Exchange Program Starts with Application
Even though all of the steps to apply for international student mobility program can be found on the official website of HSE’s International Office, the application process itself is, in fact, not as easy as it may seem to be at the very first glance. Follow these three easy rules to make your chances to get accepted higher and make your dream come true!
Do Everything in Advance
One of the most common mistakes exchange student wannabes make – doing most of the paperwork and research into next semester destinations last minute. You need to keep in mind that some universities have early application deadlines and a study plan confirmation might take longer than one would expect. It might also be quite hard to find your program academic advisor in order to sign the formal application, etc.
Here are some preparation measures we would advise you to take:
Make sure to do your own research and find out when it is possible to meet with the academic supervisor of your study programme. If possible, contact him/her prior to the meeting in order to make an appointment.
Since you need to fill in the expenses estimation form and write a motivation letter on your own, try to choose the perfect timing and place to do it accordingly to your own personal preferences and habits.
Contact professors who you want to write you a reference letter and your foreign language teacher in advance so that there is no rush for all. Let them know about the deadlines you have to meet – they also need to know them.
Since making preliminary individual study plan and its confirmation take time, do not procrastinate and postpone this step of the procedure. Study plan is essential for you not only as an exchange program applicant, but also as a future exchange student since you will be following it during your semester abroad.
Templates for the expenses estimation, an official application form and other necessary documents can be found here.
Do Your Research
Choosing universities to list them in your official application form and finding courses offered that can be transferred at your home university require both time and effort. The very first step to take is to look through the list of partner universities that HSE’s International Office.
The list of partner universities for HSE SPb students can be found here.
Even if you already have a particular university or a country you want to go to, it’s still useful to look though all the options and consider some of them as your “plan B”. If you haven’t made up your mind yet here are some of the main points you should pay attention to:
- Check if this particular university has an early deadline. If it does, you need to make sure you have enough time to prepare all the necessary documents.
- Check if there are any specific requirements (ex. language abilities) that need to be met by you as an applicant. Another important thing to look at is student visa requirements since you would have to estimate the time it takes to make it and its cost.
- Go through the list of courses offered at a particular university you consider as one of your options to see if you can actually take them and transfer credits back to HSE. Don’t forget to check course syllabus - you might be misled by the title of the course and end up studying something you have already covered before.
- Open the information about previous calls International Office has gathered in order to estimate what your chances of getting into this or that university; how high the competition for those spots is.
Data about previous calls and easy-to-read infographics can be found here.
Even though all the information you might need about the application process can be found on the official website, quite often students find themselves having quite a lot of questions to ask. The rule of a thumb in this case is not to be afraid to ask those questions.
There are several ways to get answers to those questions you might have:
- Signing up for a personal 15-minute appointment at the Study Abroad Office by clicking the link.
- Writing an e-mail to exchange program coordinator/manager. Contact information can be found on the website
- Attending one of the information sessions that International Office organises for all HSE SPb studying programmes. Keep an eye on the website to be notified of the date and location where next presentation will be held.
- Reaching out to other students, who have already applied for the exchange program or even participated in it. Here in HSE everyone is open to share their experiences and would be happy to help you out.
Finally, we truly believe that if there is something you really want to achieve - you can do it. Student mobility programs at HSE are a wonderful opportunity to explore new countries and universities, deepen your knowledge and learn something new, make unforgettable memories and many new friends. There is no doubt it is worth accepting the challenge and applying for it. We hope tips listed above will come in handy, good luck!