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I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Old Apr 15th 2019, 6:43 pm
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Default I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

As the title states, I'm currently 15 years old and will be soon moving to America. My parents unfortunately do not tell me a lot, but I'll try and sum up as much as I know. I'd appreciate if anyone could help me with my concerns and also post their experiences if they've done something similar.

My family are planning to move at around August 2019, where I'll be 16 and will have completed my GCSE's. I will have a non immigrant visa (green card) as well. From what I understand, I'll be a freshman in 11th grade and will be doing my SATs and AP/IB courses. The US education system is something I'm quite unaware of, and I'm not really sure what I'll be doing when I start school, should I take AP or IB courses? Will I have to do any subjects not previously done before? Is there also a way to transcribe my GCSE grades for anything, I heard I need a certain amount of credits to graduate? In addition to this, what courses should I be taking? I am quite an academic student and will be predicted 9s (A**) for Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and my desired career path would be somewhere in engineering or computer science. I'd also like the option to return back to the UK to go to University, so I'd like this to factor into that question.

A big concern I have, is that if I'd like to return back to the UK for University (I'll still have my British Passport/Citizenship), will I be eligible for a UK student loan considering I wouldn't have left the country for more than 3 years. How would I initiate this process, and how would I even apply for British Universities from America? In addition to this, are student loans without a scholarship in America really bad as what I've heard? I don't think I'll be eligible for any extra financial aid?

Any responses would be hugely appreciated, I've tried to research so much about this, but there's very little to find on the internet for someone in my position. By the way, I'll be moving to Baltimore, Maryland.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

You mention non-immigrant visa and green card in the same sentence. They are two different things. What visa are your parents getting?

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Old Apr 15th 2019, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
You mention non-immigrant visa and green card in the same sentence. They are two different things. What visa are your parents getting?

Rene
Hi,

I wrote the wrong thing. I will have an immigrant visa, which should be the same as a green card, right?
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

An immigrant visa will become a green card once you use it to enter the USA.

Sorry I can't help with your other questions, but others will be along soon.

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Old Apr 15th 2019, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

If you are predicted 9's in what are the core subjects you should be well set.

Ideally, have the syllabus ready for each of your examining boards - this may help when translating your subjects. You should be in a position to take AP classes, but you will have some mandatory subjects you will need to take as they are not covered in the UK, such as Civics and US History.

Your strong subjects, such as Maths & Physics etc. will be broken down into sub-subjects. Calculus, Geometry, Trig, and so on. If you can show you have studied the vast majority of each of these in the USA system, combined with your grade, you can make a strong case for getting credits for all of them and moving into the AP classes. This is how your studies will be broken down though, into Semester (term) segments of smaller subjects. Some will be core subjects where you need to take them and some will be Electives, where you choose from a broad selection. The USA system also allows you to attend College credited classes - something worth looking at given your potential grades in the UK. Credits in the USA College system are transferable to the UK system.

I am not sure of how you would potentially lot into the UCAS system back in the UK, but they will be able to convert the level of study (AP Classes) and your GPA into their minimum requirements. So you shouldn't have too many issues getting into the UK University if that is your plan.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

And you'll have several years to work this out I suppose.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Hi,
I moved my eldest daughter here at the same stage as you.
You will be a JUNIOR - 11th grade.
AP and/or IB - not all schools offer the IB Diploma, if you wish to do this then you will have to ensure that it is available at the school you are going to. Your parents are probably aware that you need to live within the boundaries of the school that you wish to attend. Although, some school districts may have some flexibility for the IB course since it won't be offered at all the schools in the school district. If you need further assistance with this then come back and ask. AP is offered at just about all high schools - just verify with the counselors that your AP subject is offered there. It is possible to study for the IB diploma and to take the AP exams in the same subjects ( apparently not Physics though) as they are fairly similar in course content. A lot of the students at my children's high school do this.
IB is based on the British curriculum so it may be an easier transition for you. In terms of university in the UK, they seem happy to accept either AP or IB but again you could contact any university admissions and check. I wouldn't worry too much about it right now.
SAT's - you can study using Khan Academy.
Course credits for study in the USA. Bring all the information you possibly can regarding your coursework - reports/exam passes/certificates etc. It shouldn't be too difficult to get credits for classes already taken.
The requirements to graduate High School vary from State to State. Probably US history and maybe a health course. Be prepared to have a lot of extra work to do in that first year to fill in the gaps.
Going back to University in the UK. This is probably the tricky part - as a permanent resident of the USA, you will no longer be classed as "ordinarily" resident in the UK. You will probably be classed as an international student and charged international fees. This is a large cost which you will be required to pay upfront and you won't be able to get student loans. Unless your parents are prepared for the cost of either international fees in the UK or "college" fees in the USA, I would probably advise you to remain in the UK for A levels.

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Old Apr 15th 2019, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Any ideas how you've ended up on an immigrant visa? Is a parent a US citizen?
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 12:45 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Hi,
I moved my eldest daughter here at the same stage as you.
You will be a JUNIOR - 11th grade.
AP and/or IB - not all schools offer the IB Diploma, if you wish to do this then you will have to ensure that it is available at the school you are going to. Your parents are probably aware that you need to live within the boundaries of the school that you wish to attend. Although, some school districts may have some flexibility for the IB course since it won't be offered at all the schools in the school district. If you need further assistance with this then come back and ask. AP is offered at just about all high schools - just verify with the counselors that your AP subject is offered there. It is possible to study for the IB diploma and to take the AP exams in the same subjects ( apparently not Physics though) as they are fairly similar in course content. A lot of the students at my children's high school do this.
IB is based on the British curriculum so it may be an easier transition for you. In terms of university in the UK, they seem happy to accept either AP or IB but again you could contact any university admissions and check. I wouldn't worry too much about it right now.
SAT's - you can study using Khan Academy.
Course credits for study in the USA. Bring all the information you possibly can regarding your coursework - reports/exam passes/certificates etc. It shouldn't be too difficult to get credits for classes already taken.
The requirements to graduate High School vary from State to State. Probably US history and maybe a health course. Be prepared to have a lot of extra work to do in that first year to fill in the gaps.
Going back to University in the UK. This is probably the tricky part - as a permanent resident of the USA, you will no longer be classed as "ordinarily" resident in the UK. You will probably be classed as an international student and charged international fees. This is a large cost which you will be required to pay upfront and you won't be able to get student loans. Unless your parents are prepared for the cost of either international fees in the UK or "college" fees in the USA, I would probably advise you to remain in the UK for A levels.
All true, but having said that international fees at British universities are usually considerably less than fees at a US university, and a BA only takes three years vs four in the US, making them better value still.

OP - you can apply to uni in the UK through UCAS, no worries. My son did it. British unis have their own systems of translating their British academic requirements into UK requirements and will specify what they want in terms of SATs, ACTs, AP classes and GPA (grade point average). With a strong GCSE performance, the SAT and the ACT should give you no problems. Most students here take them in their Junior year to facilitate applying for uni in their Senior year. Take some practice tests now, and then start taking them early when you get to the US. Your US high school will have a fixed day for taking them, but you can pay (not too much) and take them independently at testing centres in your area in the US as many times as they offer them, which is quite a few. Then report the best scores on UCAS.

If you plan to go to uni in the UK or at least want to keep the option open, I do recommend starting to take AP classes in your Junior year, particularly in the subjects you will need to study at uni. UK uni sites will show which ones they want, but if you do engineering, for example, they will want Calculus (there is AP Calc A/B and B/C) and Lab sciences such as Physics and Chemistry. AP exams are scored from 1 - 5, with 3 being a "pass". and 4s and 5s being "good" scores.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 1:07 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

All true, but having said that international fees at British universities are usually considerably less than fees at a US university, and a BA only takes three years vs four in the US, making them better value still.
it really depends on which universities and whether you are comparing them financially to State colleges or private ones in the USA. My main point though is that as an international student in the UK you will have to pay the annual fees up front before you get to classes. In the USA, there are generally payment plans even if you don't qualify for any financial aid.

British universities are perfectly OK with taking IB diplomas btw.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 1:26 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
it really depends on which universities and whether you are comparing them financially to State colleges or private ones in the USA. My main point though is that as an international student in the UK you will have to pay the annual fees up front before you get to classes. In the USA, there are generally payment plans even if you don't qualify for any financial aid.

British universities are perfectly OK with taking IB diplomas btw.
Yes, I'm not disagreeing although my son's fees of 15,000 pounds or so is still a deal compared to four-year colleges here. It certainly might be worth it for the OP to consider staying in the UK for A levels, but having said that it's a lot to ask of someone at 15.

And yes, IB is fine, agreed, it's just that a lot of US high schools don't offer it. My point was that the other available courses of study and assessments will also let the OP get into a UK uni.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 2:36 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

With an IMMIGRANT visa, you probably won't be eligible for UK resident rates - my younger son wasn't, but my older son was still eligible, because my first visa was not immigrant.So number 1 son is at Swansea, and number 2 at New Mexico Tech - which is an amazing little school - ranked number one for value in the STEM university world in the USA. Its an engineering school, and not much else, so there are few distractions.

Younger son's grades were so good from his APs that he was given an academic free ride - which doesn't happen in the UK, and allowed to skip a year. He is finishing his first academic year - but returns in August as a third year ! He is paying about 5K bucks/year, and comfortably paying that with his internship.

Don't discount the possibility of US schools - the strongest STEM schools in the world are here after all.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 8:52 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Any ideas how you've ended up on an immigrant visa? Is a parent a US citizen?
My parents aren't US citizens, but from what I’ve heard this process has been going on for quite a long time (a considerable amount of my life), and it’s all started to fall into place around now. In fact, I could’ve possibly moved a year ago, but my parents delayed this so I could first finish my GCSEs. Was this a wise move, and will it have any benefits.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 8:58 am
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by steveq View Post
With an IMMIGRANT visa, you probably won't be eligible for UK resident rates - my younger son wasn't, but my older son was still eligible, because my first visa was not immigrant.So number 1 son is at Swansea, and number 2 at New Mexico Tech - which is an amazing little school - ranked number one for value in the STEM university world in the USA. Its an engineering school, and not much else, so there are few distractions.

Younger son's grades were so good from his APs that he was given an academic free ride - which doesn't happen in the UK, and allowed to skip a year. He is finishing his first academic year - but returns in August as a third year ! He is paying about 5K bucks/year, and comfortably paying that with his internship.

Don't discount the possibility of US schools - the strongest STEM schools in the world are here after all.
I guess I’d like to move back to a UK university because that’s what I’m comfortable with and would’ve fallen in place with my previous A-Level plans. Unfortunately, I don’t think staying here and finishing my A-Levels is a possibility, and I will most probably be moving to the states.

So from what you guys are saying, I probably won’t be able to get home fees for a UK university? I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that if I haven’t been out the country for over 3 years and I’ve lived at least half my life here, I’ll be eligible for home fees. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll be contacting UKCISA today to try and confirm this. Also, I doubt my parents could shell out the international fees upfront without a loan, and I’m not sure they’d do that anyway.

If I was to stay here, I feel as though I’d finely get through A-Levels, and then attend a nice Russel group uni. Now that I’m moving, I feel as though this’ll significantly hurt my career prospects, would anyone agree with that? While I haven’t completely counted US unis out, I imagine it’d be really hard to get into a good one considering I only have 2 years to make up for anything I’ve missed.


Last edited by kjacob8007; Apr 16th 2019 at 9:00 am.
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: I'm a 15 year old moving to the USA, would appreciate any help!

Originally Posted by kjacob8007 View Post


I guess I’d like to move back to a UK university because that’s what I’m comfortable with and would’ve fallen in place with my previous A-Level plans. Unfortunately, I don’t think staying here and finishing my A-Levels is a possibility, and I will most probably be moving to the states.

So from what you guys are saying, I probably won’t be able to get home fees for a UK university? I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that if I haven’t been out the country for over 3 years and I’ve lived at least half my life here, I’ll be eligible for home fees. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll be contacting UKCISA today to try and confirm this. Also, I doubt my parents could shell out the international fees upfront without a loan, and I’m not sure they’d do that anyway.

If I was to stay here, I feel as though I’d finely get through A-Levels, and then attend a nice Russel group uni. Now that I’m moving, I feel as though this’ll significantly hurt my career prospects, would anyone agree with that? While I haven’t completely counted US unis out, I imagine it’d be really hard to get into a good one considering I only have 2 years to make up for anything I’ve missed.



With your GCSE performance, I doubt you would find US high schools a great challenge, and if you apply yourself to the AP courses you could probably do very well and it shouldn't hurt your chances of getting into a good US uni, of which there are many, nor should it hurt your career. It is also possible to do a US undergraduate degree, and go to the UK for a Master's. it's worth looking into how that affects your chartered status in the UK, if you want to be a chartered engineer in the UK.

Competitive unis here do like to see extra-curricular activites from high school students, so make sure to get into some of those once you are in your school.

You should also check your US immigrant status against available US funding requirements, and ideally the financial situaition also as available funds depend partly on family income. You can have a bit of a read here:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

If this is possible in your family, I would seriously have a chat with them so that you understand some of the details better. What your visa is/will be, what your immigration status will be, what are their long-term plans, etc. Try to keep it calm and rational, so they don't feel you are challenging them - you are just seeking information about your family situation.

Last edited by Lion in Winter; Apr 16th 2019 at 2:01 pm.
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