‘Thinking of applying for universities/colleges abroad?
Here are some of my experiences that will definitely ease this process for you.’
When should I start applying?
Well, the best time to start the application process is during your final year of graduation. That is because even if the deadline stated on the university website is a long way off, it is always smarter to complete the process beforehand.
The explanation for this would be,
- Sending your application well before the deadline means that now the university has fewer applications to go through around that time, and more time is spent on your application.
- Universities have limited seats, and I really don’t think anyone should take a chance.
- The earlier you submit your application, the quicker you get to hear back from the university, and it’s always good to have time at your disposal during the visa application process to prevent rush.
For those who have already graduated, please see that you are applying for a course due after 12 months. This will certainly increase the chances of being shortlisted.
How do I decide which country to apply to?
Now, just as universities play a part in shaping your future, so does the country where you want to pursue your masters. It is also helpful to pursue master’s in a country that has immigrant-friendly policies. Because this is the place you will be studying for at least one year, so you can also plan to have a work visa in the following country after you have completed your graduation.
However, this does not mean that you should select universities on a country-based basis, but the decision should be the best choice to balance all aspects.
Of course, this does not extend to those who have a priority of immigration to a particular country, rather than education.
Should I apply for Colleges or Universities?
Colleges are typically smaller in scale than universities. Owing to their small scale, colleges offer minimal study resources for students wishing to pursue higher education. On the other hand, universities are large in scale and offer a range of options to their students. It is also observed that it is much easier to enroll in a college than it is to enroll in a university where the fee structure is far higher due to the number of facilities and services available to students. So it’s a preference whether you’re able to trade in research incentives for money or not. I will personally advise against doing so.
When it comes to colleges vs. universities, universities are probably a much better alternative.
How do I get a shortlist of universities/colleges?
You can figure this out simply by keeping the following points in mind:
- There are several websites that offer you university rankings, such as the QS world ranking or the world ranking of times higher education. It is also useful to go through these rankings in order to get an overall overview of the universities.
- After you’ve been through the lists, visit the University websites that you want to attend. Go through the specifics of the post-graduate course you’re interested in.
- Go through the eligibility requirements for each university. This is because not all universities will offer you a master’s program with 3-year graduation. (Universities in the United States and most universities in Canada will expect to present 4 years of graduate studies in order to qualify for their Master’s program. For students with a 3-year degree program, you must also complete a 1-year postgraduate diploma if you wish to qualify for such universities.)
- Now, the thing to be noted is to shortlist certain universities only where you can comfortably complete the eligibility criteria. This is because when you choose a university where you barely meet the eligibility requirements, you have reduced your chances of being selected.
Once all of the above steps have been followed, you will have a list of universities that you should apply for.
Unlike masters at Indian universities, where there is no better difference between an industry-oriented degree and a research-oriented degree. Universities abroad will give you two choices, either a taught program or a research program. There is a big contrast between these two kinds of Masters, and one type can be more appropriate to your objectives than the other.
Taught Masters Program: These are a lot like what we’ve been through in our undergraduate studies. You will complete a series of modules following a set schedule of workshops, lectures, and other activities. You will be much more responsible for studying individually in your private time, but you will be led by the professors in charge of the course.
Research Masters Program: These are of a more independent nature. You’re not going to have a fixed schedule here, as you’re going to have to focus on one or more thesis. Of course, you will still receive support and guidance from an expert supervisor, but the focus of your program will be on your own research work.
Here is the list of documents that must be kept ready before beginning the application process:
- 10th & 12th Mark-sheet and Passing certificate
- Semester-wise graduation transcripts. (The transcripts are totally different from your transcripts, do not confuse them.)
- Degree Certificate (In case the degree certificate is not yet issued, you can apply the passing certificate)
- Passport front and back page.
- IELTS, GRE, TOEFL whichever credential is valid according to the requirements of the university.
- 3 Letter of Recommendation, preferably from the professors in charge of your undergraduate studies.
- Statement of Interest.
(Documents 1,2,3&4 should each be notarized)
How many days does it take to hear back from the university?
It could be a matter of days or months before you hear about your application from a university. It all depends on when you apply and whether the university course decides to make an offer. For students who are yet to complete their final year, the university may provide a conditional offer letter allowing you to complete the final year with a required GPA.
Remember that patience is even more important after your application has been submitted.
All the best to everyone applying for universities abroad. I hope the details I’ve shared will be helpful.