NATIONAL NEWS - Matrics who want to study in the United States and United Kingdom next year need to start preparing for their applications now.
According to a study conducted by the Institute of International Education, 90% of employers believe that students with international accreditation possess desirable traits and skills, such as maturity, superior communication skills, flexibility, cross-cultural awareness and independence.
"When it comes to applying to study in the US or UK you should ideally give your application an 18-month lead time," said Rebecca Pretorius, country manager for Crimson Education.
The global company offers a plan of assistance and mentorship to students who wish to gain admission into top-ranked universities. "Matrics still have a chance of gaining admission, but they haven't left much room for error."
On top of juggling Grade 12, making decisions on future careers and universities and managing deadlines, the application process for studying abroad takes up a lot of time. "With high expectations and low acceptance rates, applications can't be left to the night before," said Pretorius. "While applications for international universities open in October, you need to plan well in advance to make sure you have all the areas of your application covered, not just academics. The earlier you start preparing, the better."
Pretorius breaks down the admissions roadmap for US/UK admissions in 2020, for those who haven't started yet:
1. May to September 2019
Familiarise yourself with the application process and the universities you want to apply to. You should have a good idea of the various financing, accommodation and deadline requirements for each of your shortlisted universities.
2. June to December 2019
Start preparing for the required admission tests like the scholastic aptitude test, more commonly known as the SAT – for the US, this is throughout the year. Programme and/or university admission tests for the UK run from July to October.
3. July to September 2019
Prepare for October/November applications. Contact teachers and counsellors for reference letters. Give yourself enough time to write, edit and proofread your application and essays before sending them through.
4. November to January 2020
Prepare for personal/video interviews which take place between January and March. You should start hearing back from universities during this time. Make your decision as soon as possible.
5. May to July 2020
Search for possible scholarships and student loan options if necessary. Gather your paperwork for a student visa and apply as soon as you can.
6. July to August 2020
Book your flights, arrange for an international debit/credit card and photocopy all important documentation before you set off.
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