is personal statement same as Statement of purpose
In this article you will find important information about Statement of purpose (SOP):
- SOP downloadable samples (at the bottom)
- What is SOP ?
- SOP structure
- SOP most common mistakes
- SOP and GTE differences
- Why great SOP can fail you to get a student visa in Australia?
What is SOP?
Statement of purpose (SOP) it is a personal statement highlighting a student’s grades, experiences, and achievements. SOP for Australian Student Visa plays a major role in determining whether an international student will be accepted for admission. It helps in establishing the merit of students in the eyes of the decision committee. Hence, it is extremely important to write a good SOP to get admission to desired course and university if you are willing to apply for a TOP tier universities in Australia. If you are targeting private or lower ranking universities this requirement can even be dismissed. It is a must if you are applying for a scholarship.
SOP is the easiest part of the enrolment procedures and many of the applicants get it done right, however most of the students fail to get a visa due to simple errors mentioned below. Statement of purpose is usually in the form of short essays or a questions/answers form.
SOP for Australia should be more objective and based on facts rather than telling a story. This doesn’t mean that students should turn a blind eye and write monotonous information. Popular Australian universities receive a thousand applications every year and easily can get bored. Thus, SOPs should be engaging enough to keep the admission committee hooked till the end.
The structure of your statement of purpose should look accordingly:
- Introduction of yourself and your family
- Please provide a brief introduction of yourself, your family and financial circumstances: Your name, age, residential location, information about your family, such as: How many people in your family? What do your parents and siblings do for a living?
- If married, details about your spouse, including their education qualifications and occupation, as well as your date of marriage
- Introduction of your academic history and English level
- Please provide a brief introduction about your academic qualifications, full study history including year of commencement and year of completion and your English test results.
- Information about your work experience (if applicable)
- If you are currently working, which company do you work for and what position do you hold in this company? How long have you worked there? Why are you leaving your current job/employer?
- Study motives
- What course have you applied for?
- Have you done any research on similar programs being offered in your home country or any other country?
- Compared with the programs offered in your home country and other countries, why would you like to study in Australia?
- Provide strong reasons why Australia is the preferred destination
- Research about education provider
- How did you hear about your selected education provider? What research have you done about particular university?
- Please list the names of other education providers that you researched in Australia. Provide the reasons that you would like to choose Federation University Australia rather than another education provider in Australia.
- Education outcome
- Why have you chosen this particular degree at particular uni? Also provide general information about your chosen course, such as the fees, study length, course content and teaching location
- Please explain who will sponsor your studies in Australia, and how you will fund your studies
- What skills or knowledge you expect to gain from completion of this qualification?
- How will this qualification benefit your future career in your home country? Please provide detailed research on your future career prospects in your home country (or other country), such as intended working area, targeted companies, job position, expected salary, etc
- After arrival
- If your visa is granted, what will your living arrangements be in Australia? Please provide your plan in terms of accommodation, travel, work opportunities, and social networks with friends or relatives in Australia.
- If you have any friends or relatives in Australia, please provide background information about them, such as residential location, occupation or other circumstances.
- Please highlight your understanding of student visa conditions for international students.
- Are you interested to remain in Australia to gain work experience after graduation? Do you know what type of visa you can apply for to do this?
- Also you need to highlight your intention to return back to your home country, and your ties to your home country, such as family ties, assets, possible job prospects, etc
SOP most common mistakes
- Too detailed about yourself and family. Do not go deep like giving details about your uncles (unless sponsors), do not tell about celebrations or your relationship with them. Just give basic facts like how many family members (parents and siblings) in the family and what does your parents does for living.
- Forget to attach supporting documents. Some of the applicants forget to attach important documents like education transcript, passport and other. Make sure you have all files together and support to what is said in SOP.
- Do not translate documents. Australian study providers accepts documents only in English. If your documents are in other language, please translate it in translation bureau and ask them to put a stamp. Some of the education institutions in Australia requires translation to be proved by notary.
- Study motives. Study motives always should come from you. Do not mention that it was your parents’ choice, even if it is true.
- Do not compare programs. To be a genuine international student in Australia you need to have a genuine intention to study in Australia. Universities expect you to compare studies in the most popular international studies destinations like UK, America, Singapore, Australia, Canada.
- Education outcome. You should have a clear vision on what you will do after graduation. It needs to be a clear and firm career goals you want to achieve and international education is only a tool in achieving it.
- Living arrangements. You need to know clearly how much money you will be spending on food, commuting, living and other expenses.
SOP and GTE differences
A Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Statement is a broad version of a Statement of Purpose (SOP). Both documents serve as a written declaration of intent to study in Australia. SOP is used more often for admissions to university and GTE is more serious document used to apply for Australian student visa.
Why great written SOP can fail you to get a student visa in Australia?
Most applicants applying on their own believes that SOP is more than enough to apply for a student visa and it is a kind of same document. Don’t get me wrong. SOP is a great for university admissions, however most of the applicants fail to look at the GTE requirements. To add more, some of the countries like India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey and many more developing countries has a high risk status in Australian Home Affairs department.
You may ask what does this means “high risk status”?
Australian immigration department marked those as “high risk” countries which has the most: citizens stayed unlawful in country, using student visa for other purposes, trouble makers (related to crime), usually economical immigrants who have no ties to a home country.
If you are from the high risk country listed above I advise you to have an international studies agent like me as we are trained and have a long year’s experience helping international students to find right education provider and guarantee Australian student visa.
Download free SOP samples of the successful applicants.
- Bachelor degree
- Masters degree