Before applying for Graduate study in the US, READ THIS!!!
This is the personal opinion of the author not that of Efiwe. This is not all encompassing, this is limited by my personal experience.
There are many smart and bright Nigerian graduates that seek graduate study programs in foreign countries especially in the US and Canada. This article attempts to offer some advice regarding foreign graduate degree applications and the whole process, this article will be geared towards the American graduate application process. The process can be very daunting and risky, especially for the graduate that doesn’t have the financial resources to go through the process. This is not a post against Nigeria Universities or why students should study abroad, it is rather for the student that has decided to pursue foreign study abroad.
The process is easy and can be run by anyone that has the time and certain resources. It is wise to stop looking for consultants that don’t necessarily have strong ties and relationships with Schools in the US. I completely ran my application process myself and the same is observed for many of my Nigerian colleagues here. Certain things are very handy when going through the application process:
The problem of broadband penetration still looms large in Nigeria but a needed requirement or necessity for the process of applying and finding study programs in the US. Internet access makes it easy and puts most of the resources at the finger tips of the student applying. Based on the resources available and the cost of different internet plans, the applicant may end up anywhere on the spectrum from unlimited internet access to “Daily cyber cafe internet access”, whatever is affordable would work. The common denominator is that the applicant must have access to the internet.
I know it sounds redundant, Everyone that has internet access almost always have google and social platforms like facebook, linkedin etc. The problem we face is the depth of understanding of the reach and powers of these platforms. I have been able to add friends on linkedin and facebook, people that were currently studying in my university of Choice, Just to ask some questions and find out more about the programs and the many offerings. During my days as an applicant google was almost always the first place my search starts from. In case you are in doubt, the “Googlization” of the world and internet has already happened. Just use the search engine, it can almost lead you anywhere.
The the “Googlization” of the world and internet has already happened. Just use the search engine, it can almost lead you anywhere.
The right search strings
While having google and the internet are very important steps, Knowing the write keywords and search strings to use is also as important as the other two. I have often had Nigerians looking for scholarships online for graduate study when they should rather be looking for programs and schools that will offer them teaching assistanships, research assistanships or graduate assistanships. Most of the Nigerian graduate students in the United states fund their studies through assistanships not scholarships.
Be sure you can meet the basic requirement of the program you want to apply to
Having seen and read about programs from the Program/Departmental website, there is a need to be sure you can easily meet the requirement of the program you hope to apply to. Be sure you can get the scores needed to qualify for the program. Take the necessary exams: TOEFL, GRE, GMAT etc. You stand a better chance of getting into the program if you meet the requirements of the program.
The process is simple and can involve the steps below:
- Find suitable schools and good programs with funding in form of assistanships and be sure you can easily meet the requirements of the Graduate school and the specific program requirements. applying to two (2) or more schools will be good, You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Get your documents (transcript, statement of account, statement of purpose), take the necessary exams (TOEFL, GRE, GMAT etc.) and apply to the school.
- wait for the admission decision.
- If successful, you will be sent the necessary documents for immigration and travel processing
- Get your visa interview scheduled and go for it.
- Get your ticket.
- Make the trip to the US
PS: please feel free to ask questions or leave your criticism, I may not have said all that’s needed, I’d like to hear from everyone, get feedback and questions.
Student | Chemist | Business ethusaist.
reach him via email: email@example.com