If you wish to study in the US, the general recommendation to start searching for a programme is two years before you intend to apply. Also, it might be good to contact the university advisors/officers one year before you submit all required documents.
Several documents are needed for applying: the application form, a personal essay, a transcript of academic achievements, SAT scores and financial statements.
Almost always there is an application fee to pay, averaging $41 (US). A centralised process for more than 800 US universities, called the "Common Application", opens for applications on 01. August and the entire process takes about 18 months.
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