Masters abroad : Many students are often buzzed by the question what next? Crushed through the dilemma they often rush into decisions like a sheep in a herd trying hard to make better future prospects. If your answer is to “study abroad“, here are a few tips to make your preparation easy, organised and stress-free.
Planning for masters especially abroad is a big and diligent task. A lot of things are to be considered and a lot of research and preparations are to be done before you embark your journey abroad. Advisably start your preparation a year in advance.
Masters abroad – RIGHT PROGRAM AT RIGHT UNIVERSITY:
The first step while applying for Masters abroad is to make a list of universities which offer your choice of programme.
Once the list of the colleges is done, the next step is to be to check the deadlines of the specific courses that you are applying for.
Usually, not all the universities have a common deadline for all courses. Therefore, it is necessary to check the individual departments of the universities to know the opening and closing dates for applications.
Masters abroad – UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS:
It is important to check the eligibility criteria for the Masters course in the university and the programme of your interest. While different courses have different sets of requirements make your time line according to the requirements and stick to it.
Masters abroad – TAKING THE STANDARDIZED TESTS – GRE/IELTS/TOEFL:
GRE: It’s the most commonly required admission test for grad school. Much like the SAT and ACT, the GRE exam is a broad assessment of your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills — all skills developed over the course of many years
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY (TOEFL & IELTS): The English Proficiency Test is a test of general language abilities for incoming international students administered by the Department of Linguistics and the English Language Institute
The first thing to be remembered is that you don’t need to panic to prepare well for GRE and any English Proficiency Test. What you need is careful preparation and an agile mind, every time, all the time.
After completing the study materials obtained online or from the coaching centre remember to take the practice tests provided by the ETS- for GRE and TOEFL, and British Council- for IELTS.
Make sure to take these exams well in advance so as to be able to give them another attempt, if falling short of the university requirements.
SOP, LOR AND OTHER DOCUMENTS:
SOP: The Statement Of Purpose is one of the most vital elements for admission into Masters Programme. It details your commitment of joining the programme and future goals. One important thing to remember while writing an SOP is that it should be brief, and reflect clarity regarding your expectations from the programme.
One should strictly stick to word limit set by the concerned university or department. Normally good SOP does not exceed 2 pages.
Have a tailor made SOP for each university. This usually means changing the last paragraph about why you have chosen that university. DO NOT forget to change the name of the university in the SOP when submitting the same to another university.
LOR: Unlike the SOP, the Letter Of Recommendation is an independent assessment of your potential. Most universities require at least two to three recommendation letters. Those still in college have no choice but to take all of them from their professors but recent college graduates can usually take two from professors and one from work place.
Resume: Some universities require a CV along with the application form. It should contain basic information like date of birth, academic qualifications and achievements. Follow guidelines available online and remove all insignificant information.
Academic transcripts: Academic transcripts include all the qualifications that the candidate will list in the application form. It is advisable for the candidate to start arranging transcripts at least a month prior to applying for to the universities.
Affidavit of financial support: As an international student then you would be required to submit the affidavit of financial support, showing that you have the money required for your studies abroad.
—> Some Universities shall also ask for a police clearance certificate, which is nothing but a declaration from the local police department that you are not accused of any wrong doing at any point in your life(mostly required at the time of VISA, but no harm in getting it done in advance).
UNIVERSITY & SCHOLARSHIPS APPLICATION:
Go through the University application properly and fill in the fields. Once completed, pay the application fee, and wait for university to send a mail with student ID.
Some universities require you to send everything through the college web portal-online, some ask for hard copies through courier in that case, and some ask for both. Make sure you are not missing anything and complete your application.
SCHOLARSHIPS has always been one of the most discussed topics when it comes studying abroad. Every scholarship has specific set of requirements and you have to meet those to get a scholarship.
GRE and English Proficiency scores are important for the scholarships decisions. But they are not necessarily the tie breaker. Overall academics also play a key role in getting scholarships.
Leadership skills and Volunteering are weighed significantly for scholarships decision. Volunteering can include any kind of social service you do for the good of society.
MAKE A DECISION & WAIT FOR I-20:
Wait for the University decision, usually universities take a few weeks to respond to applications .If admitted take some time and pick the university of interest .Once decided, the next step is to let the college know that you will take admission and pay the required fee or charges (if required) for the Admission letter which is required for applying a VISA.
If you are opting for an education loan make sure you complete the ground work and prepare the supporting documents to process the loan. Once the admission letter is received the loan process can be initiated.
Admission secured, Education Loan granted it’s time to apply for the VISA. Check the student VISA application and required document checklist from the corresponding country VISA services web portal and make sure you do not miss out on any detail.
If you have opted for USA, be knowledgeable of your profile, university, finances, course at university; you can also find some help online pertaining to the VISA interview questions which will give you a better idea.
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
Ensure that you have taken all the necessary vaccinations required as per the University instructions. You must get a vaccination certificate and carry it with you, along with the photo copy of the same.
Remember to carry your medicines if you have been asked to do so by your doctor along with the medical history as this will prove to be extremely beneficial in case you need to visit a doctor abroad.Carry the prescriptions and other medical test results if any. Also, it is advisable to carry your blood group id with you.
It is recommended to take health insurance policies, and if you have a policy then you must carry its details along with you.
Masters abroad – CARRYING FINANCES:
You must carry your credit card and an ATM card with you while you travel. A credit card can be used in case of emergencies when cash is not readily available. An ATM card is handy since it is one of the most convenient ways to access cash and most locations do have ATMs. Avoid carrying large amount of cash with you. Another option for making payments is to use travellers’ cheques.
Try to monitor the exchange rate applicable to the currency of your host country since exchange rates fluctuate daily and get the FOREX exchange done on a relatively lower rate than the maximum this can greatly impact your budget. You may want to keep some local currency with you prior to your arrival as it will allow you some flexibility. You will not need to find an ATM or bank immediately.
Masters abroad – AIR TICKET AND LUGGAGE:
Pick and purchase your air ticket from the airline of your comfort. Weigh your bags to ensure that its weight is within the prescribed limit of the airlines since you will not be allowed to carry luggage that weighs more than a specified weight.
Remember to label your luggage with your contact details such as your name, address and phone number. Ensure that you have the right clothes and other essential items which are required keeping in mind the various seasons and causalities in the foreign country.
You must check with your cell phone provider if your cell phone can work overseas. If not you can also buy a local pay-as-you-go cell phone upon arrival, or you can simply purchase a local SIM card.
Hope these tips will help you!! ALL THE VERY BEST!!