General Question

shrubbery's avatar

How would someone from Australia apply to American Colleges/Universities?

Asked by shrubbery (10236points) June 8th, 2009

I’ve tried to look this up on the internet but I’m so totally confused. I was wondering if someone could please explain your system to me in a dumbed down language? Thanks :P
I’m in my last year of high school in Australia, I will finish in December of this year. If I wanted then to go to America, what do I do? What’s the difference between College and University? How do my scores here change to suit your scores? When would I have to apply? Do I have to sit some kind of aptitude test, like what are they… SATs? What is GPA and GPA scale? Are international scholarships offered?
Anything you could tell me would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)

edit :: I’m looking into Engineering, specifically aerospace engineering. Any schools you would recommend I look into?

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8 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Your best bet is to look at a prospective university’s website.
College is basically a university and vice versa.

I don’t know how Australian and American test scores correlate but any school will tell you this information. SAT’s are aptitude tests in the US.

GPA is “grade point average”.
A = 4 pts, B= 3 pts, C=2 pts., D= 1 pt.

Many schools offer scholarships but you need to check with the school for details.

casheroo's avatar

College’s usually don’t offer anything more than a bachelors. University’s encompass multiple college’s (like College of Liberal Arts, College of Business…but all within one University) University’s offer Masters and PhD’s as well as bachelors.

Are there any colleges or universities your interested in? Go to their webpages, they should have information on international applicants.

Just to add, one isn’t better than the just have to find out what is best for you and what you want to accomplish educationally.

Ivan's avatar

The terms “college” and “university” are usually used interchangeably here, but in general, colleges are smaller, less prestigious, often are only intended for two years of study, and often used as stepping stones to universities.

Our college aptitude tests are the SAT and the ACT. Depending on the school, you may need to take one or the other and achieve a certain score. There is no universal standard, it varies by school.

GPA, or grade point average, is the scale that is usually used in high school and college (university). It is a 4 point scale, 4 being the highest.

There are surely international scholarships, but those will again depend on which school you attend. Most scholarships, however, are private, meaning they don’t come from the Universities themselves or from the government. You will most likely need to fill out the FAFSA form, which tells the government of your financial status so that they can appropriate grants to those in need.

American high school seniors graduate in May/June, so you will be a semester off, but that’s not a big deal. If you start right away, you will start with the Spring Semester (~January). Or you could wait a while and come in with the rest of the freshmen during Fall Semster (~August/September).

As for applications. Just visit the websites of any schools you might be interested in. They will have directions for applying. Most likely, all of them will have an online application. Depending on the school, there will probably be an application fee.

YARNLADY's avatar

Generally a University is a collection of colleges. Look at the sites that are recommended in the ‘degree’ section of this wikipeida article.

nikipedia's avatar

What’s the difference between College and University?

I disagree with @Ivan‘s statement that the difference is an issue of prestige. I have encountered it just as a difference in size. Like @YARNLADY said, Universities are umbrellas with multiple colleges in them. For instance, I went to college at the State University of New York, and within it, I went to the liberal arts college. There were separate colleges for engineering, nursing, and some other stuff.

Some schools are just a single college, but there are definitely prestigious ones. Usually these are liberal arts colleges.

How do my scores here change to suit your scores?

No clue! I have no idea how your scores work. I bet most schools that accept international students have their own systems. I would contact schools you’re interested in and ask them how they handle it.

When would I have to apply?

Usually, application deadlines are in November/December/January before the fall you would start. So if you applied this winter, you would be applying for the fall of 2010.

Do I have to sit some kind of aptitude test, like what are they… SATs?

As far as I know, every major college and university accepts either SATs or ACTs. These are standardized tests of math and language ability. I can talk about these with you in great detail if you want, having tutored both tests for years. :)

What is GPA and GPA scale?

I think this was handled above, but let me give you an example. Lets say your grades were…

Biology: A
History: B
English: A
Geometry: C

Since A = 4 points, B = 3 points, and C = 2 points, you would calculate your GPA to be 4 + 3 + 4 + 2 = 13 / 4 = 3.25.

I’m guessing it’ll be tricky for you to convert, because your A might not be the same as our A. If you even get letter grades.

Are international scholarships offered?

Definitely. Does your high school have a college or career center that might be able to help you search for them?

You might want to pick a random school and take a look at their application. It should tell you everything you need to prepare for them.

Good luck!

augustlan's avatar

Ooh, yes… come to America! Here is the first google hit for ‘aerospace engineering colleges’. That might help you narrow your choices down.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

I have no idea how you do it, but I know you can. I have friends here at my college from all over the world, so they obviously transferred in somehow. Best of luck.

And btw, check out Ohio State :)

Harp's avatar

The magazine US News and World Report does widely consulted annual rankings of American Colleges and Universities. Here are the rankings for schools offering up to an undergraduate degree in Aerospace / Aeronautical / Astronautical, and here they are for schools offering graduate degrees.

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