So many people applying to study in the Nordics or any country abroad often find themselves trapped in between, unable to complete and submit applications. Many study opportunities get advertised each academic year with generous scholarships accompaniment. But, not so many get to the finish line and enroll for studies. Ignorance counts among the common reasons for the failure to finish application and get admitted. Not so many people patiently follow through the procedures or prepare well before starting the application.
Even the best of international student applicants will confess of the many excellent study opportunities that gleefully passed by due to small mistakes. One thing that any person who makes an application to study in the Nordics invests in is to get a study slot and possibly a scholarship funding. But to get the scholarship, one must first get an express admission and the deadlines for the two come close to each other with no room for extension. So whether you come from within the EU countries, Asia, Africa, America or Australia, knowing the important aspects of study application procedure helps bigly.
A university degree from the Nordics is a critical asset
As much as the world steadily and surely seem to be shifting towards a skill-based focus when employing people, the value of a college degree has never been any lesser. Honestly the energy, intellect, hard work all put into earning a university degree counts in a big way to get a well-paying job and bolster one into positions of great influence. It’s for this reason that ambitious students from all over the world never delay to get enrolled in top ranking universities in the Nordics.
Studying in the Nordic region could probably be one of the best decisions that you ever make. The universities here have a strong grounding in academic history. Nowonder, education systems have been sharpened to solving real life issues. This remains a selling point especially for those students coming from countries whose education systems still struggle to get so many things right.
Applying to study in the Nordics
To begin with, the choice of the Nordics as a study destination can never be a vain. Equally, the process leading to admission and eventual enrollment ought not be taken lightly. Unfortunately some of us take the process seriously but still fail making it appear as jinxed.
For the purpose of getting admission to study in the Nordics, 3 stages matter a lot;
- Pre-study application phase
- Study application phase
- Post study application
Trust you me, all these stages bear almost equal weight in the chain. When one phase doesn’t hold then everything else risks crumbling like a house of cards. Assuming that you really want to study in the Nordics, you’ll likely pull through.
Pre-study application phase to Nordic Universities
To decide and set forth on the long treacherous path to study abroad means you’re no mean ambitious person. If anything, it’s at this point you need to pose and celebrate. It’s indeed a bold step of choosing to be a real champion of your destiny. But remember, this pre-study application serves as a foundation so it must be firmly grounded.
In the pre-study application, you as a prospective student must have identified whatever field of study to take. Take your time to sample universities in each of the Nordic countries. Get acquainted with the prospectus and match your interests with the program requirements and goals.
You’ll realize that the field of study or courses available may not match your ideal choice word to word. Every study program has its own title but you’ll realize that the course content more or less resemble. So don’t be alarmed by such small small differences.
It’s also at this point where you keenly check through each program in depth. If possible, make an excel sheet to note the program requirements. Its not automatic that because your identified study program sounds like whatever education you had before then you qualify. Check requirements on language, prior education, academic goals, program outcomes and such.
Generally, study programs in the Nordics do not set high scores requirements for English proficiency. But you have to remember having it boosts your chances of getting admitted. Typically, you need to take the test in good time, contact referees, update your resume. Also in the list comes the need to write a letter of motivation or statement of purpose. Some programs may also need you to write a brief of your intended research. Also, look out for scholarship funding options and possibilities.
Study application phase to Nordic Universities
As a general rule, the study application phase needs to be more of drag and drop. If you already did your pre-study application stage correctly, no need to scratch the head here. To paraphrase Einstein, one hour to solve a problem should translate into 55 minutes of analysis and 5 minutes of solving. The 55 minutes need to go to the first phase so that this second phase becomes effortless.
In this phase, you need to keep track of things to be done. Be aware and act upon the given timelines. Each university has its own timeline on when to do everything. The universities often become so lenient and reminds applicants about tmissing documents.
Now that you have the entire package of required documents, keep tracking your application. From time to time send the documents as expected. The genius way would be uploading all the documents at once then only wait for possible reminder where necessary
As you apply for study, also remember the same applies for scholarship funding. In most cases, study applications and scholarship funding in the Nordics have separate systems. Each system has its own timelines and document requirements. The guidelines must be strictly followed if one has to stand a chance of getting the longed for admission.
These days, some universities use study applications to competitively award scholarship funding. In such cases, you don’t need to make a separate application. This would be the case for university awarded scholarships. If the scholarship institution is different from the university then a separate application for funding becomes necessary.
Post-study application stage
Now you’ve submitted your application to 3 or four universities in the Nordics. Smart students apply to multiple universities in different countries in the region just to spread risks. Remember the wise reminded us never to put all eggs in one basket if we really care for them.
Admitted with scholarship funding
You’ve successfully overcome the tense period of waiting for an answer to your application. At this point, you have the exciting news, “…your application…has been accepted”. This moment compares to no other for sure. It even blows one off if another one comes in tow that “…your application for scholarship to study XXXX at XXXX university has been approved”, “..you’ve been awarded a full tuition fees scholarship and a monthly stipend”. In essence, all you will need is to present yourself and learn.
Scholarship or no Scholarship funding
Some applicants to study in the Nordics may not be so lucky to get an admission. Without an admission, the dream to study in the Nordics only gets deffered for next time. Others get only admission but no funding which means finding other sources of funding, defer or try again next.
If you’ve decided to proceed to enrol then the next phase of processing travel documents and flight kicks in. The type of travel documentation you need will depend on which citizenship you hold. Check out visa requirements for your country.
Here, back and forth communication between you and representatives of your university needs to be at fever pitch. They have to guide you on the next stages so that the process of entering the university becomes stress free. It’s most important to keep clear communication especially if you are on a full scholarship. With a scholarship, the university will have to arrange for your travel, accommodation and entire stay at the university.
Check out for our next article on each of the application stages and what they entail in detail.