When you’re ready to go to university or college abroad, you must be prepared before you start the process. The euphoria of going to school in the United States, Canada, Germany, UK, Sweden, Australia or any country of your preference should be a dream come true for any international student. But before then, you should ensure you have all the right information and documents, and this makes you ready!
Here is a checklist of what you need:
- A Passport
You cannot go to another country with a magic wand. You surely need a passport! Having a current passport is very important to start your application. Universities/Colleges or organizations offering scholarships will require you to send a copy of your passport (usually the front page which has your picture and personal details) to prove your identity. This is essential for the school you are applying to, to help process your visa application before you can be enrolled. Make sure you have your valid passport before you start your application.
Before you can be admitted, the school you are applying to will need your academic transcript from your previous university if you are applying for a Masters/PHD, or from your previous senior high school if you are applying for a Bachelors. However, some universities ask for transcripts for both undergraduate and senior high or college. Your transcripts are proof of how well you performed while in school and this will influence the university’s decision in accepting or rejecting your offer. Some universities will ask you to send transcripts directly by email, either from you the applicant or the university. While others will require you send by post.
- Exams test score – IELTS, GRE, GMAT, TOFEL etc
There are some universities who will require test scores to process your application. Some examples are IELTS, GRE, GMAT and TOFEL. These tests are to access your skills. The IELTS or TOFEL is an English test taken to evaluate your English Language Skills. Most English universities require this from international students especially from those coming from non-English speaking countries. While GRE and GMAT are highly required by universities in the United States and Canada. These tests are to access your analytical , writing, verbal and quantitative skills. Check the requirements from the university you are applying to.
- Bank Statements
To be able to get your visa, international students are required to show proof of their funding of being able to cater for their education. Some universities/colleges will request for your bank statement during the application process to know about students who cannot meet the financial obligation of studying in a county. The bank statements can be from you, your parents or a sponsor.
You should have your CV/Resume ready before you start your application. Some universities/colleges will ask for this to help them know more about your background and experience. It is important to make mention of volunteering experiences, groups/clubs you were part of while in school and other extracurricular or sporting activities you were part of. Note that there is a difference for writing a CV/Resume when applying to school other than when applying for a job. Detail all information in your CV/Resume to suit the school and program you are applying for.
- Personal Statement/Motivation Letter/Essay
Many Universities/Colleges will require you to write a personal statement to know more about you, your skills and desire to pursue the program of your choice. Be prepared to present a detailed and true essay in processing your admission.
- Application fees
Most universities/colleges will require you to pay for your application before it can be processed. Every school has the amount they charge so you have to be prepared before applying. Information about application fees will be made available on the university’s website so be on the look out.
- Letters of recommendation
This is an essential requirement in processing your application. Most universities will request for lecturers/teachers or school officials or employers who know you very well based on your academics and work experience, to recommend you. The number will range from 1-3. In most cases, the university will either ask you to send your recommenders an email to get in touch with them. Be sure to have people who can highly recommend you in order to process your application.
This checklist is mostly expected when you want to apply to a university/college of your choice. You should also read all requirements from the school’s website to know exactly what they want so that you don’t miss out on any vital information.