This post is inspired by something that might not be much related to the title, but it is how I felt after two frustrating days. I am applying to a masters degree to study Public Health. And for some unknown reason (really unknown) I have only applied to universities in Sweden. Paid the application fees and had hard times at my home university in Alexandria, Egypt finishing paper work to send it in to university admissions in Sweden. Finally sent in the papers right on time before the deadline.
What did I miss? The English requirements documents. I have been told that, as an IGCSE graduate (International high school diploma) I do not need to sit for a TOEFL or IELTS exams, all I need to do is send my ESL (English as a Second Language) certificate from my high school and it counts as a proof of English proficiency (as it is certified by Cambridge University).
My bad, I haven’t asked the university admissions if this is correct or not and just took the word of my friends for granted. Just to receive a message from university admissions on February 27th saying I did not meet their English requirements and they regret to tell me that I have been rejected.
I quickly started panicking and getting depressed and frustrated (all at once). I have been day dreaming about getting accepted for so long! I quickly started checking when the nearest TOEFL or IELTS exam is, they are on March 9th and 7th; grades come out in two weeks; so my grades will reach university admissions on around March 23rd.
On February 28th I called university admissions to ask if I can get accepted, for now, without the English requirement fulfilled, and sending in my grades later. And like signing a paper or whatever that I will not graduate if I didn’t have the English requirements met. They told me this is rarely possible, and I should check with the universities I am applying to.
I called the first university, Karolinska Institute, the man/woman (the voice didn’t tell much) didn’t speak English at all, and s/he got quickly frustrated and hung up on me.
http://satwcomic.com/not-english thats funny, check it out to know why someone who picks up phones in an international university should atleast speak a little English
I called the second university, Lund University, the first number I tried was that of the programme secretary, which was very nice, but told me that she couldn’t help with my case and that I should call the administrative coordinator, which I did, and was also a very nice woman who spent almost 10 minutes trying to reach my application, because I didn’t have my application number with me.
After spending EGP 200 on international phone calls (that is a very big deal for me, considering I make only 6-7x that amount per month), she told me what I wanted was impossible. I asked her if my TOEFL grades were sent in on March 23rd, what will be the case? She told me this will be a late application, and honestly late applicants rarely have any available seats. I really appreciated her honesty on this, because it would have been really bad for me to rush into the exam on such a short notice and still get rejected!
One thing she told me which gave me a little hope was: if you can prove that your university studies were all English, this will exempt you from the English requirements. YES! MY STUDIES WERE IN ENGLISH! However, I thought, I know that staff in my home university is very unhelpful, always lazy to work, and they would give me a hard time.
I am currently in Sharm el Sheikh, not Alexandria, so I just gave it a shot and phoned them. They just told me yes there is a paper we can give you that states you have studied in English! That’s it? That easy? Wow thank you!! I asked again if it has to be me who goes to get that paper, I told her I was out of town; can my sister go and do it? She said yes it’s no problem! Wow!
And that is when I realized that life isn’t as complicated as I thought it was and that if I want something so bad, well at least I will get a full chance on doing it and I won’t be let down so easy.
PS The paper was made and my sister took it on Saturday, it is supposed to reach Sweden in 2-3 days. Everyone wish me luck!!
Did you ever before be in a situation where you thought you have lost it all, and then suddenly, with the simplest of ways, you realized you still got a shot? How did you feel about it?