This is an article from my friend – Ravi Chaudhari , who graciously agreed to write his experience for the benefits of those who want to explore and conquer the world by education !!!
Thinking of internationalizing your degree? Here’s what you need to do to make it happen!
Even if you’re only toying with the idea of studying abroad, start looking for certain things as mentioned in the list below immediately, because you don’t want to miss an opportunity!
Applications for programs and bursaries have deadlines: applying too late may cost you the experience.
You need to be highly motivated, because this is not a tour — it’s a study program. You might have heard, ‘studying is easy’, well I believe- it’s never that easy! And for Masters in foreign country, it’s a nightmare as it’s full of tense. Starting from application, then if admitted- accommodation, food, culture shock and Study, it’s never ‘Just like that’! You have to work hard, there is no alternative.
But I’m not here to scare you; So, I’m presenting some stages/steps you should consider if you want to study Masters in Canada or any other country.
Steps to be followed before and at time of applying
1) Decide the country you want to apply in
2) Advice- Apply 6-7 months prior to intake in which you want to apply
3) For Canada, Indian Government has tie-up with Canadian government, and they give SPP- student partnership program in order to encourage the young blood of India to study. They give an opportunity to Indian students to study abroad- BUT the problem is, Under SPP, there are 43 Colleges. Colleges provide you Certified courses, Post Graduate Diploma Program, Bachelors degree, and Advanced degree program. If you’re already done with 4 years undergrad study in India, you might not like to study Bachelors again- but if you’ve cleared Diploma studies, it’s great opportunity- Just after your Diploma studies. For undergrad students, I would recommend, aim high- plan for Masters program in University- ‘At least your goal should be higher’
4) Decide the Universities / Institutes you want to apply in
5) Check for FAQ to find answers to your queries , if not satisfied , contact concerned person from respective department
6) Now, apply for Transcripts in your University (8-10 Copies, depending on in how many Universities you want to apply )
7) Go for any consultancy agency (OPTIONAL) (Suggestion: NOT REQUIRED AT ALL)
8) Get your recommendation letters from professors, whom you know closely- prepare a format by yourself (or if the professor is very (VERY) nice, then he might prepare a letter for you!), mail it to professor, if he permits, get all Reco. Letters on letter head of your Institution. Then get it signed and sealed at Student section
- Check if any University requires specific Recommendation- as per their format- then prepare a Reco. Letter and get it filled up by professor (preferably 3 Professors )
- Some universities require only ONLINE Recos., then go for it
9) For thesis- M.A.Sc (Master of Applied Science) study, Check for any professor from selected University, who is doing research on your area of interest, just PIN his/her name somewhere on Application if he/she is ready to take you as student (will be useful , when you’ve applied already, to get his/her recommendations directly – for selection committee)
10)For M.Eng (Master of Engineering), you need not to contact any professor, just go fill online application, and apply all your inputs (Academics, Competitive exams)
11)In some Universities they might require GRE for Masters admission, so check in admission requirement before you apply
12)Advice: Get some experience (Training/ Internship from any relevant Industry), so that you can prepare a good SOP, and a nice Resume as well…
13)Prepare a ‘Statement of Purpose’, this is HEART of any application, take your time and collect all your experience, be meticulous and prepare it very effective!
14)During all these processes ongoing, you should apply for GRE, IELTS/ TOEFL, as per admission requirement of any University, try hard to get these results as per specifications
15)No need to say, Get your Passport ready
16)Some Universities require ‘Statement of Funding (Mostly US based Universities)’- a saving A/c in National Bank (i.e. SBI) having at least 40000 to 50000 USD/CAD
17)Okay, now when you have IELTS result, 10-12 Mark sheets, Passport, Birth Certificate , Bank balance Certificate, get it all notarized.
18)Get all Documents together – (Transcripts+ Mark sheets+ Syllabus- in a single packet , sealed at student section) + 3 Recommendation letters + All Notarized copies + Latest Curriculum Vitae/ Resume
19)Apply in 8-10 Universities , which should be classified as-
- 3 High level Universities
- 3 Medium level Universities
- 1/2 Lower level Universities (any colleges)
The reason, for applying in Universities from different categories is, because you don’t want to put all your apples in a single basket!! I mean, you don’t want to make your chances to Zero, if you don’t get admitted in your priority University! After all, everyone has a Back-up plan!
20)Now once you’ve all the documents ready with you, you should start with online application, every university has its own deadlines, so apply accordingly. You are applying in foreign University, one thing you should keep in mind is they are very strict about TIME. So, deadline matters a lot in all cases.
21)Have patience while online application, one mistake towards it’ll be reason of your dismissal of you admission, so fill all the details carefully
22)Apply in 2-3 universities/ day
23)After applying online, you will get mail – ‘That you’ve successfully paid fees/ applications etc..’, get a copy of it (print)
24)Once you’ve applied a PDF copy will be formed (in some unis.), get it printed for future reference
25)Now, after all online applications has been submitted, it’s time to prepare Packets, which are to be sent to mailing address of University
- Though, in some universities , you need not to send mail /post to them, only ‘SOFT COPIES’ are required to be sent, on University portal
- You may be given an ID, password, and on a portal, you will be asked to upload your documents
26)So, I advise you to keep a soft copy of all documents, before you seal it (i.e. Transcripts, Mark sheets, IELTS result, Passport, CV, Recommendation letter, Birth Certificate etc.)
27)Now, you are ready with packet. So set in order as described below: Starting with-
- Cover letter (In which dept. you’re applying , in which program, enclosures, signature )
- Online Payment receipt
- Sealed Transcripts + Mark sheets
- 12th mark sheet
- 10th mark sheet
- 2/3 RECO letters
- Statement of Intent
- IELTS result
- Statement of funding (if required)
- CV/ Resume
28)That’s it, prepare it as specified above, and mail it to address given, 2/3 packets/day, as you should not make mistake in any of these steps / Documents
29)After applying wait at least for a month or two.
30)Hope, you’ll get a mail from them, positively (But, in case if they don’t select you, that also will be emailed to you (Believe me, it’s going to feel bad- and the mail will be starting with “After carefully reviewing your application, we regret to inform you that our selection committee is not able to let you in for the course applied…bla bla bla….”))
31)One of my friend said, if you’re not selected ,you will be notified soon, but if you’re selected , it’ll take time to process and reply from their side (Docs will be going from- Department -> Graduate Studies -> International Section) (Personally, I don’t believe in it—just apply with all your efforts and then WAIT)
32)At last, when you have all the documents- along with your offer letter from University, go to nearest VFS Global office, and apply for VISA.
33)For student VISA, it just takes 15-20 days at max. If they take more time, then wait!! If much more time then just BUZZ them!
34)Once you have VISA (You can do take this step earlier, if you’re very sure about getting admitted), get your flight ticket.
And Bon Voyage!
If you need more information from a reliable source, following are the links:
Once you reach to desired place- at your dream University
1) Okay, calm down now. You are at your ‘dream place’, don’t get panic by new climate and atmosphere, you’ll get used to it eventually.
2) So, at Airport, you might find a stall from your University’s International students’ department, if not head towards nearest place to your University.
3) Accommodation-If you’ve been in contact with some other people on social media, who had applied in same term and same university (Winter/fall/– Summer in some cases) as yours, then go search some decent place to live in- which is near to University. So that it’ll be easy in transportation. You can use always use a reliable source, a website: http://montreal.kijiji.ca/
4) About culture shock- you might feel some- but you will get acclimatized to it soon, very soon.
5) Documentation- Now, once you are settled up, and unpacked all your bags- go to your Department advisor’s office, inform about your arrival, ask about anything you want to know- related to Academics obviously- i.e. what documents you need to submit and where? Which and how many courses you should take? About the fees… etc..
6) Then get yourself registered in Courses you’re interested- Advice: take some reviews, suggestions from Seniors
7) Food- you might face some problems if you’re vegetarian! Because food is not very tasty, they call it veggie. But at home, you’re the cook- learn some good items to cook and go for it- if you eat eggs- that would be a great option! Takes less time to prepare, and give good protein and other nutrition.
8) License- if you’ve driven in your country, and if you get International Driving Permit from RTO, in different provinces they permit to drive for certain time period. But you’re going to need local driving license, so apply for it, once you get all your documents from University (Student Identity Card etc.)
9) Be active in different activities- Voluntary work and some events. That will help you coming out from ‘nostalgic’ feeling, and also will help making new friends
10)Apply for Co-op Program, if available in your University/ College, that’s best opportunity for a student- ‘earning while learning’, real world experience and also it will earn some academic credits for you.
11)If you need some activity(-that you’ll need for sure-), go for your hobby/ passion- it might be any Sports, Photography, Reading, Learning new languages etc..
Bonne chance pour votre nouvelle vie!
Thanks Ravi !!!