How to Secure Post Graduate Admissions Abroad This series on how to get post graduate admissions abroad focuses on how to secure admissions into the universities in USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Secure Post Graduate Admissions The process of securing admissions for undergraduate studies is usually a little different from that of postgraduate studies. And so, I have decided to handle them separately. This series is for those who already have a first degree (other higher degree) and seeking to further their education. It is also for those who are close to getting a degree and are seeking to secure admissions abroad in order to continue with their education immediately they graduate from school.
Postgraduate degree here covers all forms of degree above the first degree level.
While some students think it is a tedious and time-consuming task to secure admissions abroad, those who have been in this, know just how easy it is; reason why today there are many companies who are into the business of seeking for admissions for students.
Visit their offices and most often you will find just one or two staff seated there, doing the business of seeking for admissions for their clients. These companies make a lot of many from those who imagine the process of seeking for admissions to be a difficult one or don’t have the time to go about it themselves. If only they knew how easy it was to secure admissions in foreign universities.
The Process of Seeking Post Graduate Admissions Abroad
In this series, I have summarized the process of seeking postgraduate admissions into parts with the hope that it will make the process very easy for you and spare you all the money you would have given to someone for doing little or no work. The first part of this series focuses on the five key questions to answer before starting the admission process. See also how to Study Abroad From Nigeria
Even if someone else was going to seek for admission on your behalf, you will need to make these decisions in order to arrive at a perfect conclusion. They are:
1. Determine Where you Want to Study
Your journey of seeking to secure admission abroad begins with being very clear about where you want to study. Continents and countries have different educational policies. It is good you make this decision after having a sound knowledge of the educational policies of the country where you intend to study. My article “What to Know about Studying in USA, Europe, Asia and Australia” will give you more insight on this.
2. Decide what you’re Looking For
People have different things they are interested in, when seeking to further their education. Some are looking for quality education, some are interested in cheap education as long as they can get a certificate, some in building strong research skills while to others, more important is where they can gain much exposure and build connections for a rewarding career.
All these are genuine interests of different persons and it is necessary that they be clarified in order to inform one’s choice of where to study what.
3. Choose Course/Program
Without being clear on what particular course you want to study, your application process could turn out to be more stressful than was supposed to be. Although it is very likely that as soon as you begin searching for schools and their programs, you will see many wonderful programs that will appeal to you, knowing what you want to study will help you be more directed in your search so you don’t waste a lot of time trying to find your school of choice.
In answering this question, think very much of the relevance of what you want to study to the career you want to build and how lucrative such a course will be where you intend to live and work after your studies.
Most often when students choose courses they want to study abroad, they hardly think of the fact that they may later want to go back to their home country to practice what they have studied. So they choose courses that are lucrative abroad and of not much importance back in their home country.
You could make an uninformed choice of what to study during your Undergraduate studies. At postgraduate level, you need to be much more very careful. A mistake at this level may resent a difficult future for you.
Make an Informed Choice of Courses
Also, think of what the future holds for those who study the course you want to study. Some courses that have great relevance today were not very much in the lime light just a few years ago. The world is changing and the demand for certain skills continue to increase. While others are diminishing, some don’t really change.
Today in Nigeria, the demand for skills in Public Health, Health Economics/Health Administration, Medicine, Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Developmental Studies, Strategic Management, Gender Studies, Finance, Natural Resources Management, Disaster Management, Waste Management/Urban planning, etc. These sectors continuously increasing with the upcoming challenges in the continent.
The good thing is that most often, you don’t need to have a background in any of these areas to further in them. Make an informed choice on what you will like to study.
4. Secure Fund for your Education
To most persons, funding is the biggest barrier to studying abroad. However, many waste time and resources searching for schools and applying, even when they are not sure of how to fund their education.
After my Undergraduate studies, I got two admissions to study in UK, the same year. One from the University of Sunderland and the other from the University of Wolverhampton. I was confused when I received the admission letters the same day. I had no money and had just a few weeks left to be in school.
With the short time left, I couldn’t seek for a scholarship. So I watched as the admission opportunities wasted before me as I couldn’t raise enough money to sponsor myself. I felt bad that I had wasted time and money going to the internet every week to follow up on something that was going to end up being a waste.
However, that was the beginning of my rich experience, part of which I am able to share with you here. Since then, I have gotten admissions in at least 15 schools in countries abroad before I eventually did my postgraduate studies.
You need to define how you intend to sponsor your education abroad. Will it be through self-sponsorship, government grant, scholarship by the University or some foreign body? The more certain you are about your sponsorship, the more directed you will be in your application for school.
5. Find out when to Begin your Studies
Universities abroad just like in many countries elsewhere in the world, have different programs and different periods of the year when they begin their programs. In fact, in a place like UK, most universities operate two sessions whereby programs begin in Summer Session or Spring Session. Some programs take in students during these two periods of the year while others take in just during one of the two periods.
When you determine when you will want to begin your studies, it will guide you on when to begin your application process, knowing that some applications could take up to 2-3 months to materialize. see also Tips on How To Gain Admission in UNILAG
With this, we can move on to look at some of the peculiarities in the education system of different continents/countries of the world. See my next on “What to Know about Studying in USA, Europe, Asia and Australia”.
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