Advice from IR students

The application process is now open! I remember how excited and even confused I was during my application. Lots of questions emerged in my mind, such as how to elaborate my ideas within the given word limit, how to ask a recommender, and how to improve my statement of purpose, and so forth. 

To answer some of these questions, I’ve interviewed some current students and asked them to share their tips to help future students in their preparation. As the admission to CEU is so selective and competitive, these tips are very important and useful for the well-organized application.  

Jazmin, two-year MA student in the Department of International Relations, says: 

“It is important to stay true to yourself. Don't invent a story or a field of interest that is not confidently yours. Writing about a topic you are not necessarily interested in but seems catchy might not serve you well in the end.  

Be focused in your writings. One might lose him/herself in overarching thoughts. It is always better to narrow down what you would like to include in your essay and show more knowledge on that smaller segment of the topic.” 

Jorge, one-year MA student in the Department of International Relations, elaborates: 

“Tell a good story, connect your previous work or study experiences to the program. Outline why the course choices and faculty can help you get to the next level, closer to your career goals. 

Try to find previous successful applicants to CEU to check your statement of purpose. If you don´t know anyone, try someone who applied to a competitive university and has been accepted. 

Make sure your CV, your statement of purpose and your recommendations are aligned and strengthen each other. Of course, references from professors can be too reserved, but if you know them well, you know what they can say about you. And it’s very important that you try to learn as much about the university and the program of your choice so you can explain why it’s the right fit for you and how you can add value.” 

Tetiana, also a two-year MA student in the Department of International Relations, suggests: 

“If you are still hesitating over whether to apply or not, or having second thoughts believing you aren't good enough to be selected - just do it. Put all your efforts into application and just wait. You will regret it if you don't apply. But if you do, you will at least know you've taken the first step. If you don't get selected for the first time - don't give up, apply again next year. In fact, it will show the committee you are highly motivated.” 

I hope these tips from successful applicants are helpful for students who decided to apply to CEU. I want to add that you can also have a look at the link below to find more useful tips about competitive application:

By Sabina Jahanli, alumni scholarship recipient student in the Department of International Relations