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TOP-10 mistakes in admission to schools, universities abroad for international students

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TOP-10 mistakes in admission to schools, universities abroad for international students

  • Best tips to choose the most appropriate educational institution and a program

In order not to fail during entering a school/university, a student needs to understand the purpose of education, determine the choice of a future profession, the tasks that he assigns to an educational institution - and only then proceed with the search. When choosing a higher education institution, the candidate should focus on specialization, strengths, and university departments: for example, Harvard University is famous for its business school, and the academic program of the Department of Journalism at Columbia University in New York differs from the curriculum of the similar faculty of University of La Verne.

  • Do not be focused on the location of a school or university

The location of the educational institution is important: when choosing a place to study abroad, pay attention to the country, weather conditions, the rhythm of life, where the residence of the educational institution is located. For example, many universities in New Zealand are located in green regions, not far from meadows and pastures. Actually, for applicants, who previously lived in large cities, it will not be easy to adapt to the new environment. In turn, some of Australia's schools are located in the tropical zone, and for students, used to a different climate, this option will be uncomfortable.

  • Overview introduction

When preparing documents for universities, foreign students should carefully consider the certificate requested by the admissions committee: for example, IELTS and TOEFL are different exams, and some schools require additional tests. Prestigious educational institutions may request a number of documents that must be translated and notarized, in some universities they consider only the original letter of recommendation in English.

Most often, students apply for several universities at once - in this case, the package provided can vary significantly and require a sufficient amount of time for quality preparation. Please, remember that only one detail or mistake in the statement (for example, lack of a signature) can lead to refusal.

  • An application essay, last-minute motivation letter

Writing an essay should be taken seriously, because it is intended to reveal the student’s talent, show the ability of critical thinking, analysis skills, reasoning. Many foreign schools and universities abroad pay great attention to an application essay.

If the candidate’s task is to prepare a competent motivation letter, it is necessary to understand that universities consider such kind of work strictly. A curriculum vitae and notes on desires will not be enough. When creating a motivation letter, SMAPSE experts recommend you to provide information based on real-life examples and guided by the following questions:

  • academic achievements
  • reason for choosing an educational institution, profession
  • future goals based on the choice of specialty.
  • Deception of the selection committee

When preparing an essay and a motivation letter, SMAPSE experts do not recommend to make other people write it instead of you. It is worth composing a letter by yourself. During the filing of documents, employees will easily determine the authenticity of the certificate by whom the work was performed. This information applies to the entire package of documents provided for the institution.

  • Apply for several specialties of one university

A student who has applied for several programs of various professional fields at once will be perceived by the admissions committee as an irresponsible candidate - the probability of refusal is very high.

  • Skip deadline

For students dreaming of studying abroad, dates play an important role - SMAPSE experts always recommend compiling a personal calendar. Applicants who wish to study in Great Britain can submit documents through the special service of the country UCAS, which has 3 deadlines:

  • January
  • March
  • October.

The dates refer exclusively to European countries - for most other regions this period is September-June. Applicants need to remember that the universities as Oxford and Cambridge have a personal paperwork schedule, which should be noted in advance. The language exams IELTS and TOEFL are held strictly on certain days in a particular city, and before passing the test, each student must undergo mandatory registration on certain dates. If a foreign student wishes to apply for a scholarship program, the application is submitted in advance - quite often a decision is made before the announcement of the list of enrolled applicants.

  • Immersion into preparation

Students need to be aware of their current studies at a school or a college: grades are essential when a university is considering candidates for admission. Most educational institutions require academic performance data for the last 2–3 years. To enter an educational institution abroad, a graduate must have good academic results.

  • Passing an entrance test with insufficient language preparation

For foreign students with insufficient command of a foreign language, it is recommended to devote all their efforts to improving language proficiency, as sometimes even a decent TOEFL result does not guarantee a lack of of the language barrier during the exam. The ideal solution is to take a language course in the country where the chosen educational institution is located: for example, the center of quality higher education - Singapore - is known for its local English accent that is hard to perceive.

  • Skip the entry fee

Many schools and universities abroad have requirements related to the entrance fee (average $ 15-150 / €), which is unacceptable to forget. Otherwise, the lack of timely payment can lead to refusal, so SMAPSE experts recommend you to additionally attach the check to the finished package of documents.

SMAPSE managers have checked the main mistakes and analyzed the risks when submitting documents to foreign universities and schools. Starting preparation in advance, you can use one of the methods listed in the table:


Preparation of documents by yourself


Address to professionals

You personally will:

  • control the entire process
  • carefully work with dates
  • take full responsibility for preparing the required package of documents
  • study the necessary information about the educational institution.

Professionals with many years of experience will:

  • help draw up a letter of recommendation and motivation
  • assist in filling out an electronic application form at a prestigious educational institution
  • take on the question of editing the required certificates for guaranteed enrollment in a foreign school or university.
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