USAPPS Workshop Participant Guide
All of us at USAPPS strive to provide you, the participant, with as much information as possible in order to help you make an informed decision about university applications, where to study, etc. But there are certain things that you can do on your own in order to make the most out of your time at the workshop sessions.
Before attending the workshop
- Have an idea of what you want to achieve.
- Read through the USAPPS website and resources. If you see facilitators who have done things that you are interested in, note their names so that you can talk to them at the workshop.
- Think of questions you want to ask the facilitators. Write them down and bring them with you to the workshop. However, if those questions could be answered through simple Googling, then Google first lah. For example, “Does Brown offer a major in Marketing?” is a question that you can answer yourself by going to Brown University’s website.
- Don’t worry if you’re still confused or blur after doing said Googling. That’s why the workshops exist! 😀
During the workshop
- Be present: listen and don’t fiddle with your phone or chat with your friends while the presenter is talking. If you need to, you should take notes!
- Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ASK. If you’re not clear about something, ASK. If someone wasn’t able to explain in a way that you can understand, ASK someone else. (the facilitators love questions!)
- Take advantage of the facilitators! They are here to help you. Don’t be shy. Set yourself a goal: meet and talk to at least one facilitator a day – maybe someone from a school that you are interested in or who studies something which you also like. If you can’t find them or if they are too busy, email them.
- Get to know other participants, especially those in your year, so that you can keep in contact after the workshop and support one another during the application process. Say hi to the person next to you!
After the workshop
- Give us feedback on the workshop so we can improve them for future years.
- Identify areas that you need to work on or research.
- Work on them! For example, if you know your command of English is not that great, read and converse in English more. Read long-form articles. Do vocabulary exercises. Talk about current topics with your friends. If you don’t have any teachers who you know would write good recommendations for you, start getting to know some!
- You could share resources with other participants. Some people share SAT books. Working together will get you further than working alone. For that matter, follow the USAPPS Facebook page.
- Do your research on schools/financial aid/Common App.
- Start contacting facilitators with specific questions that you weren’t able to answer after doing your research.
- Be polite. Don’t bug facis. We are here to help, but we are also humans.
Some email/online etiquette
- Do introduce yourself when emailing and say that you got to know the faci through USAPPS.
- Don’t send 10 emails a day and panic if you don’t hear back immediately.
- Don’t send us your essays to read and expect us to do so within a few hours.
- Not every faci might be comfortable with adding you on Facebook, so don’t be insulted if they don’t respond to your friend request (sending an introductory message helps).
- Don’t spam facis’ email. Please. Don’t.
This is your education; be proactive. With hard work and help, you’ll go a long way.
Good luck! 😀