How to Ace Your Study Abroad Application

By Brittany Loeffler on April 13, 2018

One of the most beneficial experiences a student can get in college is to study abroad. Living in a foreign country for a semester while making friends, taking classes, and experiencing a new culture helps you grow academically and personally.

Most all colleges and universities have study abroad programs, it’s the matter of being accepted into them. These programs are competitive and typically have a cut off for the number of students who are accepted. If you are thinking about studying abroad and want to apply, these are some tips on how to ace your study abroad application and get the chance to live in another country for a semester.

time, watch in sand, study abroad application

via Pixabay

Apply on Time

The first tip to ace your study abroad application is to submit your application before the deadline. It’s easy for time to get away from you during a busy semester. Dates and projects can creep up on you suddenly. If you are serious about studying abroad, then you need to take applying seriously. Don’t let time get away from you.

As soon as you get a hold of the application, set time aside to complete it. The only way to ace your study abroad application is to submit before its deadline.

Get Written Recommendations

Some, if not all, study abroad applications will require letters of recommendation. These should be from past professors who know you as a good student. Since these programs are competitive, they are looking for the most dedicated and hard-working students to accept.

Email professors who would remember your face and name if they saw you on campus. They should have taught classes you aced and participated in. Don’t ask a professor who never heard you speak in their class for a recommendation, they probably won’t give you one.

grade, straight-A student, study abroad application

via Pixabay

Good Academic Grades

You don’t have to be a straight-A student to be accepted to a study abroad program, but you can’t be failing either. Again, keep in mind that these programs are competitive. They want students who can handle workloads from a few classes while still being able to enjoy and experience living in another country.

It’s important that your grades show that you can balance your time and responsibilities. Make sure to mention if you are part of any extracurricular activities or hold a part-time job. This could also help you ace your study abroad application.

Research Your Desired Destination

Do some research about the country where you would like to study abroad. It’s important to have some background knowledge about the country’s history and culture before you complete your study abroad application.

This knowledge will be helpful, not only in confirming that this is where you would like to go, but also with your personal essay and any in-person interviews. You will probably be asked “Why do you want to study here?” multiple times during the application process. You better have a good answer to it!

personal essay, study abroad application

via Pixabay

Write an Outstanding Personal Essay

Unlike your normal academic essays, personal essays are much easier. They are written from the heart. Don’t be afraid to get personal and open up about why you want to study abroad. Make sure to mention your academics and career goals.

Write about what you hope to get out of this experience. Maybe you want personal growth or to become more worldly. Maybe this country is where your ancestors are from and you’d like to experience living there just as they did. The more personal you get, the better.

It is still an essay, though, which means you should brainstorm ideas, create an outline, and edit it before turning it in. This should be the one piece of your application that grabs the admissions officer’s attention and remember you when they put your essay down.

Be Yourself

The most important way to ace your study abroad application is to just be yourself. Don’t lie in your application about why you want to study abroad somewhere because you think it sounds better than your actual reason. Be truthful to yourself and in what you say when applying. If you’re caught in a lie, then it reflects poorly on you as an applicant.

Ace Your Application Now

Time is wasting! What are you waiting for? Start your study abroad application now (or when it goes up) and make sure you submit it before the deadline. Email old professors who know you fairly well and ask for written recommendation letters. Make sure your grades are in check. If they aren’t as good as they want, work hard this semester to get them up so you can study abroad the next semester. Do your research on the country you’d like to study abroad in so you have some background knowledge when writing your personal essay. Have a reason for why you want to study in that country and state it in your essay. Lastly, be yourself.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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