Travelling to another country to pursue your higher education is an adventure that one should experience in their lifetime. It takes courage to come out of your comfort zone, leave your friends and family behind and start a brand new chapter abroad.
One of the crucial steps in your study abroad journey is the University Application Process. It will determine whether you are accepted to study abroad and when to proceed with Visa Application and other related work.
The documentation process for studying abroad is often a lengthy process where most students find it confusing or difficult to get through without proper guidance. There are in total 8 different types of documents that you need to keep ready when planning to study abroad.
1. University Application Form: As the name suggests, the University Application Form will include all your personal and academic details that you have completed till date. This document will be submitted to the University you are applying to. In the event you are applying to multiple universities, then you would have to fill application forms of that particular university.
2. Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Motivational Letter: An SOP or a Motivational Letter is the most important component of your study abroad application. In some instances, an SOP letter increases the probability of a student getting selected in comparison to the huge volume of applications. You should spend a good portion of your time in drafting an SOP letter which includes your academic and career aspirations, your life goals and the motivational factors of why you have chosen that particular university to pursue your higher education. A well-written SOP gives you a winning chance to fly through admissions when applying to study abroad.
3. Educational Transcripts: This document is a compilation of all your educational records till date such as mark sheets, your grades / marks and certificates.
4. Letter of Recommendation (LOR): In addition to the SOP, a Letter of Recommendation adds additional weight to your university application as it gives the admissions team an insight into your university life. The LOR should be written by your academic professors and in the case you were working while studying, a LOR from your workplace is also recommended to boost your application profile.
5. Proof of Language Proficiency and International Tests: To pursue your international education, proof of language proficiency is a mandatory document that you have to present along with your university application. Depending on the country you are applying to, IELTS or TOEFL is accepted. Certain universities have a higher score band requirement for English proficiency scores, so it is important to take note of this while applying.
6. Curriculum Vitae: Students are often confused when asked to prepare a CV for University Application when they have not yet entered the job market. However, a curriculum vitae is an essential document which acts as your business card for the university admissions team. You should focus more on the extra-curricular activities done during school and PU and academic papers that you have written. If you’ve participated or completed any significant projects, adding them would be a plus point.
7. Project Portfolio: This document is applicable for those who are branching into project based higher studies such as architecture, interior design, engineering etc. In this case, have a project portfolio for example, if applying for higher education in interior design, showcasing any design projects that you have done previously is an added advantage.
8. Financial Proof or Proof of Funds (POF): This critical document comes into play once you have been accepted into University and received an acceptance letter to proceed for Visa Application. Almost all countries, with a few exceptions, require proof of funds to show that you are financially capable of covering your expenses while studying abroad. The accepted documents for POF are Bank Statements, Loa Approval Letter from the Bank or if you are getting a scholarship, a scholarship letter from the issuing authority.
At a first glance, it may look like a tedious and long procedure. However, as mentioned earlier, with the right guidance you can find the whole process to be easy and breeze through.