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Atypical international profile - Many UCAS questions, your help is really welcome ! Watch

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    Hi, this is my first post! Let me first introduce myself (reading this should be required to answer my questions, sorry for the long paragraph):

    First of all I'm from France, so I'm seen as an international / EU student by UK universities. I have the French Baccalaureate (If you know what it is), basically like a diploma you get at the end of high school (like "college" right ?) when you're around 17 or 18.
    After this I studied Physics & Maths in the French education system. I did what the French would call "prestigious" studies, (called prépa, it's some sort of prep school you go to for 2 or 3 years in order to apply to more or less prestigious engineering schools)
    The problem is I really didn't enjoy these fields of studies, and especially, I'm not interested by the outcome : I don't want to become a scientific person / engineer / industrial manager, or whatever.
    On the other hand, I feel like I'd be really interested in learning more about economics, business, or even politics. I'm a pretty curious person, and I feel like I should know more about the world, as I've been plunged in abstract stuff like theoretical physics & maths & chemistry for so long.

    Now what motivated me in applying for UK universities isn't just this (as I could of course find some other studies in France) : I also love the English language. I've lived many of my childhood years in the United States, and since then I've had this urge to live in an english-speaking country and to meet different people. I thought that both this aspect and my reluctance to my current studies in France are a good combination of reasons to move on and go study abroad.

    So I called a former english language teacher to ask her to be my referee. She was really interested in what I had to say to her on the phone and I assume that she wrote a great reference about me as I was a really active and friendly student in her class. Now I need to write a solid personal statement.

    I'm also interested in computing, technology, and the new age startup culture. Here's a class that I found that I think would suit me well :
    https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/undergr...ation-systems/

    Questions:

    1. This summer I'll be turning 22. I assume most UK university applicants are around 18. Do you think this will be a problem for me at university? Socially speaking

    2. My baccalaureate grades are pretty decent and I assume they would have got me accepted in most decent UK universities if I applied back when I was 18. But I'm afraid that the fact I did these 2 years of studies in France (+ 1 year of nothing) will really make the universities unwilling to take me as seriously as a fresh young student. Do you have any evidence that this statement is true or false?

    3. On UCAS you get to chose a maximum of 5 different university / courses. Let's say I apply to "Economics & computing" in university A, but also to another course called let's say "Economics & International Business" in university B. Therefore in my personal statement, I will have to talk about why I'm really suited for Economics, Computing, and International Business. But won't university B be like "why is he talking about computing? something's fishy about this, maybe he's more interested in another university's computing class, so let's not accept him here at university B." How do I get around this issue?

    4. I'm considering applying to Aberdeen in 2 or 3 courses, but also would like to try applying to Loughborough and also Bristol where I found some courses that I like. Do you think the universities I'm willing to apply to are accessible for me or am I just dreaming? Would you recommend something else that would suit me better according to my profile/background ?

    5. How would you recommend that I tell my story in my personal statement ? Like, should I insist on my "failures" (ie not enjoying my current studies) or just focus on the positive ?


    Sorry for my poor english, feel free to tell me if there's something you didn't quite understand, and also please say if I sound authentic or just awkward. I'm open to any advice
    Thank you in advance, I'd be grateful if somebody had the time to read this and help
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    Hi, this is my first post! Let me first introduce myself (reading this should be required to answer my questions, sorry for the long paragraph):

    First of all I'm from France, so I'm seen as an international / EU student by UK universities. I have the French Baccalaureate (If you know what it is), basically like a diploma you get at the end of high school (like "college" right ?) when you're around 17 or 18.
    After this I studied Physics & Maths in the French education system. I did what the French would call "prestigious" studies, (called prépa, it's some sort of prep school you go to for 2 or 3 years in order to apply to more or less prestigious engineering schools)
    The problem is I really didn't enjoy these fields of studies, and especially, I'm not interested by the outcome : I don't want to become a scientific person / engineer / industrial manager, or whatever.
    On the other hand, I feel like I'd be really interested in learning more about economics, business, or even politics. I'm a pretty curious person, and I feel like I should know more about the world, as I've been plunged in abstract stuff like theoretical physics & maths & chemistry for so long.

    Now what motivated me in applying for UK universities isn't just this (as I could of course find some other studies in France) : I also love the English language. I've lived many of my childhood years in the United States, and since then I've had this urge to live in an english-speaking country and to meet different people. I thought that both this aspect and my reluctance to my current studies in France are a good combination of reasons to move on and go study abroad.

    So I called a former english language teacher to ask her to be my referee. She was really interested in what I had to say to her on the phone and I assume that she wrote a great reference about me as I was a really active and friendly student in her class. Now I need to write a solid personal statement.

    I'm also interested in computing, technology, and the new age startup culture. Here's a class that I found that I think would suit me well :
    https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/undergr...ation-systems/

    Questions:

    1. This summer I'll be turning 22. I assume most UK university applicants are around 18. Do you think this will be a problem for me at university? Socially speaking

    2. My baccalaureate grades are pretty decent and I assume they would have got me accepted in most decent UK universities if I applied back when I was 18. But I'm afraid that the fact I did these 2 years of studies in France (+ 1 year of nothing) will really make the universities unwilling to take me as seriously as a fresh young student. Do you have any evidence that this statement is true or false?

    3. On UCAS you get to chose a maximum of 5 different university / courses. Let's say I apply to "Economics & computing" in university A, but also to another course called let's say "Economics & International Business" in university B. Therefore in my personal statement, I will have to talk about why I'm really suited for Economics, Computing, and International Business. But won't university B be like "why is he talking about computing? something's fishy about this, maybe he's more interested in another university's computing class, so let's not accept him here at university B." How do I get around this issue?

    4. I'm considering applying to Aberdeen in 2 or 3 courses, but also would like to try applying to Loughborough and also Bristol where I found some courses that I like. Do you think the universities I'm willing to apply to are accessible for me or am I just dreaming? Would you recommend something else that would suit me better according to my profile/background ?

    5. How would you recommend that I tell my story in my personal statement ? Like, should I insist on my "failures" (ie not enjoying my current studies) or just focus on the positive ?


    Sorry for my poor english, feel free to tell me if there's something you didn't quite understand, and also please say if I sound authentic or just awkward. I'm open to any advice
    Thank you in advance, I'd be grateful if somebody had the time to read this and help
    Do you intend to apply for the 2017 entry? The deadline for "equal consideration" is January 15, although it is possible to apply after this date, but some courses may be full.

    1. No, being 22 won't be a problem socially. You are still young, most 18 year olds won't notice that you're older unless you tell them, and they won't care anyway. There are a lot of mature (21+) students in the UK, it is pretty normal.

    2. You certainly won't be disadvantaged for doing prépas, if anything it is an advantage because you are more qualified than most other applicants. Universities won't care that you've had a year off, having a gap between school and university is quite common in the UK. Neither do universities care about how old or young you are, all they care about are your grades and your interest in the subject.

    3. You shouldn't say "I am interested in computing/economics/international business" in your personal statement, obviously you are interested in the subject or else you wouldn't be applying for it. But you are right, it is unwise to apply for a range of different subjects because you only get one personal statement. That said, I think it is possible to write a personal statement which works for both business and computing because there is some subject overlap. You just need to be clever about what you say, talk about specific interests which could relate to both subjects. Here are some guides to help you write your personal statement:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/con...onal-statement
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...Statement_FAQs
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...onal_Statement
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...nts_by_Subject
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4237154
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ3MJgdkJY

    4. I don't think you should apply for more than two degrees at one university. Without knowing exactly what grades you have, it is impossible to say whether Bristol or Loughborough are realistic choices, or suggest other universities. Do you have any preferences in terms of location, would you like to live in a city or on a purpose-built university campus?

    5. Don’t talk about failures in your personal statement, be positive and talk about your interests.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    1. No, being 22 won't be a problem socially. You are still young, most 18 year olds won't notice that you're older unless you tell them, and they won't care anyway. There are a lot of mature (21+) students in the UK, it is pretty normal.

    2. You certainly won't be disadvantaged for doing prépas, if anything it is an advantage because you are more qualified than most other applicants. Universities won't care that you've had a year off, having a gap between school and university is quite common in the UK. Neither do universities care about how old or young you are, all they care about are your grades and your interest in the subject.

    3. You shouldn't say "I am interested in computing/economics/international business" in your personal statement, obviously you are interested in the subject or else you wouldn't be applying for it. But you are right, it is unwise to apply for a range of different subjects because you only get one personal statement. That said, I think it is possible to write a personal statement which works for both business and computing because there is some subject overlap. You just need to be clever about what you say, talk about specific interests which could relate to both subjects. Here are some guides to help you write your personal statement:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/con...onal-statement
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...Statement_FAQs
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...onal_Statement
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...nts_by_Subject
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4237154
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ3MJgdkJY

    4. I don't think you should apply for more than two degrees at one university. Without knowing exactly what grades you have, it is impossible to say whether Bristol or Loughborough are realistic choices, or suggest other universities. Do you have any preferences in terms of location, would you like to live in a city or on a purpose-built university campus?

    5. Don’t talk about failures in your personal statement, be positive and talk about your interests.

    1. OK

    2. Got it, well that's good I didn't expect that. Here in France a gap year is definitely something that is considered as very bad

    3. OK I'll make sure I check out everything you linked. But I'm having a little issue here. On this website there's a forum where you can post a thread with your PS, and only administrators and advisors can see it so it won't get copied by other students or indexed on Google : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=134
    "If you would like your personal statement reviewed in confidence by our team of advisers, post in this forum. Only our team of advisers, yourself and the TSR moderators will be able to view it."
    All right so I click on "Start New Discussion" in order to send my PS, but then I land on an error page that says :
    "JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe, looks like you are having trouble viewing this page, this is most likely because the content has been removed from the site.
    1. It could also be that you don’t have access to this area of the site or are trying to edit someone else’s post- if in doubt contact us in Ask the Community Team.
    2. Thanks for using TSR,
    3. The Community Team"
    1. Any idea ?

    4. I really liked the idea of Aberdeen because of the more relaxed Scottish atmosphere compared to England, at least from what I've heard, people are a bit less stressed, teachers are generally less strict, etc. I don't really enjoy schools/universities/etc having too much authority over me.
    Also I don't want to be in a huge city like London. A good friend advised me to check out Bristol, it apparently has become a good city for students.
    I also don't mind being in a rural areas as long as the campus is large enough to make sure there are things to do.
    So for location, my criteria are pretty simple, no big city, and a no-stress environment where you can easily go out with friends. Also I'd like the university to have a high rate of international students so I can make sure I'm not "that strange guy with the american accent"
    My grades are around 15/20 to 17/20 in most main fields of studies. Aberdeen and most "medium-ranked" universities require at least a mark of 14 out of 20 in most fields or something like that.

    5.OK


    And yes I'm applying for the 2017 entry. I know I have to hurry up, for some reason I didn't expect the deadline to be so early. I should be finished by the 15th. I started my PS draft this morning. If I finish my PS on time, will I still be disadvantaged compared to a student who posted it like a month ago ?


    Thanks for everything, it really helps.
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    3. OK I'll make sure I check out everything you linked. But I'm having a little issue here. On this website there's a forum where you can post a thread with your PS, and only administrators and advisors can see it so it won't get copied by other students or indexed on Google : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=134
    "If you would like your personal statement reviewed in confidence by our team of advisers, post in this forum. Only our team of advisers, yourself and the TSR moderators will be able to view it."
    All right so I click on "Start New Discussion" in order to send my PS, but then I land on an error page that says :
    "JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe, looks like you are having trouble viewing this page, this is most likely because the content has been removed from the site.
    1. It could also be that you don’t have access to this area of the site or are trying to edit someone else’s post- if in doubt contact us in Ask the Community Team.
    2. Thanks for using TSR,
    3. The Community Team"
    1. Any idea ?

    You need to make 100 posts on The Student Room before you can get your personal statement reviewed, that is probably why you got an error. It will take you a few days to write and re-draft a good personal statement, use that time to get your post count to 100. The review service is definitely worth the effort though.

    I don't think it's true that the teachers in Scotland are less strict :lol: It sounds like you would be happy at most universities, but here are some other options to consider:

    University of Bath
    University of St Andrews
    University of East Anglia
    Lancaster University
    University of Sussex
    Royal Holloway, University of London (actually located outside London in a really beautiful semi-rural campus)
    Cardiff University
    Durham University
    University of Edinburgh
    University of Exeter
    University of Nottingham
    University of Warwick
    University of York
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    [/list]
    You need to make 100 posts on The Student Room before you can get your personal statement reviewed, that is probably why you got an error. It will take you a few days to write and re-draft a good personal statement, use that time to get your post count to 100. The review service is definitely worth the effort though.

    I don't think it's true that the teachers in Scotland are less strict :lol: It sounds like you would be happy at most universities, but here are some other options to consider:

    University of Bath
    University of St Andrews
    University of East Anglia
    Lancaster University
    University of Sussex
    Royal Holloway, University of London (actually located outside London in a really beautiful semi-rural campus)
    Cardiff University
    Durham University
    University of Edinburgh
    University of Exeter
    University of Nottingham
    University of Warwick
    University of York
    100 posts! where did you get that info ?.. that sucks but if it's worth it I'll do it!
    I guess I'll have to try to get into some argument with someone on the Debate forum haha

    Some of the universities you mentioned like St Andrews, Edinburgh or Durham require scores that are too high for me. Thanks though, I'll check em all out anyway !
    I think I'm going to have really busy days until the 15th
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    3. OK I'll make sure I check out everything you linked. But I'm having a little issue here. On this website there's a forum where you can post a thread with your PS, and only administrators and advisors can see it so it won't get copied by other students or indexed on Google : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=134
    "If you would like your personal statement reviewed in confidence by our team of advisers, post in this forum. Only our team of advisers, yourself and the TSR moderators will be able to view it."
    All right so I click on "Start New Discussion" in order to send my PS, but then I land on an error page that says :
    "JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe, looks like you are having trouble viewing this page, this is most likely because the content has been removed from the site.
    1. It could also be that you don’t have access to this area of the site or are trying to edit someone else’s post- if in doubt contact us in Ask the Community Team.
    2. Thanks for using TSR,
    3. The Community Team.

    Wonrg link

    You need to post in here now: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/for...lay.php?f=1372

    (you can't see any threads in there because only the reviewers can see all the threads - there are 29 threads in there at the moment )
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    100 posts! where did you get that info ?.. that sucks but if it's worth it I'll do it!
    I guess I'll have to try to get into some argument with someone on the Debate forum haha

    Some of the universities you mentioned like St Andrews, Edinburgh or Durham require scores that are too high for me. Thanks though, I'll check em all out anyway !
    I think I'm going to have really busy days until the 15th
    Says so here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4237154

    I didn't check the entry requirements for all, but I believe St Andrews asks for 17? Anyway, have a look on their websites and see which uni/courses you like best.

    The best forums to get your post count up are Forum games and Chat.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    [/list]
    Wonrg link

    You need to post in here now: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/for...lay.php?f=1372

    (you can't see any threads in there because only the reviewers can see all the threads - there are 29 threads in there at the moment )

    OK thanks, with your link I do get a field where I can enter my personal statement.
    But what do you think of what Snufkin said ? Do I have to get up to 100 posts in order to send my PS ?
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Says so here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4237154

    I didn't check the entry requirements for all, but I believe St Andrews asks for 17? Anyway, have a look on their websites and see which uni/courses you like best.

    The best forums to get your post count up are Forum games and Chat.
    Ok for for the link, now I have proof haha
    Thanks !

    EDIT yeah it's 17 for st Andrews
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    OK thanks, with your link I do get a field where I can enter my personal statement.
    But what do you think of what Snufkinsaid ? Do I have to get up to 100 posts in order to send my PS ?
    Oh, I didn't notice it was the wrong link lol. :facepalm:
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Oh, I didn't notice it was the wrong link lol. :facepalm:
    Ok so I checked and I have to fit into one of these categories:
    _Needs attention : verified and over 100 posts
    _Needs attention : 3 days & 100 posts on account
    If not, i think it'll probably take them more than a week to get to my PS.
    _Less than 100 posts : verified and less than 100 posts
    _Less than 100 posts (5 days) : waiting for more than 5 days
    _Subject opinion required
    _...

    I don't know what "verified" means, I don't see any way to get my account "verified". Also I created my account yesterday. So according to these requirements I don't think they will read my PS on time before the 15th Maybe I could find someone with an older account and ask him/her to submit my PS for me.. Or is it too risky ?
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    Ok so I checked and I have to fit into one of these categories:
    _Needs attention : verified and over 100 posts
    _Needs attention : 3 days & 100 posts on account
    If not, i think it'll probably take them more than a week to get to my PS.
    _Less than 100 posts : verified and less than 100 posts
    _Less than 100 posts (5 days) : waiting for more than 5 days
    _Subject opinion required
    _...

    I don't know what "verified" means, I don't see any way to get my account "verified". Also I created my account yesterday. So according to these requirements I don't think they will read my PS on time before the 15th Maybe I could find someone with an older account and ask him/her to submit my PS for me.. Or is it too risky ?
    Do not do that. Far, far too risky. You can apply after the Jan 15 deadline, it isn't the end of the world.
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    (Original post by JoeJoeJoeJoeJoe)
    Ok so I checked and I have to fit into one of these categories:
    _Needs attention : verified and over 100 posts
    _Needs attention : 3 days & 100 posts on account
    If not, i think it'll probably take them more than a week to get to my PS.
    _Less than 100 posts : verified and less than 100 posts
    _Less than 100 posts (5 days) : waiting for more than 5 days
    _Subject opinion required
    _...

    I don't know what "verified" means, I don't see any way to get my account "verified". Also I created my account yesterday. So according to these requirements I don't think they will read my PS on time before the 15th Maybe I could find someone with an older account and ask him/her to submit my PS for me.. Or is it too risky ?
    you don't select a category - post your PS in a thread with confirmation that it's your final draft and a member of the team will add the tags (they're for the reviewers to find which PSs need prioritising).
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Do not do that. Far, far too risky. You can apply after the Jan 15 deadline, it isn't the end of the world.

    I think it is strategically better to apply before the 15th with an imperfect personal statement than after the 15th with a better one. According to what I've read on the different web pages for university degrees that I'm looking for, applying after the 15th really decreases chances of getting accepted.

    Here's what I've chosen (thanks to your uni advice !):

    LANCASTER: International Business Management (America) BBA Hons
    EXETER: BSc Business with International Study
    ROYAL HOLLOWAY: Management with International Business (Year in Business) BSc
    LEEDS: International Business
    BRISTOL: International Business Management with Study Abroad BSc


    I've choses very similar courses on purpose so that my PS is easier to write.
    Given the fact I have almost no real english-speaking family members, I hope that my PS will be decent without anyone reading it, I guess I'll just use the internet to make sure my sentences are correctly constructed, etc. And I may ask general questions in the PS advice forum too
 
 
 
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