Currently living in Argentina?

<p>Hello, and thanks in advance for helping me out!</p>

<p>I'm 15 years old and currently living in Mendoza, Argentina. I lived around 12 years in California, where I was born, and have moved here after a harsh divorce. I missed out on around 9 months of school when I first got here, and due to a significant language barrier have repeated the 8th grade once.</p>

<p>I am now entering 9th grade, and am worried about college in the future. I'm hoping to be able to become a physicist when I grow up, specifically in the field of astrophysics / theoretical particle physics. The problem is, I don't know how living in a different country will affect my chances of getting into a college situated in the USA.</p>

<p>I hope to be able to go to CalTech or even Stanford if possible, I really do not want to settle for anything lesser than those 2.</p>

<p>I need to know what is necessary for me to be able to make it into either one of them, such as a required GPA or any other things that might be required seeing as I am living in a foreign country. I'd also love to know if me repeating the 8th grade would have an effect on my application. I am planning to improve my GPA substantially the coming year.</p>

<p>As I mentioned earlier, I really don't want to be forced into going to a college below the standards of CalTech or Stanford, as I am really interested in the field of physics and I personally regard these universities as the highest possible standard at the moment.</p>

<p>My father has a college fund saved in the bank for me already, so I am not worried about tuition.</p>

<p>Any help is very appreciated.</p>

<p>I take it that you are a US citizen because you write that you were born in California. When you apply to college, your academic records will be evaluated in much the same way as those of a normal Argentinian student. However, your financial aid application (if needed) will be in the US group, and obviously you won't need to get a student visa so you won't have any limitations on where you can work while you are in the US. </p>

<p>Your college list will need to have more than just two institutions on it. You can study Physics at many places in the US. Find out how much is in your college fund so that you have a better idea of what you can afford. For 2011-2012 the estimated Cost of Attendance at Stanford is US$ 57,198 The</a> Student Budget : Stanford University You can expect that to increase by about 5% each year. If you were to enroll in the fall of 2015, your COA would probably be more than US$ 66,000 for your first year. In other words, your cost for four years would be in the US$300,000 range. Is your other parent currently living in the US? If so, take a good look at the public colleges and universities in that state. You might be considered in-state for tuition and fees based on that parent's residence.</p>

<p>Repeating 8th grade will not be a problem. What will matter are your school records for 9th through 12th grade (or the local equivalent). You will need a good GPA and good standardized test scores. For an idea of the range these two institutions are looking for, read through some of the threads at their individual forums: CC</a> Top Universities - College Confidential</p>

<p>Probably the best way for you to start on this whole process is by reading through the information at EducationUSA</a> | Study Abroad, Student Visa, University Fairs, College Applications and Study in the U.S. / America Then you should make an appointment with the counselors at the advising center closest to where you are living. There is one in Mendoza EducationUSA</a> - Center Profile - Asesoria Educacional EducationUSA If no one in that office has worked with a US citizen recently, they have colleagues in other offices who can help you through the things that are different for you than they would be for a true international applicant.</p>

<p>Wishing you all the best!</p>

<p>Thanks so much for all the information! Also, my father is currently living in California and I am a US citizen. I'll be sure to check out the links you posted.</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>If you are shooting for Stanford or Caltech, you probably want to work on a significant distinction beyond grades and SAT scores. That's trickier outside of the US because most non-US countries have a standardized curriculum that does not offer opportunities for acceleration, nor a whole lot of science-y extracurriculars. </p>

<p>According to a friend at MIT, most of the international students there have a medal from the international science olympiads. Maybe MIT just cares a <em>lot</em> about competitions, but my personal theory is that these science olympiads are the only way for international students to academically distinguish themselves "from the crowd" in many countries.</p>

<p>Anyway, the counselors in your local EducationUSA center might have valuable suggestions for you for how to become a competitive applicant at the tippy top universities. The earlier you talk to them, the more time you'll have to plan and implement a strategy afterwards.</p>

<p>Yes, B@r!um, I've already noticed that here there are not very many extracurricular activities nor are there science olympiads / competitions. The only extracurricular activity I can remember being available was Ping-Pong, and even that was only open until 7th grade.</p>

<p>It seems as if the classes are the same for everyone, every year, as well. You don't get into advanced math classes, nor do you take different courses from other students. I'm not even sure they take standardized tests such as the SAT.</p>

<p>Also, what is it exactly that the counselors at the EducationUSA centers do? I'm a bit confused regarding the subject.</p>