Choosing the best universities and colleges in the United States for you and preparing successful applications will require commitment and careful planning on your part. The EducationUSA Advisor understands your needs and can help you.
We have directories, guides, college catalogs, and admissions test information and preparation materials. We also provide introductory information through group presentations at the U.S. Embassy and other locations in Cameroon, and online. For a list of scheduled educational advising programs, please visit the Educational Advising section of U.S. Embassy Yaounde’s webpage.
How Do I Qualify for University in the U.S.?
- You must have completed your GCE A Level or Baccalaureat before starting studies in the U.S.
- You must show that you can pay for your studies in the U.S. On average, international students pay between $16,000 and $45,500 per year for tuition, fees, books and living expenses. The majority of international students rely on funds from their family to pay for their education.
- Demonstrate adequate preparation for university studies in English. Take challenging courses in a variety of subjects and earn good grades. Many schools also require Cameroonian students to take the TOEFL or IELTS to measure their proficiency in English.
When Should I Start the Application Process?
We advise students to start the process a year in advance. A year provides sufficient time to establish your education plan, determine your requirements, research schools, take necessary admissions tests, and adequately prepare applications.
Where Can I Find Information on Standardized Tests?
Educational Advising webpage links to the official websites for the various admissions tests. You will also find an overview of the various tests and instructions on how to complete the registration forms for the GRE on the Educational Advising Center’s webpage under “Additional Information.”
Where can I find information on standardized tests?
We advise students to apply to more than one school or to at least compare the school they are interested in to other schools in the U.S. For more information on the application process, please see the various documents located on the Educational Advising webpage under “Additional Information.”
How Do I Prepare for the Standardized Tests?
Free and for-pay test preparation materials are available online. Students can also use the test preparation books, DVDS, and CD Roms available in the Information Resource Center. The EducationUSA Advising Center also sells a limited number of test preparation books.
Which Universities and Colleges Should I Apply To?
There are over 4,900 accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Although there are slight differences between a college and a university, the two terms are used interchangeably. It can be overwhelming to narrow down the list of accredited schools to 5–10 schools where you would like to apply. You need to determine what is important to you in a college and let those criteria guide your search. When looking for a good fit, you may want to consider size, location, cost, financial assistance, social atmosphere, and your academic background. For more information on choosing universities and colleges that are a good fit for you, please visit the Educational Advising Center’s webpage and read the document General Handout Studying in the United Statesunder “Additional Information.” Our Guide to Accreditationof universities and colleges in the U.S. is also available.
How Much Does It Cost to Study in the U.S.?
On average, international students pay between $16,000 and $46,500 U.S. dollars for tuition and living expenses for an academic year in the United States. A year before you intend to study in the U.S., you should consult your parents to find out how much money they can commit each year toward your education, find schools that provide financial assistance to international students, and consider ways to reduce your educational costs.
Are There Scholarships Available for International Students?
Some U.S. universities and colleges do offer financial aid to international students, but the search for scholarships requires a lot of time, energy, and effort on the part of the student.
- In our experience, it is rare for students with mostly C grades or a total score of less than 12 on their baccalaureat to get admission with full funding, but bear in mind that it is not completely impossible. Students can be attractive and compelling to admissions committees in a wide range of ways.
- For more information about financing your education, please see the “Additional Information” section of the Educational Advising webpage. There are separate documents for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Also read the EducationUSA Weekly Updates located on the Educational Advising webpage for information about U.S. universities, programs of study, scholarship and fellowship opportunities.
How Do I Prepare for my Student Visa Interview?
After you receive your admissions letter and Form I-20, you can pay the SEVIS fee, complete the online visa application form (Form DS-160), and make an appointment for an interview. Information on how to pay the SEVIS fee in Cameroon is provided under the “Additional Information” section of the Educational Advising webpage. For more information about the student visa application process, go to U.S. Embassy Yaounde’s webpage and click on “Non-Immigrant Visas” under the “Visas” tab.
To receive a visa, you must be able to convince the interviewing officer that your purpose for going to the U.S. is to study, you have legitimate means of paying for your education, and that you plan to leave the U.S. after completing your studies.
As a serious student, you should be able to explain why you want to study in the U.S., and why you want to attend the school listed on your Form I-20. Your educational plan and career goals should be logical, well thought out, and make sense given your academic background and financial resources. Also, a typical student going to university for the first time has completed his/her secondary education within two years of starting a university education. If you have been out of school for awhile, you should also be able to explain to the interviewing officer why you have taken a break from your studies and why you want to return to school now in the U.S.
At the time of the visa interview, you should have access (usually a reputable bank account) to enough money to cover the cost of studying in the U.S. for the first year. The funds indicated on the bank statement should be consistent with the funds actually in the account and for the purpose of paying for educational costs. In addition, you must be able to explain how you intend to obtain funds to pay for all the subsequent years of education. The interviewing officer needs assurances that you will not drop out of school or take a job illegally. If someone other than you and your parents are paying for your education, you should explain your special relationship with this person that justifies a commitment of thousands of dollars toward your education.
Consular officers consider all applicants for student visas as intending to remain in the U.S. permanently. You must convince the consular officer that you are not an intending immigrant. Overall, you must be able to show that your reasons for returning to Cameroon are stronger than those for remaining in the U.S. You must demonstrate sufficient economic, family, and social ties to Cameroon to ensure that your stay in the U.S. will be temporary. Economic ties include your family’s economic position, property you own or stand to inherit, and your own economic potential when you come home with a U.S. education. The consular officer will be impressed to see evidence of your career planning and your knowledge of the local employment scene. For family and social ties, the consular officer may ask how many close family members live in Cameroon, compared to those living in the U.S., and what community or school activities have you participated in that demonstrate a sincere connection to Cameroon.
What Do I Do If I Have Been Denied a Student Visa?
If your application is refused, the consular officer is required to give you a written explanation. However, this is often a standardized reply and is unlikely to go into the details of your specific case. You can apply again, but if you do reapply, make sure to prepare carefully. The consular officer will need to see fresh evidence sufficient to overcome the reasons for the first denial. If you have given careful thought to your educational plan and it connects logically to your career plans, you will find the visa interview to be an opportunity to prove you are ready to take the next big step in your education and your life: studying at a university in the United States.
If you have been denied more than once, then this may not be the right school for you or the right time for you to study in the United States. We advise you to re-evaluate your educational plan and goals, and finances. The EducationUSA Advisor is here to help you, but you must be willing to start with a clean slate, selecting schools that best fit your needs and taking a full year to make your plan work.
How Can I Prepare for Living and Studying in the U.S.?
Congratulations on gaining admission to a U.S. university or college, and obtaining your student visa. The EducationUSA Advisor can provide you with important information to help you prepare, with guidance on what you will need during your trip to the U.S., and advice on aspects of everyday life as an international student in the U.S. The more you prepare, the easier your transition will be, and the more you will benefit from your time in the U.S.
- The U.S. Embassy hosts a Pre-Departure Orientation in June every year. Check the Schedule of Events for an announcement.
- Visit EdUSA Connects for a list of upcoming live sessions and to access transcripts and video presentations from past sessions on pre-departure, campus life and U.S. classroom culture.
- Stop by the Educational Advising Center to pick up a free copy of EducationUSA’s If You Want to Study in the United States, Book 4: Getting ready to go. You can also download the book for free from EducationUSA’s website.
What Information is Available at the U.S. Embassy?
The EducationUSA Advisor holds regular brief presentations on the benefits of studying at universities and colleges in the United States, the application process, and the resources and services provided by the EducationUSA Advising Center and American Center. Students and parents are welcome to attend. The presentations are in English. To register for educational advising programs taking place at the U.S. Embassy, please visit the Educational Advising section of U.S. Embassy Yaounde’s webpage.
EducationUSA Cameroonian Student Achievers Club (CAMSAC). CAMSAC is a U.S. Embassy sponsored student organization that assists academically achieving students to have an improved chance at admissions to a U.S. university. CAMSAC is open to all students in Yaounde. For more information, please visit the CAMSAC information webpage.
The Educational Advising Center is located within the American Center (AC) at the U.S. Embassy. We have over 250 books to help you research schools, fields of studies, and scholarship opportunities; prepare for admissions tests; and get ready to go to the U.S. and succeed as an international student. Please visit the AC’s webpage for information on how to enter.
What if I Cannot Get to the U.S. Embassy?
- The American Corners in Buea and Garoua have educational advising materials.
- The Educational Advising Center also sends educational advising materials to organizations that work with young people, such as the American Language Centers in Yaounde and Douala, LUKMEF, Bertoua Linguistic Centre, and various secondary schools and universities.
There is also a great deal of information on the internet.
- For general information in French and English on studying in the U.S., visit www.EducationUSA.info.
- EdUSA offers live online webchats about study options in the United States, admissions requirements, financing your studies, applying for a student visa, and getting ready to go. Experts from the field will answer questions and offer invaluable insight on understanding the complexity of the U.S. higher education system and how you can find the colleges and universities that are best suited to meet your needs.
- Study in the States is a clearinghouse of information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help international students through the admission process. On this website, you’ll find up-to-the-minute news and information related to nonimmigrant international students, as well as detailed information on pertinent topics such as maintaining student visa status.