Want to study abroad? Here’s how to apply for foreign universities by yourself and become an international student in your chosen country with a valid student visa.
International studies are still in high demand, people mainly from poor backgrounds or developing countries want to study abroad. This is to seek greener pastures, gain skills and a top degree from a prestigious citadel of learning, and get to become recognized by society.
Many people who aim to study abroad have no idea how to apply for foreign universities, thus, the reason for creating this post. We at Study Abroad Nations have noticed this problem and publish this post with the sole purpose of teaching interested students how to apply for foreign universities of their choice.
There are many countries with a lot of universities, obviously, and we can’t go on to tell you how to apply to these universities one by one – that is literally impossible – so, we did extensive research and noticed that most of these requirements and application processes are actually similar.
With this knowledge at hand, we are able to create this post, and now how to apply for foreign universities as a student can no longer become an issue.
There are many reasons why students want to study abroad which are also the advantages or benefits that come with studying at a foreign university. There are also a couple of disadvantages too associated with studying in a university outside your country, but let’s check out the advantages first before going on to see the disadvantages of studying in a foreign university.[lwptoc]
Benefits of Studying Abroad
The following are the reasons, advantages, or benefit that comes with study abroad as well as why students choose it;
- To experience or enjoy a high standard of education and career advantages
- As a student who has studied outside the country, adding that to your CV or Resume will make it look good.
- You did learn one or two foreign languages in school, didn’t you? I bet you no longer remember them, well, studying abroad will brush up your language skills.
- You get to connect with a diverse range of people who can become friends thereby broadening your network or connection
- You get to immerse yourself in a new culture, discover new foods, and gain complete independence
- See the world and find new, exciting interests
- For other personal benefits
I had to stop here, else the list might get longer and overtake the main reason for writing this post in the first place. We are still on how to apply for foreign universities, and above are the reasons and benefits that come with it.
Let’s take a look at the demerits or disadvantages that comes with studying in a foreign country, it’s unfair to leave this part out don’t you think?
Disadvantages of Studying Abroad
You sure are enthusiastic about studying abroad, aren’t you? You may want to take a look below and reconsider:
- Studying abroad is expensive, this includes the cost of living, tuition, and the to and fro airfare
- You are no longer with your family and friends, you are all by yourself which gets really lonely
- It’s difficult adapting to the new culture some times
- Foreign languages aren’t easy to learn, so there’s bound to be a language barrier till you learn it.
- Your home country insurance may not cover you abroad
- Other factors like food and medical expenses should also be considered before travelling abroad to study
The advantages of studying abroad are more than its disadvantages, which shouldn’t get you overly excited. Calmly consider all of these reasons and factors involved before going to study in a foreign country.
With that settled, let’s double back on how to apply for foreign universities.
I mentioned earlier in this post that the application process to study abroad vary from country to country, but we have established a general way which you can and it also works for any university in any country you want to study at.
How to Apply for Foreign Universities
The hardest task a student will most likely perform throughout their life is to apply for a foreign university. There is so much confusion with the application requirements, processes, and deadline. And it is even more difficult because you are going to a country/place you’ve never been to, where everything seems different.
So, it is definitely not an easy task but with the right information on how to apply to foreign universities, it may not be as daunting as it may seem. Here, we will follow it step by step.
1. Choose your preferred program
This is the first step to take when applying for admission to a foreign university.
You’re going to study, it is normal for you to already have a program in mind that you want to study and if you don’t have one already begin to decide on that. Decide which country and the university you want to go study at and make sure they offer the program you are going for.
In this aspect, you may want to choose a university that’s aligned with your career interest, that is, a prestigious higher institution that is reputable in the program you have chosen. This would provide better learning and after-school opportunities for you.
2. Research on admission requirements and deadline
Researching admission application requirements and deadline dates is the second step on how to apply for foreign universities.
Requirements for every university are almost alike but deadlines for admission applications are never similar. These requirements also vary by program, so when you have chosen a country, university, and program of your choice, go on to make research or inquiries on the requirements for your program and the deadline.
To do this, simply go to the “admission” page of your preferred institution or get the admissions officer’s contact or the school’s general email asking for the admission requirements and application deadline of your chosen program.
3. Motivation letter
Writing a motivational letter is the third step on how to apply for foreign universities.
Writing a motivation letter may be optional, this depends on the university and your preferred field of study, but if requested, endeavour to write an awesome one. The motivation letter is supposed to demonstrate your ability to perform well at your preferred university and should include your skills and accomplishments.
In the motivation letter, go on to express your interest in studying at the institution and use well-written English when preparing your letter.
4. Recommendation Letter
A recommendation letter is one of the requirements that most foreign universities will ask an international student to present. This is required to know what your former teachers or employers think about you and if you won’t become bad news for the school.
No university wants to harbour a student with bad character, so a recommendation letter is required by that school to know what the people you’ve been with think about you. To get the recommendation letter, meet the former teacher employer that you had a good relationship with and get them to write a well-structured motivation letter for you.
Tell them of your plans to study abroad and how a good recommendation letter from them would facilitate your admission. It is also very important that you tell them about this earlier so they can begin to prepare it on time. Some schools may request 2-3 recommendation letters, prepare them on time to avoid delay.
5. Prepare for the Standardized Tests
When going to study abroad, there are some tests you must take and they are usually required by almost every university. The standardized tests are the TOEFL or IELTS, GMAT or GRE and they are taken to test your skills, knowledge, and ability in different areas before being accepted in a higher institution abroad.
The TOEFL or IELTS is designed to test your English speaking and vocabulary skills and your host institution may require you to take one of the tests. While some schools make the TOEFL compulsory, for others it can be the IELTS and some let you take whichever one you prefer.
The TOEFL or IELTS is especially for students who are from non-English speaking countries or whose first language is not English but want to study abroad. The school sets the required average score which determines you have passed the TOEFL or IELTS, and this score varies by school and sometimes program of study. You would have to make inquiries or web searches of your school’s TOEFL or IELTS average score.
The GMAT or GRE is for graduates who want to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in management or business in a foreign university. The host institution may make one of the tests compulsory or let you take the one you prefer and the average score also varies by universities and sometimes program of study. Some universities abroad may not require it too.
Prepare yourself for either of these tests although the TOEFL or IELTS are always compulsory the GRE or GMAT, some schools waive it off. Whichever the case may be, always be prepared for these tests.
6. Prepare for the Entrance Exam
The universities in some countries usually have entrance exams for some hardcore programs such as medicine, computer science, etc. to further test your ability and knowledge of the discipline you have chosen. Make inquiries to know if there will be an entrance exam for the program you chose and begin preparing for it if there might be any.
Check the date and venue of the exam make the necessary registration and begin to plan your travel abroad.
7. Organize Yourself
This category on how to apply for foreign universities abroad covers many things. You want to study abroad and already know the “6 hows” above then you need to start organizing yourself. Prepare all required application documents and also prepare yourself mentally.
What are the application documents to study abroad?
You want to study abroad you need to have prepared the following documents;
- Motivation and recommendation letter
- All academic transcripts from high school and other colleges or universities ever attended
- Student visa or study permit
- GRE/GMAT score
- IELTS/TOEFL score
These are the general documents required for you to study abroad, however, your preferred school or program may add other documents, that are left for you to research and know.
Furthermore, while some schools may request all of the documents listed here others may not.
Organize yourself, arrange and have all these documents in your portfolio and get them ready for your admission application.
8. Plan Your Budget
Studying abroad is expensive, but it is even more expensive when you do not have a budget planned out. The cost of living, tuition, and other school fees should carefully be planned out, this will help you know your financial capabilities if you can afford it, and where and how you should manage.
The cost of living in any country is available on the Google search engine you simply need to put the name of the country along with “cost of living”. For example, “cost of living in Canada” the information you get here should help you in planning a budget.
The tuition fee and other school fees of your host institution are also available on the “tuition fee” page of the school’s website.
What are the Requirements to Study Abroad?
These requirements can also be passed as tips that will facilitate your admission into any higher institution abroad.
1. Good Academic Standing
Students with excellent academic performance easily and quickly gain admission compared to students who do not. Every school surely wants a bright student and if your academic performance is outstanding you will get picked faster and may equally be provided scholarships.
Your academic quality is determined through your previous GPA, IELTS/TOEFL score, GMAT/GRE score, and entrance exams. Your motivation and recommendation letters may also add to it.
2. Meet Application Deadlines
Application deadlines of schools vary, find out the deadline for your host institution and start an early application.
3. Be Open
You are going to study in another country do not expect it to be a bed of roses even that has thorns. So, keep an open mind about the country, her culture, people, food, and other things a new country is bound to present. Keeping an open mind will help you deal with it easily.
Studying abroad comes with a whole lot of responsibilities and, of course, confusion in the initial stage. Let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions to clear up a bit of confusion and empower you with knowledge on how to apply for foreign universities.
FAQs How to Apply for Foreign Universities
When should I apply?
Apply early be one of the early birds when applying for a foreign university, the sooner you apply, the better and it also grants you the chance to arrange everything faster. Another benefit of an early application is that you can be able to apply for another school if you were not accepted.
How many schools can I apply for?
Applying for one school is actually the best way to go, you will have a lot of time to make a good application for that school that making many bad ones. However, when you apply for admission you can get a reply within one month and if you aren’t accepted you can always apply for another school.
Also, foreign universities charge prospective international students an application fee so you may want to consider that and not apply to so many schools.
Where do I apply?
Thanks to the internet, you can be in the comfort of your own home and apply for admission in a university thousands of miles from you. These schools now have application portals that every student can apply through, submit their documents and choose the program of their choice all online.
Conclusion on How to Apply for Foreign Universities
It can be very tiring applying to a foreign university but we’ve got you covered and that’s what we do at Study Abroad Nations, helping you fulfil your academic dreams.
Follow the steps and tips offered in this post and how to apply for foreign universities will no longer be an issue for you.
You may also want to look at the recommendations below for more opportunities;
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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.
When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.