Today we’re going to tackle a selection of questions frequently asked by international students, the answer to all of which could be: “It depends.” In fact, the answer to, “Who do colleges consider an international applicant?” is often, “It depends.”  That’s how diverse the range of responses from different colleges can be.

Now, on to your questions:

Am I expected to take non-Native (but non-English) language courses to be competitive? I’m a native Spanish speaker and live in Colombia, attending the American school where I take most of my classes in Spanish. Should I also be taking French or Chinese or something?

The most selective colleges will expect you to take a language other than your native language, and in many cases, this will be your third language in addition to your native language and English. This is not true of all, or even most American colleges, but for the most selective colleges, the expectation is that you will take an additional language, if possible.

Does it look “bad” if one of my SAT Subjects is in my native language?

Colleges are less frequently requiring SAT Subject Tests from students. If yours does, they will generally indicate which ones they require, and most often, they will not require Subject Tests in a language.  Generally, the colleges that require Subject Tests, require them in STEM subjects.

For the answers to more questions and tips for applying to a U.S. college as an international applicant, check out the latest post on the College Coach Insider blog at

Written by College Coach
College Coach® is the nation’s leading provider of educational advising, offering expert guidance from the best college admissions consultants on the college admissions and finance process. Our goal is to help each student maximize his or her chances of success through services focused on their personal desires, goals, individual strengths, and accomplishments.