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Applying To Oxbridge As An International Student

Updated on June 5, 2016

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It is important to bear in mind that while you may apply to up to 5 institutions through UCAS, you may not apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year.

Check if you meet the entry requirements

The foremost thing you ought to do as you apply would be to check whether you meet the country-specfic AND course requirements.

This reflects there are two sets of requirements to be met.

Country-specific eligibility criteria are listed on the university website, as are the course requirements for each course on the course page.

Make sure you meet both these sets of eligibility requirements.


Write an outstanding personal statement

All applicants are exceptionally brilliant students with top grades, so one of the few things that in fact influence a decision made on your application is your personal statement.

Oxford and Cambridge are looking for the best of the best. This means the Admissions Team is aware all those applying are highly capable, intelligent students, which in turn means you have to show them why you stand out among all those amazingly talented kids.

The personal statement is your great chance to do that. Telling the Admissions Team you are passionate about your subject will not suffice. Show them. This you would do by giving instances of extracurricular activities that relate to your chosen course. The Team wants to see that you are already on your way to achieving your goals, and that attending Oxford/Cambridge would only help you get there faster.

Strike a balance between being proud and humble, and tell your story compellingly as to why it is that you want to get into the university so much. You must be completely honest in your personal statement. That the Team does not want to hear "because it's a world class uni" is a myth. Take it from me. Obviously you want to go to either of these prestigious institutions because of their reputation, and you might as well express it in your statement.


Get an impressive reference letter

Select a tutor who

A) Can praise your talents enthusiastically

C) Can write impeccable English

That your referee should know you well seems pointless to me. It's an add-on, surely, but honestly speaking, a tutor who knows you vaguely but is kind enough to write enthusiastically in praise of your talents is a thousand times better than one who does know you well but will write a half-hearted letter of praise for you.

Hence, two requirements you must look for in a tutor to be your referee are the ability to write descriptively and in high praise of you personally and academically, and the ability to write correct UK English.


Keep a track of dates

Do NOT miss the deadline. Oxbridge's annual application intake ends on October the 15th. Make sure you submit, and pay, for your UCAS application well before the prescribed deadline. Oxfbridge does not accept late applications, considering the large number of applications they receive - even from foreign students.

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