Applying to Oxbridge is a daunting task no matter what. Your academic achievements must be outstanding, you have to perform at interview and often excel at an admissions test, beating out hundreds even thousands of other talented applicants. This process is no doubt even more daunting for international applicants, who are unfamiliar with the English education system and have a much harder time attending open days! In light of the recent controversy where London Metropolitan University lost the right to grant Visas to its international students, resulting in many of them having to give up their places at the University, we thought we’d walk you through all the important steps you must take as an international applicant. Also, we wanted to reassure students that Oxbridge is very welcoming to international students and grateful for the fresh perspectives they bring to university life. So long as you follow the below steps, you have just as much chance of being offered a place as home students! Choose the right course and college This is extremely important as this is what you will study and where you will live for the next three to five years of your life. Course choice in particular is important as you will need to demonstrate enthusiasm for your subject in order to be accepted on to the course in the first place. If you are having trouble deciding, have a look at our Course Reports or book in for a Skype™ Private Consultation to discuss your options with an expert. Submit Your Application Forms The UCAS form, which must be filled out by all students applying to University in the UK is usually due by the 15th October.
Cambridge: SAQs and COPA
If you’re applying to Cambridge, you also need to fill out their SAQ form, the deadline for which varies by subject and college but is normally the 22nd October. Furthermore, Cambridge applicants applying from outside of the European Union are required to submit the COPA form (Cambridge Online Preliminary Application). The deadline for this AND your UCAS form is earlier for some countries (often 9th September for India and the 20th September for China, Malaysia and Singapore. If you are willing to travel to Cambridge, the deadline is the 15th October for both. If you are at all unsure check the relevant Cambridge website page.
This is all very complicated we know! Please give us a call on +44 (0)207 499 2394 if you need any advice on deadlines! Admissions Tests More and more courses now require students to sit an Admissions Test. The majority of Cambridge Admissions Tests are sat at interview (Medicine being the obvious exception). Oxford requires several of its students to sit tests prior to being invited to interview. The deadlines for these vary and it’s best to check the Oxford and Cambridge websites. Also, have a look at our Admissions Test Support, or e-mail us at email@example.com with your query. Interviews The dreaded interview! So many myths surround the Oxbridge interview and it’s the part about which students tend to be most worried. Although Oxford and Cambridge prefer students to travel to them for interview, some allowances are made.
Cambridge travels every year to Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore. If you live in one of these countries or can get there easily, you can opt to be interviewed there when filling out your COPA form – don’t forget about the earlier deadlines though! Alternatively you can go to Cambridge for the interview.
Oxford don’t travel overseas for interviews, but will conduct phone or Skype™ interviews with individuals who can’t travel for financial or visa reasons. Although, do note that ALL Medicine applicants must be interviewed in Oxford. Furthermore, students from the European Economic Area (EU and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland do not face any travel restrictions to the UK and MUST travel to Oxford in December for their interview. Students from outside this area are expected to do their best to come to Oxford for an interview, however, the University is sympathetic. In particular students who are visa nationals (people who require a visa to visit the UK) are not expected to have enough time to secure a visa and will be offered a phone or Skype™ Interview.
I hope this has cleared some questions you have about the process and reassured you that an application as an international student is valued just as much as a UK application! Have a look at our Support for International Students and please get in touch if you have any further questions at: +44 (0)207 499 2394 or: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help