As easy as it is to just talk about choosing to study abroad, it takes adequate time and research to do it right. Many students from India have been opting to study abroad for the past decade. The yearly rise in the percentage of students opting to study abroad from India has been credited to several factors.
Among them, quality of education, more work opportunities, and global exposure have been the top reasons. However, the first step in the process to study abroad, after research, is your college application.
Now, college applications to study abroad are very different compared to the application process to study in India. Colleges are equally interested to know how you as a student will provide value to the college. Of course, grades play an important role, however, to make an impression, you must offer more!
How much is ‘more’?
Let’s deep dive into the various elements of your college application!
Whether you wish to study abroad or in India, a few prerequisites for admissions don’t change. Academics and their importance will remain an important factor and integral to the application process to study abroad. However, it will not be the only primary factor determining admission to a college.
When it comes to academics, you must maintain an average GPA or percentage according to the college requirement. Based on your grade or percentage, other parts of the admission process will come into play, such as entrance tests, interviews, etc.
Different colleges in different countries have a varied base requirements when it comes to your academics. You must research the academic requirements of the college thoroughly before going ahead with the admission process.
English Language Proficiency
As English is the primary medium of communication for colleges abroad, you must have a good command of the language. To study abroad, even though there are people from all over the world, the one thing that connects you with them is the language you speak.
As an integral part of the application system, you must sit for an English Language Proficiency Test, either TOEFL or IELTS based on the country your college belongs to. These tests measure different aspects of your grasp of the language and evaluate to give you a score.
Based on that score, you will be eligible for admission to the colleges that you have chosen. Most English Proficiency Tests have 3 sections that test your reading skills, writing skills, and listening skills.
The English Proficiency Tests are common for all courses throughout colleges abroad. However, GRE and GMAT tests are a must for all courses under the Science and Engineering streams. Students who aim to do their graduation abroad must sit for the SAT along with the English Language Proficiency Tests.
If you are aiming to pursue a Masters’ degree abroad, GRE or GMAT along with the English Language Proficiency Tests are a must. To study abroad, having a good score in these exams will be among the primary criteria in your application process.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to preparing for these tests. However, it is important to get some guidance from career counsellors, not only to study hard but to study smart.
Your application to study abroad in the top colleges all over the world is not complete without an Essay or SOP. Every college, as a part of their admissions process, asks you to write an essay or an SOP. This can be on a topic of your choice or a topic assigned to you by the evaluators.
Now, why is an essay or SOP important?
By giving you a topic or asking you to choose a topic to write on, colleges gauge your opinions and interests. Not only so, by this, you can also express what you’ve done before, what you plan on doing, and how the college can help you. More importantly, it will also provide you with a platform to showcase how you can be of value to the college.
With the help of an essay and SOP, you can create an impression of yourself in college. To structure your thoughts, and interests, and articulate them into words, can be difficult. Career guidance can help you ideate, and also put your thoughts in a way that the college can resonate with.
If you are aiming to pursue a Masters’ abroad, a resume attached to your application is important. Detailing work experience can add to your credibility, and help the college understand how best you can be of value to them.
However, a resume is just not a document that just shows where you have worked and for how long. Your resume should showcase details on how you have contributed to the job, your KRAs, your objectives, and ultimately results.
Just like you may have vouched for people in your network, references added to your application look great!
It adds credibility to your name, and more importantly, a personal feedback process of your past work.
Last, but not least, there will be an interview round that will wrap up the application process. Being the last, it is the most important aspect of your college application to study abroad. Being a personal interview, you would be required to speak with college officials telling them in detail about yourself.
Through an interview, the college can assess who you are as a person, your goals, aspirations, and in much more detail!
To conclude, these are the 7 things that must be included in your college application to study abroad. Now, for most, it becomes difficult to gather all the information and portray it in a way that is required by the college. Here is where career guidance comes in to guide you through the application process in its entirety.