In this article you will find important information about Statement of purpose (SOP):
- SOP downloadable samples (at the bottom)
- Meaning of SOP ?
- SOP structure
- SOP most common mistakes
- Differences between SOP and GTE
- Reasons why an SOP might fail
- Why great SOP can fail you to get a student visa in Australia?
What does SOP mean?
Statement of purpose (SOP) is a personal statement that highlights a student’s grades, experiences, and various achievements. SOP is essential especially when you are applying to a college. In Australia, a student visa plays a crucial role when it comes to determining whether an international student should be accepted for admission.
The SOP is used to establish the merits of the student applying in the eyes of the decision committee. It is the main reason why it is necessary for one to write a good SOP because it determines whether you will get admission into a university for the desired course, especially if you applying for Top tier universities in Australia. However, when you applying for lower-ranking universities or private universities the SOP might be dismissed unless you are applying for a scholarship.
Statement of Purpose can be the easiest part of the enrolment process and many applicants have proven that by getting it right, but some students fail to get a visa because of simple errors made. Statement of Purpose is usually presented in the form of short essays that answers a few questions.
It is advisable to be more objective and based on facts when you are writing an SOP for Australia. This doesn’t mean that you write a monotonous piece. Australian universities receive thousands of applications annually, so they easily get bored when going through all of them. It is crucial to engage enough to get their attention when they are reading your SOP.
The structure of SOP
- Introduction of yourself and your family
– For the introduction, you have to provide a brief introduction of yourself, including your family and financial background. This must contain all necessary information like your name, age, residential location, and family background.
– If you are married, you have to include necessary information about your spouse, which includes their education qualifications and occupation. You can include the date of your marriage.
- Introduction of your academic history and English level
– Provide a brief introduction to your academic qualifications. This should include the year you started and the year of completion for each institution, and an English proficiency test.
- Information required about your work experience
– This only applies to people who are bound to their employers. You have to include the company you are working for and the role you play in the company. You also have to include how long you have worked there, and why you are leaving your current employer or job.
- Study motives
– What course do you want to apply for?
– Have you researched similar courses which are offered in your country or another country?
– Why would you like to study in Australia instead of offering the same course in your home country or other countries?
– Provide reasons why Australia is your preferred country
- Research about education provider
– How did you hear about the university you are applying for? What research have you done on the university?
– List the names of universities you have researched in Australia. Also, provide the reasons why you would like to choose such universities instead of other universities in the country
- Education outcome
– Why do you want to offer this degree program at a particular university? Provide general information about the course you are applying for, including the fees, duration, course content, and teaching location
– If you have a sponsor for your studies, provide information on the sponsor. If not, explain how you will fund your studies.
– What are you expecting to gain after you complete the course?
– How will the qualification apply to your future career when you return to your country? Provide detailed information on your career prospects in your home country, such as intended working area, targeted companies, job position, expected salary, etc
- After arrival.
– What will your living arrangements be once your visa is approved? Provide your terms of accommodation plan, travel, work opportunities, and social networks such as family or friends in Australia.
– If you have family or friends in Australia, provide their background information, such as residential location, occupation, or other circumstances.
– Highlight your understanding of the conditions that come with having a student visa for international students.
– Do you want to stay in Australia to gain work experience after you graduate? Do you know the type of visa you can apply for this to possible.
– Highlight your intentions to return to back home, or any ties might have with your home country, specifically family ties, assets or any important information.
Common SOP mistake people make
- Too detailed about yourself and your family. This is when you provide too much detail about your family and the relationship you have with them. The best thing to do is provide basic facts like the number of family members you have, and sometimes their occupation.
- Forget to attach supporting documents. Some applicants forget to attach important documents like their education transcript, passport, and other required documents. Ensure that you have provided every necessary document in your SOP.
- Do not translate documents. Most universities accept documents in English. There is no need to submit documents in another language. However, if your documents are in other languages, you can translate them in the translation bureau and ask them to put a stamp. Some of the educational institutions in Australia require translations to be proved by a notary.
- Study motives. This should be the reason why you want to study in the chosen institutions. Avoid using someone’s motive as the reason you want to study in Australia.
- Do not compare programs. If you are an international student, you have to provide genuine intentions of why you want to pursue a course in Australia. Some universities expect you to compare the courses to others in various countries like America, Canada, and UK.
- Education outcome. You should have a clear objective of what you want to do after you graduate. It should be a clear career goal, and you have to prove that having international education is the only way of achieving it.
Living arrangements. There is a need to know the amount of money you are going to spend on food, transportation, and accommodation. You also have to consider other living expenses.
Differences between SOP and GTE
A Genuine Temporary Entrant Statement is broader compared to SOP(statement of purpose), even though they both documents are written declarations of intent when you want to study in Australia. SOP is usually used for admissions to university and GTE is a more serious document used to apply for an Australian student visa.
Reasons why an SOP might fail when getting a student visa in Australia
Many applicants believe that SOP is more than enough to apply and get accepted for a student visa. Even though SOP is a good way of gaining admission into a university, it is important to also focus on GTE requirements. Some countries like India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, and other developing countries have a high-risk status in the Australian Home Affairs department.
You may ask what does “high-risk status” means?
Australian immigration department marked “high risk” countries as countries where: most citizens stayed unlawful in the country, using student visas for other purposes, trouble makers (related to crime), usually economic immigrants who have no ties to a home country.
If you are from any of the high-risk countries which have been listed above, it is advisable to get the aid of a well-trained international studies agents like we. International studies agents help international students to find the right education provider and increase their chances of getting a student visa.
Download SOP samples