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Our Mission: We specialize in advising and coaching non-US students whowant to study in US colleges and universities. Our services include everythingfrom single-session consults to complete guidance throughout the application and preparation process.




Lets start with some of the basics:



Why study in the US?



  •    Most extensive and developed higher education system in the world


  •    Over 8000 schools - something for everyone


  •    US colleges WANT foreign students right now


  •    Gives a competitive advantage in employment that lasts a lifetime


  •    Bring back invaluable knowledge to aid development in your country


  •    An opportunity to become completely bilingual and bicultural






    Benefits of Earning a Degree in the US

    •    Cutting Edge Knowledge


    •    World class campus infrastructure


    •    Lifelong Employment Advantage


    •    Proven higher lifetime income


    •     Exposure to International Culture and Students from Around the World


    •    Gaining contacts and friendships





      Basics of The US Higher Education System




      There are Many Kinds of Colleges and Universities in the US




      •  Why are there so many colleges and universities in the US?



      •  What's the difference between a College and a University in the US?



      •  What's the difference between undergraduate and graduate programs in the US?


      •  Private Liberal Arts


      •  Private Science and Technology


      •  State Schools and Public Universities


      •  Catholic Colleges


      •  Specialized Institutions


      •  Community Colleges








        Factors in Deciding Which is Best for You

        •   Big school or small


        •    Public or private


        •    City, Suburban or Rural


        •    Majors, programs and faculty


        •    Percentage of foreign students


        •    Average admissions scores


        •    Weather, recreation options


        •    The importance of a visit






          The application process




          •     Knowing when you are ready
          • ·       English level

            ·       Maturity level



            •  Researching schools


            •  Choosing the right colleges to apply


            •  The TOEFL


            •  The SAT


            •  The ACT


            •  The application form


            •  Interviews


            •  Essays


            •  Transcript


            •  How long does it take? - Review US academic calendar






              How much does it cost?


              • Application, Visa and travel costs 



              • Cost per semester – Tuition range



              • Living costs and options








                • What kind of visa will you need? 



                • How and where do you request the visa?



                • I-20 given by accepting institution



                • Student visa granted by Embassy or Consulate in country of origin



                • How long does it take?



                • Can I work in the US? Now? Later?



                  Services We Offer - These are the standard services typically needed by foreign students applying for admission to US degree programs. Of course, each case is different, and some students need more of these services than others.  In addition, special services can be developed for exceptional cases.



                  • Assessment of student level



                  • Advice and estimate of time to acceptance



                  • Preparation for TOEFL (iBT)



                  • Preparation for SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT



                  •  Review of possible schools according to locale, majors, size, weather, competition



                  • Review and analysis of on-line information about the specific programs



                  • Selection of short list of schools to apply to



                  • Obtaining the application forms and documents



                  • Filling out the application forms



                  • Writing and editing the application essays



                  • Preparing for the Interviews



                  • Translation of transcripts, academic records and letters of reccommendation



                  • Selecting the references



                  • Academic skill building



                  • Referrals to intensive English language programs





                    Consulting: Standard rates are US$ 80 per hour for personal consulting, or any of the services listed above.

                    Discounts available for multi-hour contracts.


                    Initial Assessment: We offer an assessment package including an initial interview with the student and parents, administration and evaluation of an authentic TOEFL exam, review of the student's academic record, oral and written assessment of the student's English language skills, informational interview with the student to learn about his or her interests, preferences and educational objectives and a final interview with the student and parents to discuss my evaluation of the student's state of readiness to begin a degree program in an American University, and to present a range of options as to the best way to reach the student's goals.


                    The Initial Assessment Package includes at least six hours of personal contact, the assessment TOEFL test, and a written report of the test results and academic readiness assessment, for US $ 300


                    Guaranteed Admission Package

                    For students who are assessed as having the English and maturity levels necessary to immediately enter a degree program at a North American college or University, we offer full-featured complete coaching package which supports the student throughout the application and admission process.  This usually includes: the initial assessment, researching possible appropriate schools, evaluating with the students and parents a list of approximately 20 institutions which meet the student's needs and preferences, selection of 3-5 of these institutions to apply to, obtaining the application materials, help the student filling out the forms, help in writing the essays, preparation for the interviews, assistance in writing the financial statement, translation of the transcripts and any letters of recommendation from Spanish, help in applying for the visa, and SAT or iBT preparation, if necessary.


                    This package involves at least 50 hours of services, typically over 3-6 months and costs US $2,000.


                    The guarantee, that within one year of the start of the contract the student will have been admitted to at least one US college or University, is only available to students who have already met the English language qulifications necessary to participate in and benefit from a college-level degree program in English.  For students not yet at that point, we can make recommendations for raising English skill levels as rapidly as possible, either in the student's country of origin or in the United States.





                    Information Sessions - In order to arrange orientation and information sessions at your school or institute free of charge, please contact michael@dowbrigade.com  These sessions last approximately 90 minutes and include a description of the higher education system in the United States and how the application process works for foreign students.


                    Michael Feldman, owner and principal consultant for Academic Advising, graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Psychology and Social Relations.  He also has a Master's Degree in Education from the State University of New York in Albany.  For over 20 years he was a Senior Lecturer at Boston University, in the Center for English Language and Orientation Programs.  He has coached hundreds of students from around the world through the application process and helped them gain admission to top colleges including Harvard, MIT, Boston University, George Washington University, University of California, University of Texas, Georgetown and Stanford.




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