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Purna Bhattarai Shares His College Application Journey!

28 Aug, 2020
Purna Bhattarai

“High school grades and Standardized tests may not be enough to get accepted into your dream college. Do participate in extracurricular activities, and volunteer that could strengthen or bolster your college application and could potentially stand out among other students.”

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. 

I am Purna Bhattarai, an undergraduate, currently studying Information Science and Technology(IST) at Penn State Abington. I am originally from Nepal. 

Hobbies: Watching soccer games and Trekking.

What factors motivated you to choose the US over all the other countries that people consider for abroad studies?

I stayed here for college because I was already studying at high school in the U.S.  So, it would be feasible for me to adjust to the culture that I had been exposed to rather than going to a new country and start over again to fit in.

How did you begin your college application?

While I was in high school, I used to attend the Migrant Ed program. Teachers from there used to take us to different college fairs and tours. Through those events, I had the opportunity to learn more about colleges and the admission process. Also, college admission counselors from various schools come to our high school in the U.S to provide information about college admission. By attending those events, it further helped me to learn more about college application processes. Then, I researched colleges that suited me. After that, I took my Standardized test and wrote and proofread my essay during my junior year. During my senior year, I ask my teachers to write a letter of recommendation. After I get those documents, I fill out and submit college applications. Without the help of a teacher from AVID, a program at my high school which prepares us for entrance to college and university by help signing up for SAT, editing personal statements, assisting in filling out a college application, and taking a college tour, the application process can be challenging. However, AVID makes this entire application process or journey smooth through the guidance and support of teachers.

What did you look for in a college/ university when you were shortlisting them or applying to them?

Costs of Attendance, Location, and Campus Size.

How did you obtain information about U.S. colleges and universities? (Mention a few of your sources of information.)

I learned about U.S. colleges and universities through the College Board's website and college tours and fairs.

What attracted you to your college/university?

I was appealed by the suburban setting of campus where I can commute through public transportation. And also, campus size and location attracted me as well.

What are some of the major challenges you encountered while preparing to study in the U.S.?

Initially, language barriers were one of the challenges that I faced for a couple of years when I studied at High School here, and gradually I overcame those hurdles.

What would be your advice to international students who are considering applying to the US school for undergraduate/ graduate programs?

High school grades and Standardized tests may not be enough to get accepted into your dream college. Do participate in extracurricular activities, and volunteer that could strengthen or bolster your college application and could potentially stand out among other students.