Applying through Clearing from Greece
I’m George, a 25-year-old student from Corinth, Greece, and just completed the second year of my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (Mechanical Engineering MEng) at Brighton University. Back in July of 2019 I was in the process of applying to various universities in the UK and Brighton was at the top of my list, mainly because of the nature of the city; there’s an element of acceptance, approachability, and pure positiveness. Equally important were the studying criteria. I wanted to study in the UK, because of its’ incredibly diverse student demographic, shorter duration, and intensiveness of courses, which suited my criteria of wanting to graduate as fast as possible, without compromising on quality.
During the summer of 2019, I desperately needed to complete the IELTS exam to have a chance of applying to any UK University. I had just withdrawn from my studies in Germany where I previously was and had to pass the IELTS exam as soon as possible and with adequate marks. My IELTS results came back late, in late July, therefore time was running out. Most students send their applications as early as possible. This gives them a higher chance of being successful at the University of their choice. Thus, I applied to 5 different Universities and entered the clearing scheme for the University I wanted most, Brighton. I had a mentor at the time, who was liaising with admission personnel. After going back and forth for 2 weeks to try and secure one of the last positions; while waiting for my transcripts to be translated, the only option left was to apply through clearing and hope that an available spot would open. I applied via the Brighton uni portal and with help via phone from the admission staff. The University staff ensured me that I had a high chance, since the scheme operated on a first come first serve basis, and I was one of the first people to apply.
There were no extra documents needed to apply for clearing. The only needed action was for me to create an online portfolio. The University had already acquired my translated transcripts (Greek high school apolytirion, UCAS ID number, Greek panhellenic exam results, necessary grades in STEM modules, scanned ID, and scanned copy of my IELTS results).
My top tip for Greek students would be to not waste time and risk their chances by applying late. If you feel uncertain about the University you want to apply for and you’re delaying your submission, simply call them. They will give you a great deal of information about how student life is. If that is not enough information, use the Unibuddy app. Type your University and a cluster of undergraduates will appear. Then type your discipline and talk to any relevant student who appears. It was what I did, you’ll get a head start by learning from their experience and it’ll relieve some stress from the process. Even if you don’t get a position through clearing, it is important to remember and honor your choice and not apply for a University you don’t like. I understand the rush, stress, and pressure that exists; I’ve been through it. But believe me, it’s better to wait even a whole year to reapply than to go to a University you don’t like, just for the sake of being in a University. Always honor your initial decision.
Most importantly remember to enjoy the process even if it stresses you! In a few years, you’ll miss your first steps toward your new life!