A place at Imperial College London. My thoughts.

Four weeks after sending out my online application to further my studies at Imperial College London, I received an email from them. They have made a decision.

The school has decided to offer me a place to study at Imperial College London. I was shell shocked. Literally. When they told me to check my application outcome through the my student login account and saw that they have given me a conditional offer to study at Imperial, my eyes couldn’t believe. I stared at my screen for long while with those two words; “Conditional Offer”.

It was beyond my wildest dreams. One of UK’s most prestigious university has finally decided that I would be eligible to take up a Master’s course in Epidemiology. Imperial College London was one of three universities that I applied for to continue my studies. It was also the least likely of the three that I would get a place in. And before I knew it, Imperial was the first university that responded to my application. I am totally, totally grateful to be given the opportunity to study in one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

I am still waiting for the other two universities to respond. They are University College London and King’s College London. I applied for an MSc in Social Epidemiology in UCL and ┬áMaster of Public Health in King’s College London. They mentioned that it would take 6 weeks to get a response. As of writing, this is probably the 4th or 5th week of waiting after my initial application. It shouldn’t take too long now before I hear their verdict. But nonetheless, I would still be happy even if one of them accepted me to their postgrad programmes. And now that Imperial has responded I couldn’t be more thrilled.

The conditional offer given to me by Imperial would only become unconditional if I fulfil certain criteria. Mainly, they are the submission of original documents as proof that I graduated from my undergrad course and that my command of English is up to standard. After that, it would simply me the initial deposit of the school fees before it becomes unconditional. But there are small problems encountered pertaining to the datelines set.

For one, I need to respond by giving my final decision of whether I want to accept the place or not, offered by Imperial and I need to do it within 28 days starting from the day they made their decision. I have till end of April to make my decision. However, getting a place is one thing. I need a way to finance my studies and that is through a scholarship. The application for that scholarship would only be open from mid April onwards till mid June. And I doubt that they would make any decision on whether I would get the scholarship till the end of June. I can decide and accept the offer now but then I would need to pay an initial deposit for the school fees before my scholarship is guaranteed. If I don’t get the scholarship, then I would have to withdraw from the course and potentially forfeiting my initial deposit. It is quite a hefty sum. In short, the datelines don’t add up. From the school’s website, upon accepting the place offered, you will be invoiced within 5 working days. The dateline for payment of the initial deposit is 30 days upon receiving the invoice. So for example, if I accept the place at the very last minute, on the 25 April, that would mean I have until 24 of May to pay the deposit. My scholarship status would still be unknown. That would put me in a worrying situation.

And that’s not all. I don’t know when is the dateline to submit my original documents. The most worrying is the full results transcript. I can only get it in June, after completing my final semester and getting my final semester’s results. And I need to ship it all the way to the UK. If they are to receive promptly, I might have to ask FedEx to do it!

Right now while waiting, I need to be super careful regarding all datelines set and I need to really plan ahead so that I don’t miss out anything. That includes doing my homework for my scholarship interview and preparing documents needed for the scholarship application. All these takes time and I would probably have to prepare while I’m still writing my thesis for my Final Year Project.

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