Many students dream of studying abroad and to make that dream come true an outstanding application is a must. Every year, coveted universities receive tons of applications from ambitious students all over the world. Here are our 5 best tips to make your applications stand out from the crowd and woo the admission team:

1. Get started well in advance 

Making a good application that stands out from the crowd takes a lot of time and effort. So one of our best tips is to get started as soon as possible with your application. 

There are many reasons to start in time with your application, here are two:

  • Some universities look unfavorably at applications sent in close to the deadline. 
  • Some programs fill their slots as the applications come in – if you send your application too late all spots may already be filled. 

2. Do not apply to too many universities

It is not worth applying to all universities that you can find and may want to attend. It will be a lot of work and often universities take out a non-refundable application fee. Therefore it can be very expensive to apply to too many universities. 

A good guideline is to apply to between 6 and 8 universities in total. Here is a good way to approach your applications:

  • Apply to 2-3 high value universities, these can be a little bit out of reach for you – your dream universities. Aim high and you might succeed. 
  • Apply to 2-3 target universities, realistic alternatives where you think you have a high chance of getting a spot. 
  • Apply to 2 spare universities, your safety options where you are as good as guaranteed a spot in their program. 

3. Focus on your personal statement

Often included in university applications is a personal statement or an essay that describes why you are the right person for the program. This is an important part of your application and it is essential that you spend enough time on it to get it right. Make sure to show your passion and knowledge through your statement for the best chances. 

This essay can be the make it or break it for your application!  

4. Include your previous work experience

If you have solid work experience in the field you can gain a lot of advantage over the other applicants. For some programs your previous work experience can compensate for lack of academic achievements.

In case you do not have previous experience, do not worry. Set up a plan to get a part-time job, an internship, or for doing some volunteer work within the right field. Having a clear plan for gaining experience before your studies start shows passion and a strong work ethic which universities value highly.  

5. Focus on your current study results

One of the most obvious tips is to focus on your current academic results. Fact is that strong academic results are one of the most crucial factors in a successful application. Putting in the extra effort during your final school exams, or when completing a bachelor’s, is one of the best ways to supercharge your application.

Follow these tips and get a head start on your university applications! 

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What They Say

Manish Sonal, India
Winner of KTH Masters Challenge 2015 – Full Scholarship and living costs paid for at KTH
“I was always reluctant in applying to foreign Universities due to my financial constraints. Today I am pursuing my Master’s in a subject which I love and feel more confident about my future.”
Saravanan Yuvaraja, India
Winner of GE Light the way Challenge
“GE Light the Way Concepts for the future of Office Lighting Innovation Challenge Competition was one of my best life time experiences. This challenge had given me a chance to know exactly, what the organization is looking from the innovative student community for creating smart and sustainable world in the future.”
Arlisa Febriani, Indonesia
Winner of the Blue Bag Competition 2015 – Full Scholarship and living costs paid for at Lund University
Arlisa’s story is very unique and proof that given the right opportunity, the greatest ideas will succeed. By developing a revolutionary water cleansing system, she proved that anything is possible. This is great news for her, the people of Jakarta, and quite possibly the rest of the world who live in places with little or no access to clean water!
Avon Haughton, USA
Winner of The New School Competition 2014 – Scholarship at The New School in New York
“Winning the competition has been one of my greatest achievements thus far and participating was the most fun I’ve had in a while. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to go to The New School!”

What should I think about when applying to an international university?