The process of studying abroad is a tedious one. Even before one starts making decisions about which colleges and majors to shortlist, there is a long checklist that needs to be compiled. The university admission boards are looking for some of the following things from you.
Academic History & Extracurriculars
At the heart of college application is the student’s academic record. Universities and colleges expect students to take advantage of opportunities their school may offer to challenge themselves academically. Thus, there is a special emphasis on grades. Extracurriculars and voluntary work are equally important. Colleges expect students to be interesting and be involved in at least one or more than one activity. Community service, leadership roles, work experiences, etc. are always acknowledged.
- SAT/ACT, SAT SUBJECT TESTS: For students seeking admission in undergrad programs in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, they are expected to appear for SAT/ACT exams. These tests seem to be more objective to both colleges and students as they are independent of varying grading standards of high school.
- GRE/GMAT: These are for students aspiring to pursue studies at the graduate level i.e. Masters or MBA.
- TOEFL/IELTS: IELTS or TOEFL is required as part of your application to an English-speaking university and will demonstrate if you will be able to understand the course material. IELTS and TOEFL are two of the most accepted English proficiency tests around the world.
Colleges across the globe have an exhaustive application process through which they get to know you as an individual and one needs to exhibit their personal qualities by way of providing the following prerequisites
- Personal Essays/Statement of Purpose: Here you need to discuss your achievements, your vision, your choice of major, your objectives, work experiences (if any) if you are looking for scholarships and so on. This is where you tell your story.
- Letters of Recommendation (LoR): It is a letter written by some faculty that you have studied or worked under or your boss at work. It describes their experience of working with you, your individual traits and what you have worked on/studied under them. In short, this is when you tell your story.
- Interviews: Generally universities conduct interviews once you are shortlisted for their study program which is just an overall assessment of your personality.
- Visa: While the actual visa application process will vary from one country to another, there are a few standard application materials you should have that pertain to just about every nation. These include:
- Passport – If you do not currently have a passport, you must immediately apply for one as you cannot start your visa application without a valid passport.
- Admit Letter from your intended study abroad institution. Do not apply for your visa without it.
- Financial Records or Proof of Funds indicating that you or your parents can cover the costs of your tuition and living expenses while abroad
- Proof that you have full Medical Insurance that will cover you while you are staying overseas. Be sure to check with your insurance provider early on, as some companies can be difficult to arrange international coverage.
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