From December 1st all course catalogue will be available, if not already, and then you have up to January 15th to submit all documentation. I strongly recommend you to keep track of the key dates
that can be found on the University Admissions
During the whole application period I followed the information that was made available on University Admissions and read all the Applying for Studies and Practical Information topics; they are very helpful to understand the system and everything that is necessary throughout the process.
When it comes to documents, talking about Brazil in specific, I really recommend that you check all that is needed way in advance since having all of them translated can take some time. Also, you should check if you need any 'special' document that is normally not issued by your current University since that can take time as well. By 'special' I mean, for example, in my case I had not finished my Bachelor’s studies and at the time of the application I hadn’t enrolled to my final semester so it wasn’t possible to prove by using the 'automatic issued documents' system that I would be able to finish in time. In order to obtain that document I contacted the Academic’s Registrar (Diretoria Acadêmica) and that took some time; don’t forget that we have Christmas and New Year’s break!
Another important issue is with course syllabus. If the programme(s) you’re applying for asks for some specific background courses from your Bachelor’s degree, you should check if, from your transcripts, it’s possible to clearly understand that you have taken those. Otherwise, it’s important to attach the course syllabus so it’s possible to check that the course that you have taken really covered the topic asked as a requirement. And if you’re in Brazil, you’ll need to have them translated as well, so check that carefully with time!
Finally, I strongly recommend you to attach all the 'Optional documents'. I put a lot of effort on writing my Letter of Motivation since I think that is how you can show a bit of your 'real you' and what are your aims and expectations. For the Certificate of Cumulate Average Grade, I didn’t have my final yet since I had not finished the Bachelor’s but I attached the one that I had so far and stated the time frame from which it was calculated. Also I would try to get 2 letters of recommendation if that is possible.
Summing up, keep track of the key dates, check all documentation you need to translate and start with that as fast as possible and don’t let anything for the last minute to avoid bad surprises!
Text: Carolina Braga