The first thing you have to do when filling UCAS application is to choose up to five universities you would like to attend and the courses you would like to study there. If before, I was still doubting whether to study something of scientific nature or from social sciences, then after having been to Cambridge Open Days, I was already certain that I wanted to study Political and International Studies, therefore now I just had to think of the universities where to do so. With the help from Augur and Ben, I decided that I want to apply to the following universities: University of Cambridge (HSPS), London School of Economics and Political Science (PP), University of Edinburgh (PP), University of Durham (PPE) and University of Warwick (PPE).EDIT: Just before sending away my application, I decided to change some of the courses, that I would be applying to. The new list is: University of Cambridge (HSPS), London School of Economics and Political Science (Sociology), University of Edinburgh (Sociology and Politics), University of Durham (Combined Honours in Social Sciences), University of Warwick (Politics and Sociology).
After spending lots of time online, trying to find information about applying, while also writing my Personal Statement, I started to think that maybe some other people would be interested to read about the process. Therefore, I am launching a new project on my blog, which as you might have noticed, is called “Project: University”.
The story behind “Project: University”
One of the things that has drawn me, since I first went to the UK, has been the possibility of one day going there for further studies. It all started, when I was in eight grade, thinking on going to the UK to finish my studies there, as I was not on the best terms with the school I was currently attending. On that time, my mother advised me to finish my basic school here in Estonia and then later go and look for the opportunities to study in the UK. So I did. The problem was that in ninth grade I went to Sütevaka for a day as an exchange student and I kind of fell in love with the school, therefore when it was time to go to high school, my decision was already made, although I still knew that for further studies in university, I wanted to go to the UK.
As the time passed, I had to decide what to do after high school and then I read that Cambridge had its Open Days on the 5th and 6th of July. I made up my mind to be there and started to research how to apply to any of the universities in the EU, more exactly in the UK. This is how I came across to filling UCAS. Meanwhile, I also went to travel in Europe, in order to see some universities and of course, attend the Cambridge Open Days. (if you already have not read about the trip, you can do so here: Trip from Cambridge to Amsterdam)
After returning from my travelling, it was time for me to start preparing everything in order to apply to the universities I had chosen. So far, I have decided to apply to the UK but also to the Netherlands and to Italy. Because the deadline to submit you application to universities in the UK is the first to come, I have so far only been focusing on that.
Applying to the UK via filling UCAS
When applying to universities in the UK you have three options how to do so. You either do it via your school, via some organization or by yourself. Due to several reasons, I chose the latter option of doing everything by myself and if needed, I am asking advice from people whom I trust the most in this matter – Augur (a wonderful guy, who hosted me while I was in Cambridge and who has attended the University of Cambridge himself), Ben (a Scottish friend from the Slovakian Youth Exchange, who has worked in the youth field for years), Kadi Liis (a girl from Estonia, who is at the moment studying at the University of Cambridge), Lauren (a girl from University of Cambridge, who is already studying the same field I want to) and then there are some other people as well.
After deciding what and where to do, it is time to start fulfilling your application, which consists of your general information, the information about your studies up to this point, the information about your work experience and the two most important things, your Personal Statement and the Reference Letter from your school, most likely from your form tutor. Application deadline for all professional medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses, and for all courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge is 15th of October. All the other people have time until 15th of January with the exception of art and design students, who have time until 24th of March (lucky bastards).
As my deadline is 15th of October, then for the last month or so, I have been using almost every free moment I have to work on my Personal Statement, which is about to be finished – I hope… The Personal Statement is, in my opinion, the most important thing about your application that can be easily influenced. You can have the best grades ever, and still run the risk of being rejected if your universities if you submit them a piece summarising your life that makes you seem like the most boring stick in the mud to ever walk the earth. Thankfully I still have two weeks to work on it, so I am not in that big hurry yet and I believe it will be finished on time. The good thing is that all the other parts of the application are already ready, including the reference letter from my form tutor, Mrs Tiina Kruusmaa.
At this point, I will now stop writing this post and get back to my Personal Statement, but as soon as there will be any update on the “Project: University”, I am again here to write about it.