Studying abroad is the target for every Indian student to enhance their future. Overseas universities follow different eligibility caps for foreign student admissions, from high GPA to students’ extracurricular activities. Understanding and analysing student competencies is the first step in reviewing the application. Universities cue into academic backgrounds as well as how students engage with their natural talents and tastes. A student portfolio is a document that informs the application committee of the extracurricular roles the student acquired during their academics. It can be participating in sports or arts, exchange programs, among other actions that underscore student talent through a portfolio.
All the Ivy League universities in the US, premium universities in the UK like Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics consider the student portfolio to be the crucial part of understanding the student and accepting the application. It doesn’t mean that your academic achievements are getting ignored but it means that you are respected for your natural talents along with your academic success. As western universities are more than a book and classroom, analysing the students’ talents is a big deal to give them proper guidance. According to career experts, portfolio preparation must start as early as possible to showcase the best performances and achievements of students.
V J Melograno, the student portfolio creator says: “Portfolios are supposed to contain five to seven examples of the students’ best work during the school year, and scores are supposed to reflect optimum performance.”
Thus, a strong portfolio for college applications is as similar to presenting a case with all facts and figures. In addition to academic scores, other intellectual initiatives like research papers, thesis, or journals written in their field of specialization, also count while applying to foreign universities.
According to experts, students must start work on their portfolios from the 11th class because students start prepping for their future during the higher secondary time. Their focus on academic achievements should also combine extracurricular activities to get experience that can prove to be an instrumental part of the application process. Anushka Singh, a class 12 student at Stonehill International School, Bengaluru, has been accepted into the University of Cambridge to study English Language and Literature. She has much to say about creating a portfolio and how it turned her into a Cambridge student.
“I wasn’t aware that my hobbies and interests could play such an important role in my university applications. It was only in class 10 when I shifted to an IB Board school, and I was introduced to the concept of portfolio writing. It was one of the major factors for my acceptance at Cambridge.” she said confidently.
However, still many are unaware that their personal tastes have big roles in creating a future they have long been dreaming of.
The fundamentals of the portfolio vary from country to country. The basic rubric is to present the best that can define the students’ potential. Yatharth Gulati, LSE alumni, differentiates the requirements for both US and UK. He says Ivy League Universities in the US prioritise thematic applications.
“More than just the academic score, these universities are more focused on a student’s personality and interests. An application to any university in the US should have a unified theme that includes information on social activities, internships, non-subject-related activities a student participated in. Meanwhile, the essay should largely be based on a personal experience and not be rhetorical,” he said.
When it comes to the UK, the picture has a different look. The students aren’t able to switch their courses in the UK and it is better to create a portfolio around what you need to pursue.
“For premier universities in the UK, portfolio and grades play an equivalent role in application acceptance. A candidate’s portfolio should largely reflect academic excellence, for example, the names of books read, online courses attended, research papers published among others,” he added.
In short, those who dream of studying abroad can build portfolios to get your application accepted with an inclusive feel. Being the best study abroad consultancy in Kerala, at Insight International our mission is to share accurate and updated knowledge to the student community to guide them through the right path.