Planning to study abroad? Feel confused about how to go about it? In this post, we will explain in detail how to get started!
So, you are about to finish your Bachelors and feel like applying abroad for further studies. But you are confused about how to approach this task! As there are so many steps involved when applying abroad for education.
Fear not, as though this post I will help you step by step on how to go about the application process. So, let’s start!
First off, you need to start researching where would you want to go. If you’re in your last year of Bachelors then start searching for prospective universities then only. The best way to find the right university for you is by looking at various courses that you may interest in.
If you are interested in computer science then focus on that and then look for which are the best universities in that department. You should not look for too many universities but the right number is necessary. It is essential for you to at least have 4 options in hand but not more than 6 as each application costs money, that too in dollars!
Start a Year Ahead
After you finalize your prospective universities then that is the moment your overall process starts. It is recommended you start a year ahead. For example, if your planning to start now then your final admission should happen in 2020 Fall/Autumn semester.
The reason being that it takes a lot of time for the various steps involved so it’s better to start a year ahead. The universities themselves encourage this.
Well ideally, you should have a good academic record when it comes to applying abroad. Most universities expect a minimum 7.5-8.0 CGPA overall. While others may even ask for higher. While the requirements vary from university to university, it is better to be on the safe side.
The academic requirements also vary depending on which program you plan to apply for. For instance, if you plan to apply for your Bachelors abroad then you need an impeccable record. Which means over 90% in previous classes.
If your applying for a Masters program then the requirement eases up a bit but you still need at least 7.5-8.0 CGPA. But if you want to apply for a Doctoral program then the requirement varies as the focus is more on research proposal then academic record. But nonetheless, overall good academic record is required.
Also, many universities across the US and Canada use International organizations like WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Education Credential Evaluators) to properly check your academic transcripts. It is a mandatory requirement for you to send your transcripts to such organizations. You will need to check the requirement as per the university
Now, we come to one of the most important requirements. The various aptitude and language-based test that is recognized throughout the world. Let’s have a look at each of them.
SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test – The SAT is a requirement for you to give for seeking admission in a Bachelors or Undergrad program in the US or Canada. An overall score of 2000 is generally accepted across universities.
GRE – Graduate Record Examination – GRE test is for those who want to apply for a Graduate or a Masters program. The scores of GRE are not only accepted in US and Canada but also various other universities across the world. It has two components: English and Math. The requirement of the scores vary from universities and the courses but it is recommended to get around 310 and above.
GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test – GMAT is for those who want to apply for Management based Masters program in the US and Canada. It is somewhat similar to GRE in that respect. The recommended score to get in this test is around 550 and above.
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL is a test designed to test your English language abilities. The scores of TOEFL are widely accepted throughout the world across universities. While the score requirement varies but ideally your score should be at least: 550 (Paper-Based), 213 (Computer Based) and 79 (Internet Based). Again, the score requirements vary from university to university.
IELTS – International English Language Testing System – IELTS, is similar to TOEFL and test your English language abilities. It is also accepted across various universities across the world. Again, the score requirement varies but you should get at least a 7.5 band on the IELTS score.
Now, that we are done with tests and research, we come back the most important – probably the dealmaker in these applications – You. Yes, your life, your hobbies, your passions, your traits and much more are key for a successful admission abroad. During the process of applications you have to write, what is called, a Statement of Purpose (SOP).
An SOP basically covers your reasons to apply for that specific program. It should cover the reasons for the selection of the university, your long and short term goals, your personal background, any research or internship experiences.
It is essential you follow word limit. You should use engaging language and not make it like a boring essay about you. You should enrich it by writing personal stories to make it feel you’re telling a story about you to the other person. A good SOP is a key in successful admissions.
No, it’s not lord of the rings! Rather its ‘Letter of References’. You will have to approach your Professors to vouch for your capabilities and personality by asking them to write Letter of References. It is an essential requirement across the world in almost all of the universities.
The objective of the LOR is that your teachers or your peers can testify about you and your academic and overall abilities. If you have a good relationship with your teachers then this would be easy. But if it is not then you will have to request them as your future depends on these things.
Okay, So Where’s the Cash?
Now, that you have done most of the requirements, the university can ask you to give proof of financial coverage of your educational and living expenses. You could also apply for various scholarships, which we have a made a whole video about, to apply for.
You could also take educational loans to cover your fees and living expenses. The requirements vary from universities so you will need to read carefully.
After all of this is done, your application will get accepted for personal interviews. These days they are mostly done over Skype or other video call technologies available. You should prepare thoroughly for this interview and be very likable!
The Waiting Game
After the interview, you will have to wait for at least 6-8 weeks for the university to get back to you. It takes time as they are going through various applications. After they have made their decision, they will get back to you with a confirmation letter.
Once you receive the letter you will have to confirm your registration and send the mail back. After this, you will have to complete the other requirements.
So, there you have it! The complete guide for you to apply for studies abroad. Now, what are you waiting for? Start researching and start applying! And while you’re at it do check out our video on international scholarships that you can apply for! Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!