Applications have been open for a while now, and stress is running high. It is a daunting and overwhelming experience, but at the end when you get accepted to your dream university, it’s all worth it. Since there are deadlines to be met and important documents to be taken care of, I thought I would give you a glimpse of what my application process looked like. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies.
The easy(ish) part
I made the decision to apply to Sweden around the middle of last year and kept an eye out for the dates when applications opened. As a result, I technically “started” my application process on the first day itself. Don’t worry though, I actually submitted the completed application the week of the deadline. Making an account on University Admissions was by far the easiest part of the entire process. Then came the task of selecting four programmes (since I was applying for a master’s programme) and ranking them in order of preference. This part took a bit longer, but I blame that on my indecisiveness. I would suggest you take some time to select and rank the programmes of your choice. Read the course information provided on the university’s website and talk to current students (if possible) to get a better idea.
The struggles begin
So now you know the programme(s) you want to apply to. Great! Here is when things start getting a bit more serious. Once I was satisfied with the ranking of my programmes, I shifted my attention to the general and course- specific requirements. My tip for you here: note. down. EVERYTHING. Sure, the information isn’t going anywhere, but if you keep all your (accurate) information in one place, you won’t need to jump from one website to another and juggle with 20 links at a time (this may or may not be an exaggeration). Between November and early January, this is what I was doing. The good news is that the general requirements are usually the same for all master’s and/or bachelor’s programmes. What you really need to keep track of are the programme-specific requirements (I’m basing this on my own experience from last year, but make sure to keep checking University Admissions and university websites for accurate information!).
This was also the time when I paid the application fee (sometime in early January) to University Admissions.
Moreover, the CV forms provided by different universities require different information in different formats. Since I had most of that information with me already, I spent this time period filling out the CV forms as much as I could (eg. with work experience, conversion of credits to ECTS). Taking care of this earlier on and not too close to the submission deadline turned out to be a lifesaver.
The dumpster fire
I began my bachelor’s thesis work in January, around the same time that I had to start uploading the required documents to University Admissions. That should explain why the heading is called what it’s called. One good thing I managed to do before joining my lab was that I had written my personal essays and had gotten them proofread by my family. There were still small changes that I had to make every now and then, but that was a much more favourable situation than having to start from scratch.
The real reason why the last leg of my application was…less than ideal was due to the fact that I had quite a few important documents that I had to submit, and I didn’t receive them all around the same time. As a result, it became pretty tedious to keep track of what I had, what I had submitted and where I had submitted it (another tip: be careful to upload the documents under the designated titles. It can be a bit confusing at times), whose signature I needed on what, etc. It was tempting to submit a documents as I received them, but I’m glad I submitted most of them at the same time. That way it was easier for me to keep track of them.
The most daunting part of the entire ordeal though, was finishing it. Wondering if I had entered the correct information, whether my grades and credits were good enough, or if I had submitted all the (right) documents. I think the wait for the results was even worse, actually.
So, there you go. This is what my application process looked like. I know it seems like you need to be on top of all deadlines and have everything go according to plan. If that’s how it’s been going for you thus far, perfect! But if it’s not, I want you to know that that’s fine too. As long as you somehow manage to submit everything and get it right, you’re good to go. My application process wasn’t smooth sailing, but I made it here. So can you. There is also a great blog by Study in Sweden that outlines the application process pretty well and has a lot of important information. Make sure to check it out as well!
With that said, all the best for your application. And as usual, if you have questions, you know where to find me.
My name is Naomi, and I am from India. I am a first-year master’s student in Biomedicine. I have always been drawn towards research and knew early on that a career built around it was the one for me. So as a result, here I am! I enjoy spending time with my friends and exploring the city with them (though the introvert in me also loves some alone time). I hope I can be of some help with my blogs!