Now that you have selected your universities, and the courses, it is best to start doing some in-depth research of the shortlisted universities. Most universities have clear instructions available on their website for international applicants. Additionally, universities may have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section which you might find useful. In case there is an instruction you don’t understand completely you could potentially email the university and request a reply or work with a local consultant for international education.
Marksheets and transcripts
Universities in different countries have different requirements hence the importance of doing in-depth research with the university that you shortlisted. Universities in the U.S. very often require you to submit transcripts from your college and/or they might also require you to get your credentials evaluated from agencies like World Education Service (www.wes.org). If credential evaluation is required please contact WES several weeks ahead during your preparation stage itself.
Unlike some Indian institutions, a character or a moral certificate is not required by universities abroad. The reference letters must always be taken from somebody who has either taught you academically or worked with you in a job/internship. Email a copy of your resume to the referee ahead of time while requesting the reference letter. (See my column on guidance for the Reference Letter)
Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.