1. The background
Studying abroad was something I had in mind for a really long time. Whenever I had the opportunity to travel and spend some quality time in a foreign culture I would take it. Although my travels were never as long as doing an exchange abroad is, I knew that these experiences were warming me up for what was coming in the near future. While choosing my university and my studies, one of the key factors I was looking for was a place that could help me achieve this goal by giving me the right tools. My home institution is one of many around the world connected to the ISEP community. This is how it all started.
2. First steps
When the time arrived, I arranged a meeting with the study abroad advisor and exchange coordinator of my home institution. I was very nervous because I didn’t know what would be expected of me, but the first meeting went smoothly. It was short and very exciting. My coordinator helped me understand every essential detail and was key for me to go through with it all. Of course this was not enough. The important thing to know is that organization relies on you. My coordinator was always available to help me — we had several meetings, and I emailed her questions and doubts. That’s because I was pushing forward and taking care of everything. You have to rely on yourself, be organized and be prepared to do things on time. Count on your coordinator to provide advice and help whenever you need it.
3. Online application process
The process for the online application is very easy to understand once you take your time to read it and know what you have to fill out. First step is to create your own account on the ISEP website. You will click where it says start “New Application.” You will begin by completing all the details, starting from “Participant Profile.” The trickiest part for me was choosing a member institution and the classes. The list is broad but in my case it was a bit easier to shorten since I knew I wanted to travel to Europe. This will vary depending on how certain you are of where you want to go. Everything can be taken into account while choosing: what lifestyle you are visualizing, what kind of city, the program you are looking for, classes you want to take and more. This step is crucial and to be honest it took time because I wanted to make the right choice. I read and investigated about each one I was interested in using the map section of ISEP website.
The website is very organized and it points out important details you would probably want to know. If I needed to do more research I would go the institution’s website or look up information on the internet. You should select the ISEP member institutions at which you wish to study in order of preference. To increase your chances of placement, ISEP recommends you identify ten institutions at which you would be willing to accept placement. To choose my classes at each institution I followed the links provided by the ISEP website or by searching on each institutions website. On the profile of each member institution you will see what areas each specializes in which is very useful to shorten your search.
4. Last but not least
Once I was done with the application process, all that was left to do was wait. Luckily it didn’t take too long until I received an email saying I had been accepted to one of my top three choices. This was one of the greatest feelings ever.
My experience abroad is about to start in a few days and I couldn’t be more excited and joyful about it. The whole application process was something I enjoyed completely. Although it may take some time you should make the best out of it. Soon you will realize how much fun it is to be organizing such an incredible experience in your life.
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