The Application Process (Or: Step Two of the Journey)

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*It might seem a little late in the game to have a post titled, Step Two, or about the application process but since not much else is happening at this exact moment–ah well.*

My first post on this blog was basically to say that I now have a blog that will chronicle my journey to study abroad in Japan. It also noted that I had submitted my study abroad application.

But, what was the application like? What did it consist of? What did I need to do?

That was the sort of thing I was interested in when I first started researching different study abroad programs/other peoples experiences (mainly in the form of blogs). A lot of what I found was several years old.

Here is what my Application was like:

studyabroadapp

Checklist for my university’s application.

If memory serves, it was a grand total of 19 pages. The first one was the checklist which basically said “Fill in this application and turn it in with the following things.”

This things were:

  • Application fee (which I did not have to include since it was just getting me on the wait list and not an actual program)
  • 1 Recent color photograph of myself with most of my face visible
  • An unofficial copy of my transcript
  • Photo copy of the picture page of my passport

My photo was the following:

Photo 2240

I turned in my application, soup to nuts, in under twenty-four hours from picking it up from the department. Thus, this picture was taken in my kitchen (best lighting in my house after 4pm) on my laptop (which I am holding awkwardly…in my kitchen) about two minutes after I got home from work that day. If you look closely you can see my stove top on the right side. Classy, huh?

My unofficial transcript was easy–I went online and printed it off my school account. The only other Japan-specific qualification that sort of tied into that was, to Study Abroad there, you need a 3.0 minimum gpa. Mine is a 3.86. If there is one thing I am confident in it is my beautiful transcript that is a product of blood, sweat, and more tears than a teenage slumber party watching a Walk to Remember.

Passport was easy… So yeah.

The application itself was made up of three sections. The first was basic information: Name, birthdate, sex, contact information, blah blah, year and major. The second part was basically “what program are you applying to and what courses do you want to take whilst there” with a bit of “how are you going to pay for this?” thrown in. I put down the two programs we offered for Japan at the time (Kansai Gaidai and Tokushima) and could not put down any courses (since both programs were wait-listed). As far as payment–not including scholarships–if I go through my school I can use Florida Pre Paid (which was one of the questions). It also asked if I had filed a FAFSA for that school year. I hadn’t. But, the minute I read that, I went and immediately completed it so I could check the ‘yes’ box (so that is 2013-2014 FAFSA and Application in under twenty four hours). The last section was the “please sign here” bits. Can we use photos of you? Please sign here. You are responsible for blah, blah, and blah. Please sign here. The school is not responsible for blah, blah, and blah. Please sign here.

Then I scanned it into them. Normally, you’d just hand it in to the office but I couldn’t get to school (I had work) so I had to scan it… page by page. But I did it and its done and when if I finally get a spot on a program, I’ll just need to pay the application fee and I’m done.

So there you go! My application process! Of course, I suspect once I’m on an actual program there will be tons more paper work to fill out and God knows how many scholarship applications I will be applying to! It sucks to think that even though I applied in August, I’m still only on step two of my journey.

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The path is never as smooth or straight as it might seem.

What was step one? Deciding I was going. In retrospect, despite how long it took me to make a definite decision about it, that was the easy part.

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