What is a Pathway Program for International Students?
When international students decide to study abroad in the United States, they may face many challenges. Not only do they have to their homes, families, friends and cultures, but often times, international students also have to leave their native language behind and learn English. Almost every United States school and program requires international students to submit proof of their English proficiency by submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score. The TOEFL and IELTS measure English proficiency for international students. Many United States schools and programs have minimum English proficiency score requirements for admission. However, some international students may not be able to meet those minimum English proficiency scores. That is where pathway programs come in.
What are Pathways?
Pathway programs are offered by many schools for international students who need to improve their English proficiency skills. Oftentimes, pathway programs are offered as a conditional admission. International student may also opt to complete a pathway program on their own before fully committing to studying in the United States, sort of like a test run.
Pathway programs often combine English language courses and courses that will count towards your degree. There may also be courses offered to help international students feel comfortable with United States culture and living in the United States. These programs typically last about a year. If you apply to a program, and your English proficiency scores do not meet the required minimum, that school may offer you conditional admission upon the completion of a pathway program. In other words, the school will accept you into the program, as long as you successfully complete the program. Please note that some schools may further condition the admission on you achieving a certain GPA upon completion of the pathway program.
It is important to note whether your program/school is offering you a conditional admission. The school/program may require or suggest that you complete a pathway program before they fully admit you to the school, but that does not, however, guarantee your admission upon completion of that school’s pathway program, or a different pathway program. For example, a school may tell you that if you successfully complete a pathway program, your chances of admission will be higher. Make sure that you are clear on what the school or program is telling you about the pathway program.
If the school or program that you are applying to does not offer a pathway program, there are many pathway programs out there for international students to help their chances of admission. These programs may or may not be associated with a university. Nonetheless, the main point of the programs is the same – to help international students build their English proficiency skills and help international students get used to studying abroad in the United States. If you choose to complete a standalone pathway program, please make sure to perform enough research so that you know you are not only completing the program that best fits your needs, but will also help increase your chance of admission at your desired school or program.
Please note that even if you do get accepted into a pathway program, this does not guarantee that a visa officer will grant the visa. Most of the time, it may depend on the country that you are from. For example, Indian international students often face difficulties receiving the necessary visa to get accepted into pathway programs.
Let Nomad Credit Help You with Admissions
Applications to United States universities can be extremely stressful and difficult, as well as deciding if you should complete a pathway program or not. Nomad Credit can help you determine a potential fit for you and potentially expedite the admissions process so that you can get a speedy decision – all at no additional cost to you. Services that we provide include profile evaluation, application essay editing and revision, and express document shipping. Please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.