The number of students pursuing higher education overseas is increasing drastically. While applying for higher education overseas, one of the major concerns among students is how to face the visa interview.
The interview is an essential part of the visa application process, which gives the interviewer an idea about the integrity of the student.
Visa interviews can be as easy as pie as long as you keep certain things in mind.
So, let's learn how to prepare yourself for a successful visa interview.
Know information about the university and the course in which you have applied for:
Showing ample information about the university and the subject you have applied for increases your credibility as a student. One of the most common questions during a student visa interview is: why have you applied to this university and why this particular subject?
Knowing general information about the university like its location, size, facilities available for students, QS world ranking by university and by subject , recent achievements, and the modules/courses you will be studying can assist you in answering most of the questions.
By checking the university website and the course description, you can find almost all the information you need.
Preparing answers for possible visa interview question:
Preparing answers for possible visa interview questions will help you answer any questions during the actual interview with confidence. You do not need to memorize anything as the interviewer might use a different line of questioning, but be prepared to just have a conversation.
You can say that you have researched and learned that this university is a good choice for the course you wish to study. Don't be vague and support your answers with facts like ranking, information on the course or modules/units, location, extra-curricular facilities, comparison with other universities etc.
Here is a list of probable questions you can practice answering at home.
Why do you want to study in this country and not anywhere else?
-You can talk about the environment of the country, its education system and what attracted you to this city or country.
Why have you chosen this university?
–You can say that you have researched and learned that this university is a good choice for the course you wish to study. Don't be vague and support your answers with facts like ranking, information on the course or modules/units, location, extra-curricular facilities, comparison with other universities etc.
Why have you chosen this course, and how does it relate to your previous study?
-Mention which modules/units you like most. For instance: if you are applying to do an MA in English Literature, you might say; I like the fact that this course will allow me to learn more about my interests, such as contemporary fiction, the modernist period etc.
If you haven't switched your major, you can easily identify how the course you are applying for relates to your previous study. Don't worry if you have changed your major; you can discuss the decision and talk about the relevance between the two.
How is your course assessed, and what is the duration of your course?
This information should be available in your CAS (confirmation of acceptance) letter.
Do you know the level of your course?
(In the UK, a master's degree is considered as level 7) Check the relevant websites to know the level of your course.
What will you do after the completion of this course/what are your future plans?
If you are already working for a company, you may say that this degree will give you the opportunity to attain promotion.. If not, you can discuss where you would like to work in the future. Mention if you have plans to pursue further study.
How will you contribute to your country after the completion of your degree?
Whether you are studying science, social sciences or business studies, or another area of study you will always find ways to contribute to your country. Frame your answer according to your course.
Will you need assistance in finding accommodation? Or, have you looked for an accommodation option?
Let the interviewer know if you have already booked your accommodation. Otherwise, talk about what measures you are taking or will take to confirm your accommodation.
How will you pay for the tuition fees/who is sponsoring you?
Mention if you have a scholarship or are self-funded. Suppose your parent is sponsoring you, and the required amount is kept in your bank account for a sufficient period; in that case, you may say that your parent has saved money for you and the required amount is already transferred in your account and displayed in your bank statement.
The interviewer might ask about your parents' occupation and annual income if they are sponsoring you. Make sure you have a general idea.
Have you considered any other university or course? If you answer yes, then try to explain what assisted you in making the final decision.
If you haven't considered any other universities or courses, you can answer in the negative.
Otherwise, mention a few facts about its ranking, location, and comparison with other universities etc., some of which prompted you to make your final choice.
Do you realise your responsibility as an international student?
As an international student, you might say it is your responsibility to be respectful towards every community and abide by the laws and customs of the country.
If you have taken a gap year, or several gap years, the interviewer might also ask you to explain them.
Prepare your answers as per your preference, as no one knows you better than yourself.
Giving a mock interview test:
No matter how fluent you are, it's always better to participate in a mock interview test before appearing for the actual interview.
You can either seek help from professionals or simply tell a sibling or friend to ask you possible questions and complete a practice interview at home.
Be confident and well dressed: The interviewer is only trying to know that you are a genuine student.
Sometimes the interviewer may not ask you more than two or three questions if you have a scholarship or good academic records in your previous courses of study.
No matter how successful your interview is, you will not qualify for the visa if your documents are incomplete. Make sure you provide all the required documents in the visa application.