Submitting application is the most important step in the whole process of studying abroad. Unless applications are filed properly, completely and correctly, admission is either delayed or denied. It is essential to plan this important process step by step, carefully and with several aspects in mind. There will be multiple Specializations, concentrations and majors to choose from when you are applying for a Master’s level program in universities abroad. Unlike in India, Most universities provide admission on a semester or a quarter basis. During semester pattern they have fall, spring, summer intakes. Most of the students are enrolled in fall semester typically starting in August. Each university has multiple deadlines for various programs considering international applicants, deadlines are carefully determined. The ‘paper work’ involved with admission, SEVIS procedures and several other aspects take much longer than for a domestic applicant.
While local students may apply as late as 60 days to one week before the start of a semester, all international students have to apply one year to 90 days before the start of semester. And if you are looking for getting a financial aid, applications have to be filed much earlier. Application procedure is of multiple type ‘Online’ or ‘Paper-based’ applications. This could be quite tricky if you are sure about the requirements of universities you wish to apply. Some universities insist on only online applications, while some offer only paper-based ones. Some doesn’t have any application fee if applying online. Whichever way you apply, there will be several documents that have to be sent separately by post or courier - transcripts, recommendations, bank statements, SOP’s, Letter of Financial Support etc. Depending upon the time available you should select the best university which is a good fit for your interest. It is recommended to submit an application online as it is very quick.
An International Credit card is required for paying application fees. Paper based applications are time-consuming, laborious and prone to mistakes and corrections which is not suggested. Application process normally takes anywhere between six months to one year for Bachelors and Masters level and more than one year for Doctoral level. During this period, a lot of ground work has to be done in order to meet requirements and deadlines. Admission process is delayed if necessary documents are not submitted. If you plan to apply for 3-4 universities, the costs may be approximately Rs 30,000 - 35,000 including application fee, courier and documentation costs. You should be aware of these costs before starting the whole application process. Consulting your parents, professors and seniors who are already studying abroad will help in making a firm decision.