When I received the fifth message this week on my social media from the upcoming students asking for tips on applying to GLOCAL, I realized there is a need to sum up the main points as an article for our blog.
So, if you are you thinking of applying to the GLOCAL programme this year and still not sure how to prepare your application documents, you might find these tips helpful!
1. Read the description of the programme carefully and spend your time researching the programme before applying
By investing your time in the previous research of the programme’s profile, you will kill two birds with one stone. First and foremost, you will have the higher to choose the right programme, which suits your professional and personal interests better. “Remember, this is a big two-year commitment and you need to make sure it is right for you. This will lower the risk of disappointment and help you understand what you are signing up to.
On the other hand, with proper investigation of the programme you can understand the focus of the programme better. Naturally, when the consortium reads the applications, with a higher probability they will choose those applicants, whose interests coincide with what the programme offers. Look through the list of core subjects, available electives, and its description at all the universities from your preferred pathway. Pay attention to the coordinating departments and profile of the professors at the universities from your pathway. For example, in Barcelona, the department of economics and entrepreneurship co-governs the programme with a particular focus on the different aspects of business management and development (emerging industries, family business, etc.), while in Gottingen many professors specialize in the business history or developmental economics.
2. Try to connect to alumni or current students
In many countries, Erasmus Mundus has an alumni network, supported by the national Erasmus office/EU Delegation. When you’re seeking a piece of advice or not sure, which programme to apply, you might contact alumni. We are insiders and know all the strengths and weaknesses of the programme. Bear in mind that feedback might be subjective, because it is based on personal experience, and it might differ substantially from person to person.
If you decided to contact somebody from previous cohorts, try to formulate your questions precisely. Sometimes I receive either very general questions or too oriented on what I personally put in my cover letter. In such cases I feel, my answer won’t be that useful for a person, because it depends on a personal profile, professional interests, and his or her previous background.
3. Start with your application earlier
Try not to postpone your application until the deadline. Many people apply on the last day, which may cause some technical issues with the website. With the earlier application, you will have more time to double-check the application package, pass your language test, work on your essays and request a reference letter from your professors.
4. Pay attention to the motivational letter
It’s the only one document, where you can actually ‘talk’ to the consortium, explain your motivation and link your experience and career plans to the programme goals. Usually, each programme posts its requirements to the personal statements. For example, on the official GLOCAL website, there are hints and tips on how to apply for the programme. Pay attention to include the mentioned points in your motivational letter. For example, a specific inquiry, posted on the official web-site, is to indicate a potential direction for your thesis. Other general recommendations, I would like to give are:
- Be precise in your personal statement and smartly use your world limit. There are a plethora of strong applications and the number is growing every year. Thus, you need to put some effort into making your application outstanding.
- Connect your previous academic and professional experience to the programme’s scope and show how the experience of being GLOCAL will fill the gaps, thus, will facilitate your future career advancement.
- Make sure your letter is well structured, your argumentation line is well explained and easy to follow.
- Mention your previous extracurricular activities, such as volunteering and participation in the (international) conferences and projects. Try to link it to the GLOCAL topics, if possible.
- Try to write in correct English. If you are not a native speaker, proofreading from friends, grammar check from the MS Office or ‘Grammarly’ application might be really helpful.
5. Double-check and proofread
I didn’t ask for proofreading my GLOCAL application, however, I acknowledge how valuable external feedback might be for improving clarity and cohesiveness of your personal statement. Sometimes, we have been working on our written texts for a long time and convinced that some statements are explained clearly, however, it might not be a case for another person reading your application. External reader can give you hints on where you need to elaborate your thoughts and where you duplicate yourself.
Do your best for the application and, hopefully, you will be a part of our GLOCAL family next year! Good luck with your application!
P.S. A kind reminder: the next deadline for applying is 10th January 2020.
Written by Iryna Bakhcheva