To begin with, if you’re anything like me, you will have to start at least a year earlier. I like doing things at my own pace and avoiding unwanted stress. So I started last year with a little time to spare everyday after my day job. Start your research this September if you plan on leaving next September.
Google everything possible about your course. The various countries offering it, the universities, the course fees, application fees etc. In 2-3 weeks you need to know what are the options available to you and all its details. Now you can contact an agency and they will invite you for a free counselling session. All agencies offer this. Attend one or two free sessions and you can ask them any doubt that came up during your research. BUT DO NOT LISTEN TO THE FINANCE PART. It’s most often bull. And you can do this on your own for a quarter of the price they quote. Get a clear picture and write it down or make an excel sheet of all your options. Weigh the pros and cons. Think.
To apply you need to get your documents sorted. These are the ones in general.
- Degree Certificate/ PDC
- 2 letters of recommendation from teachers/ mentors
- Statement of purpose (well written and in such a way that it is easily editable for each university. One that is 1000 words long and another edited version of this around 500-600 words)
- Transcript (Apply for this well in advance. Takes a while to reach you)
- Syllabus of your bachelors
- All semesters mark sheets
- Portfolio (Architecture and design only)
- IELTS/ GRE/ TOEFL Score sheet
Now write down 3-4 universities with paid applications and all universities with free applications (If you can afford more paid applications, good for you) Note all their application opening dates and deadlines. Start applying as and when they open. The waiting period varies. Most Universities gave me a response in 3-4 weeks. But I was pretty determined to get into Politecnico Di Milano School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering.
I had my reasons
- Ranked in top 10 schools of Architecture in the world according to QS
- Ranked no. 1 in Italy
- Absolutely love the country and its architecture
- Student friendly
- Free application
- Lowest tuition fees I could find
- Public University
But they took a while. I got my response only in January and I had applied in October during their first call to the first semester.
Applying in Politecnico Di Milano
You need to create an account on their online service. Fill out your details and upload the documents. You have the option to either use IELTS score or get a letter from your bachelor’s university stating your course was taught in English. You can choose two courses according to your priority. Choose wisely. Once the application is submitted, you will get a receipt. Print the receipt, and enclose it with a sealed copy of your transcript. Mail this to the address shown on the website. I used regular India post because there was more than a months’ time before the deadline. It costed 90/- INR and reached them in 3 weeks. They will email you when they receive the documents. Keep logging into your portal to see if they have mailed you in case they have some corrections to be made in your application. Finally, you will get your answer in 3-4 months. Accept the offer if you got through and start your document verification process.
I will detail document verification process out in my next post!
P.S I haven’t got my Visa yet. I will update if this is a success story once that’s through lol.