Quotes from the field:
“I arrive at the St. Maur College Fair in Yokohama super relaxed. I’m confident because I have simple reading materials on subjects such as transfer credits, and I have the best swag to pass out to students, including candies, pens, and even a Kindle door prize. Best of all, I am excited to spend time with my colleagues and friends at the fair. My goal is to answer questions and promote awareness of our university brand. Luckily, many attendees already have a friend or a family member who went to our university. Instead of trying to sell our school aggressively, I talk to students about their favorite sports, future goals, and Netflix movies to watch. I want to let them know that our school is a chill community to join.”
Admissions Counselor, Temple University, Japan Campus
How do you pick which university is right for you? Maybe your parents went to a certain university, and so you think you might want to go there too. Maybe there is a nice university near where you live, and you think it would be convenient and logical to go there. Maybe you have a famous university in mind because you think going to that university will give you access to a successful career and happy life. But still, how do you pick which one? You can apply to many, but you can only choose one in the end.
One thing that may help you choose is a college fair. College fairs happen at big locations such as hotel meeting rooms, convention centers, or perhaps on specific university campuses. Representatives from colleges come to these fairs to meet potential applicants, to talk to you about campus life, and to explain the requirements for admission.
College fairs should be free and open to the public; do not attend a college fair with an entrance fee. You might need to register in advance through an organization’s website, but there should not be any charge to attend (except perhaps for parking costs at the hotel/convention center).
For international students, meeting with these representatives gives you a good chance to ask about TOEFL or IELTS requirements as well as necessary financial forms for your application. You can ask these representatives if scholarships or financial aid are available for international students. The National Association for College Admission Counseling suggests that international students ask the following questions at the fair:
1.What percentage of this university’s students are international?
2.From which countries do international students most commonly come?
3.How does this university support international students? For example, what if I get a serious sickness? What if I’m having a hard time culturally, socially, or emotionally?
4.Is acceptance into certain degree programs more competitive or more difficult for international students?
5.How do international students interact with American students on this campus?
6.What housing options are there for international students?
7.Do the dining options on campus consider international students? For example, are there vegetarian options? Kosher options? Halal options?
8.How easy it for international students to do things by themselves on weekends? Do international students need driver’s licenses and cars?
9.How close is campus to the nearest international airport?
10.Can you share any recent success stories of international students on this campus?
11.Can you connect me with recent alumni or current students from my country so I can learn more about their experiences?
Meeting with an admissions counselor at a college fair is just like finding someone across a river who’s willing to throw you a rope to help you get to the other side. You just need to make the effort to go to the river’s edge and scream for help. Someone is waiting on the other side to help you get across.
1.Have you ever been to any other kind of “fair” at a large gathering area, such as a wedding fair, a job fair, or a trade show? If so, what kind?
2.Would you be nervous about meeting with college representatives at a fair? If so, why?