What to do after receiving university acceptances – a countrywise guide
It’s that time of the year where acceptances are rolling in. Finally the stress of college admissions is over for many students, particularly those applying abroad. But as the dust settles, the simple question of “What Next” looms large. Here is a country-wise next steps guideline!
Accept your offer as soon as possible – It is always possible to withdraw from one college and accept another. But accepting allows you to move forward on accommodation and visa processes. Most countries have a May 1 deadline so take your time to analyse your offers through March and April.
Maintain funds in your bank account – It reflects your ability to pay college fees and living expenses for one year. A financial statement of funds usually needs to be submitted to colleges to receive initial visa documentation from them.
Connect with other students – Students who are planning to attend the same university. Most good universities attract a bunch of students every year and having that support makes it easier to plan and adjust there.
Prepare for your Visa interview – You will primarily be asked about your reasons for studying abroad, future plans, work plans, accommodation plans, your financial circumstances and who will be financing your studies, etc. It is important to share your plans to use this education back in your home country to make the process smoother.
I-20 – What is this crucial document and how do you get it? Once you get your acceptance letter, you need to give a deposit to your chosen university typically by May 1. Your I-20 takes around 2 weeks to come so plan well in advance.
Sign up for your accommodation – In order to place an undergraduate student in a dorm, a US university’s housing department typically sends paperwork and a questionnaire asking about your lifestyle and interests. Many universities have a mandatory policy for first year students to live on campus. It is advisable to book your accommodation as soon as you decide your university. It makes life easier to be on campus, make friends and sign up for a meal plan in the first year. For those who do not have an option of on campus housing, you can use off-campus housing websites, but do start this process as soon as possible.
DS 160 – This form must be completed and submitted online before your interview in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The barcode number on the Form DS-160 confirmation page is required to book your interview. The Form DS-160 has to be submitted online.
Post this you follow the visa application process – Pay the SEVIS fees, book your Visa Interview, collect your documents, give the interview and get your visa approved!
Housing – Please book your Housing by March 31 (or even earlier) particularly for Vancouver and Toronto schools where housing gets filled up fast.
Acceptance – Pay your acceptance deposit to your chosen university by May 1/ June 1 to confirm your place. Students going to Quebec must also obtain a “Certificate of Acceptance” of Quebec (CAQ) from that province.
Pre Application Medical Exam – You may need to do a medical examination before applying for the study permit by visiting one of the panel physicians in India.
Study Permit – Apply for your study permit as soon as you accept your offer. You will need to show proof of your funds for your tuition fees, living expenses.
Transcript – Send your final transcripts to your chosen university.
After receiving reverts from all your universities, choose a firm and insurance university on your UCAS portal. Most UK offers are conditional offers, you can only start your visa process once you receive a confirmed offer. Send your final scores to your firm and insurance choices and receive a confirmed offer
If you are unable to meet the conditions, you can either appeal to the university to consider your final scores or you can start looking for other universities in the “Clearing” round.
Confirmation of Acceptance – After receiving your confirmed offer, you need to request for a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) interview. You will then be given a date and time for an interview which is known as a “pre- CAS interview.” If your pre-CAS interview was successful, a CAS draft is sent to the university and you will be granted a CAS letter.
In your CAS letter, you will receive a CAS number. A CAS number confirms that you have an unconditional offer in the UK and you have accepted this. You will need a CAS number to apply for a visa.
Process Visa application and help with IHS payment – You will need to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of your immigration application.
Visa interview and receive a Visa – Once you complete the online application form and submit your documents, you need to pay a visa fee, after which they will schedule an interview with the UK embassy. The visa interview is the final stage of the application process.
Accommodation in the UK – Start looking for accommodation as soon as you have accepted your offer. There are two types of accommodation – university accommodation and private accommodation. Many universities offer on campus accommodation for international students, and you have to pay for it separately. Else you can look for your own off campus accommodation with the help of the housing department and/ or by connecting with students at the university.
Accept – Accept your offer and pay the deposit. Often acceptance is time bound with less than a month to decide. However, if you decide to withdraw your application from a particular university after paying the fee, they will mention a date till which you will receive all of your money back , less a 5% deduction as administrative processing fee subject to a maximum of INR 5,000.
Domicile – If you are a resident of a particular state, you may be eligible for a part tuition waiver too. For example, if you have a Haryana domicile certificate, you are eligible for a 25% discount on your fees at some Haryana-based universities including Ashoka.
Other than this, our advice is—learn to cook! Managing healthy and tasty meals can easily be your responsibility as many students get bored of college food fast. Learning to balance good food with exercise and study habits is critical to student success!
The writer is Founder and CEO, Inomi Learning, a Gurugram-based career and college guidance firm. firstname.lastname@example.org
The original article was first published in ‘The Hindu’ on March 19th, 2023.
With inputs from Kritika Malhotra.
Richa Dwivedi Saklani is a certified coach from UCLA and is an accredited MBTI trainer who has worked with over 10,000 people across career planning and as a behavioral trainer in companies. She is the CEO & Founder of Inomi Learning and author of “The Ultimate Guide to 21st Century Careers”.