Sunday, November 25, 2012

AmericanAmanda goes to Norway!

Meeting Ambassador White
Speaking about US life
Hey everyone! I just spent the last week in Norway talking to Norwegian students about high school life in America and the US college application process. My first stop was Oslo where I visited three high schools to talk about my life as a US high school student. At night I gave an International Education Seminar about applying to US colleges at the US embassy. I also had a nice meeting with Ambassador White, the US Ambassador to Norway. 
Giving a college application seminar
Then I traveled to Ă…lesund and went to three more high schools and held another Education Seminar. I absolutely loved meeting all the norwegian students and listening to their great questions about life in the United States and applying to colleges! 

If you saw one of my presentations and you read my blog make sure to leave a comment and I will reply to you!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Incredible Interviews

Hey Everyone! In addition to reading all about you through your high school transcript, your list of extracurricular activities, your recommendations, and your personal essays, many private colleges offer personal interviews as another way to learn about whether you would be a good fit at their school.  These interviews are sometimes held at the admission office at the school, but since there isn’t time or resources to interview all applicants that way, most interviews are done by alumni of the school that live all around the country.  That way, applicants can have an interview in the town where they live and don’t have to travel to the school.  The alumni are familiar with the school and will let the admissions office know if they think you will be a good fit for the school after the interview. 

The college interview probably isn't the most important part of your application, but it can help you if you make a good impression. A bad impression may hurt your chances of getting accepted.  An interview is also an important way to let you ask questions about the college and make sure it has everything you are looking for as well.

Before a college interview it is important to prepare like you would for any interview.  Here are some tips:
  1. Research the school- so you can be informed when answering questions 
  2. Think about your responses- to common interview questions-so you can be prepared
  3. Give complete answers - don’t just answer “yew” or “no” to questions.  They want to know as much about you as they can.
  4. Dress neatly- it shows you care about the interview and want to make a good impression
  5. Show interest- by asking questions about the school (that are well thought out and not easily found on the website.)   They want to know that you want to go to their school.
  6. Don’t bring your parents into the room – talk with the interviewer by yourself, that way your parents won’t answer the questions for you.
Check out some common questions asked in college interviews by clicking here!

How do you feel about college interviews? Are you confident in your interviewing skills? Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rock the Vote!

Hey everyone! This Tuesday my friends and I will take a break from our college applications to follow the 2012 Election.  Republican Mitt Romney is challenging the current President Barack Obama, and the polls show it will be a very close election to determine who will be our next President.  Both parties have differing opinions on alot of policies, so there could be some changes depending on who wins on Tuesday.
In addition to electing the President and other national positions like the representatives of Congress, voters will be deciding on many state and local propositions as well. In the US funding for the public schools and universities is provided by each state, and several of the 2012 propositions for California will affect the amount of money our state will be able to give to its schools.  Because of a tight state budget California has had to cut the funding for its public schools over the last few years, which raises the tuition students have to pay to attend the public universities.   So many students are particularly interested in the election results this year.
To be able to vote in an election is the US, you must be 18 years of age and be registered to vote in the County that you are currently living in.  It’s important to get the word out to high school seniors that when they turn 18 they need to register to vote and then remember to reregister if they move for college or a job to a different county.  There are several websites, like and , that are doing a great job in encouraging young voters to register, get involved, and vote!  Most universities and many high schools have Young Republican or Young Democrat clubs that students have put together who are excited about politics.
Credit for President Obama’s victory in 2008 is often given partly to the 18-29 year old demographic, which provided then-Senator Obama with 66% support over the Republican candidate.  It will be exciting to see whether that will be the case in 2012 or if things have changed.
I am still 17 so won’t be able to vote on Tuesday, but many of my friends who have turned 18 will be going to the polls for the first time! We will all be following the election results Tuesday night.
Check out these videos by young American celebrities encouraging young people to go out and vote!
Who would you vote for in the election? Would you exercise your right to vote? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Being 1st for the 1st

Hey everyone! Happy November 1st!  Many high school seniors are happy today (or they will be at midnight when they finish their application) because today is one of the big deadlines for college applications.  November 1st is the most common date for “early” applications.  One great thing about applying “early” to a college is that they will give you their decision in mid December, months before the “regular” decisions are made. While many private and some public universities offer this option, some say you may only apply to one school “early”, so it’s important to choose wisely! I have already finished and submitted my “early” application this week, so I am very happy today!  Many of my friends will be up late tonight finishing up theirs.  Hopefully they will click “submit” on their computer before midnight!
The private school I applied to “early” accepted the Common Application, which is also accepted by almost 500 other private schools in the U.S.  The Common App required me to include information about myself, my school and my family.  I listed all my extracurricular activities in order of importance to me, and the time I spent on each one during high school.   I asked two of my teachers and my principal to write recommendations, and they sent these all directly to my Common App file.  I also sent in my official school transcript that listed all my classes and the GPA (grade point average) I had achieved during high school.  I ordered my test scores from the SAT and ACT testing boards and these where sent directly to the school.  Finally, I wrote two essays that will be included in my Common Application file.  Most schools have one or two essays and some questions that are specific to their school in addition to all this Common App information, but most of the information is shared by all schools.  Now that my Common Application is finished, I will have much less work when I go to submit the final application for the other schools!
How did you spend your November 1st? How are your college applications coming? Let me know in the comments!