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What college can I hope to get in?

  1. Apr 9, 2009 #1
    I'm from an Eastern European country. I'm interested in studying Physics, possibly up to a doctorate degree. Obviously, I'd like to get as good an education as I can, so could you inform me as to which university I could hope to get into?
    I'm in my junior year of high school. I have a couple of first prizes at my national physics olympiad, though I've never got close to the IPhO, so I'm wondering if the the national is worth a damn when it comes to getting into college.
    Other than that, what else could help me? I'm planning to take the SATs, the Cambridge Proefficiency exam and the TOEFL. Anything else that might help?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2009 #2
    It is unfortunately much more difficult for someone in your position to get into a top US/UK university, but it sounds like you could be well on your way. What are your grades like? What kind of score do you expect to get on the SATs/TOEFL? What classes are you taking? Any advanced ones?
  4. Apr 9, 2009 #3
    In the US, you might aim for entry into a select "scholar's" type program for undergrad (available at both private and public universities). Some of these programs (like the Jefferson Scholars program at the University of Virginia) do only accept US citizens, but I know of a few such programs that have flown people in from other countries (Dubai, Pakistan, etc.). Typically these programs are offered to retain top in-state students that would otherwise attend an Ivy League, to get highly-qualified students from outside the state (and nation), and also to get students that would be competitive for other awards like becoming a Goldwater or Rhodes Scholar (which would serve to boost the rank of the university). Usually these programs (which tend to give full rides or "almost-full" funding) require thesis work, study-abroad, etc. .. all stuff that can make you look good for a top-ranked grad school, as long as you take advantage of the opportunities available to you.

    To be in one of these programs, you have to be REALLY top at everything having top grades, coursework, and test scores), having good extra-curriculars (which is where the national physics Olympiad fits in, as well as hopefully some service, etc.).. and then you usually have a phone interview or in person interview, then possibly complete an even more intense process with several finalists to get a spot in the program.

    It will take a lot of research to find one that would probably be suitable to you... at a school you'd like and at a school that would be able to offer this to a non-US citizen. But hey... that's what the internet and email are great for. Sorry this isn't my total area of expertise so I don't have specific programs to recommend... but at least it's a start.
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