March 20, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, you should definitely not let money considerations stop you from applying to Harvard Medical School. Your entrance into the school is totally dependent on your credentials. Once you get admission, the school takes care of all of your financial needs. The funding takes into account all costs from tuition, fees and books to boarding, room and travel. International students have the same access to financial aid as students who are citizens of the United States.
The application process for US universities is quite different from UCAS in several ways. Unlike the UCAS system, to apply to any university in the US, it is important to start thinking about the process well in advance of the actual application. To start with, you will need to get together different kinds of paperwork and that can take time. You will also need to prepare for and pass the mandatory SAT test. The earlier you start, the less stressful the process is likely to be. As soon as you’ve made up your mind about sending in an application to Harvard, it’s time to get started with putting together your documents and certificates.
This can take a seriously long time, and it should. You need to make sure that you’ve got all of the documents and certificates that they’ve asked for and scrutinise your personal statement several times till you are satisfied that it is 100% error-free. Getting invited to the interview hinges on whether or not the Harvard authorities are impressed by your application so you do not want to make the smallest mistake at this step.
At the Harvard interview, you can expect the unexpected. The interviewers are usually casual and friendly but don’t mistake that for being anything less than vigilant. Their aim is to find out enough about you so they can either promote or not promote your case when writing out their report. Harvard authorities look for exceptional students but just as importantly, they look for students who will be a good fit in their community and will make a significant contribution to the institution.
The calibre of students who apply to Harvard is exceptionally high and the challenge for the authorities is identify individuals who are also outstanding in other ways and who will hold their own among equally brilliant peers. The challenge for you as an applicant is to find ways to stand out from the other candidates and one of the best ways to do this is by getting considerable clinical experience either through a medical placement abroad, by shadowing a physician back home or by volunteering in an organisation in any health care capacity.