Hm. So, you want to study “abroad”, is it? Travel to distant lands, befriend strangers, please your taste buds with unexplored cuisines, experience varied cultures & traditions, and take a bite out of independent living?
Hats off to you, Pleb. This is what I call, taking a leap of faith! Owing to which, based strictly on my experience, I would like to make your life easier by listing down the DON’TS concerning this life-changing period. Trust me, by the end of it, you will not only have successfully applied to your dream unis, but also have learnt essential lessons that would help you, both, personally and professionally.
1~ Do Not start late on your applications, make sure you are strictly adhering to deadlines and apply as early as possible. For this, get all your tests (GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, GRE) in order before the applications even start. This would give you more time for references, personal statements, etc.
2~ Do Not shy away from asking the admissions teams about your queries. First-hand experience, one university literally changed the content on their website because of me hankering them about certain issues. Let’s just say, they are not perfect, therefore, ask them everything you could possibly think of. If you’re investing a fortune and your heart&soul, you deserve to know what you’re getting into.
3~ Do Not take your references lightly, they are more important than you think. Contact your referees well in advance and make sure they are aware of deadlines. Read the ‘Reference Guidelines’ of each university carefully, and relay them to your professors or employers. Keep back-up referees ready, if need be. Be persistent, be shameless, but get your references uploaded on time.
4~ Do Not make the mistake of being dubious of your chosen courses, universities, and countries, before beginning your application process. First things first, know your course(s), know your universities, and know your countries. It doesn’t do well to be in a state of perpetual confusion, as it will take away from your applications. Be focused about where you want to apply, and eliminate that which is not an option. Organize and set a timeline for the process, this will help you gather all the resources without wasting time.
5~ Do Not leave the personal statement for the end. They say that a Statement of Purpose could ‘make or break’ your application. It is true. Your statement introduces you to the university, a bunch of people who are not even sure you exist. The entire application could be a kitty cat’s, for all they know. Proofread it multiple times, make your friends read it for errors, but remember the content should be you and you alone, they are like Big Brother in that sense, they see…everything!
Remember, Plebs. Time is key. You do not want to waste it overthinking things. Just get out there, get crackin’, because ultimately no matter the hard times, this journey is definitely worth it.
~Luck! ( ˘ ³˘) 💋