How to write a personal statement- university application

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am well and staying indoors as much as possible. This post will be about how to write a personal statement. I have found that students keep asking me the same questions over and over and I find myself explaining over and over again. I also find that “please ma’am, how do I write a personal statement?” and “how many pages do I need to write?” are the top two questions that they ask so I will address those two questions with this post.

What is a personal statement? A personal statement is a statement that is personal to you. Jokes. Well, not entirely a joke because a personal statement is an essay or a write up about you describing yourself to a potential employer or an admissions officer at a university. In this case, I will write about writing a personal statement to support your university application. A personal statement gives more information about you, what you have achieved so far in your academic life and how the achievements fit into the program you are applying for. It is an opportunity to give the admissions team more insight about you, your plans and explain your choice of program, university and country to them.

There are different types of personal statements and specific ones specific to a particular program such as for Law degree or Medicine, one might need to go more in depth especially at a postgraduate level where the student would need to share more about their work experience and all. However, generally, a personal statement shouldn’t be more than one page. Ideally, one page is fine. I have had some undergraduate applicants come to me with up to three pages or four pages as their personal statement. From experience, I personally don’t have the patience to read that many pages and I don’t have to go through thousands of them so I imagine that admission officers definitely won’t have that time either. So I always suggest to them to keep it short and simple! All their points should be summarised into one page with just five paragraphs. The paragraphs should answer the following questions.

Paragraph 1: Who are you?

Here, it is expected that you introduce yourself however you feel is best but in a way that allows the reader have a clear picture of who you are. After a brief introduction of yourself, you also need to share your academic achievements and highest qualification. Write about your awards and everything you can brag about. If you were a prefect, write about it, best student in your set, put in there in a well articulated format. Have you done any volunteer jobs during/after high school? Write about it. The tip is to introduce yourself and then write about the best things about your education so far and all other academic achievements and experience you have had so far.

Paragraph 2: What are you applying to study?

What are you applying to study? How does it fit into what you have previously done before? Did you volunteer at your uncle’s company and that got you interested in studying business administration or you are very good at numbers and would like to study accounting or statistics? Do you find that you enjoy taking care of people and are interested in studying nursing for that reason? Try to explain clearly why you have decided to study what you have decided to study and what you hope to achieve by getting that knowledge.

Paragraph 3: Why the particular country?

Okay, so at this point, I’m going to have to say that I’m not a geography expert but thanks to Google, I know that there are 197 countries in the world. So why are you choosing this particular country? Is it because of their education system or because they are believed to be more friendly towards international students? Do your research about your country of choice and write your findings in this paragraph. For you to want to leave your country of origin/residence to another country, you must surely know why, right?

Paragraph 4: Why the particular university?

Again, Google is my friend and it lets me know that there are about 25000 universities all around the world so again, why are you choosing this university? Just like the previous paragraph, do your research about the institution. Read about their rankings, their awards, reviews about them and make the university feel good that you have chosen them. Let them know how their course content matches exactly what you want to learn, let them know that you like their sports facility and consider it as a plus for you while making your choice, just do your research about the university/college and match the points to your study needs.

Paragraph 5: What are your plans after your study?

What do you plan to do after your studies? Do you plan to go back home after your studies and use your knowledge to develop your father’s company? Did you receive a scholarship where you need go give back to the company that sponsored your education by working there? Do you plan to apply for your postgraduate degree immediately after your undergraduate degree? Whatever your plans are, write them here. Let them see how the knowledge you plan to gain will be used once you are done with your studies. Do not forget to read over and proofread over and over again so as not to leave any errors in your write up.

With this format to guide you, I believe you will find it easier to write your personal statement and make it as perfect as possible and speak clearly to the admission officer. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you would like me to have a look at your personal statement. My email address is contact@oluseungsc.biz and I will be happy to go through it for you. Thank you for stopping by. Be safe. Be happy. Until next time, bye for now 👋

Study Abroad-new visa alert story

Hello, how are you doing, I hope you are well, and keeping safe. How is work? How is business? I am okay. Just glad that another Friday is here! I get to rest and send more time with my family. I also would get a chance to write and work on some projects for my clients. This week, I got a new visa alert! This student is special to me because I had empathy for her and her situation. She applied to study an Engineering program at Postgraduate level and needed to be on campus asap! One because there were practical courses she need to be there for and two because everyone else was already on campus so she felt like she was missing out a lot by not being there.

Normally when I get a student assigned to me, I ask them how they plan to fund their studies and immediately begin to let them know the embassy requirements for their study visa in terms of financial proof. That way, they start planning to make sure all is order. However, with this one, she was referred to me, through the company I work for, by a university representative of where she applied to. She was stuck. Her bank statement didn’t meet up. So she couldn’t get her CAS letter. I then set up a meeting with her and then had a long call with her to explain what was really required and other things she needed like the TB test and all. She got the bank account sorted but we needed it to mature for 28 days! That seemed like 28 years to her but we waited. There are some situations in life where one just has to wait. When we applied for CAS, she was told that due to exchange rate, she was short by 168GBP. I am sure you can imagine how she felt! I had to think on the spot for a quick solution, we surely couldn’t wait another 28 days. I spoke to the university and suggested that she paid the difference towards her tuition fee rather than into her bank account to avoid the wait. That worked out and she got her CAS.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Next was the actual visa application. She rushed and put in the application, didn’t really check with me and made some errors that could no longer be changed as she had already proceeded to the payment stage. It was either she canceled and start over or applied like that. I suggested that she write a letter, called an addendum, to explain the two mistakes to the visa officer. She did that and then we started another waiting period. After 3 weeks, she received an email to inform her that a decision had been made and she could collect. She went there and her passport couldn’t be found! Yes, missing passport. She went again after 2 days, still nothing and was told she would receive a call when the passport was found. Anyway, it took almost two weeks before she finally received her passport with her study visa!!! She was really excited. It was a “victory at last” situation. Now we still have to wait till when we get an all clear information that she can travel to the UK for her studies. There has been conflicting information and we think it’s better to wait.

That was quite an experience for me as a study advisor, never experienced anything like that but I’m really glad that we got the desired outcome. I’ve come to find out and accept that I don’t give up on anything. I prefer to keep trying until it works out. There was a visa situation where the student had been rejected twice before being referred to us. With the looks of the situation, it seemed pointless to assist and no one wanted it. I took it up and she got the visa and is now in her second year in the US.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

If you need a study advisor or know someone who does , feel free to contact me by email contact@oluseungsc.biz and I will offer a free consultation to get the process started. Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment of questions if you have any. Until next time, eat well, rest well, drink lots of water, smile and be happy. Bye for now