This afternoon I went to the Pan-Pacific Hotel, where they held the Australian Law, Medicine and Health Science Open Day. Having gone through a similar seminar and exhibition that showcases UK Universities, it was another fruitful day learning about the postgraduate courses on offer from several Australian Universities.
I now have a range of choices to make in my quest to apply for a postgraduate Master’s programme. I am particularly interested in the area of Public Health or Epidemiology. So far I have applied to three different UK universities. They are Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London. I went through their lengthy, but rather convenient online application process. It took days for me, because the application requirements for UK universities requires you to prepare certain documents that are needed in a digital format. In addition, they need academic references from two professors who have taught you in your undergraduate programmes, and thus, it takes time to convince two professors to spend time writing for you those academic references. On the plus side, I can apply to the UK universities without having to submit a complete transcript. As you know, a complete transcript is only available upon graduation, and since I ams still studying, in my final year, I can only submit a partial transcript of all the results I have so far. The disadvantage is that it will lower the chances of getting a place in their postgrad programmes, but at least they might give me a conditional offer if I am eligible. That way, I may get a place if I fulfil any requirements that are left outstanding upon graduation, rather than waiting an entire year until the application window starts again. The problem being is that my graduation date leaves me little room for me to prepare and apply to those UK universities. So I am technically seizing the chance in applying this year for next year’s intake, despite a partial transcript.
Australian Universities are slightly different. The semester intake is usually in February. That means the application window is much later during the year. I can wait till I graduate, get the complete transcript and then apply to any of the Australian Universities I am interested in. Which is fine, despite the fact that they do not accept partial transcript. I can simply take my time to do more research on where I would most likely interested in going and apply to that University.
Then there is the problem of financing. You see, in order for me to further my studies overseas, there are two requirements that I need to fulfil: 1. Get a place in the university of my choice (which should not be a problem) and 2. Get a scholarship. I really need some form of financing like a scholarship or a generous grant to realise my dream of furthering my studies. If any of these two do not materialise, then I may not be able to further my studies in that year and may have to find other avenues of financing my studies through employment for a couple of years, saving up money or try for the scholarship again next year.
Scholarship is currently the biggest challenge. It is highly competitive, despite having numerous options if I make the effort to find one. And different scholarships have different dateline to apply and it can be extremely challenging to keep tabs as to which scholarship I am eligible for, followed by the dateline of the application. With so many datelines to keep track it can be really difficult.
I am hoping for the best. Right now I am really doing my homework, finding out which universities are suitable for me to apply for the course I want, finding more scholarship opportunities out there, and also looking for tip in how to get that scholarships like interview tips eligibilty and so on.
And lastly, if any of you out there who is reading this can point me in the right direction on how to successfully finance my studies abroad, I am open to suggestions!