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VOA International Student Town Hall

How Can I Study in the US?VOA International Student Town Hall.

Posted by Voice of America – VOA on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:29 am

From Elly, Devon, and I, thanks for joining us on today’s live blog! Thank you to VOA and to George Washington University for hosting the Town Hall. And most importantly, thanks to all of our experts who joined us!!

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:27 am

Make sure you have your vaccination records during the application process!

Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201711:23 am

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:23 am

Paul White says both domestic and international students should step outside of their comfort zones and have conversations together.

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:23 am

How safe should international students feel?

Institutions have a designated office that investigate any kind of harassment. This office will then investigate issues, sometimes with campus police.
The international office is another office that students can go to if they need support. They will help students navigate the appropriate steps to solving issues.
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:16 am

Karen Pabon says Wellesley has partnered with MasterCard to give full scholarships for African women who have the potential to be transformative leaders.

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:15 am

Transferring for international students is similar whether transferring from another school in the United States or abroad. But, transferring in the U.S. can cause issues.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:13 am
Paul White says Johns Hopkins Office of Financial Aid offers financial literacy assistance so international students can make a budget.
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:11 am

How flexible are Universities?Typically most are understanding if the situation is out of the control of students.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:10 am
Here are helpful links!
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:09 am
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:07 am

Sam Brown from BYU says “refugees bring a diverse perspective that is valued.”

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:06 am

What about refugees studying in USA?

James Dorsett says immigration status may be different, but if you have academic qualifications and some means of funding, it is possible.
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:06 am

Karen Pabon says some universities, like Wellesley, offer financial aid to international students.

Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201711:05 am

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:05 am

Don’t get discouraged based on the website’s info on financial aid. “Dig deeper,” says Sarah Zaman.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:04 am

Raj says there are creative ways to fund your education. He wrote letters to professors.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:03 am

Financial aid versus scholarships?

Sam Brown says financial aid is US government assistance, and typically international students won’t qualify.
Scholarships are common, both on and off-campus scholarships.
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201711:03 am

Financial aid is for US citizens, typically not international students. However, international students are still eligible for scholarships.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201711:01 am

What are colleges looking for in international students?

Karen Pabon of Wellesley says each college is different, but Wellesley uses multiple perspectives on each application and examines it in a holistic approach. Grades, leadership, and involvement are key.
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:58 am

Sarah Zaman: “International students are an asset.”

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:58 am

James Dorsett: “MSU created a ‘You are welcome here’ video.”

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:56 am

International students feel welcomed and accepted in the United States.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:56 am

What are initiatives to combat xenophobia? What about the travel ban?

James Dorsett from MSU says the commitment from the upper administration is important.
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:55 am
Ivy League schools are highly respected schools. They also turn out to be more affordable than a lot of people think!

Ivy League Schools More Affordable Than You Think

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:54 am

Karen Pabon from Wellesley says that there are on-campus opportunities to work, and after graduation, you can do “practical training” in your field of study. There is also “curricular practical training” while you’re in school.

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:53 am

Ivy League schools are highly respected schools. They even turn out to be more affordable than international students think!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:53 am

Sam Brown says “unless you try, you’ll never know,” so apply to high ranked schools!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:52 am

Sarah Zaman, VOA host, states that it is more than okay for international students to express their needs at their US school!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:50 am

Dietary restrictions? Looking for specific food? James Dorsett from MSU says to be upfront and to talk to school officials.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:48 am

Some international students are worried about coming to the USA.

Sam Brown from BYU says many campuses offer prayer rooms and safe spaces for international students.
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:48 am

International students bring value and enrichment to our institutions – Sam Brown.

Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201710:47 am

This story suggests how to make friends as a shy international student! //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2012/12/11/lily-suggests-how-to-make-friends-as-a-shy-international-student/

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:47 am

Its important to meet new people and develop relationships when you come to the United States.

Make sure to get involved with people through the things that you love, said Raj Bhargava.
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:42 am

It is important to step out of your comfort zone and to join student organizations! //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2017/01/31/a-diverse-campus-makes-society-diverse-says-sotomayor/

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:41 am

Another international student says he feels like an ambassador for his country, so he teaches others about his culture while learning about theirs.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:41 am

An international student says joining student organizations and attending on-campus events was very helpful. She joined Model UN and became vice-chair!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:38 am

James Dorsett also says reaching out of comfort zone and talking to others is very important in learning English.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:38 am

James Dorsett from Michigan State University says having a strong basis of English is very important, but there are courses that are for students with limited English proficiency.

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:37 am

Classroom culture in the United States can be a lot more informal than international students are used to. Even calling professors by their first name can be a challenge and a shock!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:37 am

Here is info on getting a job in the USA as an international student. //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2016/11/05/visa-free-jobs-for-internationals/

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:36 am

What are some of the first things students are exposed to in their orientation program?

Karen Pabon from Wellesley College says they provide finance sessions, cell phone tips, employment/internship help, and the US classroom.
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:35 am

Sam Brown from Brigham Young University says it is important to ask for help upfront to improve your grades.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:34 am

What is classroom culture? How do I get good grades?

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:33 am

Our second group of panelists are Sam Brown, Brigham Young University, Raj Bhargava, Stanford University , Karen Zuffante Pabon, Wellesley College, and James Dorsett, Michigan State University.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:33 am

Raj K. Bhargava from Stanford University advises that having an open mindset allows for more learning opportunities. He grew up in India and came to the USA alone.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:32 am

What should an international student do to prepare themselves for American culture? Raj K. Bhargava says food, language, and family will be different.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:30 am

Sarah Zaman is talking about American culture for international students and culture shock.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:30 am

International students talk about how USA has better higher education and more opportunity for employment and other options.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:28 am

Paul White says it is better to talk to the university than to use a third party when applying to schools in the USA.

Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201710:28 am

International and US students still sit at different tables. Let’s bridge the gap! //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2016/11/23/international-us-students-still-sit-at-different-tables/

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:28 am

An international student from China has faced difficulties with adjusting to life in the United States. Classroom culture can also be strange for international students.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:27 am

Bianca Schonberg says as long as you have a high school diploma, you can apply for community college in the United States. However, it does depend on the school.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:25 am

How can international students better integrate themselves in campus life? Doug Shaw says GW is working on programming to bridge international students with U.S. students.

Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201710:25 am
Why the TOEFL is more important than just one test, and how that can help you succeed?

//blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2012/10/11/why-the-toefl-is-more-important-than-just-one-test-and-how-that-can-help-you-succeed/
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:25 am

Paul White says that you need to take the TOEFL as a requirement in your application as an international student to test your English skills. //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2012/10/11/why-the-toefl-is-more-important-than-just-one-test-and-how-that-can-help-you-succeed/

Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:23 am

A strong essay helps during the admissions process. Want to help your chances of getting into a school? Check out these tips!

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:23 am

What do I do about my English skills?

Take a look at this article!
Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:20 am
A year of additional studies in the United States is needed for international students students applying to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says Paul White.
Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201710:19 am


These are tips for managing your scholarship application from an International student advisor! //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2012/10/10/top-tips-for-managing-your-scholarship-application-scotts-advice/
Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:16 am

Small school? Big school? What’s best for an international student? Paul White advises to look at all types of schools, but take into consideration the area, other international students, the faculty, and the community that is there.

Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:15 am

Here are some tips on knowing if a university is accredited!

  • Is My School Accredited?

  • How To Know if a University is Accredited


  • Paul White mentions that the “American Council on Education” is very helpful. Colleges on this list are real. http://www.acenet.edu/Pages/default.aspx
    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:13 am

    How can you tell if a school is real or fake? Accreditation is very important!

    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:13 am

    Is it normal for universities to work with an embassy to help in the visa process?

    Paul White says they work with the student, not the embassy.

    Here are some tips on visas for coming to the USA! //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2016/11/02/the-three-kinds-of-student-visas/
    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:11 am

    Can I come to the United States? What’s my visa situation like depending on where I’m coming from given the immigration issues?

    Doug Shaw says that universities are monitoring the changing situation, but that students should apply the way they have been.
    Elly Yijin Kim Elly Yijin Kim May 3, 201710:08 am

    Do you want to apply to US Schools? These tips increase your chance!

    //blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2016/10/28/applying-to-us-schools-these-tips-increase-your-chances/

    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:07 am

    Paul White says that “you have to know that the system will be different at the undergraduate level.”

    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:06 am

    International students just told us that the visa process was a difficulty. Here’s some advice!



    Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 201710:06 am

    Our first panelists for today’s event are Paul White, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Bianca Schonberg, Houston Community College, and Doug Shaw, George Washington University. Information about our panelists can be found here!

    Shadi Nasab Shadi Nasab May 3, 201710:03 am

    More than 1 million international students came to the USA last year!

    Devon Sgubin Devon Sgubin May 3, 20179:50 am

    Hi everyone, Devon here, thanks for joining the VOA Student Union team as we cover the VOA Town Hall at George Washington University! The event is about international students studying in the United States. If you have any questions of your own during the event, be sure to let us know!

    VOA StudentU