Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Francine Schwartz
Founder/ President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

College Interviews and International Students

International students should follow whatever the protocol for the schools they are applying to. Schools recognize that it may be difficult for international students to have an in person interview and can possibly arrange for phone interviews. Many interviews are informational verses evaluative, which are required. I believe that if an interview is offered students should take the opportunity to have that face to face contact with the admissions staff or representative. Schools often track a student's interest and an interview definitely is a plus in that regard. Francine Schwartz Pathfinder Counseling LLC

Cynthia Ferguson
Independent Educational Consultant In2College

Not required usually, but a good idea

With Skype and other modes of electronic communication it is a good idea to set up interviews with each college you are interested in. Some may require this, but most probably just suggest it. This is as much to get your questions answered and to get a feel for each institution.

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

Interview Options for International Students

Whenever I begin working with an international student I always let them know that I highly encourage them to interview at any university that offers this as an option. Why? Because there is no piece of paper that can ever tell the whole story about an applicant and personality is often difficult to get across in an essay. In a time when colleges are looking for students to really become a part of a "community" on campus, and not just warm bodies, it's important for the admission committee to see how you might fit in with the social environment on campus. If you can't travel to the schools to which you are applying, no worries! Many schools now offer Skype interviews or interviews with alumni in your area.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

If a college offers you an opportunity to interview, take it! It's a great way to show a school that you are very interested in learning more about it and to demonstrate your keen interested in it. The interview is also a great way for you to learn more about the school. Many universities have alumni all over the world who can conduct the interviews. In addition, if you are on a campus visit, you can also interview at that time (but make sure you arranged for an interview ahead of time).

Mark Gathercole
University Advisor Independent University Advising

No, but.....

If not required by the university, an interview is not any more necessary for an international student than for a domestic one. If you have the chance to interview, however, it is a good opportunity for you to make a human impression on the admissions person, rather than just a paper/virtual impression on your application.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd

Not really

I'd say it isn't really necessary but can sometimes be advantageous - you won't necessarily have to travel as many now offer Skype interviews or alumni inteviews. For the UK Medicine and Oxbridge tend to require you to travel, medicine absolutely does require it.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

College Admissions Interviews for International Students

Some schools do not interview prospective students, some "recommend" an interview, and some "require" an interview. If a school requires an interview, it is often possible for a student to arrange to be interviewed by an alumnus/alumna of the institution who lives in an area near the student. This eliminates the need to make an expensive trip to the college or university solely for the purpose of the interview.

Helen Cella

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

Depends on the school

Nicholas Umphrey

Is a college admissions interview necessary for an international student?

I believe any interview is helpful for both the admissions people making the acceptance decision, and for the person interviewing. Learning how to interview is a invaluable skills to have as an adult. Assuming your English skills are advanced enough, I believe it depends on your personality as well. If you enjoy conversing with people and can carry on a good conversation, then certainly do an interview. If you are afraid to come across as awkward and uncomfortable, then it could work against you. It is always a good idea to practice with a parent, teacher, counselor, and solicit feedback from them. Usually the theater teacher or an English teacher in your school is a great resource.

Woodrow Dunn
Academic Counselor Freedom High School

College admissions interview

An interview is not necessary, yet it is wise for international students to attempt to make some kind of personal contact. A phone call, pictures to the guidance counselor, a friendship with the university's recruiting officer. If there is someone in the university who knows who you are I believe that to be beneficial.