Now that grades release have been released and the Global Opportunities team is working towards placing students, we’d like to share some experiences from Peer Advisors who did not get allocated to any choices, or to their top choice. We hope these stories will reassure you that, if you find yourself in a similar situation, this is nothing to worry about.
Students who meet the grade requirement but miss out on their top three choices due to the competitive nature of the placement will find out this Thursday (18th February).
Students who get one of their top three choices will find out on allocation day on Tuesday 23rd February, and will have a chance to ask questions and talk to the Global Opportunities team and Peer Advisors on Wednesday 24th February at the allocation event.
What to do if you don’t get allocated a university: Phoebe’s story
First of all, congratulations on achieving high enough grades last semester to be going abroad next year! Even if you didn’t get allocated a university you applied to, you will still be going somewhere, now just to decide where.
When I applied to study abroad 2 years ago, I didn’t get allocated a university and, ultimately, it is a really deflating feeling. After extensively researching where I wanted to go and coming up with all of the reasons why, I couldn’t imagine finding somewhere new.
However, making a list of criteria and looking for universities that fit it is a good place to start. I knew I wanted to go somewhere warm and by the beach and the university had to have a strong environmental approach.
After talking to someone in the Global Opportunities office, they suggested somewhere that would fit all of my criteria. After this, I did a bit of research into the university, the area and whether it had enough modules for me to take.
Ultimately, although I did not go to any of the universities I originally applied to, I had the most amazing study abroad experience and often think it was better than the time I could have had elsewhere.
What to do if you don’t get your first choice: Sam’s Story
When I applied for study abroad I didn’t get my top choice, which was a bit disappointing. I didn’t know French, I had really liked the courses at my top university, and in hindsight I realise I just had my heart set on a place that wasn’t a perfect fit for me.
After I had some time to research more I realised that the language barrier was something I could work on, my host university has some really interesting modules and there was a great initiative that gives students a second degree from their year abroad. I knew all of this when I made my application, of course, but I think that researching your host country with fresh eyes and the perspective that this is where you will spend some of the best months of your university career, makes it a lot easier to be excited about your second, third or even a choice you hadn’t considered before.
My advice is this: give yourself a few minutes to deal with the disappointment, but then go and ask for feedback on your application. You might find out something helpful which will help you improve for when you apply for jobs. With that knowledge, go and do your research, find things to get excited about, look at trips, the restaurants you want to go to, the societies you want to join and remember that wherever you go, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy yourself.
Believe me, the main thing I learnt from my experience is that you can’t control all the experiences you have, but you can make the best of the situation you are in.