applying and studying at university

hello, everyone. I need your help I’m from another country not from USA and I have already finished school this year and recently entered economic university in my city. As I know to apply to university you need teachers’ recommendations in English, but what if my school’s main language for example was Russian, so it will be impossible for some teachers to write recommendation in English firstly just because they don’t know that language. And also are recommendations from teachers still important at all if I study at university now? Or can recommendations be from my uni teachers? And if I need that recommendations anyways can I translate to English language by myself, because I guess nobody needs recommendations in Russian.
And also I wanted to ask you guys about departments. Can you tell me more about them. how many of them I can apply to and what SAT subjects they require.
sorry for all mistakes. thank you for your attention. waiting for your answers. stay safe.

Starting with the negative bits, to get them out of the way:

  1. Acceptance rates for international students are much lower than for domestic students, and if you need financial aid they are lower again.
  2. Acceptance rates for transfer students (student who have finished secondary school and started university) are lower than for students who have not started university yet. In part, that is just numbers: spaces for students in years 2 and 3 are limited to the number of students who leave.
  3. As a transfer student you need recommendations from teachers yes, and yes, they have to be in English. You, however, can NOT do the translating!
  4. "Economic University" I'm guessing means a university that focuses on Economics? A US university will have a Department of Economics- the US doesn't really do subject-specific universities. In most universities you apply to the university, not the department (there are exceptions, especially for Computer Sciences, Engineering and Architecture). If you want to continue studying economics, pretty much every university will have an Econ department.

I suggest you check the closest Education USA center for help in applying to US Universities.

Here is the link to the one in Moscow:

Firstly, thank you for answering to my questions. I really appreciate it. I, only, couldn’t understand the part of your answer where you wrote following text: In part, that is just numbers: spaces for students in years 2 and 3 are limited to the number of students who leave.
Can you explain it more clearly, please? What does mean for students in years 2 and 3 and etc.?
Then, for example, if I want to apply to Harvard university I should ask my university teachers, who can write in English for recommendations, and no need for school teachers’ recommendations, yes?
I’m thinking about departments of Harvard university such as psychology, computer engineering, mathematics and economics. can I apply to every of them or only to one of them?
And also, all SAT subjects needed for applying to that departments are Mathematics and what? Could you help me?
And, for example, if I don’t know anything about computer engineering but want to study it in Harvard university, will SAT of mathematics be enough for applying and entering there?

if I apply to Harvard and pretend I didn’t studied first course of my economic university in my country, but just passed and decided not to study there, will it be okay? or do I have to show that after graduating from school I have entered and studied in my economic university first course or it’s not an obligation? or can I apply two times, first time as a person, who has finished school and one year didn’t studied anywhere and only then decided to apply to Harvard, and another account for application - the student of economic university, who has studied there 1 course but decided not to transfer to Harvard, but just apply to start studying in Harvard from 1 course?

sorry for all mistakes
waiting for your answers, thank you.

Hello, thank you for your respond. But I don’t live in Moscow and in Russia at all. Will it still help me?

There are three levels of application in the US.
1° freshman, or first time in college. This is for students who have not started at a university (they can have enrolled but not attended; they can have taken supplementary classes when they were in high school, but only before they graduated). Some universities also consider students with fewer than 15 credits as “freshman applicants”. These form the majority of places offered. Generally, you apply to the university or sometimes to a college within the university, not to a department. In fact you’re not even expected to apply to a specific field of study.
2° transfer students. They have enrolled in a university and taken classes there; they have grades. There are fewer places for transfers, since they’re places the freshmen who didn’t succeed have created when they let the university. Some large public universities do “save” places for transfers who live in their state and attended community college in their state. They need to know what field of study they want to graduate in and they must have taken “pre-requisite” courses. Pre-reqs are classes that form a background to more specialized study.
Freshmen and transfers apply to the university but freshmen can indicate “undecided” or 2 different fields of interest.
3° graduate students. They have graduated from college, with a 4-year degree. They apply for a Master’s degree or PHD. They apply directly to a department.

Using your example of Harvard:

Harvard takes 2000 first year students every year. 98% of them stay, so there are very few places for transfer students to come in. Last year they accepted 13 transfer students (out of 1,432 applications).


That’s what I was saying above: you apply to Harvard as a university, not for a specific department. As a transfer student they will expect you to have good, specific reasons for transferring to Harvard. Not having any idea what you want to study will make it harder to write the 'why I should be at Harvard" essay.

Also, entry to a subject (called a major) is NOT based on SAT subject tests (which are for secondary school students anyway).



There are Education USA offices all over the world- @Gumbymom was giving you the Moscow link b/c you mentioned speaking Russian & she was being helpful.

That you would even consider this indicates that you will not succeed in getting admitted. Or if admitted you would be expelled for dishonesty.

Okay, as I understood, I don’t really need SAT subjects for applying to Harvard university, but if I show them, it will be beneficial for me. Someone said me the more I will have SAT subjects, the more I will have chances to pass different departments of Harvard university. Is it true?

But also, I want to apply to Harvard university as first year student not as transfer student.

Can 2 or 3 of my personal teachers, who are neither my school teachers nor university teachers, and who know English very well write recommendations?

If you are studying currently at a university you cannot apply as a first year student.

Even if I take my documents from the present university, where I’m studying now?
And it will seem like I finished the school, and then one year I didn’t do anything, didn’t study anywhere, just empty year, and then like one more year later I decided to apply to Harvard university. Will it be okay?
To be honest, I entered that economic university only for my parents, they really wanted it, I’m 17 y.o. now, I had to show them that I can, they said if I could prove them that I can enter the university in my country, in my city, they will help with preparation for US universities. And now I want to try to apply to Harvard university in 2021, to start studying there at least in 2022. It was my biggest dream from 2018, but for that I had to prove to my parents…

And thank you for sharing with me the Moscow link, but unfortunately, I don’t even live in Moscow and in Russia at all, so I can’t reach it.

No, it’s not OK.

If you were a matriculated students and have grades, then you can’t pretend or attest that it didn’t happen. If discovered, you can have your visa revoked and have your diploma rescinded.

You have to certify on your application to US universities that all the information you provided is true. Your teachers from HS presumably know you went to university. Are you going to ask them to lie for you?

The likelihood of an acceptance to Harvard, even if you were a first year are miniscule. Don’t perjure yourself.

No one here will tell you that’s OK.

In preparation for admission as a transfer student to a US college, you will also need to demonstrate English language proficiency via TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo (check each college’s website to know which test they require).

Why Harvard? It is one of the most difficult universities to get into in the world. You must have top grades and test scores, extremely accomplished extracurriculars, and outstanding letters of recommendation from teachers that have taught you. Do you have all these requirements?

Harvard does not accept by department. Whoever told you this has no idea how Harvard works. SAT subject tests are meant to be taken in high school, not after you graduate.

You cannot apply as a freshman if you have been to university before. It doesn’t matter if you only went there to please your parents.

I am going to be blunt. Your English skills are not good enough for Harvard or for other selective universities in the US. While most of your sentences are understandable, they are not correct English. If you are going to study in the US at a selective university like Harvard, your English skills must be much better.

  1. If you only have 1 semester of university you can apply to Harvard as a first year.
  2. You are not understanding the information people are sharing

=> The link for the Education USA in Moscow is just ONE of their offices. They have other offices all over the world. Look for the nearest one to where you live.

=> Admission to Harvard is NOT by department, so no, it is NOT true that more subject tests means more admission to more departments.

  1. Approximately 5% of first year applicants are accepted (2K/40K). Of those, ~11% are international students, so ~220 students. On average, ~5 each are from India, New Zealand and Brazil; 7 or 8 from Australia; 15 from China; 20 from the UK; and 35ish from Canada. That leaves 130ish places for people from 100 countries. Are you a top student in your country?

If youre 17, is your university an actual university or is it a college that covers 16-19 year olds’ studies?