💼 IB Student
⏳ Mar 2022 — Jun 2023
✅ Student Visa
Hi everyone. My name is Margo, I'm 15 years old and I got accepted into the IB curriculum in Denmark as a citizen of Belarus currently living in UAE. Due to some world struggles getting visas as Belarusian was a difficult process as well as just getting into the IB world. And I am here to tell you how it went)))
Finding opportunity, application, and admission
The opportunity to move around the world while studying was found quite late. Why? Because I never thought of moving anywhere and turned out that the admission process was finishing exactly 30 days after I realized I could travel to a whole new continent all by myself and become somewhat adult/teen mix. Huge shout out to my parents who found the most inspiring article which pushed me towards the journey of a minor traveller. (the article from what it all began). My research on greater opportunities and a successful future began on February 1, 2022. Reading loads of school websites made me realize two things. First - I have to get myself together and work as hard as possible to stand out on the last days of admission to be picked. Second - I need to do the first thing right now. to be admitted to any IB school, gymnasium or college you need :
• good marks
• recommendations from teachers
• personal statement
• documents (passport, birth certificate, etc)
• and preferably some achievement certificates
If I'm being honest I wasn't at the top of the class, but I had something that showed me off from other people, I had a lot of participation certificates and teacher recommendations which stated that despite my average marks I had a lot of determination in me towards studying. IB isn't only about the marks, it's also about creativity, determination, and uniqueness in each pupil. After the stressful submission of the documents process, there was a waiting time. I would give away anything just to relive the moment and the feeling I had when my mom tells me that she received an email about me being admitted. After so much hard work of pulling up my grades and doing as many projects as possible just to get good recommendations, writing personal statements, and annoying my parents with questions "Are you sure that they didn't text? did u refresh the mailbox? Are you 100% sure?" I finally get accepted into my number 1 option gymnasium.
Rejected & waitlisted
I think it is important to understand that rejection is one of the major things during the application process. Some schools would politely reject me or waitlist since I am not an EU resident who applied to the schools in the EU. The main thing is not to give up - if you want to study abroad and travel. you will.
Before I was excepted to my number one option school I was offered an interview with another school. When adults say "kids will never understand how it is to be an adult" don't believe them, school interviews are just like job interviews. And just like adults, you have to be prepared before them. Speaking of experience you should be aware of weird questions like: "What do you see yourself like in 5 years", "What are your weaknesses" and "Why are you the right fit for us".
Picking the ONE
After all applications personal statements and interviews, I was accepted into two schools. Both are very good but how do you decide which one? My parents and I started to evaluate all pros and cons, weaknesses and strengths of each one. We created a point system from 1-5 to rate how important or problematic something about those schools was. For example, having a good living space is extremely important. A lot of IB schools have already attached pictures of their accommodations on websites from which we could rate how good they were. EUC SYD had no pictures and the only one which barely showed so that was a big minus while Grenaa Gymnasium had several platforms and a lot of images of dormitory facilities which was, of course, a very convenient point and definitely scored a 5/5. Points were collected and put together, next we went to an official danish IB school's ratings and saw that one school had higher scores than another. I was also given points depending on how each school replied to different emails. Ratings up, Grenaa Gymnasium won.
Getting a visa as a holder of a Belarusian passport was tiring, time-consuming, and difficult but no matter what country resident you are there is always a 90% chance of getting it. What you need for a visa:
• A passport that is valid for at least 6 months from moving to Denmark. You need to have at least two blank pages in your passport and to have used the passport in the last ten years.
• An application form is filled with all the required information.
• Recent passport photos.
• Acceptance letter from a university in Denmark.
• If you're below 18 years of age, you need to provide a parental consent document to study and live in Denmark.
• Proof of finances: you need to have at least a thousand euros a month.
• Proof of language proficiency.
• A receipt which shows you paid an application fee of €310.
• Proof of address in Denmark.
• Travel insurance.
• Social status document.
Speaking of documents
Speaking of documents - it was a stroke of huge luck that most were pre-translated and signed by notaries and all schools do request them in English since the IB curriculum is taught only in the English language.
Right now I am already an official member of Grenaa gymnasium as well as an official borderer who is writing this article to you in dorm 506. I successfully received my id and I am extremely passionate about my studies abroad even though it gets tough sometimes.