You've enjoyed your X'mas and had a blast with all the fun and frolic! Now, it's time to tenaciously work towards your study abroad plans. 'ReachIvy' strongly recommends that you use this holiday season to maximize the right set of experiences you can showcase in your college application:
Shadow people: If you have a specific future career in mind or are considering a couple of options for college, network with seasoned professionals and college students in these areas who can guide you, and could help you design a relevant path. By doing so, you may connect with someone who could end up becoming your mentor, who would be a long-lasting source of wise counsel.
Volunteer: Whether it is climate change, women’s rights, urban sanitation, amnesty for refugees or global health problems like tuberculosis or heart disease, pick a cause that you are genuinely passionate about, and find a way to get more deeply involved with an organisation in whose mission you believe. Work on specific projects to gain a richer understanding of the operational context of one or two causes.
Streamline your social media presence: Social media can help you enhance your story and make your application credible. Clean up your current social media presence and utilise social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to be an extension of your college applications, by appropriately posting comments and links to highlight strengths, skills and interests to give targeted schools an authentic insight into your personalities.
Tour your selected colleges: Winter break provides a great opportunity for you to travel abroad and visit your targeted universities. Even though it’s not necessary to visit the universities before you apply, it does help with your decision process. Visiting the campus will give you a real sense of the atmosphere, the academic programs, fellow students, faculty, student life, local area, and much more.
Take your standardised test(s) : Ideally, you should be done with the test(s) before you even start your application. However, if it is still pending, the holiday season is a good time for you to intensively prepare and take your stipulated standardised test(s). Ensure that your score lies within the range of accepted scores at your targeted schools.
Help a college professor with his or her research: What problem do you want to solve? From creating an atmosphere to survive on Mars, defining a lasting fashion trend, or finding a cure to cancer, you can fuel your passion and significantly develop your research skills by assisting a college professor who has dedicated his or her life to finding answers. Volunteer to do grunt work or primary research, and assume further responsibility as you build your skills and relationship.
Further build your extra curricular activities and interests: If you play a sport, train with coaches and practice hard. If you are passionate about foreign films, take online courses on film appreciation or volunteer with organising local film festivals. Whatever your activities and interests, find a way to delve into them further over the break.
Get a winter internship: Do you have a specific career you are looking to pursue post your degree, or any specific subjects that you would like to study further? Getting a part-time or full-time internship at a related company or organisation will not only help you explore, but will also help you cement your interest in this sector.
Scour college websites: Utilise the down time to learn more about your target school’s curriculum, pedagogy and academic rigour. Research department webpages, core curricula, and the university news pages to discover timely advancements in faculty and student research and achievements. To imbibe a campus vibe, take a virtual tour, understand the university’s mission statement, read the campus newspaper, and look into career and academic advising support for international students.
Connect with current students and alumni: Reach out to students and alumni of your target schools to get a deeper understanding of not only the various academic programs, but also life outside of the classroom. How much faculty support would you get on expanding your project? What career opportunities do you have as an international student abroad? The best insights you are going to get into answering such questions that matter the most is through the college’s student body.
By making the most of this festive season break, you could potentially tip acceptance to your dream college in your favour.
('ReachIvy' is ….............................)