The world is becoming a global village or so they say and with its rapidly forming interconnected webs, the zeal to benefit from the best education the world has to offer irrespective of your location. Unfortunately, these spaces are becoming more competitive by the day and access to information is unevenly distributed. If you are extremely rich and can pay an agent to put you through the admission process, this website might not be for you however if like me, you are willing to read thousands of words of information at minimal cost then you have come to the right place. This is an attempt for me to give you a spring board in your application process.
In general, the requirements for admission into foreign universities and win competitive scholarships, you need to pay attention to five components.
- Personal statement
- Letter of recommendation
- Test of proficiency in English Language and relevant examinations
Obviously, a convincing transcript and resume takes a long time to develop compared with the latter three. The earlier you focus on both of them, the more competitive you become as a candidate.
Transcripts may be difficult to obtain from your institution. It is unfortunate but it is the truth in most African settings. Once you have a spark or an inclination to continue your studies out of Africa, you should start working on how to obtain this.
There are two ways you can submit your transcript. The first is to send the transcript to the individual schools for example, if you have applied to 100 schools, your home institution will be asked to send 100 different transcripts which is expensive. Rarely, you may be allowed to upload and send your personal copy to different schools which was what happened when I was applying to schools in the United Kingdom. Some also send a single copy to a transcript accreditation service like WES for a small fee and have WES verify the transcript and send it to the schools individually on request. This may be more expensive or even the most expensive, but in the long run it saves you a lot of stress from going to your home school to request for your transcript several times. However, you need to confirm if your school accepts transcripts from third parties and their requirements for translation in case your transcript is not in English or in the language of your school of choice.
I almost forgot the most important part, for all these to work you need an international passport. I repeat, you need an international passport.
How to start “School shopping”?
There are tons of factors to consider when you want to make the big move such as language, immigration policy, acceptability of the certificate in your home country or the world, funding options, presence of family or friends in the proposed country, admission process etc. For me, I had narrowed down my choice to the United Kingdom because they spoke English, I did not have to write another examination like the graduate record examination, the institutions are among the best in the world and thus recognised globally and finally there were numerous funding opportunities.
This process of narrowing was finalised by choosing ten schools in U.K I was interested in and narrowing it down to a final five after I had gone through their website and read what they had to offer, the ’employability’ of their alumni, the hospitality of the city or town of location.I will recommend this method to anyone because it will enable you pick the school that is the best for you and is most likely to admit you.An alternative will be to have a list of Professors or prominent people in your field you will like to work with or be their student then find out the university they lecture in.Any option you choose is fine as far as you are strategic about your method to give you with a trimmed list of school with the highest probability of being admitted to.
This site contains a lot of information on how to write a resume and the other four components required for admission.