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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


23 Jan 2017 557 Book icon 3 mins Share

How to 'stand out' on a university application for your abroad studies

Is the idea of excelling on your University application keeping you up all nights? Learn some simple tips to excel on your application before you embark on a journey of studying abroad.

23 Jan 2017 557 Book icon 3 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


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stand out on a university application to study abroad

Out of all suitable options, finally you have selected a few universities for your abroad studies, which, you think, will suit your career needs. But how to pick that ONE right university for your abroad studies – relax! This article will guide you.

Let’s get to the point:

You may apply at two or three or five universities abroad, and would want to make it sure that each time you apply, your application should be an outstanding one, for your personal satisfaction. Let me tell you that even though grades portray students’ excellence, most universities abroad apply an expansive view to find students who can show something unique on their university application form.

Before we proceed, we would like to tell you about the possible thoughts that a university abroad (foreign university) might have on their mind while looking at any application document:

  1. What motivates an applicant?
  2. How does the applicant invest their time in their field of interest?
  3. Why did the applicant decide to study xyz field?
  4. What is the main goal of the applicant?
  5. Is the applicant open to new ideas and people?
  6. A few things about the applicant’s personal character...and many more

Now, Bulls-eye:

The ingredients to help you create an outstanding university application and help you stand out from the rest:

1. Early bird gets the worm

Do an early and thorough research on what types of universities abroad will match your profile better and proof to be more beneficial. Make a list of your preferences and assess carefully (on several aspects) which university is in line with your goals.

2. Admission methods

Learn about the different types of admission methods (either rolling, regular, early action or early decision) at different universities abroad so that you are clear where exactly you need to focus. No matter where you apply at, you will have to invest a lot of time so consider this factor too.

3. Don’t show, prove your interest

Applying is not just enough; you need to show that you have an ardent interest in the university. Try to engage with them through some possible medium so that you can keep yourself updated about the university.

4. What type are you?

One of the attributes that admissions committee abroad will look for in you is your ability to push forward, accepting all academic challenges. This will help them know what kind of a person you are.

5. Admissions committee – unbiased opinion

The admissions committee will give equal importance to your standardized test scores and academic grades.

6. Give a voice to your essay/ SOP

Craft incisive personal statement (essay) and statement of purpose (SOP), and please remember the key points while doing it:

  • Universities scrutinize on certain aspects, such as ability to exercise good judgement, personal qualities and extracurricular involvement of the applicants. Thus, make sure you craft your personal statement so that it reflects your aspirations.
  • The information that you send across universities through your application should be factual. If you have a lukewarm interest in any activities, please do not highlight them. Try to talk about something that interests you the most.
  • Your statement of purpose should state your interest in the chosen field of study and how you have contributed towards it (or how you plan to contribute).
  • The university will use their discretion to select the best candidates. It is the duty of the admissions committee to give equal weight to the strengths and weaknesses of each student and decide judiciously what value an admission can bring to the university.
  • You will have to keep in mind that the entire process of application is exhaustive, from either side, so you need to be extremely meticulous and believe in what you do.
  • If you believe that you are an independent thinker and can help your fellow classmates, emphasize that on your personal statement so that the university realizes your strength.

7. Your LOR

A glowing letter of recommendation (LOR) will take you a long way. You need to decide from whom you want your LOR. Please keep in mind that your personal statement, SOP and LOR should be coherent and well written.

8. And don’t forget…

If possible, provide some additional information in your application form, for example, your job experiences. Please keep in mind that your form should look impressive and different from the rest, but make sure you do not overdo.

9. Without much ado!

Stick to deadlines and be organized if you do not want to miss this opportunity. The more you delay, the more your admission will be delayed.

Hope these suggestions help you understand what a university abroad looks for in an applicant. It is obvious to have conflicting thoughts while making a decision to study abroad. A key thing to focus on is universities look for a ‘complete package’, so whichever destination you choose just make complete use of the time and opportunities in hand.

Good luck!

Need help applying for a University?

Nupur Verma Nupur Verma,
IDP Expert
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