Radita, our Year 13 student, chose to major in economics after writing articles for the Dhaka Apologue, a youth-run magazine started by university undergraduates in Bangladesh. This fueled her interest and curiosity in social issues and how Economics influences them. She decided to apply to universities that would allow her to take a wide variety of social science courses. On her shortlist were the University of Toronto & McMaster University in Canada, the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia. Out of the four universities, she will be attending her first choice, the University of Toronto, starting next year.
Tell us a little bit about your field of study and why you chose it?
I chose to major in Economics. I used to work at a magazine that dealt with social issues and that is what got me interested in the field of Economics. Economics deals with our everyday lives as well as the broader strokes of society, which is why I chose to pursue it at university.
You received multiple offers from highly ranked universities in different countries. What made you decide to apply to these particular institutions?
I applied to Canada because, in the first year, there is a wide variety of Social Science courses I can choose from before I begin studying my major in the second year. This allows me to learn about the many different fields of Social Sciences and to change my major or choose a second major after getting a better understanding of my subjects.
I applied to Erasmus as well because their Economics courses are very in-depth and incorporate things like Economic History and Philosophy into their courses, which was very appealing to me.
What factors were most important when choosing your preferred university destination?
A mix of the academic environment and courses as well as the cities themselves were a major factor for me. I wanted to go to a university with many societies and clubs to join alongside a wide range of courses to choose from. I also wanted to be in a city, which is why Toronto was a great choice for me.
What A-Level courses have you taken? Are there other suitable combinations for your chosen course?
I took Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Fortunately for Economics, only a prerequisite for Maths is required, so any combination of subjects is fine as long as Maths is there.
What were the key aspects of your applications? Which elements took the most time and preparation?
Canada and Australia are relatively easy to apply to as they only require grade transcripts. However, they both also require IELTS and require essays when applying for scholarships. For the Netherlands, the longest part of the process was writing the motivational statement.
How did the university guidance, provided by BSB as a part of student development, help with the application process?
They were very helpful in the initial stages, such as finding deadlines and prerequisites for my applications. They also helped when I needed feedback for my essays and motivational statements.
How much did the university guidance help you organise and improve your overall application process?
I would say that the overall process was improved thanks to the guidance I got from my university counsellor. If I had any questions about my application, I always had help which made the whole process less stressful.
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