Meet Elena, our higher education guru, who made her way into a British university all on her own. Curious about what studying in the UK is like? Wanna know what traps await students during their academic journey? Well, Elena spills all the tea in this article.
The First Attempt
Back when I was a second-year-student and was doing an internship in Thailand, they suggested I take my education to the next level at Webster University in the USA. Pumped about the idea of getting some learning done abroad, I hightailed it back home and immediately started my preparation to apply to a foreign uni.
It was super important for me to start my education in January, so time was seriously running out. Right away, I got the academic transcript of the courses I completed in my undergraduate program in Translation Studies back home, requested recommendation letters, aced the IELTS, and wrote a motivation letter. You know, the one where you explain the reasons for transferring universities. I also mentioned my desire to continue my education specifically at a foreign university. Fast forward a month, and I got that offer I’d been hoping for.
On Changing Priorities
But the tuition cost at Webster University was pretty high. Plus, I’d have to start my education all over again, from the first year, because of the differences in subjects. After weighing all the pros and cons, I made the call to stick with finishing my education in Russia and then pursue a master’s degree abroad. That left me with enough time to beef up my profile – participating in volunteer programs and campus events, as well as honing my skills in English, Chinese, and French.
Quick Tip: Most universities these days go for a holistic review approach – they’re not just all about grades and test scores, but also your personal side. Modern universities want to get who you are and your values, so they pay extra attention to your essays, volunteer experience, and interests. Plan your profile ahead and give equal time to all aspects, as they hold equal weight.
My motivation to study abroad grew stronger each day: I delved into the perks of foreign education, compared universities and program content. Eventually, I decided to throw in an application for a short-term program in Translation Studies at UCL, University College London, one of the most renowned and prestigious universities in the UK.
For the application, I needed the standard document package: university transcripts, an English proficiency test, a resume, several recommendations, and a statement of purpose.
Quick Tip: If you’re applying to multiple universities, part of your documents will be the same – resumes, tests, transcripts, and even recommendations. But sending the same statement of purpose to all of them is not the best idea. Write individual essays for each university, considering their peculiarities and the chosen program.
Come in for a consultation on writing your motivational letter. Our team of experts will review your profile, help you choose a topic, and share some life hacks on how to make your essay strong.
I carefully revised my original statement of purpose, highlighting my particular interest in this university and program. My main focus was on acquiring fresh experiences, as my goal was to explore new opportunities and enhance my soft skills to the fullest.
About the British University Education System
While talking with UCL students, I was surprised that most program schedules only consisted of 3-4 days, usually with 2-3 classes per day. Many international students initially believed they would have a lot of free time and that the limited number of classes wouldn’t provide a comprehensive education. In reality, this is an illusion and a trap that foreign students often fall into at the beginning of their studies. The thing is, higher education in the UK is built around independent work, which makes up about 70% of the academic load. Professors act as mentors, and lectures and seminars are designed to provide a general framework.
Students in British universities take charge of organizing their study process outside of lectures. There’s always a lot of work: assignments, research before and after new lecture topics, and individual and group projects that require thorough preparation. That’s why many university libraries operate around the clock as multifunctional cultural and educational centers.
About the Desire to Help
During internships at international exhibitions in my final years at university, I discovered a world of diverse foreign programs, which I personally learned about from representatives of universities and schools. It was during that time that I started thinking about how amazing it would be to become part of a team and help school and college students at every stage of their admission journey.
With a representative from St. Johnsbury Academy, a U.S. international school
My education in linguistics and translation studies, along with my independent experience of applying and studying abroad, laid a solid foundation for my growth as an expert in higher education overseas. Now, every day, I assist students from different countries in navigating all the stages of preparation for their education and changing their lives.
On Preparation and Admission Strategy
Just in the UK alone, there are over 150 universities, and in the US, around 4,000. Picking the right university and putting together a solid application package is no small task, especially when you’re applying for the first time and aren’t familiar with many nuances. In such cases, it’s a good idea to rely on professionals who can help you define your study abroad goals and devise an effective admission strategy. An individualized approach and communication are crucial here – that’s why working with experts will bring more benefits than searching for information online.
Quick Tip: Every university has its own distinctive features that set it apart from others. Universities choose students not only based on grades and achievements but also based on personality type. Sign up for a consultation with our experts to choose exactly those educational institutions that will be a 100% match for you.
In addition to the educational strategy, I assist in formulating the goal. Studying abroad is merely a means to achieve it. It also determines which countries would be best for your education, what cities and fields of study should be highlighted in specific cases, and why. Thanks to this approach, education in a university won’t just be about a checkbox or a diploma; it will become an unforgettable experience and a useful tool for future development.
Throughout her work, Elena has helped more than 450 individuals define their educational goals and gain admission to foreign universities. Each year, her students receive offers from prestigious institutions, including the University of York, Northeastern University, Imperial College London, and the University of Toronto. Sign up for an individual consultation to analyze your case. Our team will assist you in setting priorities correctly, defining goals, and building a foolproof admission strategy, all to start your journey towards your dream career. Are you ready for the journey?