How High School Can Help You Predict the Future
by James Allen on August 17, 2015
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, and many others have all shared some variation of this quote. There is a lot of truth to that! The decisions you make now will affect you later in life, which means you can “predict” your own future. All you need to do is make smart decisions!
There are thousands of high schools in the United States, and there are probably thousands in your home country, too. However, not every high school is going to help you create the future you wish to have. Choosing the right school is very important. Whichever school you choose should have the classes and extracurricular activities that you find interesting. If you are interested in attending a specific university, you should also find out how many alumni from the high school were accepted at that university.
If your English is already very good, consider studying at a school which offers specialty and language classes. However, if you are not very fluent in English, you should attend a high school that offers dedicated English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. As you’ve probably heard before, being able to speak fluent English will create many good opportunities for you in the future.
Speaking of ESL, did you know that English is the third most spoken language in the world? More importantly, English is spoken in 101 countries. By comparison, Chinese is only spoken in 33 countries and Spanish is only spoken in 31. Every year more and more people are learning English. One estimate says there are 1.5 billion English learners—1,500,000,000—while others say there are two billion!
So, why is English important? Why should you care about improving your English? American inventor and entrepreneur Jay Walker explained it like this at a 2009 TED Talk:
Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation—a global conversation about global problems, like climate change or poverty, or hunger or disease. The world has other universal languages. Mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. And now English is becoming the language of problem-solving. Not because America is pushing it, but because the world is pulling it.
Mr. Walker ended his presentation by saying that “English represents hope for a better future—a future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.” To see his entire presentation, watch the video below.
In 2013, almost 820,000 international students from around the world studied at American colleges and universities, while 73,000 studied at American high schools according to IIE. The number of international students attending high school in the U.S. continues to increase every year. This is because on average, international students that attend a high school in the United States have a better chance of being accepted into a good American university.
Why? First of all, studying at an American high school will give you advantages over your peers because you will be immersed in the culture and become familiar with the American education system. If you come from a country with a very different education system (for example, China), you will need to take time to get used to the difference.
Another advantage of studying in the U.S. is that you will have access to teachers and guidance counselors that can help you prepare for college better than any education agent can (and for free, too)! They can help you create polished essays and show you exactly how to submit your college applications. In some cases, your guidance counselor may even make phone calls to college admissions officers they personally know, telling them about you and your interest in the school. This can give them a great first impression of you before you even apply! On top of that, by living in the U.S. you will have opportunities to go on college campus tours to see schools in person.
Many American high schools also offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Access to these specialized classes is another , as they can provide you with college credits while you are in high school, enhancing your college application.
If you’re still not convinced that studying at a high school in the U.S. is the best pathway to being accepted into a good university, take a look at the big picture. By the time you’re ready to go to college, you will already be accustomed to the food, currency, language, and culture. You will also already have your student visa, which gives you yet another head start over other students!
Extracurricular activities are regarded as important primarily by American universities, but they will look good on your application to universities outside the U.S. as well.
Make sure you choose activities that you are genuinely interested in. If you have an idea of what you would like to study in college, choose activities related to that. The whole point of extracurricular activity is to grow outside of the classroom. Whether you play an instrument, join a sports team, or compete in robotics, extracurriculars will help you stand out from the thousands of other students applying (and competing) for the same spot at the universities you wish to attend.
Studying at an American high school that offers the extracurricular activities that matter most to you will help you have a more enjoyable experience and make your college application look better at the same time.
College may seem far off in the distance, but it’ll come sooner than you think! If you haven’t already begun looking for a good high school, now is the time to start.
I started this blog post off with Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “The best way to predict your future is to create it” because I believe it’s true. I have witnessed that truth in my own life and in the lives of many international students. Believe it or not, the decisions you make concerning high school can help you predict the future—your future.
The only question that remains is “what do you want your future to look like?” Even if you haven’t figured out the answer to that question yet, I know that together we can find the right school for you in the United States.
If you would like more information on choosing, applying to, and attending an American high school, feel free to contact us! I would be more than happy to personally answer your questions and assist you in any way possible.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Get in touch or voice your opinion on social media!