pursue an area of study which they had not previously considered. A student who originally indicated a desire to major in a particular subject may change his/her mind and decide to major in a totally different area. That is perfectly all right. The whole idea is to discover a pursuit that you can be excited about and to which you want to commit your intellectual energy. In most U.S. institutions, it is relatively easy to change from one major to another. In Canada and Scotland the approach is rather similar. Students usually have time after entering university to make a final decision on a major. In many cases, however, the student will have registered into a specific school within an institution. Choosing a major within that department of the university is not complicated, but if a student decides to pursue a major in a totally different department of the university, changing to that department could, depending on the institution, be a bit more complicated. In most institutions in England, to provide a completely different example, students apply directly into an area of concentration/major to which they are committed for the next three years. The overall study time is shorter because students have already chosen their “major” and are not required to take a range of core courses unrelated to that concentration. This is fine if a student is absolutely sure about what he/she wants to study but can be a problem if the student is unsure, as it is usually difficult to change from one major to another and often requires that the student drop out and begin the application process all over again to enter another course of study. So, to get back to the original question: In ultimately selecting a major, whether that is done after you have been attending college for a few years or must be done before you enter, you will want to consider what you enjoy doing. What makes you feel excited when you are reading about it? What arouses your curiosity? What do you like to talk about? In which of your prior high school/university classes have you felt particularly engaged? What sets your mind in gear? Where do your academic strengths lie? What just seems “interesting” to you? After you have entered college/university, you may become aware of many directions which you had never considered, or of which you had never even heard before. Be open to new possibilities! Giving thought to the questions above can help you determine which possibilities will be right for you.

Bernadina Streeter

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Many international students have already earned the equivalent of a US bachelors or masters degree. The trend is business administration, engineering, computer science, math, natural sciences, nursing, or medical imaging. The above are trends because overall international students come to the US with very strong math and science skills. The biggest challenges international students have are with composition courses. However, students don’t have to follow the trends. All colleges and university have excellent career & employment services and tools to help narrow down the “correct” major.

Claire Law

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Many international students worry about getting to the US first and choosing a major after. However, it’s a good idea to assess one’s interests and natural abilities before getting to the US. If you are completely undecided, then choose a liberal arts college where you don’t have to declare a major for the first two years. During that time you can explore various subjects and then decide on a major.

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

Choosing a major as an international student is the same as for a domestic student! You should choose a major based on your areas of academic interest and career goals. You will be treated equally in the classroom so all students, regardless of where they are from, should consider the programs a school offeres based on the outcomes demonstrated by their alumni. One thing to keep in mind is that it is VERY common to change majors so it’s okay if you aren’t 100% sure about what you’d like to major in during the application process.

Benjamin Waldmann

Correct Major for International Students

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

I am an international student, how do I select the correct major?

As far as selection goes, I have my own formula: 1. Take out a sheet of lined paper, draw a line down the bottom making 2 columns 2. Name 1 Will Study, name the other Won’t 3. Narrow down the Will side and there’s your answer Obviously, if you’re not 100% focused, the above will only serve as a guide to get you on your way. In my case, I had a facility for languages and took 4 yrs of French in private school. After college I turned down a teaching job in a language institute and went into sales. I got into financial services in 1977 and have been in financial aid trench warfare since 1979 – longer than most!