The art of writing an SOP: Aplicar explains

The art of writing an SOP: Aplicar explains

Just as we need a cover letter when we apply for a job,we need a statement of purpose to introduce ourselves to a jury that decides whether our application is worthy of acceptance to their institution. Think of it as an exercise in conveying your personality to another person without meeting them. Would you think that you are a sum total of your mark sheets and documentation? Neither do we! Aplicar is glad to guide you in the process of creating a winning SOP.

An SOP could be the difference between getting selected or not to an institution, even among students with the same qualifications. It expresses your profile through an essay to the admission committee enabling you to stand out in a crowd.

Why are SOPs so important?

While academic records can convey your performance in subjects that you have been tested for at various levels, your attitude, outlook towards life, goals, beliefs and driving forces are something that cannot be gleaned from them. This is where an SOP becomes indispensable, giving you an edge over your academic competitors or making up for lack of academic prowess.

What constitutes a good SOP?

Anything about you that is not evident from the supporting documents and records, and that will help strengthen your case for admission to a particular institute should find its way into an SOP. A well thought out structure that covers all important details is a must. Here are the main elements of a good SOP:

  • Who you are?
  • What has your journey been?
  • What are your achievements?
  • What do you seek to achieve at the university?

Step-by-step guide to writing your SOP

  1. A great introduction: With hundreds of applications to go through, it is important to make a good first impression so that your application isn’t discarded in the first few sentences. Start with a line that will hook them and make them want to read on to know more about you. That having been said, avoid flowery language, choosing instead simple words and sentence structure.
  2. Personal background: Anything that has helped you become who you are; influences that have shaped you, family and friends who have inspired you, personal icons you look up to and other history that would enable the admissions committee to understand your personality and goals better, should be mentioned. Things that do not align with your current goals or the course that you are applying for should be kept off the application. Hobbies that you are really passionate about, sports activities and social clubs should also be there. Write with the intent of introducing them to the person you are beyond your academic record without sharing any unnecessary personal details.
  3. Exceptional achievements: If you have performed exceptionally well or are proud of an achievement in any field, do mention it. It may not be linked to your course but could point to attributes such as leadership, initiative, dedication or ability to work well in a team.
  4. Community, environmental or other social service: If you have rendered your services to any social organisation, group or have taken personal initiative in a social cause, include it in the application. It is worth supporting your experiences with documentation such as newspaper cuttings, certificates or awards. Connecting how the experience would help you in the course that you are interested in would be even better.
  5. Career goals: Link your interests, capabilities and achievements to your goals. Elaborate on what the purpose of undertaking this education is for you and to what end. If you are looking to join your family business, explain how the particular course will help enhance the existing business.
  6. Reasons for choice of university, course and country: Even though it should be obvious, never mention that a university wasn’t your first choice. If it made to your top five or top 10, think of the reasons why you decided upon it. Go through the college website, understand what the course really offers, which parts of the course excite you the most, what are the opportunities that you could further explore while you are at that institution and why you chose that particular country. Research well and don’t give vague reasons.
  7. A strong ending: You do not have to summarise, rather think of the conclusion as a parting sentence that will leave a positive impression on the committee. It should tie together the introduction and body of your essay.

To further fine tune your SOP, follow these tips:

  • Start with a first draft that isn’t edited and may be two or three times the word count required.
  • Edit for whatever seems unnecessary, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, sentence structure and repetitions.
  • Ask someone whose opinion you value to make suggestions about the SOP. Ask them if you should remove any references or add something more. Evaluate the suggestions and incorporate them using your best judgement. Asking for opinion is good but not too many opinions as otherwise it may lead to the SOP seeming
  • Stick to the word limit. If no word limit is mentioned, try to contact the institution by email and ask them for the same.
  • Keep the writing simple, direct and honest.
  • Do not copy and paste the same SOP for all college applications. Ensure that each SOP is written with a particular course and college in mind.
  • Keep in mind the font specifications that are given by each institution. Avoid the use of fancy fonts, colours and unnecessary formatting tools.
  • The university knows its strengths and that of its teaching staff. Focus on why they would be the best fit for your career goals and avoid resorting to flattery.
  • Spend enough time thinking over what you will write, writing at least a few drafts before finalising it and editing before submitting.
  • Do not repeat information that is already there in the academic records and other details that you are filling out in the application forms.
  • Before submitting the SOP, make sure there are no errors.
  • Under no circumstances should you copy from any source.

The SOP is the most important document that you will need for your admission, making it a must for you to spend time reflecting on what you should and should not add. If you need more help with your SOP, sign up and login to www.aplicar.io to get the latest inputs from our expert counsellors.

Fulfil your dreams of studying in Canada and the US with Aplicar!

 

Aplicar connects students and recruitment partners to the best educational opportunities across Canada. It’s a one-stop solution to ease students’ journey towards studying in Canada.

The Aplicar Advantage 

  • Save hours of research and apply to the most suitable programs and schools in Canada
  • Apply to the school of your dreams in just 5 minutes
  • Apply to multiple schools/colleges with a single profile
  • Excellent acceptance rate
  • Streamline and simplify search, application, admission, study visa, and post landing services through our flexible service model

New rules for International Students in Canada 2022

New rules for International Students in Canada 2022

 

As the pandemic situation continues to evolve, so do the rules and regulations around travel. In keeping with the current situation, new rules have been defined for International students coming to Canada. 

Vaccination Requirements:

As of January 15, 2022, international students must be fully vaccinated with a Canada approved vaccination. This means they must have at least two doses of vaccine accepted for travel by the Government of Canada, a mix of two accepted vaccines or at least one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Also, you should have received your second dose at least 15 calendar days before entering Canada. There are certain exceptions to this, including international students under the age of 18 studying at approved institutions. For temporary foreign residents who have been permitted entry into Canada without qualifying as being fully vaccinated, you can take a connecting flight scheduled to depart within 24 hours of departure time for your flight to Canada. 

Pre and Post-Arrival Vaccination and Testing Requirements:

A negative COVID test result within 72 hours of travel is mandatory for air travellers coming to Canada beginning 7 January 2022. The borders are open to non-essential travellers who are fully vaccinated and meet the set requirements. International students who meet all entry requirements can enter Canada more than four weeks before their program starts. 

On arrival, you should not exhibit any signs of COVID-19. Pre-entry testing requirements need to be followed, which includes uploading your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN, completing the submission, having the receipt handy, getting the arrival test done and quarantine, if required. Even after arrival, you should monitor yourself for signs of COVID-19 and seek advice from public health centres if need arises.

Documents Required for Students for Entry into Canada:

For a student to be able to enter Canada, they must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction to show study permit approval. 

To be eligible for a Canadian Study Visa, they have to have been accepted by a designated learning Institute, prove that they have adequate funds for tuition and living expenses, no criminal record backed by police certificates and medical certificates to certify good health. 

The required documents are a valid passport, proof of acceptance by DLI, Proof of funds, passport size photographs, immigration medical examination (IME), and English language proficiency exam score – TOEFL or IELTS, statement of purpose and a credit card. In addition to that transcripts and other documents may also be asked.

You also need to have a valid Temporary Resident Visa, or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), unless you are a US citizen. Certain events and social settings require proof of vaccination as well.

Returning students can pre-register for on-arrival COVID-19 testing.

Documents Requirement while Travelling to Canada:

Once you have established your eligibility to travel to Canada, you need to gather the essential supporting documents for travel. 

You will need a COVID-19 molecular test report. Even if you get a negative test report, you still need to prepare a quarantine plan on arrival in Canada and complete the mandatory 14 day quarantine if you have not been fully vaccinated. Even fully vaccinated travellers are required to get the pre-arrival COVID 19 molecular test done.

Medical Report Requirements:

Medical results are valid only for 12 months for entry to Canada. You may need a new medical test if the previous one is outdated, whether or not you receive a notice regarding the requirement for a new medical test from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Also, check the status of medical insurance and its validity in the particular province where you are studying as medical insurance requirements change from province to province in Canada. You need to update it to meet the current requirements.

As the decision of the border services officer will be binding, it is the duty of the students to provide proof of vaccination in English/French at port of entry, along with a valid study permit (not approval in principle or AIP). You will need to have completed an immigration medical examination with valid results. Have a self/isolation plan in place and relevant documents to support it.

It is advisable to check up on the latest guidelines before leaving as they are continually changing and make sure you have all your documents in place.

Fulfil your dreams of studying in Canada and the US with Aplicar!

Aplicar connects students and recruitment partners to the best educational opportunities across Canada. It’s a one-stop solution to ease students’ journey towards studying in Canada.

The Aplicar Advantage 

  • Save hours of research and apply to the most suitable programs and schools in Canada
  • Apply to the school of your dreams in just 5 minutes
  • Apply to multiple schools/colleges with a single profile
  • Excellent acceptance rate
  • Streamline and simplify search, application, admission, study visa, and post landing services through our flexible service model

STEM courses in the USA and related career prospects

STEM courses in the USA and related career prospects

 

STEM is one of the most lucrative fields of study that opens up numerous career opportunities. 75% of the fastest-growing jobs in the USA require significant knowledge of mathematics or science. It is highly valued in the USA as the subjects are taught in an interdisciplinary and experiential manner. STEM refers to the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Together they form a combination that has multiple applications in the real world. STEM career prospects are growing steadily globally and so, career opportunities abound in the USA as well.

Scope of STEM

Ample job opportunities – As per research, for every two STEM jobs, there is only one qualified person to fill the position. According to statistics, as of 2020 around 10.2 million people in the US work in STEM. Yet, that makes up only 6.6% of all jobs in the US. That means there is still ample potential for jobs in this field to grow. Jobs in this field are estimated to see a growth of 10.5% between 2020 and 2030, that’s a whopping 1 million more jobs.

Lucrative pay – Along with this, STEM enables one to secure better job opportunities with more earning potential. Also, the average salary of a US worker in the STEM field is almost double that of the average salary in any other domain. Career prospects in the STEM field are endless, however, despite that, talent is still insufficient. Thus, these positions continue to go unclaimed as there are not enough STEM professionals available. As these jobs are very well paying, they are lucrative and much sought after. 

Jobs in varied industries – Surprisingly, not all STEM jobs are computer-related. Healthcare is the most popular industry for stem jobs, followed by technology, and biological and environmental jobs. These fields have seen a growth of 25.9%, 23.1% and 20.1% respectively, between 2010 and 2020.

A wide-field, STEM covers a broad range of subjects in its spectrum such as biochemistry, biology, astronomy, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, psychology, statistics and many more.

Global Opportunities – You can secure a job easily anywhere around the world. The variety of STEM courses on offer in the USA will have something for everyone. For someone looking for a science background, they can choose to be a pharmacist, a crime scene investigator, a doctor, a toxicologist, a food technologist or a biomedical scientist. If you have a technological bent of mind, you can choose to be a cyber-security expert, game developer, IT teacher, IT consultant, application developer, business analyst, or website designer. Even among engineering, you can have choices such as automotive engineering, CAT technician, control and instrumentation engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, maintenance engineering, or aerospace engineering. Mathematics opens up the path to being an accountant, data analyst, investment analyst, mathematics teacher, or actuarial analyst, and these are just some of the choices in each of these fields. 

Requirements for STEM career 

Once you decide that you are keen on a career in STEM in the USA, you should look up the basic requirements and documents that you would need. 

For a bachelor in STEM:

  1. F1 status.
  2. 12 years (10+2) of elementary and secondary education from a recognized board.
  3.  The minimum score required by the university and successful qualification in ACT or SAT.
  4.  Minimum score specified by the university and successful qualification in English proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic. 
  5.  Institution-specific requirements and eligibility criteria.

For a Masters in STEM:

  1. F1 status.
  2. Relevant bachelor’s degree.
  3. Meet the minimum undergraduate grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Minimum university-specific score and successful qualification in tests like GRE/GMAT.
  5. Minimum required score by the university and successful qualification in English proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic.
  6. Minimum work experience requirement to be fulfilled according to the university applied to.

Scholarship offers

A lot of universities offer scholarships to international students both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Get information about these on http://www.aplicar.io.

Future of STEM Jobs

Even though the entire job market was hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, STEM jobs continued to grow and are in demand. Some of the newest jobs that will be up for grabs are predicted to be in the STEM domain. 

STEM Jobs that we can foresee will be –

  1. Automated & Robot System Repair
  2. Green Power Creator
  3. Technology Tutor & Trainer
  4. Drone Technician
  5. Space Exploration
  6. Future Farmers
  7. 3D Printing Engineers
  8. Data Managers
  9. Senior Wellness Managers
  10. Streamcasters
  11. Biotech Engineers
  12. Science Ethicist/Technology Advocates
  13. Chronocurrency Brokers
  14. Digital Enforcers
  15. A.I. Trainer & Technician
  16. Climate Analyst & Weather Moderators 

In current times, parents and teachers agree that coding is as important as any other subject in the curriculum even in schools. As the future is tech-driven, STEM plays an important role in innovation and will continue to grow in demand in the future as well. Across various industries, there is always going to be an ever-burgeoning need for a STEM-based workforce.  

Know more about STEM courses offered in the USA at www.aplicar.io 

Fulfil your dreams of studying in Canada and the US with Aplicar!

Aplicar connects students and recruitment partners to the best educational opportunities across Canada. It’s a one-stop solution to ease students’ journey towards studying in Canada.

The Aplicar Advantage 

  • Save hours of research and apply to the most suitable programs and schools in Canada
  • Apply to the school of your dreams in just 5 minutes
  • Apply to multiple schools/colleges with a single profile
  • Excellent acceptance rate
  • Streamline and simplify search, application, admission, study visa, and post landing services through our flexible service model