So, back to this again. My second, out of three, posts about my university experience (if you missed out on nr 1, you can read it here ). I'll try to make it as easy and simple as possible. Applying to schools is definitely pressuring enough, don't need to add extra stress to that. I decided to study in London (and applying from Sweden), so obviously this post will be angled that way, but hopefully you will manage to find it somewhat helpful no matter where you want to go, even if you chose a different country.
First thing you need to do is to is to translate your final grades. This can be done for free at your old gymnasium, high school, upper secondary school, college or wherever you previously studied. The reason you cannot do it yourself is because you need the official stamp or a signature from someone at the school.
Second, applying. If you want to, you can usually apply through the official website of your future school or through an external link. Simply by googling 'school-name' application you should be able to find it. For me, to minimise the stress of a regular application process, I chose to apply through a Swedish organisation. This option doesn't exist for every school abroad, but I guess I was just very lucky. Because even if I feel that I am fluent in English and can easily understand it, the whole way the educational system works are completely different from what I'm used to. It's easier to apply through someone/something that shares your point of view and has more of an understanding of your perspective. I found an organisation called IBS Education (International Business School) and that where I decided to apply through.
What was so great about IBS was the fact that they offered, for the first semester, a housing option located in their student mansion in Chelsea, just off Kings Road (how posh). When I saw that I was like heeeeells yeah, that's perfect! Looking back I kind of wish that I had found a place for myself. Just because it ended up getting a bit too expensive for me AND I had intentions all along to stay in London even after I graduated. So just for the sake of saving myself from a little extra work in-between my semesters, maybe it would have been better to figure out the whole housing thing on my own from the very start. HOWEVER, I mad some really good friends and had SO MUCH FUN living on Manresa Road so I am still very happy it all happened. Despite my complains. So, all that's really up to you!
Anyway, back to IBS. Here you can find the link to the program I studied - Fashion Business. The contact person I had at IBS was a woman called Eva. She guided me through the application process and answered, both through email and phone calls, the many (many, many) questions I had to ask her about this school. She helped me gather all the papers I needed and then prepared me for the final application interview (that was without a doubt the the most heart-beating conversation I've ever had in my entire life. But I'll tell you about that in a second).
Important papers and Documents
There was a bit of paperwork that needed to be done before we could continue onto the interview process, I guess they wanted to see if I was even worthy of their time. Like I said before, the final grades had to be translated, scanned in and sent to IBS via email. Now, my grades were actually not good enough to be accepted for this program. Guess I was a bit lazy in my teens. But to be fair, who wasn't? So what I had to do instead, to compensate for my lacking grade, was to write a motivation letter - basically saying that this school would be insane to deny my application because of simple number, when I am the most creative, inspiring and simply just the coolest person the'll meet. And whatever you do, promise them that one day they will thank you for taking your precious time and dedicating it to their school, because you will be the king of the world like asap. Tada! Easy, easy. What is required from everyone (even the kids who were smart in school) is a personal letter explaining WHY you want to attend that school and that school only, telling them that their school has been a dream of yours for as long as you can remember, that you cannot and will never be able to see yourself attending any other school other than this one. That you fell in love with the school from the second you laid your longing eyes on it and that you've read ever page of their website as if it was a romantic novel only you could ever understand. Or something like that.
Either way, the rest of the forms you will have to print, fill out, sign etc. are (was for me) the ones listed below. It's just some general information about what you want your future roommate to be like (if you're a guy you're most likely to get a single room for the same price as for a shared one. Lucky you), a paper explaining health and safety, some rules the school have (no alcohol consumption, no fighting etc), and so on.
- IBS Student Accommodation: General Information for London
- General Lease Agreement
- Roommate Relations
- Destination Safety
- Code of Conduct
- Student Details Form
What you need to remember (and what IBS was slightly vague on informing me with) is that the housing option they have is mandatory, you will have to pay upfront (so not monthly) and CSN will not be able to give you a loan for it. However, I checked on their website and it is now written pretty clear that you will need about 55.200kr extra, that would be for rent I suppose.
I just realised how much more I have to tell you all and how much I have already written. I might make a part 2,5 and tell you more about the school, projects, etc there. Just so this post doesn't get too heavy. Anyway.
Last but not least. Hey, congratulations. All the paper work, essays, interviews, sweat and tears you have gone through is now behind you! Buy a bottle of champagne and celebrate. Now all you have to do is wait. Wait, wait, wait and then wait some more. Wait for CSN to get back to you, wait for your acceptance letter (hopefully), wait until the day you finally get to move away, drink more than you should, study less than you thought, meet cooler people than you thought existed and just be absolutely shameless and confident because YOU fucking made it.
All good. All done. Good luck xx