How to plan the application process of study abroad?
The application process is one of the most substantial and time-consuming processes that requires a lot of premeditated planning and preparation. Students are often befuddled regarding how to plan the application process which, if not done correctly can lead to missing out on application deadlines. An important thing that students must keep in mind is that deadlines are firm and non-negotiable. To ensure that students meet the deadlines, here is an outline regarding the application process. Students should start working on grad school timelines, at least, a year before they are planning to join that particular grad school. Following these basic steps will help students to ensure the application process goes smoothly.
A year before enrolment/three months before application deadline
After identifying the program and specialization that you want to go for, you must conduct a thorough research on institutions offering that program. Research to decide
what your specific area of concentration will be within your chosen field. To get a better insight into course details, you can also request for published materials from the universities that you are considering like grad school catalogs, handbooks, and admissions and financial aid applications. Once you have finalized the course and list of potential universities, check the language requirement and proceed with all the necessary tests. For programs taught in English, it is usually IELTS or TOEFL. To perform well on these exams, students must ensure good preparation and register a few weeks before the exam.
Begin planning about financing your education and about research assistantships and fellowships in your field of study by looking into scholarships and loan programs. Some universities require the transcripts to be translated, which is a time-consuming process, so ensure a translation service well in advance. Keep in mind the deadlines and account for the time it will take if you submit your applications through the mail because international mail takes longer and costs more.
Eleven months before enrolment/two months before application deadline
Two months before the application deadline, students must finalize a list of universities to which they wish to apply. They must also begin with filling out the application forms and read about the admission and the rules to comprehend the various aspects of the application process. This must be followed by drafting the statement of purpose and application essays. To be confident about application essays, you can ask your friends, colleagues or career counselor to give feedback and edits on early drafts. Also, students must arrange for Letters of recommendation by contacting the professors and employers they know to write their recommendations. Letters from potential recommenders must be requested, at least, one or two months before the application deadline to prevent last minute hang-ups.
Another aspect of admission is taking various admission tests. Students must take their admissions exams and request for the official transcripts. Finally, students should fill out the application form and find out if they can submit the university application online. Some universities require transcripts and recommendation letters to be sent directly from the institution or recommender. In that case, the materials should be sent separately from the rest of the application. Contact the shortlisted universities for information on scholarships and teaching as well as research assistantship opportunities. Compile a list of funding and scholarship opportunities for which you can apply, and keep track of due dates and deadlines.
Ten months before enrolment/one month before application deadline
Formally request your letters of recommendation from your potential recommenders either through writing or in person. To ensure timely completion, give the recommenders a deadline, which is two weeks before the application deadline. Polish the application essays and tailor your personal statement for each school as necessary. If possible, have someone from the field or an industry expert to proofread it for you and make final suggestions. Complete all application forms so as to meet the deadlines.
Nine months before enrolment/Submission of application
Submit your applications and put together all required materials like application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, personal essays and test scores. To make your application different and noticeable, it is advisable to submit the application two weeks before the application deadline. Post submission, you must follow up and confirm with all the applied universities that your application file is proper and up to date. Call before the deadline in case you need to resubmit any documents. Prepare the financial statements for individual school applications and keep all your application materials organized to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Thus, in this manner, by following a well-crafted roadmap, students can tackle the lengthy application process with ease and meet deadlines. A pre -planned application timeline that considers all the aspects of the process ensures that students do not miss out on considering any minute detail and complete the process in a smooth and swift manner.