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I would like to get some advice. I don't really know what my next steps should be.

I was born in Massachusetts but I moved to Brazil a long time ago so I've been studying here ever since. I went back last year, because I wanted to finish High School there but, due corona virus my family thought it was better if I came home, so I did. I am currently a junior in High School and I am wondering if I should finish school here or try going back, or just get a GED. I also don't know if I should start reaching out to colleges or just wait (I am scared of being too late eventually though). Only thing that I am pretty sure of is that I wanna get my college degree in the US. college high-school

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Leticia’s Answer

Hello. I am also from Brazil and went to high school and college there. I eventually moved to the United States for my Masters Degree and have been living here for about 20 years.

My suggestion would be for you to finish high school in Brazil if that is where you are living right now. When you eventually apply to college in the United States, your experience living and studying abroad will be something important for you to highlight in your application.

And about researching colleges, I think that is definitely something you could do at any time. In fact, it is always good to know what your options are so when you are ready, you can start the application process.

However, I wanted to point out that it is never too late to go start your college journey.

Good luck with your next steps!

Leticia recommends the following next steps:

Finish high school in Brazil if you can and you will be there for the 2022 academic year.
Keep track of your experiences in Brazil that you think would be important to highlight in your college application. This will set you apart from other applicants!
Start researching colleges in the United States based on your interests. This information will come in handy when you are ready to apply for college.
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Rahat’s Answer

Alyssa,

As a junior, you are likely in your last year of 'figuring things out' before applying to colleges. In the next coming year, you will need to take the SAT. However, the college you might be applying to could have waived the SAT requirement for the upcoming cycle. Fall of your senior year you will need to start applying to colleges. Application deadline is usually mid December (of the year prior to the start of college). Now on to your situation.

Like Kim, I am confused on whether you are in the US or in Brazil. It will be more difficult to apply from a Brazil HS to a US college. Acceptance for students who study internationally are pretty competitive; however, you have an interesting story to show for your personal statement.

Will your parents allow you to study in the US for HS? If so, it is best to attend a HS. COVID has just made HS virtual, it has not made attending impossible. Further, GED programs will likely be virtual. Although they both have the same result, and it is said that they are not treated differently, I believe having a solid HS diploma will advance your chances of getting into a US college.

Another really good option is either attend US HS or get a GED and go straight to a community college. This will give you two years to complete basic classes and then you can transfer out to a US university. It will take the same amount of years and will likely cost less than attending a four year university right out of college.
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Kim’s Answer

Alyssa,

I am confused! Are you in the US or in Brazil? Will your parents allow you to go to school in either place?

If you are thinking about finishing in Brazil, but want to go to college in the US, you need to find out if the Brazil HS diploma is accepted in the US, and, if it is "respected." (That is, truly treated as a US equivalent.) As for the GED, I've heard for many years that it is treated the same as a HS diploma, but, I have seen times when it was not. So again, you need to find out how the schools you want to go to will treat it.

What do you plan on majoring in ? A GED is no substitute for a solid HS background in math and science. If you get the GED, you may find yourself struggling in college, and possibly having to take non-accredited Remedial classes. I strongly advise against the GED.

If you decide against your parents wishes, this could cause them to not want to help you financially through college. I don't know your family dynamics. So, before presenting them with a decision that they may not be too happy about, I'd do my research and be able to explain why the option I am choosing is better, professionally and academically, not just "because I want to."

You could possibly reach out to the Admissions offices of a few of the colleges on your short list, and see how they would treat a diploma from Brazil.

Hope this helps a little!
Kim

Useful advice for Alyssa -- I also suggest reaching out the HS you were attending while in the US and ask someone there. Also, being fluent in English is important for both the college application and going to a US college - so where (US / Brazil) is best for this? David Schnepper

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Alyssa! From what I understood, you went back to the U.S. but returned to Brazil because of COVID and now want to go back? I just wanted to be sure; if that is the case, first I would recommend to sit down and discuss with your family. I think whatever advice you receive it's important to first of all have your family in the know about everything. After that, I would recommend to finish high school, whether in Brazil or the U.S. A GED may be difficult for your future because being more immersed in the high school curriculum can be helpful for your future in college; also you were already enrolled in school before and you are close to finishing so I would recommend to finish your courses in a school. You are not too late though, you have plenty of time; I think a lot of people are being delayed in there goals because of COVID so please do not feel this way. I think the best thing you can do is to speak with your parents and see what they think, maybe they can give you support and more direction as well. If you plan to go to college in the U.S. especially since you were born in Massachusetts , I think this is definitely an option. A lot of schools are online now, so maybe reach out to the guidance counselor who was at your high school in the U.S. and explain your situation; maybe you can complete the rest of the year remotely in Brazil and then return senior year. Are you currently in school now? Please don't stress, times are difficult now but it seems you are taking initiative and that is helpful! Keep us in the know here at CareerVillage and hopefully we can offer more advice!

I truly with you the best!
I hope this helps!
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Simeon’s Answer

You'll definitely want to get your GDE for work in the states. It'll be hard to get a lot of jobs without it unless you can work your way around it with a certification of some sort or by trying to start a business. Even with taking those paths, you'd be well advised to get your GDE eventually anyway.
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Walter’s Answer

Alyssa,

First off - you are not too early or too late. As a Junior this is a good time to talk with your parents and your school guidance counselor about your plans for college. It is also a good time to learn as much as you can about the admissions requirements and processes at colleges where you think you may want to attend.

I also wouldn't worry too much about where you finish high school - just do the best you can wherever you are. From my own experience, I went to four different high schools in 3 different countries. That didn't stop me from getting 2 degrees or hinder me from starting a 3rd one last year. The important thing to focus on is how your personal experiences helped strengthen your character and abilities. Your story is a unique one - be proud of yourself and what you've accomplished.

Once you have some good ideas about colleges and are confident in your own story, you can start thinking about how you will finance your education, practicing essay writing, and working on your interview skills. And above all, don't forget to enjoy yourself.
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