How I Chose My College: “An International Perspective”

An international perspective on choosing a US college

Wikimedia Commons user Bobak Ha’Eri

I grew up in Vietnam. For 20 years of my life, I had never been to the United States before I came to Luther College in 2016. It is still a fascinating journey for me from the beginning of college search to the present as I just finished my sophomore year. As an international student, I had no chance to visit campus in person or to meet any students before I stepped foot on campus.

Understand yourself before you make choices

Every single time I walk to my class, I feel grateful that I made the right choice by choosing Luther College over other schools I was accepted into. To be successful in the college search process, I believe, the most fundamental thing is knowing what you are going for. Friends and families can have a significant impact on your choice. However, it is essential to learn that it is you, not anyone else, who will spend the next four years of your life there. I know in my heart that I would love spending my college life at some small, close-knit community. I am overwhelmed with the large classrooms at big universities, and I could not handle a network of thousands of first-year students. Luther is a perfect choice for me with around 500 students coming every year. The liberal arts college with a diverse background and a welcoming environment.

A liberal arts curriculum

I started Luther College as a Communication Studies major. It has not changed since then, but I have added more to my program by choosing to double major in Data Science and learning French as my third language. I would have never imagined myself in the field of data mining and analysis if I had not attended a course named Data Modeling and Querying during the spring semester 2017. My academic advisor always says that I am utilizing most of my liberal arts education to learn beyond my major. However, a diverse schedule gives me a chance to explore many aspects of myself and prepare for my future career.

Software is your best friend during the college search process

Before I could reach out to the schools’ representative and the student ambassadors, for the most part, I relied on the Internet as my main resource. College Raptor gave me a shortlist of schools that matched up both my interest and financial ability. Each school was given a score which reflected my chance to get in as well as how I fit in the school’s background and curriculum. I was able the narrow down the school list and did more in-depth research on each college/university. The virtual tour on the school’s website gave me a general insight on how it looked like to be on campus.

I would not have attended Luther or made it this far without the help of online software. It has been right for me and will be right for you as you start your college journey.