Documentation Required for Studying Overseas
A university application package documents a student’s academic and personal achievements. A host of queries line up in a student’s mind making an application a challenging task. What documents do I need, how do I get them, etc.
An application package consists of not just the application form, but also the supplementary documents that are submitted along with it. Each university will specify the documents that should be put forward and it is important to present all necessary papers, otherwise the application may be rejected because it is incomplete.
Every university around the world may not require the same set of documents. Here is a general list of documents that one will require during the application process.
Most university applications are now online. Fill in all the details carefully. Make sure your application form is complete and error-free before you submit.
A document that mentions your academic details like subjects taken, grades obtained and hours spent in each subject. While most universities allow the transcripts to be uploaded online.
Standardized test scores
Depending on the level of study you are planning to pursue, you will be required to submit scores of either SAT (for US undergraduate applicants), GRE or GMAT. Most universities will also ask for English proficiency scores (TOEFL/IELTS).
All test scores have a validity period. Ensure that your score is valid while submitting to the university.
Statement of Purpose
A Statement of Purpose (SOP) assists the admission committee to get to know you better. It talks about your choice of course/university, goals, achievements, personal interests and your future plans.
An SOP is also called a Letter of Motivation, Personal Statement or Letter of Intent. Make sure this statement highlights all your abilities & talents and that it is well written.
A resume is a tool to set yourself apart from the crowd and display your qualifications & skills and to pen down your personal, academic & occupational details. This is your opportunity to show the admissions committee what all you have accomplished and where your experience lies.
Letters of Recommendation/ Reference
Nearly every university will ask you for reference letters from either teachers/professors or, in the case of a professional program, from an employer. These letters prove to be an important source of information about you, the applicant. It highlights your strengths, capabilities and caliber. It is therefore important to get letters from professors/employers who have known you well and will write a strong letter for you.
Certificates for extracurricular activities
These documents add value to your application as they represent all your non-academic interests and occupations. Your interests can range from anything between theatre/drama to sports, debating to teaching slum children and from advocating for the environment to dabbling in dance. Extracurricular pursuits are especially important when you are applying for an undergraduate degree.
Work Experience Certificate
This is different from an employer reference letter and is generally needed for post graduate applications. This letter affirms your tenure, designation and work profile with an organization/ company. It also draws attention to your professional credentials recounting your work ethics, performance and general behavior.
Most universities have their own financial certification forms available as part of the application. Usually the form has to be submitted along with a bank statement/affidavit of support.
A bank statement is issued on the bank’s letterhead with a seal & authorized signature bearing the date, account number and the amount in the account. The statement should reflect that the applicant (or) sponsor has sufficient funds to bear all the academic expenses.
An affidavit of support is usually notarized on a stamp paper, signed by the applicant’s sponsor and states that the sponsor will be supporting the applicant financially. It also states that they have enough economic resources to bear the total tuition fee and living expenses of the applicant.
Passport copy and photos
These may not necessarily be needed for the application, but once an admission offer is made to you, it will be required for the issue of visa. Make sure that you submit the requisite number of passport copies and that the dimensions of your photos are correct.
Remember that all universities (including those in non-English speaking countries) will require that your documents are all in English. If there are any documents that are in any other language, ensure that you get them officially translated before submitting them.
GRE/GMAT as we all know is a standardized test taken by prospective students as a part of their application for Masters Courses in Business, Management and MBA. The Universities use these test scores to assess an applicant’s potential.
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