The Best Book on Stanford International Admissions

by Andrea Sy

What's in the book?

Andrea Sy, a Stanford student with an international background, shares her strategies for getting into elite American colleges.

    • Advice regarding GPA, class rank, SAT scores, admissions essays and recommendation letters.
    • Detailed descriptions for the SAT and TOEFL for international students, including some helpful tips on preparation and what SAT II tests to take.
    • A detailed explanation of GPA, class rank and its conversion in Asian countries.
    • An insider’s look at an international student’s life at Stanford.
    • Steps to take when you ask for a recommendation letter.
    • Andrea Sy’s own sample essays.
    • A timeline of the visa application process.


Getting into Stanford as an international student is very competitive. Every year, less than 10% of the freshman class is classified as a non-resident alien. For the year 2010-2011, 8% of the freshman class were international students.

If you want to learn more about the application process for U.S. Colleges, you’ve come to the right place. This eBook is a compilation of articles, blog posts, and a personal stories from a former Stanford University admit from the Philippines. Aside from a detailed high school plan, the book contains a comprehensive guide to the tests required for an international student as well as tips to make a strong application.

Everyone has dreams of getting into a top-tier university, no matter who they are and where they’re from. And as an international student with dreams to study in a U.S. college, there are a lot of hurdles that one must overcome to create a strong application and gain admission into these universities. Because of the intensity of this application process, the international student can feel overwhelmed.

This eBook will give you quick tips and pointers that can help you navigate through the application process (in this case, it is specifically tailored for Stanford University) by presenting facts and figures regarding admission and GPA, a detailed guide for your essays and recommendation letters, as well as quick facts regarding the SAT and TOEFL. This book will arm you with good advice to prepare you for the dreaded college application. ENJOY!


I understand that starting your essays early is important, but what about those people who function well under pressure, or people who got into Stanford even though they crammed their essays?

I’d like to emphasize that there is no guaranteed way to get into Stanford University, or any other college. I know that certain people work differently and function differently in given circumstances. I just advise that you start early to give yourself some time to come up with a truly compelling topic that you are passionate about. I would also strongly encourage an early start because it gives you room to test out different essay topics and can give you time to come up with the best essay for submission.

I really want to get into a U.S. university. How much would a counseling service improve my chances?

I would say that the counseling service is by no means a game-changer. It can give you an edge, but it can’t guarantee acceptance. Counseling services serve as guides through the application process. They can assist you with your essays and give you tips for your teacher’s letters of recommendation. I’ve heard of students who have gotten into schools like Vanderbilt University and UPenn without any help from these counselors, so I don’t think they’re an absolute necessity. However, if you would like to avail of these editing services and you feel more secure with their guidance, then you should ask for their help.

How would the process be different if I want to apply to a different U.S. university?

From what I’ve experienced, most schools accept the common application. Some schools have supplemental applications that consist of additional essays. Whether or not you are applying to an Ivy League school, or a top tier school, the basic requirements will probably be the same. As an international student you will still be required to take the TOEFL, the SAT or ACT. However, some schools will require SAT II’s, and more. It really depends.

Letter From The Author

Hello there reader,

First and foremost, thank you so much for your interest in this book and I hope that you will find it to be not only an easy read but also a quick, comprehensive and helpful guide for all of you international students who want to apply to a U.S. college. When I was in high school, I KNOW that I wanted to get into schools like Stanford so badly and I wished that someone were there to give me more guidance.

I tried my best to make the content of this book insightful and personal with the hopes it will give you an insider’s look at the common application process and most particularly, the Stanford application process. I’ve dug up my old Stanford application essays, looked at blogs and articles, and asked my fellow international students at Stanford for some input, all of which culminate in this one book.

To my knowledge, there is no book that guides you through the U.S. college application process written for the international student in a local school. I’m giving you guys all the advice that I can give based on my own experiences. All the advice I give in this book are strictly my own opinions and I cannot stress enough that this is by no means a ‘guarantee’ of admission into Stanford.

Good Luck!


Andrea Sy

Things You'll Learn:

  • The Draw of a U.S. education
  • The Pros and Cons of going to a local university
  • Why International Students should study at Stanford
  • What I would change about Stanford
  • Backgrounds Of Stanford International Students: Experience, Leadership, Extracurriculars
  • Should International Students Get Admissions Counseling?
  • Checklist Of Stanford Application Requirements For International Students
  • Top Tips To Make Your Application Stand Out From Other International Students
  • How High School Academics Influences Your Chances
  • TOEFL Test Prep Strategies
  • How To Maximize Your SAT Scores
  • SAT Prep Timeline
  • Critical Tips For The SATIIs
  • Writing Common App Essays For International Students
  • How To Secure Great Stanford Letters Of Recommendation From Non-English Speaking Teachers
  • How to get a U.S. Student Visa
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