3 Things to Avoid When Contacting International Universities

University international offices around the world receive dozens, hundreds and even thousands of enquiries in a single day from those interested in studying with them in the future. Just think about all the factors relating to studying abroad, all the different courses available and all the prospective students in the world...that's a lot of incoming messages for university staff to sift through!Therefore they have to be smart about what they choose to reply to, or how they reply - there is only so much time in the day after all! There are some enquiries which staff will receive which they simply can not allocate the time to deal with if it will be problematic to answer. While it might seem harsh, it is the only way to ensure that the very best students who have enquired in the correct manner, are rewarded and chosen to study with them. So before sending a message to a university, consider the following traits which you SHOULD not do in your enquiry:
Don't expect too much
Many seek out scholarships to cover the costs of studying abroad which is a perfectly acceptable path to studying abroad. However, you should appreciate that there is a system in place to obtain these. Any messages simply asking for a scholarship without performing the correct research will be ignored, because there are just too many such requests sent to international admissions offices every day. Similarly, do not expect a university to give you everything if you ask (or beg); you will have to do the required work or go through the set procedure to get what you want. DON'T ask a university to phone or email you with a scholarship, because it won't happen (and this comes across as rude).
Don't send general messages
Research a university or course before making an enquiry. Copy and pasting the same message which you send to many universities is lazy, and universities will recognise that you're doing this. Also general messages make for general answers. Read about a course and ask specific questions so you come across as a serious potential applicant - a university is more likely to help you if you seem like a serious prospect who has gone to the trouble of researching them thoroughly.
Don't leave out key information
University staff are very busy people and do not have the time to message back-and-forth with students. You need to ask your question/s in your initial message, providing all the necessary key information about you so staff can come back to you with an accurate answer in one go. There isn't time to "get to know" you (though this can occur over time once they are confident that you are a serious candidate). One of the most frustrating parts of an admissions officer's job is when students don't provide basic information about themselves. Don't assume that they will chase you for your this information. With your enquiries to universities, get into the habit of introducing yourself (briefly), including where you are from, what course you want to study and when you plan to begin studying.
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Write by: Dj Donk - Thursday, April 3, 2014

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