If you’ve applied to study outside your country of residence, chances are you’ve faced the many unending requirements needed in your chosen country especially if your secondary education from your home country is not recognized in your chosen country. It’s almost like a nightmare, more like a falling dream except you can’t wake up before hitting the ground. Chances are it won’t be what you expect.
When you have nine months to do absolutely nothing because universities open in September/October in the northern hemisphere, you have all the time in the world to prepare yourself, oh so you think. When you apply it’s a fairly standard procedure:
1. Obviously you need an application
2. And then theres an application fee (if applicable)
3. Then you need standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT
4. On top of that you need an English proficiency test such as the IELTS, Cambridge Advanced Certificate, SAT English or ACT English (Usually needed if you’re not from common wealth or a respectable secondary education system as I would put it)
5. School leaving diploma and transcripts (Some countries don’t issue transcripts at secondary level. I’m sure you can work something out with your university)
6. Letter of recommendation from a teacher
7. An entrance essay (if required)
8. The university entrance exam (usually not optional for medical students)
9. And lastly a copy of your passport
Luckily for you it doesn’t end there. After about a month and a half later if your application is successful you will only be sent a conditional offer. You’re probably wondering why. I was too. It turns out once your application is successful you have to send certified apostilled documentation which you used to apply to the school to you know… prove you’re you or something. An apostille is the legalization of your documents in a foreign country and is usually done by the department of International Relations in your home country or you can get a lawyer to do it if there are time constraints. Anyways, chances are if you’re a foreign student your application WILL be late. Actually there’s a ninety-nine percent chance you’ll be late for school.
Finally you have all the relevant documentation now you must:
1. Send certified copies of transcripts, school leaving diploma and the apostille to your school via courier.
2. If you’re a UK applicant you must now begin the CAS process to obtain a visa and this usually takes on average just over a month and believe in me when I say this is a MESS.
3. Residence visas need police clearance from your home country. This is IMPORTANT.
We have to skip all these points because thats how far I managed to make it before the school and I realized there’s no time to obtain a visa in time and chances are I would arrive during exam time. Thankfully I’m still young and theres still next year and now I have all my documents. I wrote this for international students who want to study abroad so the application procedure doesn’t catch you off guard like it did to me. This article was written based on personal experience and trauma of dealing with legal issues. Some people have smooth experiences and unfortunately for me a lot of things caught me off guard as some of the things I mentioned are not on most university websites for foreign students.