The life of an Erasmus Student #1 The application process!09:00:00
Hello wonderful people,
I bet you didn't think that I would be around a lot this month! I've been trying to write up and schedule a few posts during the exam process and while I am occupied.
Some of you may not have been aware that I am hoping to do my first semester of third year abroad. It is one of the other reasons that I have been far too busy to concentrate on my blog, as I was occupied in getting the whole application process just right! It was only when I finished and handed in my application form, that I came up with the idea to write a blog series about it. I have seen a few posts about Erasmus before and I definitely think it would be an interesting element to incorporate on my blog (provided I actually get nominated to go on an exchange!)! I will try to have an update on a monthly basis of the whole application process as well as packing process etc. I am very hopeful that I will have to opportunity to go on the exchange!
The deadline for most applications has most likely expired, but there is no reason not to write this post as its constant existence on the internet may benefit those of you who in the future may consider this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The first topic I am going to cover is probably one of the most important ones as it is the first impression you are giving of yourself; the application process. To even begin the application process, one must understand what the application consists of. In UCD the application process consists of two easy steps. The first step is the online application. We were required to send a 500-word personal statement, our personal details and our grade point average for the previous year. We also had to research colleges and the modules we will take overseas as a replacement of the modules we will miss out on in UCD. The aim of this was to try and get modules that were as close to the modules in UCD as possible to ensure that you will cover relatively similar content to the students who remain in Ireland. Once we researched the modules, we had to get a signature from the coordinator of our course to ensure they agreed that the modules you had chosen were appropriate. Make sure that you fully comprehend what you need to do and in what time frame, so you can effectively prepare your application.
The personal Statement
The personal statement is probably the most difficult and daunting part of the process. I decided to get mine done early and had it prepared weeks in advance to the deadline. There are so many approaches you can take when writing a personal statement; you can write about why you would like to study abroad or why you are a suitable candidate for example. Personally, I thought selling myself as an ideal candidate for the endeavour was the best option. 500 words is surprisingly not a lot of words to tell your life story, so make sure you mention the things that are most important to you. I would also advise that you mention things that make you stand out and will make them remember you as opposed to anyone else. I wrote about how I keep a blog for one of the points I was making. I would finally recommend that you write about current things going on in your life because I doubt people will be interested in your on-going participation in the student council 5 years ago.
The criteria in which you are judged
There are certain aspects that will make you a favourable candidate for the study abroad exchange. Ours is based on three aspects; the application form, our grades and our interview. Make sure to construct an impressive personal statement and keep the grades up as well as having an adequate amount of preparation and thought done for the interview.
I am pretty excited to share a little update every month about the process of applying, and hopefully by this time next year, I will be almost finished my semester abroad.
Have you been on Erasmus before or are you considering going?
Let me know about your experiences in the comments.