The UK Fascination
As a teenager, I was fascinated by the geographical landscape of the UK and my interests were further fueled by the novels of Jane Austen, Emily Bronte amongst others. I was highly motivated to pursue my higher education in a country which has been a pioneer of research-driven quality education globally. Apart from academics, the scope for exposure to the global job market, a chance to experience true multiculturalism and an opportunity to live and work in one of the greatest countries in the world – contributed to my desire to pursue my higher education in the UK. Needless to mention, Harry Potter and James Bond movies have contributed in their own little ways!
Having completed my high school from my hometown Guwahati (Assam), I moved to Bengaluru to pursue my bachelor’s degree. It was in the third year of my three-year course, where I kickstarted my preparation for applying into a university in the UK. Planning has truly come very handy and is highly recommended!!!
Time for Some Research
The initial few months were spent on conducting research regarding a wide array of topics. Browsing through the UK Gov websites and British Council websites provided valuable insights about the eligibility criteria’s, visa application process and various university and UK Home office guidelines. It is very important to not just collect information but organize them for effective use. Maintaining a separate folder in MS Word/Excel and classifying information under various relevant groups containing important files, dates/ deadlines, contacts, website links etc. has been extremely helpful.
The IELTS Journey
The next step was to earn a certificate that demonstrates my English language fluency. Although I had completed 15 years of my academic education in Convent schools and colleges with English as the only medium of instruction, demonstration of English language fluency is necessary for international students who do not belong to English speaking nations like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia etc.
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic, developed to gauge whether international students can study successfully in an English-speaking environment, was my next area of focus. Free online IELTS preparation resources from the British Council website amongst others has helped me understand the format of the exam, the scoring pattern as well as how to optimize my score. As I juggled between my final year degree preparation and my IELTS preparation, creating a timetable based on my priorities has helped me not just complete my undergraduate with Distinction but also score an overall of 8 in my IELTS exam. Completing practice tests, especially listening and writing, has been highly beneficial.
Successfully completing the IELTS was my first milestone and it brought in a lot of confidence in me to pursue my life in England. It has also helped to secure course specific internships and work opportunities within university.
Working on my Statement of Purpose
The next crucial step was to write a State of Purpose (SOP) outlining my aspirations, and motivations to pursue Occupational Psychology in Coventry University. It took me 3- 4 weeks to refine my SOP, ensuring that it accurately reflected my interests, aptitudes, and goals. Reviewing the SOP for constructive feedback came handy. I was delighted to be accepted to all the five universities I had applied for, and I finally zeroed in on Coventry University.
Get, Set, Sail to England!
The financial statements, academic documents and recommendations letters were submitted, and I was finally delighted to receive my CAS. The visa application and interview were cakewalk, with the university team providing their best support and guidance and before I realized, I was all set to sail to England and receive an ‘English education’.
The journey from aspiring to study in the UK to finally being admitted to one of the most reputed colleges in the UK has not been easy, but one with rich milestones. The process of preparation, and the journey has been highly rewarding and fulfilling.