How to study in the United States as a Foreign Student
So you want to study at a university in the United States, but you are a citizen of another country. Students from countries such as Korea, Japan, China, India, and others regularly study in the United States by obtaining a visa from a school that is authorized to issue I-20 visas. I-20 visas are what allow foreign students to study in the United States legally.
One question to consider early on is whether you wish to apply to a United States university directly from the high school in your country, or whether you wish to attend a college preparatory (high school) in the United States. A major benefit of attending college prep in the United States is that they often already have built strong relationships with the university you wish to attend. For example, the University of California system, in many cases, has already pre-approved transferrable courses at high schools accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges). Such high schools are already familiar with the admission requirements of various universities, as well.
When looking at high schools in the United States, you should make sure that their affiliations connect them with top tier universities. But more importantly, you need to make sure that the high school you are considering is authorized to issue I-20 visas to foreign students.
Becoming authorized to issue I-20 visas to foreign students is a process managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It requires a lengthy review of the school petitioning for approval, so be sure the school you are considering has already obtained this approval before spending much time on their application process.
Spending an extra four years at a United States private college prep school, can pay off big time when it comes to getting into top Universities.