How To Apply To Foreign Universities?: A Step-By-Step Process To Study Abroad
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have stated that by 2025, the number of international students will increase by 8 million thanks to the demographic shifts. So, you can expect tight competition when it comes to universities selecting the best study abroad applications globally. But let’s get straight to the point. Do you think that exhibiting an outstanding academic score is enough to confirm your enrollment at your dream university?
We believe that this is just one step from the many steps you have to prove to gain that confirmation letter. Do you know why most student application gets rejected? One of the core reasons is failing to conduct the study abroad application process the right way. We can help you avoid this mistake. All you need to do is refer to this blog to access the correct way of conducting study abroad registrations.
Application Process To Study Abroad For International Students
The application process for every study abroad university is standard. However, we suggest visiting the universities official admission page to learn better about your entry requirements. Here is a detailed overview of how you should commence this process:
1. Conduct a thorough research
Before you can apply to any universities abroad, you should first research several things. This includes:
- Which course do I wish to pursue abroad?
- Which study abroad destination is ideal to pursue this course?
- Which is the best university to pursue this course
- Does the university offer professional job opportunities too?
- What is the graduation and employment rate of the university?
- What is in the course curriculum?
- Who are the faculty that will teach you your course?
- Are the academic facilities provided up to date with the recent technologies?
- What is the teaching style for this course? etc
2. Focus on the eligibility criteria
Next, you should visit the universities official website to check the entry requirements. Every university will list 3-4 academic requirements that will help them analyse your capability to study at the former and pursue your chosen course.
3. Write and clear the entrance examinations
Most universities abroad enquire for an entrance exam score that varies based on the course program chosen. For instance, in the UK, if you wish to pursue a medical program, you should submit UCAT scores. The common entrance exam required are:
- English language proficiency test scores (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, or Cambridge)
- GMAT/GRE test scores (for graduate programs)
Ensure you check the related entrance exam required from your end once you’ve selected the study program you wish to pursue abroad.
4. Create a powerful SOP
SOP or Statement of Purpose is a written essay submitted by a student to the university. The purpose of the SOP is to help the university understand your goals, motivations and expectations with regards to your academic and professional paths. When written well, an SOP proves to be a vital essay that could impact your enrollment chances.
Tip: Avoid mentioning scores or data that is already shared with the university recruiters (example, academic scores). Take your time to draft your SOP and make it meaningful so that the university understands you and you’re academic and professional aspirations better).
5. Submit a meaningful LOR
LOR, or Letter of Recommendation, is a document where key points related to a student’s academic or professional performance will be listed by the recommender. For instance, if you’re a student applying to pursue a graduate program abroad, you should get your LOR from your academic tutor, who will recommend your academic performance better.
Tip: It is always better to choose a person who can speak better about your academic or professional performance. For instance, if you’re a student, get your teacher or research guide to draft the same. If you’re an employee, get your manager or team leader to draft the same. These are the best choices to help universities understand your progress and capabilities.
6. Attach relevant documents
One of the most crucial aspects of your application process is the submission of relevant documents. Ensure all the below is checked:
- Previous academic transcripts (should be translated into English)
- Passport-size photos
- Passport copy
- Application form
- Receipt of application fee payment
- Entrance examination scores
- ID proof
- Statement of Purpose
- Letters of Recommendation
- Proof of Finance
- Bank statements
- Work Experience
Check the universities official admission page to attach any additional documents required.
7. Consider electronic mediums for sending documents
It is advised that students should send their documents electronically as the same is received by the university within 24 to 48 hours. This also speeds up your admission process as you can hear back about your application acceptance sooner.
8. Prepare well for academic interviews
A few study-abroad universities tend to schedule an academic interview to learn better about the student applicant. If you receive an invitation for the same, ensure you go well prepared for it. Here are a few things which you can do:
- Be presentable (for both face-to-face or online interview)
- Learn more about the university and what they offer as per the study program chosen
- List down your strengths and weaknesses to answer questions better
- Write down your top reasons to pursue academics at your chosen university to frame your answers better
- Don’t be late for the interview
- Avoid speaking fast and use confident language when conversing
- Have a set of questions to ask in the end to learn better about the university
- Be honest in your answers
9. Await confirmation
Once your interview is done, in a few weeks, you will hear back about your university acceptance via email confirmation. Ensure you read the letter and fulfil any requisites required from your end. Sign and send the confirmation letter as soon as possible.
10. Apply for a student visa
Once you have your confirmation letter in hand, it’s time to apply for the study abroad visa. It is essential to follow all the visa requirements to have your student visa ready before you fly to your dream destination abroad. It is suggested to apply for a student visa at least 6 months in advance. You can hear the results on the same within 3 weeks or more. Students will also be asked to attend a visa interview to submit the relevant documents such as:
- Student visa application form
- Passport-sized photos
- University confirmation letter proof
- Proof of health insurance
- Academic transcripts
- Proof of finances/bank statements
- English language proficiency scores
- Proof of visa application fee payment
11. Structure your finances
Once you have the above aligned, it’s time to prepare for your finances. There are multiple expenses to cater to, such as living costs and study abroad fees. Most students opt for a study abroad loan or apply for overseas scholarships. It is essential that students analyse the expenses required to pursue their academics abroad. Apart from availing of a loan, most international students apply for study abroad scholarships since the latter offers various types of funding mediums to assist students financially. You can access the list on most universities’ financial aid/scholarship pages.
12. Conduct remaining pre-arrival activities
Apart from the above, you should also conduct various other pre-arrival activities that include:
- Payment of health insurance
- Booking flight tickets
- Confirming your accommodation (on-campus or off-campus housing)
- Arrange all the documents needed to fly to your study-abroad destination
13. Consult overseas education consultants
The process to apply to foreign universities can be tedious and confusing. If you’re determined to get accepted at your dream university, fulfilling the study abroad application process the correct way is important. Thus, it is always better to seek assistance from expert counsellors who can guide you through the process.
Collegepond is one of them. We are a reputed study abroad consultant whose main focus is to develop a personalized study abroad plan that matches the academic interests of study abroad aspirants. Our team of expert counsellors are well-versed in guiding you through every step of the study abroad application process so that your dream of pursuing an academic at your dream university becomes true.
The study abroad space will continue to grow in demand due to the high quality of academic offerings and potential professional opportunities they offer to international students globally. Due to this, the number of student applications will increase year on year. The best way to help universities abroad consider your application is by orchestrating a powerful step-by-step process to study abroad. To help you get started, it is advised to seek the assistance of an expert counsellor who could guide you better to kickstart your new academic journey. Book a free 1-1 counselling session today!