3 years ago
Admissions Advice

A Foreigner Living in Thailand Applying to IVY League Schools


I live in Thailand, but I am not Thai. I am Korean and have been living in Southeast Asian countries most of my life.

I am a rising senior and I am starting to really focus on college applications and college essays.

Where I live, I rarely got the opportunity to get into a state-level competition or any other impressive extracurricular activities. It is because I don't live in the capital and my school lacks teachers and sufficient resources to support its students. We do not have a mathematics and science club and the teachers are either volunteers or retired teachers.

I know that my extracurricular activities are not very impressive compared to other students who are trying to apply to IVY League School, especially Korean students, as Koreans are known to be smart and competitive.

I was wondering if I am considered as a student applying from Korea or Thailand. Would I have to compete other students of the same nationality as me (Koreans) or am I competing with other students from Thailand?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

My advice is to be as transparent as much as possible because the Common App questions are very detailed.

For example, you are going to have to fill out the following questions in a truthful manner.

-Citizenship and Passport Number

-Languages, what is your first language, your second language, etc.

-Birth Country, Birth City, and how many years you've lived there


-Your race (Asian) and how you describe your background (Korean)

Since you are applying as an International Student from Thailand, your application will most likely be pooled from other Thai applicants and those from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar because typically an admissions officer is assigned to a region or multiple countries if the country doesn't typically submit a lot of applications. Whereas if you are applying from China or India, there may be multiple admissions offers because 60% of all Int'l applications from from those 2 countries. A country like S.Korea or Japan would most likely have just 1 admissions person. It also depends on how large the college is you are applying to. If you are applying to Columbia or Harvard, I'm sure they have a big staff. But if you are applying to Dartmouth, there are fewer people in the admissions office.

It wouldn't make sense for them to pool you with other Koreans from Seoul because those kids have a completely different HS system with different courses than Thai students.

Hope that is helpful.

3 years ago

this depends on the school that ur applying to. I had a singaporean fiend who has been living in China for 10+ years. When it comes to Uchicago, she was put into the Chibese students pool instead of the Singaporean pool. I suggest that you email the schools to find out.

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