A note from our International Students:
Are you thinking about joining Dickinson and contributing to the diverse culture with a large number of international students? Or maybe you already received an offer but you are not sure if Dickinson is the right school for you? We understand that selection a college is a big decision, and it is even more challenging for a student like you who is moving from another country. While you may be considering whether to become a Dickinson student, we would like to help you in your decision and tell you why international students enjoy their experience here at Dickinson!
Why I Chose Dickinson
What distinguishes Dickinson?
Dickinson promotes diversity in many ways. Our student body consists of international students from many countries like China, Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, England, Bulgaria, Japan, and many others which means that you will not be alone. These students all overcame the same transition from their home country to the United States and they will always be able to help you during your first steps at Dickinson. Dickinson has also cross-cultural degree requirements, which encourage students to take courses in diversity and, thus, make them aware of cultural differences. So there will definitely be an American student who would love to meet you and hear about your experience and your background. Furthermore, Dickinson College encourages students to take a semester or two to study abroad. Study Abroad Program at Dickinson is very broad and most Dickinson students study abroad in their junior year. These are just a few reasons why you should consider becoming an international student at Dickinson!
What scores do I need to have to be accepted to Dickinson?
There are no score limits which decide about accepting you or not. You might see websites, such as CollegeBoard.com, that sum up the college requirements, but there are many exceptions and not all the students get 650 in SAT Reading, for example. The American education system is unique in that Admissions will look at more than just your scores and see how you overcome stress during tests, but it also looks at you as a person. Applications include a personal essay, a supplemental essay, TOEFL English Language Proficiency test, list of extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. An application can tell a lot about you and your personality. And Dickinson looks for people with not only knowledge, but also personality. Learn more at Admissions.
“In order to make you a good candidate for a college, you should excel in many areas, not only academic, throughout high school. Get involved in school activities and outside so you have experience to tell about. But don’t do too much if you can’t keep track of your academic performance at once, because it won’t look good on your application. You should show that not only you are a good student but also you have time to develop your interests, get involved in social life at your school and help others. Take your time writing your personal essay and your application since they serve to create a picture of you for the Admissions Office.” –International Student, sophomore
What if I am international student from a country that is not represented in the Dickinson student body?
Don’t worry! You would be unique and interesting to people that haven’t met anyone from your country. All international students help each other – not only those from the same country. You may find that you will make more American friends, because you would not spend time with only people from your country. Even if there is no student currently at Dickinson who comes from your country, you should absolutely consider applying!
“I am Vietnamese but I was born in Poland. There was and still is no student from Poland at Dickinson. I know Vietnamese but I never had friends from Vietnam. However, I found it easy to make friends with many other international students at first and then make friends with people from my dorm. I was happy that I didn’t have anyone from Poland since if I had, I’d probably talk to them in Polish all the time and my experience wouldn’t be so interesting as it is now.” –International Student, sophomore
Does Dickinson offer financial aid for international students?
Yes. Dickinson is a private college, so it offers financial aid and grants to both American and international students.
I never studied in an English speaking environment; will I struggle in class?
If you receive an offer of admission from Dickinson, it means Dickinson believes you are appropriate for the program here. Your TOEFL scores, SAT Exams, and your application as a whole, indicate your English language level and academic skills. It might be challenging for you at the beginning to understand what professors or other classmates say, but that’s okay. It’s a great experience to learn more than you already know and put all of your language knowledge to practice – you will learn the language much faster than you think! Don’t be scared- your professor will understand that you may struggle at the beginning.
Where can I work on campus?
F-1 students are allowed to work only on campus. As a first-year student, you can apply to work in Dining Services: the dining hall, Union Station, or the Quarry. In considering where to work, you should think about whether you want to work in a smaller place (Union Station or the Quarry) or in a larger place (the dining hall). The dining hall includes refilling food and drinks, re-stacking plates, cleaning up the tables etc., while at the Union Station or the Quarry you may make sandwiches or working at the grill, in addition to cleaning up the tables and refilling empty food and drink items.
In the second year you will be able to apply to different but more competitive positions, so watch for job offers posted in the Compass (Dickinson weekly newsletter).
What is International Student Orientation?
International Student Orientation is a time for students to become familiar with campus before the big orientation starts. During this orientation, international students are able to meet each other in a smaller setting, visit the campus, and overcome jet lag. Orientation includes meetings about basic information upon arrival, as well as organizes events in which students can get together in smaller groups and get to know each other better. Even though it can be a really tiring time, because there is a lot of information to absorb, it is a great opportunity to get accustomed to campus and make new friends before other 2,400 students move in. You will also have International Student Orientation Assistants (some of them are also international students) who will be there to help you – talk to them, they are very approachable people and they will be more than happy to answer your questions! This is a great way to get to know students who have been at Dickinson for more than a year, because when you have a question you will be able to talk to them even after the Orientation. Enjoy your time during Orientation and try to rest as much as you can. If you are tired, other people will become tired too, and we need a lot of energy during orientation to make it as exciting as we can!
If you have more questions, contact International Services or ask an international student.