International, Latin American student getting into top colleges?

<p>Hello! I am a Latin-American student. I am currently studying my country's equivalent to junior year, and I am planning to apply for studying my undergraduate major in the States. I am a very good student. I went to a school which went from year 1 to year 10 and had the best academic record overall those 10 years. I took Cambridge ESOL's FCE and passed with grade A. I also took Cambridge CIE's IGCSE seven subjects and got 5 A* (History, English 2nd lang., Literature, Physics, Business) an 2 A (Math, Spanish), plus 3 top in my country results(in English 2nd lang, Literature and top across seven subjects). I take part in community service in my actual school, where we build houses to the homeless and recollect clothes and that kind of stuff.</p>

<p>I am interested in social sciences; I would LOVE to study Ethics, Economics and Politics at Yale, or Business and International Relations at UPenn. Either way, I would like a broad major, with opportunities both at carrers in Business and Finance and in Social Policy and Politics. </p>

<p>I will take SAT I and SAT II's in 2012, as well as A levels and Cambridge ESOL's CPE (I hope I am excempt of taking the TOEFL, considering how many exams and test I've already seaten for!)</p>

<p>I am planning to apply to Ivies (especially YALE, Penn, Columbia but also to the rest of them) and to Amherst. The thing is I'm looking for a school with international reputiation (of those you have hundreds) which offers financial aid to international non-residents, non-citizens students (of those you don't have much :s). I also like UChicago, Georgetown, John Hopkins, Duke. You need to remember I live in South America, so I don't know many schools besides the international-reputation ones. I consider myself very capable, however, and I think I have some chances, connsidering my strong committment with "making a difference" in my community and in the world, as well as my third-world country background.</p>


<p>Also, another question; I am also planning to apply to schools in UK and Australia. Would it be ok if I 'copy' application essays, provided they are usually on the same topic? I don't think I have enough writing smartness (:D) for 9 or 10 essays in one round!!!</p>


<p>I also forgot to say that you need to take into account that considering where I come from (third worldddddd lol), even though I go to a decent school (for your standards), I do not have as many high school opportunities, meaning; AP's sort of stuff, extracurriculars, selectives, competitions, etc. My actual school doesn't even have a class rank.</p>

<p>Both the schools I went to, however, are evry demanding and give an excellent preparation (and this I say so in comparison to other good schools in my country and also because some Australian exchange students, and an American english teacher, told that school here was very hard). Maybe the lack of opportunities acts as an extra obstacle which makes students better... haha.</p>

<p>Also, I am preparing A levels and SAT's independently, and the latter totally on my own. Nobody here even knows about those exams.</p>

<p>Good stats, but being an international student in need of financial aid could be an app-killer, sorry :( ...but you definitely still have a shot!</p>

<p>What UK schools are you planning to apply to? </p>

<p>You must also realise that UK applications are VERY different. There is no way you can copy your essay over. Doing so would likely get you rejected from all schools. Only your academic credentials matter. You can read more about the centralised application system, UCAS, on it's website. You can only apply to a maximum of five choices and application is by subject. For more info, read the website. </p>

<p>I do not know about your country's examinations but I do know that for Cambridge, US citizens are required to submit their AP scores, most of which are 5s. Check out each school's website for more details. </p>

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<p>Im planning on apply to UCL, LSE, and Oxford. I'll have no problem with my qualifications because I have both Uruguayan system and British system (IGCSE's, and A levels hopefully) type, as the latter happen to be very popular here. As a matter of fact, what's giving me more trouble is the fact that I have to take SAT and SAT subject tests-why couldn't you americans be nice and recognize other examinations besides your own??!!!! lol</p>

<p>Anyway thanks for the advise!!!</p>

<p>First, I'm not American. In fact I do the A levels too. </p>

<p>Secondly, since you have the A levels, it should be easy to apply to British universities. </p>

<p>Next, is it that hard to get registered for the SAT?</p>


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<p>Sent from my iPod touch using CC</p>

<p>ooh sorry then!!!!! the problem with SAT is that nobody even knows about it here, and as I said, I'm like totally on my own for preparing it and taking it... And I also have to study for A levels, and high school... For the first one, even though I have to them on my own too, I am being tutored by teacher with (some) experience. And then high school, well, I jsut can;t drop out and dedicate full time to A levels and SAT, I have friends and stuff... So I don't know...
Basically I'm bothering to apply to the US because they have at least some financial aid opportunities to international students, whereas british schools don't, or they have very very limited resources.</p>

<p>Read the SAT prep forum to know what you need to do. </p>

<p>I don't see why you can't do A levels and the SAT. People in my school all do it and many go on to top tier schools. They don't study all the time and they do hang out with friends. </p>

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<p>Well there are numerous examples of students coming from your type of background with great ECs like math science leadership environment project arts etc</p>

<p>If you cannot distinguish yourself clearly then you would have some tough time getting in those top schools</p>

<p>Note that most people who apply to these schools are already great academic powerhouses so if you don't have good ECs and essays you will have a tough time</p>

<p>@DarthSpawnus I know what you mean but you did'n get my point. You mean that many applicants are math/science club presidents and so? The thing here is we don't HAVE math club or science club, nor enviroment projects nor art projects. Its a different world from yours were I live you need to remember that.</p>

<p>@082349 Remember I aslo have to study for my national high school diploma, which, even though it is made very demanding at my current school, its got no international recogntion whatsoever.
Anyyway, maybe you're right (I hope you're right!!!) and I will have time for everything. I guess I ought to be more organized.</p>

<p>I think what DarthSpawnus is trying to say is that your ECs are very typical. </p>

<p>Yes I know you said that you don't have such activities there but in the end, you're still going to present an application that is SO similar to what other students already have. </p>


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<p>I see. I could mention that in my essay however...</p>

<p>Ah its so unfair how one has less opportunities just for being born and raised in a different country!!!!!!!! :s</p>

<p>Will you need financial aid? That could make a difference in your admissions chances at a lot of US schools. Also, until you get your SAT scores, all 5 of them, it's hard to say whether you are competitive for admissions or not.</p>

<p>Yes I'm afraid I think I will :s</p>

<p>Anyway, I'll do my best effort.. And if don't end up getting into any school I'll study my undergraduate major here...</p>

<p>Don't get discouraged!. Most US Universities understand that in other countries the opportunities for EC's are different as are the grading systems. And also a lot of Universities are looking to increase their diversity, so it is good news for you, just make sure you explain the situation in your applications (trough essays or trough special circumstances)
Your SAT results are going to be very important but with the stats you mentioned you should not have problem with that, besides you can take it several times (although I would not recommend more that twice) check the College board website for preparation tips and materials.
Regarding USA Top schools with Fin Aid for International students, there are a lot, but the competition is very hard. Here is a few of them and most on this list are "need blind" meaning that they would not take in consideration your financial need at the time to review your admission app.</p>

Swarthmore College
Williams College
Washington University in St Louis
Connecticut College
University of Rochester</p>

<p>To name a few, there are also other not so "top" schools that offer very generous fin-aid to international students. I think there is a tread about it in the "financial aid" area of the International students forum.
Go to each university's website you are interested in and check their FinAid policies, the ones that offer Aid for Internationals usually advertise it there.
Good luck!</p>

<p>Thanks lightseeker, that information is very useful!!</p>

<p>You are very welcomed!
I have 2 D studying in great US Schools as International Students with FinAid, so if you have more specific questions I will gladly try to help you.
Feel free to PM me</p>

<p>which subject test should I take? how many? I have already bought the study guides for math l2 and world history... You reckon I should seat for spanish, just for the sake of having a third one?</p>

<p>Also, if I start studying now (mid-June) for World History, you think I'll be prepared for seating for it in the December session?</p>

<p>Thanks guys!!</p>

<p>Remember I want to get to the top schools!!! (who doesn't??)</p>

<p>I forgot to add that I am a spanish native speaker.... Which is why I don't know if I should seat for the SAT subject test in that language</p>