Hello everyone, I am currently a high school junior living in the US. For college, my ultimate goal is to go to a University in Europe such as ETH Zurich. I plan to do this by getting my bachelor's at my state's university (UMD) and then transferring to a European school. My question is if I should be doing anything currently to prepare for this. Rather than get my bachelors in the US, should I only get my associate's? Are there any differences in applying to European universities?
You can apply to many universities in Europe as a high school student. The process is not nearly as standardized as it is in the US - every country has its own requirements, and universities in the same country even have different requirements from each other! Very generally, the application process for college graduates looks like this:
1. Much of your admissions decision will be based on meeting hard academic requirements. Some schools will require you to earn a certain GPA, while other schools may have you take their own admissions test. While there are many schools that offer classes in English, some may have additional foreign language requirements.
2. Many universities will ask you to submit essays about your interest in their school and your selected major. Some schools will want them to be written as matter-of-fact professional explanations, while others - especially MBA programs - will want you to use more personal narrative. Your essays should pair with your CV, which is another key component to submit.
3. There are many bureaucratic steps to complete as well. You will likely need to work with your academic advisor to send your academic records to universities in an official way, e.g. mailing your official transcript with an apostille. After you are accepted, you will need to complete the visa application process too.
The application process for undergraduate programs in Europe is similar, and it is certainly a path to consider instead of UMD. If you are consider this, I recommend applying during/after high school. An Associate's degree will not help you in the European admissions process, since European programs usually last 3 years and are focused on major content instead of general education.
Please don't hesitate to request a free consultation with me if you have more in-depth questions about European universities. Hope this helps!
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