Studying abroad has the potential to change your life forever. The experience is so great and enriching that it will surely help you not only define your educational and professional career, but also grow in every way, such as cultivating independence, resolving problems and respecting diversities.
Some countries are the most popular when it comes to study destination – Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand and more. Also, there’re many more countries which also deliver high-quality education, like Singapore.
If you have made your mind to study abroad, first of all, you should research a lot. Read articles, follow expert websites, watch videos, chat with your friends, teachers, classmates, parents and others, ask for tips, find an education agents for advices if you feel it is necessary, and do everything you can to make a decision safely, and confidence.
We know this is a big step to take, it’s hard to know where to start. When you make an informed decision, the chances of making mistakes are greatly minimized.
Here, we’d like to give you some advices on studying abroad.
1. Start preparing in advance
When we say preparation in advance, we mean at least one year. It may seem overkill, but studying abroad requires work, dedication, budgeting, and good school performance.
Each country and education institution have different admission methods, and the requirements also vary depending on what you would like to study, especially when you are interested in an academic or technical course. This means that you have to study hard, get high grades, and participate in extracurricular activities, because they all count as requirements in the selection process. In addition, preparing in advance allows you to go through the process calmly and long enough not to miss any important steps or dates.
2. Visit the official websites of your study destination
The best source of news is and always will be the official one. The vast majority of countries that are accustomed to receiving international students have excellent and complete pages with all the information you need to understand higher education and the selection process of the country’s institutions, as well as student visa, culture, accommodation and other important subjects.
3. Gather all necessary documents
The process for studying abroad requires a series of documents at each stage. To get the notice of Offer, you have a few things to do: prove financial support; apply for student visa, etc. And the list changes by country as well, not counting the translation of these documents into the national official language.
Check everything you’ll need to provide and create a folder to store all documents, both digital and print. Some of them may take a while to be issued, others need to be official. That is why it is important to start going after them as soon as possible.
4. Maintain active communication with your institution
If you have already chosen the study destination and university, you can try to maintain direct communication with the target university, preferably with someone specifically responsible for international students. This person will be your official guide. In addition to helping you clarify all your questions, this communication is a way to show interest in the university position and to make recruiters remember you.
5. Take an official English proficiency test
The chances of needing an official English (or any other foreign language) exam to be admitted to a course abroad are quite high – unless you are traveling to study the language, of course. These tests show if you have the fluency you need to understand, interpret, read, write and speak English, especially in academic contexts. There are several of them, but the most widely recognized worldwide are IELTS and TOEFL.
6. Apply – pay the required fee
Once you have decided on your country, university and course, provided all the documents and all your questions answered, it’s time to submit your course application. In most cases, it can be done online, just by filling out a form and uploading your scanned documents. There is also usually a small application fee that must be paid together with the submission of your form.
7. Prepare your budget and search for scholarships
This is probably the most worrying part of those preparing to study abroad. The experience comes with a range of expenses, from studies to airline tickets and living expenses abroad. If you start preparing early, a few years in advance, you’ll have time to save money and go through the process more smoothly.
Universities and immigration officials will ask for documents proving the amount available for use abroad, which may be bank statements, an official letter from your bank or the person responsible for your travel expenses, among other documents. One of the best ways to save money during your studies is to get a scholarship abroad.
8. Apply for your student visa
The visa is your golden ticket! Only with it can you get permission to enter a country. Each study destination has its own rules, application process and costs for granting a student visa to a foreigner.