What Should I Do? (International Transfer Dilemma)

<p>Hi. I'm a Korean student studying in the Philippines. My school is not important. Btw, you can call me David. :)</p>

<p>I just finished my first year in a college, and I want to transfer to a college in the US. As you know, most internationals are eligible for fall 2013, so I'll have to wait until September to work on my applications. Here is my dilemma.</p>

<p>I do not have ANY SAT I and subject test scores, or TOEFL score. I plan to take all of them this year (this is understandable btw, since at my age I would be a 12th year student in the States). The thing is, my second year starts in June, and as far as I know, most schools require just one year of education in another institution for transfer, meaning taking second year in my college would probably be a waste of money and time, when I have to prepare for many tests and essays.</p>

<p>Mind you, I have the grades I want and professors to ask recommendations from. The reason why I didn't prepare for transfer last year was, well frankly, I got interested in this whole transfer thing just a few months ago. Still, I'm young and I find myself pretty capable for at least the top 25% schools in US, so I'm pretty confident about this idea of stopping my current school.</p>

<p>But still, I'm not really sure about some aspects. First, would I have more chances if I finished two years instead of one? Please note that most schools will not acknowledge the courses I took in the Philippines, so credit acquirement is pretty meaningless. Second, would I be a less credible transfer applicant if I took a year off? This is in terms of the credibility of my recommendation letters and my own academic ability. But also note that my SAT test dates will be pretty recent ones, so I won't be completely outdated.</p>

<p>Please just leave your opinions, whoever you are and whatever you do. But just be sure to read everything before you do so. The ultimate question is, should I take a year off to save money and time, and concentrate on my tests? Thank you for your time guys! :D</p>

<p>Can you pay for a US college education? If not, I’d highly recommend that you stay on track to graduate from your current school since it’s extremely unlikely that you would get financial aid as an international student from an American source. </p>

<p>Taking a year off will not hurt your chances. In fact, it might even help you: American colleges really value extracurricular activities. Anything that will get you involved in the community around you, anything that will develop and showcase special abilities, or anything that shows initiative and leadership skills will help: you could work a job, lead a youth group, join a local theater production, volunteer for the Red Cross, do contract work as a web designer, become active in politics, etc. </p>

<p>What you do not want to do is quit school and do nothing besides preparing for American college admissions. That might raise questions in the mind of the admissions committee because it would look like you did basically nothing (watch TV all day?) for a year. Applying to college is time-consuming, but certainly not a 9-month-long full-time effort. If you spent 10 hours/week on test prep, college research and college applications from now until the transfer application deadlines next March, you’d be much better prepared than most.</p>