5 Tips for International Graduate Applicants

I will never forget my application process to graduate school. It was a great challenge but also an excellent opportunity to understand why I am pursuing my Master of Social Work (MSW). You are now probably working on your application– try to avoid burnout! I know it is stressful, complicated, and confusing, but the process will remind you of your passion and lead you to one your greatest accomplishments.

Here are five tips for International Graduate Applicants:

  1. Check the program website and contact your department

The program webpage will provide you with information about the required application materials, deadlines and program curriculum. The required materials will vary from program to program and institution to institution.

  1. Contact the ISSS Office

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) can help you as you apply for your student visa. The process can be complex and may vary based on your country.

  1. Gather the required documents

You may need to submit your official transcripts or graduation certificate to your institution or may want them for the visa interview.  Remember that you may need to have your documents translated. I remember that my undergraduate university needed to translate my documents into English, which took time. Applicants must also submit proof of financial support when applying for an F1 student visa, such as bank statements, letters of assistantship, sponsorships, and any other documents proving sufficient funds for educational and living expenses.

  1. Check the admitted students Facebook group and housing services in Albany

In general, you can enter the country 30 days before your program start date if you are an F-1 or J-1 student which may not be enough time to set everything up before starting class. Check out any social media groups there might be before you move to help you with your transition. The University at Albany sets up a Facebook group for admitted graduate students every semester that you can join. More housing information from ISSS. You can also contact the University at Albany’s Off-campus Student Services Office.

  1. Prepare in advance!!!

Make a plan to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines! I highly recommend making to-do checklists, such as one for your program requirements and one for gathering documents to apply for the student visa. Find useful tools that will help you manage your schedule and reduce your stress.

By Yumeno Nagata
Yumeno Nagata