" What to include in SOP, and its benefits?"
Statement of Purpose is the key document which is submitted with the study permit application. It details why an applicant wants to immigrate to Canada for their further education at the particular institute and program keeping in mind it is relevant to their previous experience and future aspirations of career goals. This document needs to be precise and yet to the point, covering all the necessary elements.
SOP should include the following vital elements:
- Personal background
- Financial background
- Academic details
- Professional experience (full/part time, voluntary)
- Immediate and long-term goals
- Reasons why you wish to study at this particular institution
- Reasons of being interested in the chosen field
- About extra-curricular activities
- Published works, if any
- Papers submitted, if any
- Interests, hobbies
Above elements must be carefully drafted into a SOP using the following 8 tips which will benefit you towards visa success:
1. Plan your SOP outline well
Before drafting your SOP, create a structure to ensure you don’t miss any key information. Use subheadings to separate each essential point outlined above, so the visa officer can easily find what they’re looking for. Keep the word limit in mind and make a mental note of how long each section should be.
2. List your academic and professional experience in reverse chronological order
When you talk about your past educational credentials and work experience, list them in order, from the most recent to the oldest. This will give the visa officer a better idea of your academic and career path and how it relates to the study program you’ve chosen. Be sure to address any significant gaps in your education or work history.
3. Focus on achievements that align with your study program
Including some relevant academic or professional achievements can demonstrate your commitment, merit, and interest in the field. Where possible, use specific examples to make your case. For instance, statements like, “I was top of my class in mathematics and scored 93 per cent in my class 12 examination,” can help a visa officer understand your interest in a bachelor’s program in the subject.
4. Avoid using technical jargon
Your SOP should be easy to understand, even by someone who isn’t an expert in your field of study. Avoid using abbreviations and technical terms that a layperson would be unfamiliar with.
5. Don’t lie on your statement of purpose
Lying or exaggerating facts on your SOP is a big no-no and will result in your study permit being rejected. Visa officers will also have the other documents you submit and will catch inaccuracies or omissions. Plus, if you’re called in for a visa interview later on, you may be asked to substantiate the claims you make on your SOP.
6. Write your SOP in English (or French)
Write your SOP in English unless you’re applying to a study program that will be delivered in French. Visa officers will also evaluate your language skills based on your SOP, so make sure it’s well-written using vocabulary and grammar skills that match your IELTS band.
7. Write your SOP yourself
Your statement of purpose is your chance to tell your story, explain shortfalls in your application, and your reasons for wanting a Canadian study permit. Never outsource the writing of your SOP to someone else. Even if their language skills are better than yours, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to convey your motivations for studying in Canada better than you. Keep it original and don’t plagiarize content written by someone else—if you do, it will adversely impact your chances of getting a student visa.
8. Proofread before you send your SOP
Spend time proofreading your statement of purpose and correct any spelling and grammar mistakes you spot. You can also ask family or friends to review your SOP before you submit your study permit application to make sure it’s well structured and coherent.
Although your SOP plays a role in whether your study permit application is approved, don’t let this process stress you out. Most Canadian study permit applications get approved, provided no essential documentation is missing or incorrect. Make sure your SOP makes a compelling, honest case for why you should receive a study permit and covers all the key aspects a visa officer will look for, and you will soon be on your way to study in Canada.