Want to go to abroad for higher studies? Confused about how to proceed?
Feel like there are too many steps to go through and you need some guidance? This part mostly covers on the USA and other countries articles will be shared soon.
Well, I understand that this a long and confusing process but fret not, I have a written a detailed step-by-step guide on pursuing higher studies in abroad. In this article, we will discuss all the actions and requirements that you would need to fulfill in a sequential manner.
Step 1: Choose your University
By choosing your university, I don’t mean just choosing your university. This is just a research phase. There are a lot of additional details that you need to write down while doing this, so take your time.
- Firstly, you need to choose your universities based on the course that you are interested in. A lot of universities might not offer the course that you are looking for, so choose your universities accordingly. Visit the official websites of the universities to make note of all the details. Decide when you want to join the university, spring or fall. Take a note of deadlines for international students and minimum GPA score required. Here is where you can eliminate universities whose criteria you do not fulfill and note the rest of them.
- Make a list of all the university names and their respective codes after the process of elimination. GRE and IELTS/TOEFL allows you to send scores for free to five universities of your choice. You need to enter the name or the code after you have completed the test.
- Note down the GRE and IELTS/TOEFL scores. These are the minimum score that you need to get to be eligible for getting into that particular university. Now, some universities accept a score of 300, some accept 310 or 315 and some go beyond 325. Universities that accept scores above 325 are usually Ivy-league universities (Top Universities). Keep in mind that some universities do not require GRE at all and specify only IELTS/TOEFL band score. So, divide the universities into groups based on the scores.
- Make a note of the SOP word limit, the maximum number of pages required in your Resume and the number of Letters of Recommendation (LOR) required. Do not worry about writing them now. You can do this after you have finished taking your tests.
Step 2: Take the Test
You can perform the first and the second step simultaneously. Start preparing for your GRE and IELTS Exams and while you are at it, do whatever is given in the first step whenever you take a break.
Book a slot for your tests after you feel confident about taking them. Select the location first and look after the dates that are available. Now, select the date and time slot that suits you. Make sure to reach the designated centre 1 hour before the specified time. All the requirements and directions will be provided to you by the test centre via an official e-mail to you that you have provided.
After you complete the test, send your scores to those universities that fall under your score bracket.
Step 3: Applying for Universities
After shortlisting your universities, keep in mind about the deadlines for submitting the application. Start writing your SOP according to the word limit prescribed in the official websites. Limit your SOP to one page, since they have to go through a myriad of applicants like you!
Prepare your resume, it needn’t be an ATS compliant, so you can limit it to one page as well. It must speak about your educational qualification, work experience if any, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, community services and voluntary experience, and finally your skills, hobbies and your personal projects. All this boosts your profile.
Collect your LOR’s from your college or office, if you have work experience. You must get recommendation from professors that have taught you and knows about you or the manager from your office. Nowadays, universities have their own portal wherein your recommenders can provide their recommendation. So, do not worry about getting them manually typed, in a cover letter or letter heads. But in case a university asks for a hard copy, then you have no other choice but to get it. Keep a soft copy of all your documents, GRE and IELTS score sheets, undergraduate mark sheets, degree certificate, SOP and Resume.
Moving on, you need to procure transcripts from your undergraduate university. Transcripts are nothing but your mark sheets and degree certificate. In case you don’t have your degree certificate with you, get your provisional certificate. The transcripts must be sealed and signed by the registrar of your university. They must be enclosed within an envelope, which must also be sealed on the flaps. Procure a copy of your transcripts from your undergraduate university. Do not open the envelope at any cost as they will think that someone has tampered with it. Send this envelope only after you got an admission in University of your choice.
Finally, fill out your application form after paying the application fees, which amounts to around 60$. You might be asked to create an account in their online application portal. Upload all the required documents in the portal and submit your application. While doing all this, get in touch with banks that can provide you education loan, if you are seeking one. Preferably Nationalized Banks.
Step 4: Post-Admission
Once you get an admission in a university, pay the initial non-refundable admission fee to block your seat and the I-901 SEVIS fee to get the I-20 form. The university will provide the I-20 form which contains details about your joining date and the entire fee breakup structure. Show these documents to the bank to procure the loan. Once the bank approves the loan, get a letter-head from the bank stating that they will be sponsoring you.
Also meanwhile get in touch with the students residing there. There are many student groups in Whats App and Facebook pertaining to your university. Ask for details regarding those groups and get connected with your future flat mates and seniors.
Step 5: Visa Process
Apply for visa and book your visa slot online and visit the consulate embassy on that date. Take all your documents as well, collate and make them presentable quickly. You will hardly get 4-5 minutes, so be concise and maintain a positive attitude. If you are going for study purpose, be sure to show documents or articulate plans to return to your homeland after studies. For more details regarding the Visa process visit the website mentioned below.
Once you are done with your visa process, you will get the F-1 visa. Book your tickets and remember that you need to be there at least one month prior to the joining date. Remember to always ask for help. If you have any queries you can email them to your admissions committee. They are always willing to help you.
Hope you have found this article to be helpful. Leave your comments below on how you found this article to be and if I missed anything. Also post your questions about the admission process below, if you have any. And all the best for your future endeavors.
Thank you so much Nitai for this wonderful Article.
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