Semi-International Student Problems


I am a danish citizen and I have taken both 9th, 10th and some of 11th grade in Denmark, where we don’t really give out rewards (honors), volunteer or have barely any extracurriculars, because the college admissions system is 100x more relaxed and only looks at GPA.
When I came here I quickly figured out that the college system is completely different here, and you can’t even get into a top or semi-top college without have some honors or extracurriculars.
So I wanted to ask all of you if you know what I might be able to do about my “handicap”, I’m already enrolling in a couple of groups, and starting my own business “kind of”, with some friends, but having zero experience, I don’t know what to do next.
Thank you :smile:

  • Thomas (Senior)

What do you do in your spare time? You must have some interests. You seem interested in applying as a CS major. Are you doing any computer science related activities? Why are you starting a business and how do you “kind of” do that? Don’t do things you’re not really interested in because you think it looks good on an application.

If you’re not a US citizen or permanent resident you’ll be applying as an international student. Admission to top colleges is very competitive and the rates are lower for international students. Do you need financial aid? That will matter at need aware schools.

Make sure your list has financial and academic safeties on it. Find schools your certain to get admitted to, are affordable, and that you’d be happy to attend. Then add some matches and reaches. Read the websites of the colleges that you’re interested in to learn about what’s important to them.

In all honesty it appears to be a bit late to truly develop extra curriculars. Therefore you should work on building a super strong essay AND teacher recommendations. In addition to applying to the US look at applying to other international countries. The UK and Amsterdam in the Netherlands are both extremely friendly towards international apps and I believe cheaper. Additionally they are less focused on extra curriculars and more on GPA and grades which might work better for you

What is your status in the US?

Why do you want to attend university in the US?

What is your budget?

What is your GPA?

As @austinmshauri asked, what do you do in your spare time?

Since you are posting in the California colleges forum, I am assuming you are interested in colleges/universities in California.

The Cal states (with the exception of Cal Poly SLO) do not consider your extracurricular activities for your application review which gives you the choice of 22 campuses in the Cal state system. They will look at your GPA, course rigor and geographic location. GPA will be the most important factor for these schools since the Cal states are test blind in this year’s admission cycle.

Not sure you can be a “semi-International” applicant? Either you are a US citizen or not. As an International applicant, if you apply to any California public schools like the Cal States or UC’s, you should expect to pay full fees at around $40K/year for the Cal states and $65K/year for the UC’s with little to no financial aid.

California private universities and UC’s will consider your EC’s in their application review so as noted, starting something new now will have very little impact.

Do you or have you held a job while in High school? Have you participated in sports, music, theater etc…? All these would be considered EC’s.

If you want help with your college search, I suggest you answer the questions in post#3 so CC posters can help.