Hear from Civil Engineering student Sonia about her Clearing experience as an international student and the reasons why she chose Brighton.
Attending university had always been a dream for me since the first career talk I had at my primary school. Towards the end of the academic year, our schools arranged for some successful people to speak to us about the importance of having a goal to work towards. They asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up and I almost knew, although the answer changed every year!
Honestly, I was not clear about what I wanted to study until an opportunity for me to study abroad came along. This, for me, was a once-in-a-lifetime dream about to come true. I had to sit down and decide on the course I wanted to do and why – it was Civil Engineering BEng. My decision affected the next years of my life and the career to pursue after graduating.
As I applied from overseas, I sought guidance from an agent that helped students wanting to study abroad. Through my agent, I learned of the process of applying for Clearing through the UCAS website.
I had done my research of where I wanted to go and why I wanted to go there, so this made it easier to know which universities offered my preferences. My family members also chipped in as one of my relatives was studying at the University of Brighton and they described how it was situated in a vibrant, metropolitan city next to a beach! That is when I knew it was for me.
The Clearing Process
The Clearing process is used when the university still has places on a particular course to fill out. According to UCAS, you can only apply when you didn’t get into any of the universities you had applied to.
If all is successful and you do get a place through UCAS, it appears as accepted and the team from the admissions contacts you to let you know that you hold a place at the university and the date to start.
Lastly, note that you can only add one choice at a time until the university either approves or disapproves, then you can move forward and begin with your studies.
Help and advice for international students
Clearing can be so stressful! But do understand that there are people to help you. I felt so alone sometimes and making such a big decision seemed very surreal and I surely did need to talk to someone!
Reach out to the university
I reached out to the ‘Chat to our students’ bubble that appears on the university website and emailed the admissions support team where I got a lot of help.
Keep your phone ready
Keep your phone alert and ready to receive a phone calls or emails from the university. Be prepared with questions concerning your course of interest and even accommodation options. You can talk to them about your situation and make sure they understand your eagerness to join soon.
I tried to stay informal just to ease up the atmosphere but keep it professional, this way you can clarify any doubts you have about joining a course.
Seek help from agents and career advisers
Another piece of advice I would give is to seek help from agents and career advisers that give proper guidance during this process. My agent helped me keep up with the documentation that required filing and scanning such as school certificates and also updated me on the vacancies for my choice of university – Brighton.