Being able to study abroad is usually a dream come true for many students. But submitting the university applications can be both exciting and nerve-wracking no doubt. This is because you want to make a good impression from the get-go. It, therefore, becomes necessary to know the mistakes that can ruin international students applications.
While making a good impression is very important, do not do so by lying in your personal statement. If you do, it will very likely come back to haunt you. Be absolutely clear and sincere about who you are, your strength and your weaknesses. You stand a better chance of giving a good impression when you are real.
2. Typos and Spelling Errors
Wrong spellings and typos could make you come off as being unserious and irresponsible. It’s a sign that you’re not capable of coping with the tasks and stress that come with studying at the university. Thus, the importance of having your personal statement proofread cannot be overemphasized. This is because you want the admission officers to be impressed with your work and not the reverse.
It is no mistake that it is called a personal statement; it’s so that you can reveal who you are to the reader. It’s your life, the story of your hopes, dreams, personality, motivations, and interests which are unique and valid in themselves. Resist the temptation to copy someone else’s statement no matter how good or convincing you think it is. If you do and it is discovered, consider your application nullified and your integrity tarnished.
4. Quotes from other People
It is neither wise nor a stroke of intelligence to include quotes from authors and philosophers in your application. This is one of the mistakes that can ruin international students applications because admission officers are interested in what you have to say. They’re not interested in what other people have said so, in your own words, reveal your personality and interests.
5. Sell Yourself
Make your personal statement your unique selling point such that the admission officers will have a big challenge turning you down. However, avoid coming across as being egotistical instead, let modesty be your watchword and winning chip. Your goal is to create a good impression and sell yourself so give it your best shot.
6. Inappropriate Words/Phrases
Avoid using phrases like “thirst for knowledge”, “from an early age”, “when I was little” because they are a waste of words. Rhetorical questions like “So why should you pick me?” should also be avoided. Strongly resist the urge to use slangs or be humourous, you’ll simply come across as being arrogant and disrespectful. But be natural, confident and maintain the tone of formality required.
7. Irrelevant Information
In your application, don’t be tempted to include every detail about what you’ve done or achieved within and outside the classroom. This may be irrelevant and may do you more harm than good. Concentrate on what you have to offer the university and why you’d be a good candidate for the course you’ve chosen.
It’s ok to include some of your interests and hobbies at the end of your personal statement. This will give the admission officers more insight into who you are aside from your academics.
8. Stay Positive
While it is important to be modest, don not fail to highlight all the great reasons why admission officers should want to teach you. It’s not necessary to reveal subjects you don’t know or are not good at, your personal statement should focus mainly on the positives.
There’s a limit to the number of words you can use for your personal statement so it will be unwise for you to repeat things. You can mention specific topics you’re learning about within the subjects relevant to your course of study. Explain why you find them interesting and what you’re learning from them.