It is that time of year again when the applications have opened for the General Course at LSE. The process for studying abroad can seem nerve-racking and stressful if you don’t know what to expect. I have written this blog post to assist those of you who are currently applying or thinking of applying.
Deadline for Application
I first started my application to the General Course quite late, only applying in April. However, my first suggestion to you, in order to make this process as smooth and simple as possible, is to apply as soon as you know LSE is where you want to study. Even though the deadline is only in July, admissions are on a rolling basis. This means that if the team receives a high number of applications early on in the admission cycle, applications might close before you decide to apply.
Most students coming to London for the General Course will need a visa. In my case, this is what stressed me out the most out of the whole application process. In order to apply for the visa you will have to gather many documents and, depending on where you are from, potentially take an English language test. If you need to take an English test, I would recommend that you do it early-on. Even though you can’t start the visa application until 3 months before coming to LSE, you can still prepare all the documents necessary and save yourself the stress later.
I took my IELTS exam at the end of April, right after submitting my application and got my results in early May, right around the time LSE accepted me. If you have all your required documents and form completed, you can start your visa application as soon as you are able to and not have to stress at the last minute.
And don’t worry, LSE provides support for the visa process too!
Once you’ve applied and been accepted and are simply waiting for more information, a very beneficial thing to do is look for accommodation. There are both LSE-only and Intercollegiate Halls to choose from. I had a list of the dorms that best fit me and what I was searching for in terms of price, location and whether it was catered or not. Make sure you know what you’re looking for and make a list of the main dorms you would like to book. I checked the portal every day to see if there was a room available. If a room in your preferred hall doesn’t become available, don’t wait for too long otherwise it will be fully booked and you’ll have to look elsewhere.
You wait for LSE’s response, you wait for your visa, you wait for more information and you wait for move-in day. The entire process relies on waiting and being patient. It’s normal to feel anxious and not know what’s next, but LSE sends you all the information in due course. So – don’t panic! LSE provides a timeline of dates and when you should submit your document and it’s normal to be waiting for some information until around summer time. The Study Abroad team is also available to provide support, in case you need it. Once you’ve sent in your applications, sorted out all your documents and ensured you submit your visa application as soon as you are able to, you should be able to avoid any delays.
It’s normal to be anxious about the whole process but now, looking back, it was smooth and easy to get everything sorted and ready for the start of the academic year in September!
Good luck to everyone who is applying or waiting to hear back!