From acceptance mail to reaching the Business school - A stepwise process of the tedious tasks

. Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This post aims at outlining the steps that follow after one receives an acceptance mail from the school. As I am realizing, getting the writing the GMAT, applying to the school and interviewing and getting an acceptance mail is amounts to just 60% of the work. The real work for most international (and local students) starts after that.

1. Get a Pay order for 2000 CAD and send it to Queen's School of Business. The school will process your Pay order and send across the enrollment package.
2. Get a loan - expected time - 2-3 weeks. Most students start analyzing the interest rates offered by the banks only after getting an admit. Based on my experience, I would say, it is better to start taking to prospective bankers as soon as your applications are done. As far as banks are concerned, the more time you spend talking to bankers, the better it is. The paperwork can be quite tedious and it is better to set aside at least a month for the bank related processing. For Indian applicants, the maximum amount you can apply for is Rs 20Lakhs, and for that one must show collateral and a co-signer. Talk to the bankers and get the documentation needed for validating the collateral. Additionally, bear in mind that loan has to be processed from the location where your parents / co-signer stays. Hence a 3 - 4 week period for loan processing is a safe assumption.

3. Work out the remaining amount - Can be done along side bank processing - Ensure that you have assets for the remaining 15 Lakh INR by means of parental funding, savings, borrowing from relatives, provident funds, etc.

4. Get a net worth letter from your CA - 2 - 3 days - Once your education loan has been sanctioned, get a net worth letter from your Chartered Accountant. A net worth certificate is a financial evaluation of the applicant and people who are going to financially support the applicant through the course of his program. Evaluation will consider the education loan amt in addition to any liquid assets, fixed assets you, your sponsors have. This takes a day if u know the CA well. Also get an affidavit mentioning the individial sponsors whose financial assets were accounted for in the net worth certificate. This should take about 2-3 days at the maximum, if you know the CA well.

5. Visa Documents: Keep in touch with VFS meanwhile and ask them the list of documents you need to submit for visa purposes.

6. Submit all relevant forms / supporting documents to VFS with a demand draft of the amount for applying for Student Visa. This detail is present in the VFS Website. VFS sends this to Canadian Embassy, and you get your medical test letter. This takes a week.

7. Get a medical test done (3-4 days) as mentioned in the letter from the embassy. The test takes 1 day, but bear estimate at least 2 days gap from the date you receive the medical test letter and the actual date of medical test.

8. Get Visa Stamped - 1 week - 10 days - Resend your passport to Canadian Embassy with your medical test results. You get your passport stamped within a week.

9. Book flight tickets to Canada. Again, like the loan processing, it is better to plan the flight tickets in advance to ensure that you get good deals. Also, some travel agents block flight tickets for about a month in advance. Pursue that option actively too.

10. Shop - On going - Get formal wear, suites, thermals, and a sweater. Do not but winter wear, as it is recommended to get winter wear from Canada. More on shopping at a later post.

11. Fly to Kingston. :)

Additionally, these are the other things that can be done, on a need basis:
(a) Parallely finish any assignments that has been given by the school. These assignments are present in the enrollment package.

(b) Search for houses online. Get an idea of the expected rent in Kingston. I have decided to live outside, and not take up Grad Res. The formula I am following is to look up craigslist / and get the address of the apartment. Then, map the address in google maps and find out the time taken to walk to campus. This not only helps you understand the real estate pricing there, but also helps you understand the geography. I believe that this really helps you in intangible ways, and also gets you excited about the place.

While making a checklist of things to do, it is better to go backwards. So, assuming that you are scheduled to fly on May 1st, then, allot 3 weeks for Visa + 4 days for medical test + 3 days for net worth certificate and 1 month for loan processing. So, it is better to plan the tasks so that the paperwork is started by March 1st week (February last week).