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Prospective Students


On this page, you will find advice, tutoring support, and mentorship from current international students.

  • Learn to plan and prepare for college.

  • Familiarize yourself with the whole application process.

  • Learn where to start with standardized tests

  • Connect with students going through the same application process as yourself.

Link us with your school officials for F-1 Careers to advise how they can support you and other students.
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Here's a recent To-Do List for International Applicants, prepared by U.S. News:

Get Your Documents in Order.

  • Transcripts (school reports): might need to translate all documents to English

  • Letters of recommendation (at least two from your teachers and one from your counselor/Principal)

  • Score reports for any required standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, and English languages proficiency tests like the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo

  • Financial Documents: Bank statements, etc

  • Passport: Often required early in the process for test registration ​​​

Take Advantage of Targeted Recruitment by Universities to Put Your Name Out There.

  • Information sessions (schedule often on admissions websites)

  • University tours/fairs (physical and virtual)

  • Daily Q&A sessions

Strengthen and Document Extracurricular Activities.

  • Part-time work/internships

  • Volunteering/Acts of service

  • Sports and competitions

  • Other interests like music, art, writing, poetry, etc

  • Science projects

  • Tutoring/Mentoring

Figure Out College Counseling Resources Available at Your School or Country.


  1. Identify all TARGET (plan A) and SAFETY (plan B) schools with help from your counselor.

  2. Visit each college's website for instructions on how to apply.

  3. Familiarize yourself with the Common App (used by most colleges) or other platforms like Coalition and Universal app used by certain schools. Universities like MIT and the UC schools have their own application portals.

  4. Application timeline​

    • Open: July/August 1st​​

    • Early Application Deadline: November 1st

    • Hear back: December 15th-31st

    • Regular Application Deadline: December 31st

    • Hear back: Mid March to April

    • Note: This is a general timeline. Some schools adhere to their own timelines.

  5. Types of Applications/Admission Process ​

    • Regular Decision: Hear back in March/April. Non-binding​​

    • Rolling Admission: Hear back anytime after application. Non-binding

    • Early Action: Apply early and hear back by Dec 15th. Non-binding

    • Early Decision: Apply early BUT committing to the university. Binding

    • Restrictive Early Action: Apply Early but can not apply to other institutions for ED or EA

  6. Make a Decision by May 01st​​​


1. Options for Standardized tests:

  • ACT or SAT I 

  • SAT (II) Subject Tests

  • TOEFL or IELTS or Duolingo
    Note: College board will no longer offer SAT (II) Subject tests and SAT (I) with the essay component.
    Learn more about this here.

F-1 Careers has prepared a 1-month study plan for the ACT and gathered important information for you to get started. See Files section below.

3. Create accounts on and and locate test centers in your country. Register for a test ahead of time to allow yourself time to prep

4. See select videos below to help you get started with your prep


  • Your opportunity to tell your story. This is your chance to speak to the admissions committee and share your background, approach to life and challenges, goals/aspirations, etc.

  • Show them how your progression in school or life experiences has prepared you to embark on a U.S. international education.

  • Address the specific question/prompt if given one. Admission committees are assessing your ability to communicate.

  • Avoid simply reciting your resume or activities list. Use the "SHOW DON'T TELL" approach to shape your narrative.

  • Prepare multiple drafts and have trusted reviewers give you critical but constructive feedback.

    See our select examples of personal statements for your use as inspiration.


1. An opportunity to link one-on-one with F-1 Careers tutors/mentors
"Sign Up Here"


Learn what other international students who went through a similar journey did to get there. 
Watch F-1 Career Talks

NOTE: If you are experiencing trouble accessing the internet, F-1 Careers will soon be able to share this information with you or your school via WhatsApp. Contact us if this is something you would find useful!




Personal Statements

Coming soon!

ACT Practice Material

Coming soon!

Custom-made 1-Month ACT Study Plan

Made and reviewed by International Students, this ACT study plan will help guide you as you self-prepare for the ACT.

An up-to-date list of U.S. colleges offering full financial aid and scholarship.

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