My great dream of pursuing my undergraduate degree in the United States began in 2011 when I watched a documentary about an international student who had won a scholarship to study there. Last year, I started looking for all the possible resources to fulfill my dream. I went to the EducationUSA office in my country to ask about programs that could help me study in the United States. The advisors told me about a summer program, and I asked them: How can a summer program help me study in the U.S.? At that moment, I did not imagine that this program would completely change my future.
Hi! My name is Diana Vicezar. I am 18-years-old and I am from a South American country called Paraguay. I just finished high school last year and I’ll be sharing with you my experience of studying in the EducationUSA Academy at Temple University, the summer program that gave me the tools to apply to universities in the United States!
The EducationUSA Academy is a pre-university academic enrichment program for international high school students, which offers specialized content in college preparation, college-level writing workshops, campus visits, and cultural activities. Students gain a privileged perspective on higher education in the United States while having the opportunity to experience and enjoy life on campus. Something really interesting about the program is that it takes place in 15 of the most prestigious universities in the United States.
I decided to apply to the EducationUSA Academy at Temple University, but I did not expect to get selected, because students from my country had never participated before. But to my surprise, after a few weeks I received the acceptance letter from Temple University and became one of the first Paraguayans to be accepted into this program. I could not believe it; I was getting closer and closer to fulfilling my dream of studying in the United States.
Coming from a middle-class family, I knew that I would not be able to afford the total cost of the program. Fortunately, Temple University gave me a partial scholarship and the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay also supported me financially to cover program expenses and flights from my country to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Everything was ready to take my journey towards knowledge.
If you asked me to describe my experience at the Academy, I would divide it into three parts.
1st: The things that I learned. I had a total of 15 days of classes, and in each of them I learned about different important topics that students have to take into account during the application process to universities in the U.S. I had University Experience, Leadership & Team Building classes, Application Process workshops, and TOEFL test preparation. All the teachers were very understanding in each one of the classes. Thanks to the program, I visited other universities near Temple and I also had the opportunity to share classes with university students.
2nd: The best free time activities. Another great thing about the program is that you have fun while you learn. Every day we had recreational activities and tours. Some of them were a bike ride, a baseball game, an ice cream social, a tour around the most important places in New York, and a day at the beach in Ocean City.
3rd: The incredible friends I made. For 3 weeks, I had the opportunity to share with 17 wonderful people. The experience of living with my classmates and chaperones was very enriching, because although we all came from different countries with different cultures and backgrounds, we all had the same dream of studying in the United States.
In conclusion, this program gave me the opportunity to get an inside perspective on higher education in the United States, meet amazing people and have fun during the summer.
My next goal is to study International Relations and Entrepreneurship in the U.S. Thanks to everything I learned in the Academy, I am currently in the process of applying to universities in the United States and I am getting closer and closer to fulfilling my dream.
Attending the EducationUSA Academy at Temple University was definitely the best thing I could have done last summer.
Via blogging for Study in the USA, I want to give advice to other high school students who are thinking about studying in the U.S.
Tips like this one: Studying in the United States is a rewarding experience that you will always remember. If your dream is to study in the U.S., look for all the programs that can help you, believe in yourself, and never give up!
Diana Vicezar is from Paraguay and studied for a summer in the EducationUSA Academy at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.