Do not look to FIND yourself, but rather CREATE yourself

When I was 5-years-old I pleaded my father to buy me a horse for my birthday. As promised, I waited in anticipation. However, it did not take long to realize that my wish was too good to be true. My father had to make a false promise to keep my hope alive. Instead of getting me a horse, I got remarkable set of school supplies. We cannot always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need. I was a child who thought that a horse can live in a backroom of my house. Pretty silly, isn’t it? It took many years to realize that dreams do not happen overnight. They require a hard work, persistence and sacrifice. My goal to study abroad took two years of planning and working. I was determined to find multiple ways to reach my goal and overcome disappointments. When I packed my bags to come to America, I was often asked how I managed to do it. My answer always consisted of, “How much are you passionate about it?”

Here are some steps that will help you execute your plan:

1. Find a private English tutor.-I understand that most of the high schools around the world teach English classes. However, sometimes going to the classes twice a week is simply not enough. The best way to learn a language is to practice on every day basis. A private tutor will cost you some extra money, but it will help you in a log run.

2. Study for the TOEFL.-Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is an exam that is designed to measure your fluency in English. This test is consisted of four parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing. You MUST pass this test before enrolling in any University where English is the primary language.

3. School options.-This step requires a deep research. You have to consider many important factors, such as: major offerings, location of the college, transportation, accommodation (if you plan to live on campus), college clubs, student to faculty ratio, quality of professors and tuition.

4. Contact the office of International Affairs. –The International Adviser has a job to help you out with your application and make sure that you meet all necessary requirements. Once your application is approved, your international adviser will provide you with documents: I-20 and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You will be obligated to pay your SEVIS fee and keep your receipt!

5. Visit your embassy. – Make an appointment prior to visiting and make sure that you have your necessary documents, such as: I-20, a receipt for the SEVIS fee, a passport, a receipt for the visa processing, a photo of your headshot, financial documents regarding your tuition and stay in the U.S. (where the money comes from) and a completed DS-158 and DC-156 (non-immigrant visa application).

Dreaming BIG is what motivates us to go further in life. If we decide only to dream and do nothing about it then we might as well find ourselves living in a fantasy world. A productive dreamer is someone who is not looking to FIND himself/herself in life, but rather CREATE.

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