Before accepting you for a semester or a year of studies, a foreign university will try to verify that you have the level to follow, even if you leave in the framework of a partnership with a school. How does the selection process work? What criteria should be met? What makes a good candidate? We sought their advice from international program officers.
Knowing the conditions of access
Each country – and indeed every university – defines its own selection criteria. Your first mission will, therefore, be to inform you carefully about these conditions before making your choice and apply, if only to avoid a possible failure. If you go alone, ask the school of course, but also on forums with students left on site.
If you are part of a partnership, your institution should help you, as Stephen Girard, director of the International Grande E.coli program of IDRAC, explains. “Our students who leave a semester in the 2nd year can choose from 200 partner institutions. Therefore, we bring them together at the end of the first year to present their possibilities, according to their level and their professional project. They then have a few weeks to think about it carefully before making their vows. “
Are you level?
The institutions will then study your application. Unsurprisingly, language skills play an important role here. “The score on the language test will very strongly orient the destination, ” reveals Eve Hilairet, head of international at the IAE Caen. Indeed, where an American university will ask 850 points to the TOEIC, especially if it is accredited EQUIS or AACSB, a university in Central Europe will be satisfied with 700 or 750, or a B2 certified level, for example by a Cambridge diploma English (the First in this case).
In addition, not only Anglo-Saxon countries are demanding. “The countries of Latin America, facing a large influx in recent years, have decided to raise their level of demand,” says Stephen Girard. We have to pass an internal test to students, and only those who have at least 14/20 have the assurance to leave. “
In addition to language skills, it is the whole school record that counts. However, do not worry, you will not go back to your high school notes or even the BAC, only the notes of the current year or the previous will serve as an indication.
“What the partner university is trying to measure is whether the student has the level sufficient to follow at the moment T and whether his choice is consistent with his course, ” says Stephen Girard. Translated in terms of notes, this means, according to Eve Hilairet, that an average of 12/20 is sufficient: “below, it will be necessary to compensate by other qualities”.
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To win the University of your Dreams, you will have to show a lot of determination! Because not only students of your school are likely to aim at it, but those of other schools in France and in the world also! This is why you must especially care for and personalize your CV and cover letter – written in the language of the country concerned.
“The main objective is to show, in addition to your skills, that you are interested in the culture of the country, that you adhere to the spirit of the university and that your choice is consistent with your background and your project, “says the head of IAE Caen. This application also allows you to highlight your previous experiences abroad (internships, travels) and possibly, what it has brought you, or qualities other than those related to your level of education.
Know how to adapt
Maturity, intellectual openness, ability to adapt or to be a motor in a group: all the human and relational qualities essential to living abroad. On the school side, it is far from being anecdotal. “We have already refused a student who had an attitude incompatible with living in a different culture, and yet she had the level,” says Eve Hilairet.
These qualities are even indispensable for certain destinations. “For countries like India, China or South Africa that require great adaptability, we send only older students who are looking back and are not easily destabilized,” he said. The head of the IDRAC.
To sum up, if you want to maximize your chances of being admitted to the university of your choice, not only must you anticipate your project (especially to get a good score on language tests), look after your application and opt for the destination You looks the most. Then you will live an adventure that you are not ready to forget.