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NACAC International Admission 2023International Colleges

Guide to International College Admissions

NACAC International Admission 2023

Trusted Source Advisor GuideAdvise on Applying to Universities in Another Country

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SAMPLE of educational systems and college programs:


Canadian Flag

Canadian Government    or

Study in Canada


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United Kingdom

University of Bristol


UC DUBLINhttps://www.ucd.ie/global/study-at-ucd/

The American University of Rome https://aur.edu/admissions-process

university of andrews




  • A centralized service that students use to apply to all universities in all four nations of the United Kingdom
  • Direct application to universities is rare in the UK, but possible at some
  • Up to five courses (majors/programs) from up to five universities can be chosen
  • There’s no order of preference and the universities/colleges won’t see where else students have applied until after any offers made are replied to
  • There is no Early Action or Early Decision process/system in the UK
  • The full application fee (up to five course choices) for 2023 is £27 ≈ $33. If a student makes just one course choice at one university (i.e. they are certain they will be accepted to that course) the fee is £22.50 ≈ $28
  • No upload feature for documents – these are sent in (or are sent in by the relevant body such as College Board) when a university directly requests them


  • Course/programme = major
  • Qualifications = academic achievements such as standardised test scores (e.g. AP exams), High School GPA, High School diploma classes and grades, SAT/ACT scores, Associates Degree etc
  • Referee = counselor/teacher providing reference
  • Faculty = group of academic departments/schools

BUZZWORDSWhat is a Buzzword? How do I find mine so I can start my undergraduate application?Once you have registered, completed the onboarding steps and created your UCAS Hub account, if you select that you are applying through a school or college, the platform will prompt you to add a “Buzzword” to allow you to start your application. Buzzwords are only possessed by registered UCAS Centres, most of which are in the UK. Your school may be a UCAS Centre, in which case your advisor/college counselor will know about it as they’ll have gone through the registration process at some point and they can give you the Buzzword. Most U.S. schools do not have a buzzword since they are not UCAS Centres. It is okay to bypass this section by hitting “Cancel” and you can proceed with the application just fine.EDUCATION SECTIONWhat is my ULN?Unless you are studying in the UK (minus Scotland) you will not have one – leave this blank.What is the highest level of qualification I expect to have before starting my course?If you are a current high school student, have graduated from high school, are currently at community college or have an Associate’s Degree, you should indicate “Below honours degree level qualifications”. In the UK, most Bachelors/first degrees are also known as an Honours level degree. So unless you already have a Bachelors degree or higher (or will have by the summer before you intend to start university), you should indicate the second option. You should not choose “I will have no qualifications” (unless this really is the case) as this basically means that you have not attended school, have not achieved, and do not intend to achieve, any formal academic qualifications.How should I fill out my places of education & qualifications?First, it is very important to fill in as much education history as possible. Typically, a U.S. high school will not come up as an autocomplete option when you start to write its name to add a place of education. If it does, great! If not, simply type in your high school name and add it manually.Do I, or will I, have any qualifications from this centre?YES! A qualification means any and all of your educational achievements/accolades. This includes but is not restricted to: US High School diploma with associated classes and their grades; International Baccalaureate classes and grades; standardised test scores (AP Subject exams, SAT Subject Tests); college level courses; ACT and SAT scores; Associate’s degree; Bachelor’s Degree etcHow do I add, for example, my High School Diploma?It is called USA-High School Graduation Diploma in UCAS. You will add this under your high school and you must search for your qualification:If you are graduating in the future, you will enter the future date and “Pending” in this section as the Grade. This will allow you to mark the section as complete.Should I add each module (class) I took?Yes! It is important to be as detailed as possible while adding your classes. Be sure to add all AP, Honors, and advanced/college level classes. Example below:An example of what it will look likeContinue to add your qualifications accordingly, which may include; AP tests, SAT/ACT, and College Level Coursework. Again, you must search for these qualifications – it helps to type in USA in the search bar. How do I add Pending scores?Let’s take a look at adding your AP History Pending Test Score. See below, enter the month and year you will receive your test score – July, 2023. Your grade will be marked as Pending. What if I’ve taken College courses at community college or a university but did not receive a degree?To add Community College Coursework or additional units you’ve taken outside of your high school at a local college/university if you did not graduate with a full degree or Associates Degree, you will add your credits under Other (International Non-EU Qualifications). Add each class as a qualification to the university or community college. What does it mean to be part-time versus full-time?When you attend 2 or 3 different institutions across the 4 years you are in high school, you will need to list institutions as either full-time or part-time. You can’t be full-time at 2 institutions, you can only be full-time at 1 institution. NATIONALITY SECTIONWhat does my “date of first entry to UK” mean?This is confusing! Since you do not live in the UK, and as it doesn’t refer to any prior visits or vacations to the UK, what is actually required is your date of entry into the UK for your forthcoming degree studies. You should put this as the first day of the next academic year, in the UK format: 01-09-2024 (that is, September 1st 2024)Do I need a student visa?If you do not have a UK or Irish passport, or in some other very specific cases, you will need a UK Student visa to study here for courses more than six months in duration.What if I don’t have a passport & I’m asked for my passport number?If you don’t have a passport currently, indicate “no.” It is okay to indicate “no” at this time, just be sure to look into getting a passport as soon as possible, as it can take at least three months to receive it in the mail. If you do have a passport, indicate “yes.” It will then prompt you to insert your passport number accordingly.PERSONAL STATEMENTWhat should I write in my personal statement, should I focus on anything in particular?

  • Overall, your statement should show your true passion for the particular subject(s) you are applying for and how you have and will demonstrate your passion
  • Remember you have extensively filled in your Education and Qualifications information elsewhere in the application so you don’t need to mention them here – especially as you have a limited amount of characters to use (4000, which includes punctuation and spaces)
  • You should showcase any relevant achievements outside of the classroom, extra curriculars etc but always relate things to the subject area to which you are applying. This is the major point where UK and US college applications differ and you want to show the reader that you’ve put some background research in and you know this! As you are not applying for the university as a whole, or even one faculty, there is much less emphasis on your “journey” or struggles you have had and much more on what will make you a good student on the specific course area you have applied to study

REFERENCEDoes my reference need to be in before I can submit my application?Yes! This is almost always the part that slows things down and is a great reason why you should not wait until the last minute to complete and submit your UCAS application. If you have done all the rest of the application i.e. everything you as a student are responsible for, then you do have to wait for the referee to complete their reference before your application is submitted to your chosen universities. It is good practice to tell your referee you have put their name and email address in the application and that they should look out for communication coming from UCAS any day.What should I expect from the reference and how should my referee write their recommendation?A UCAS reference is equivalent to a U.S. letter of recommendation. There are a couple of areas to highlight as reference below:

  • Official UCAS insight on your reference
  • Advice for Referees – how and what to write in a UCAS Reference
  • Here’s an overview, so you know what to discuss with your referee:  a. It might include your career goals and work experience – so talk these through with them first – as well as how well you’ve done in specific modules or course componentsb. If your referee is one of your teachers, they can add your predicted grades for any pending qualifications you’re studying nowc. With your permission the reference could include circumstances that have affected your academic work or achievements, such as a personal problem, illness, or any individual needs you have. This may include any adverse impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on your studies or assessments due to illness, personal circumstances, or challenges with learning at home

Note for all referees: the system will time out after 35 minutes, so we recommend to write the reference offline and copy it into the UCAS platform, or remember to continually save your reference so it does not disappear after timing out. ​What are predicted grades? A predicted grade is the grade of a currently unfinished qualification your school or college believes you’re likely to achieve in positive circumstances.These predicted grades are then used by universities and colleges, as part of the admissions process, to help them understand an applicant’s potential.UCAS guidance on predicted gradesNote – be sure that these grades are in fact pending (currently unfinished) and that all qualifications in your education history have been clearly labelled complete or pending.Other Helpful Notes – DifferencesI’VE SUBMITTED – What happens now?Once I submit, should I send my test scores and academic transcripts?Not necessarily at this point, but you can if you have them handy and you believe they add clarity to your application. The university admissions team will ask for your supporting documents, full test score reports, high school transcripts etc once they have processed your UCAS application. Any enquiries can be directed to the our undergraduate admissions team Acceptance: Conditional vs Unconditional?If you are still finishing high school or community college in 2022-23 or have test scores in progress, you may receive a conditional offer until you fully finish your degree. Once you’ve sent in all remaining documents and have scored accordingly on your test scores, you will receive an unconditional offer. The information above was provided by University of York, United KingdomGENERAL UCAS GUIDANCEFILLING IN YOUR UCAS UNDERGRADUATE APPLICATIONhttps://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/filling-your-ucas-undergraduate-application