How to Study Abroad? This Is A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Here are some of the most common questions people have about how to study abroad. Find out where to study, how to apply, entry requirements, how to get a student visa, how much tuition costs and how to pay for it, how to find scholarships to study abroad, and other useful information.

1. Why study abroad?

Study abroad programs are becoming more and more popular for many reasons. Most international students want to study abroad because they want to get a good education, experience a new culture (and often learn a second language), develop a global mindset, and improve their chances of getting a job in the future.

Some people find it scary to think about leaving home and going somewhere they don’t know, but studying abroad is also an exciting challenge that can lead to better job opportunities and a better understanding of how the world works.

Your time abroad will be very different depending on where you go, so make sure to choose a place to study based on both your own interests and the academic reputation of the country. This will help you find a good balance between work and play.

2. Where should I study in the world?

It’s not always easy to decide where in the world you want to study. Aside from your own personal interests, you should also think about things like how much it will cost to study and live in that country, how good the job market is, and how safe and healthy you will be there.

You should also think about how you want to live while you are in school. Do you want to live in a large city or a small town with a university? Do you want to live near world-class sports facilities or arts and culture? No matter what your interests are, make sure they fit with where you want to study so you have the best chance of loving your international experience.

3. How do I get started?

Once you’ve decided where you want to study, if you haven’t already, you should start thinking about picking a program and a school. You can use the QS World University Rankings® to find out about the best universities, use the subject rankings to find the best universities for your subject, and also look at the national rankings of universities in the country you want to study in.

Then, you’ll want to look closely at the courses that the schools on your list offer, as well as the area and way of life, admission requirements, and costs.

Once you know for sure which program and school you want to go to, you should start thinking about your application (s). The application process is different for each university and country, but each school’s website will usually have all the information you need about how to send in your application.

International students may have to go through two steps when applying to a school. This means that you have to send in two applications: one for a spot at the university and another for a spot on the course. This should be clear on the website for the university. If you still have questions about the process, you should talk to your chosen university directly.

If you think you might need a student visa, remember that you can’t usually apply for one until you have a letter of acceptance from the school you want to attend. Each step can take months, so give yourself as much time as you can.

4. How long do programs to study abroad last?

How long you study abroad depends on the program you’re in and the level of degree you’re getting. A bachelor’s degree usually takes three or four years of full-time study (in the UK, the average length for most subjects is three years, while in the US, it’s four), while a master’s degree or similar graduate degree takes one or two years. Usually, it takes three to four years to finish a PhD program.

Students at many universities around the world can also study abroad for a shorter amount of time. You can study abroad for a year, a semester, or even just a few weeks through student exchange programs. You should be able to find information about these shorter programs on the websites of both the main university you want to attend and the university you want to host you.

5. When can I start to apply for programs to study abroad?

The best thing to do is to think about your application as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you get into college, the sooner you can start planning your trips. To avoid being let down, write down in BIG LETTERS on your calendar all of the important application deadlines that your chosen university has given you.

Different schools have different application deadlines, but most programs that start in the fall (September or October) accept applications from the beginning of the year (January or February) until the middle of the year (June or July).

6. What do you need to do to get into a study abroad program?

The requirements for getting into a university vary a lot from one to the next and from country to country. Before sending anything to a university, make sure you read the information they give you.

In general, though, if you’re applying for an undergraduate degree, you’ll be asked to show that you finished high school with the grades (GPA, A-level grades, or the equivalent) needed for the program you’re applying to. If you have a qualification from another country and aren’t sure if it will be accepted, you should contact the university’s admissions office.

If you don’t speak English as your first language and you want to study in an English-speaking country, you’ll probably need to take a test like the TOEFL or IELTS to prove that you can speak English well. Students of other languages may have to take tests like this one. Check out question eight for more information about language tests.

7. What kinds of documents should I send with my application?

As part of your application, you might be asked to send in some extra paperwork. Again, the requirements vary by country and university, but international students are often asked to provide the following:

  • Photos for identification in passports
  • A statement of purpose
  • CV/résumé
  • Recommendations or letters of reference for school
  • Certificate and copies of your high school records
  • Proof that you can speak English, like a TOEFL/IELTS certificate or other language test, for schools in English-speaking countries.
  • Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

8. If I want to study abroad, do I need to know a second language?

This depends on the country you want to study in and the language your course will be taught in. If you are not a native English speaker but want to take a course taught in English, you will need to show that you can speak English at a fairly high level by showing the results of an English-language test. This is to make sure that you will be able to understand everything in your course.

In a number of other countries around the world, English is also used as the language of instruction, especially for graduate programs and business degrees. English-taught classes will be listed on the university’s website, and sometimes they can be found using a national agency’s centralized database.

The TOEFL and IELTS are two tests that are often accepted as proof of English skills. If you need to show that you know how to speak a language other than English, you can take tests like the DELF/DALF and TCF-DAP (French) or the DSF and TestDaF (German) (German).

Before you take a language test, check with the school you want to go to to see which results are accepted. This way, you won’t waste money on the wrong test.

9. Will I have to go to an interview to get in?

As a potential international student, schools aren’t likely to ask you to attend an in-person admissions interview, but it has happened, especially for the most competitive programs.

Some universities hold international interviews in different places around the world, and you may be asked to go to one. The use of video interviews is also becoming more popular. Like any other interview, this one has a set time and date, but it will happen online using a program like Skype.

10. What do I do after I get a letter of acceptance?

You got in, so congrats! Now all that’s left to do is get ready for school, pack everything you own into one (large) suitcase, get your travel documents in order, apply for your student visa, research your housing options, and look for money… Don’t worry, it’ll all work out in the end.

In fact, as soon as you hear from a college that you’ve been accepted, the first thing you should think about is your travel documents. Make sure you have a valid passport, travel insurance, and, if you need one, a student visa. Make sure you have enough time to get your passport and visa approved so you can legally travel.

Visit the government website of your chosen country to find information for travelers, visitors, and international students. This will tell you what documents you need to travel (e.g. for UK travel information). On these official sites, you should be able to find all the travel information you need.

You could also ask for help from your university. Admissions offices will usually help you get ready for your trip, and in some countries, they will even apply for your student visa. Check with your university, though. Don’t assume that someone else will take care of everything.

11. Do I need to fill out a student visa application?

Student visas are a big question for people who want to know how to study abroad, but not all international students will need one. EU citizens don’t need a visa if they want to study in another EU country, for example.

But as a general rule, if you are not from the same region or continent as the country you want to study in, you will likely need to apply for a student visa. Most of the time, this only applies to long-term international study. If your exchange lasts three months or less, a tourist or visitor visa may be enough.

Check with your chosen university or the government travel website of your country of study to find out for sure. See the articles below to learn more about how to apply for a student visa.

12. How much does studying abroad cost?

To figure out how much it will cost to study abroad, you need to look at both the average tuition fees for international students in the country you want to study in and the cost of living there.

As a point of comparison, the average tuition fees for international students in the UK start at £10,000 (about US$14,200) a year, and they need an extra £12,180 (about US$17,300) a year to cover living expenses (with more needed if you study in London).

In the US, the average annual tuition fee at a public university is $25,620 and at a private university it is $34,740. You should also plan to spend at least $10,800 on living costs. With these numbers in mind, keep in mind that most undergraduate programs in the US last for four years.

There are no tuition fees at all in some countries. Germany and Norway are two good examples.

13. Can I get money to help me go to school abroad?

Even though it may be hard for many international students to get a student loan to pay for their studies, there are a lot of other ways to get money to study abroad, such as scholarships, fellowships, studentships, sponsorships, grants, and bursaries.

Your chosen university may be the best place to find information about funding that applies to you, so look through the school’s website or call the school directly for advice. This is also where you can find information about scholarships to study abroad that the university and other outside groups offer, as well as details about who is eligible and how to apply.

Many scholarships are given out based on how well you do in school, and they are very hard to get. There are also a lot of funding programs for certain types of students, such as those from developing countries or women studying subjects that are mostly done by men.

14. Where can I find money to study abroad?

You can find scholarships to study abroad in many places. Your first stop should be the website of the college you want to attend. There, you’ll find information about scholarships. Sometimes, the university will also list scholarships from outside the school, like those offered by the government or by businesses that work with the school. If not, you should look into government programs in both your home country and the country where you want to study, as well as outside organizations that offer funding for your field of study (e.g. an engineering firm might offer a scholarship for engineering students).

15. Where will I stay during my program to study abroad?

If the university you want to go to has student halls that are easy to get into, you may be able to apply for a spot in one of them. Unless this is the case, you will have to find your own place to stay.

If you have a lot of money, you can rent your own flat. If you don’t have much money, you can share a place with other students or look online for ads for spare rooms. Before you sign anything or give anyone money, you should always make sure you’ve done your research. The student support team and student union at your university should also be able to help you find housing in the area.

16. Can I work while I study in another country?

Whether or not you can work will depend on your student visa. In some countries, there are limits on how much paid work you can do while you are in school. During school, most people can only work 20 hours a week for pay, but during breaks, they can work full time.

If you don’t need a student visa, you might be able to work as much as you want as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your studies. Check with the university and/or an official government website to be sure. If you work while you study, it’s not a good idea to depend on your wages to pay for your living costs. When you apply for your visa, you’ll often need to show that you already have enough money to support yourself.

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