Your Application as an International Student
This section of the series is all about you. We are not going to talk about what universities want in a student for the next few articles. Instead, we will focus on what you should want in a university and in return, what you have to offer.
We receive so many student questions and comments saying they want to apply to XYZ University, but most of the times they don’t know why. Matching your academic records is not enough. You can look at the eligibility criteria and decide that you are fit for the university. However, it is a lot more complex process than that.
When our team of counselors points out that they may not be happy at that university, or that it might not be a good fit, the students usually respond saying I can adapt, or I’ll survive.
We keep on repeating that college is not about surviving or adapting; it is about thriving and growing. If the college is not a good fit, you will not have the time or energy to adapt. Consider it like this. As an international student, you will have to adapt to a new culture, a new country, a new education system, new food, new friends etc. You will have to do all of this without your present support system. You won’t be going home to your family every day, you won’t be able to eat food made by your mother for a long time. These are the things you need to get adapted to, not college.
Only surviving is not enough when it comes to college life. College is about growing and thriving and it is going to be the most challenging and exciting experience of your life. To be able to embrace the excitement and face the challenges, you need to be at a place where you can thrive. The first step to finding the right place starts with self-assessment.
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To be able to self-assess yourself, you need to take the following steps –
- figure out what you need to thrive
- learn which environments provide you with what you need to thrive
- identify the universities that offer those environments
One of the most explicit benefits of self-assessment is that it is going to make you a better applicant. You are going to identify your strengths and unique qualities through this process. You can create your Statement of Purpose around those strengths and highlight them. That is going to help you stand out when your application is compared to others.
Equally important is to identify weaknesses because that is what admission officers are going to look for when they evaluate your application. If you address them directly in your application and don’t hide them, you will appear honest and straightforward.
With this level of self-awareness, you will be able to identify the best universities for you and submit your best application. This combination will lead to successful admissions and ultimately a better, healthier approach to studies. Success is always measured by how well you thrive, and not how you managed to survive.
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