1. Where do I get started?
Studying abroad is not an impulsive and swift decision. It is a fairly long procedure and requires a considerable amount of time and work to be spent on it. You should start attending the study abroad fairs that are conducted very frequently in all major cities around the time of college admissions. A quick Google search will help you know about the ones happening closest to you.
These fairs help you out with questions like, how do I choose my university?, what types of funding are available? and what can I do to improve my chances of getting admitted into a university of my choice?
Apart from attending these fairs, one factor that is common between all international universities is that, in order to get in, you will need to show them that you are proficient in the English language. For this purpose, start preparing for TOEFL and IELTS well in advance. Supplementary to all this, you are advised to read and research online to get a better idea about the whole process.
2. What are the documents required for my study abroad?
Here is a list of all mandatory documents:
1.Relevant academic transcripts.
2.Score sheets of entrance tests like TOEFL, SAT, IELTS, etc.
3.The universitys application form.
4.Your offer letter.
5.Statement of purpose (SOP), resume and CV.
6.Letter of recommendation.
9.Health insurance ID card.
10.Financial documents like bank statements.
3. What are the necessary tests that I need to take?
Some of the most important tests that several universities require you to take are:
1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL is used to judge the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in international English-speaking universities. TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years.
2. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
The purpose of the SAT is to measure a students readiness for college in countries like the USA and Canada. The test scores are valid for a period of 5 years.
3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
GRE is a standardized test taken by candidates who wish to pursue an MBA or Masters degree in business or a doctoral degree in North America.
4. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
GMAT intends to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills for use in admission to a graduate management program. GMAT scores are accepted in around 114 countries and the results are valid for a maximum of 5 years.
5. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Valid for a period of 2 years, IELTS scores are used by more than 10,000 institutions in over 140 countries, including Germany.
4. Do I require a student visa? What is the process to acquire my student visa for studies abroad in a country like the USA?
To legally study in a country like the United States of America, all international students will require a student visa. There are three types of US student visas - F1 (for high school or university level study), M1 (for vocational studies) and J1 (for exchange students).
You can begin your application process for the visa only after you have been accepted into a SEVP approved school/ university. Before you begin, you must have your passport and passport sized photographs.
Depending on the type of visa, you will either receive form I20 or form DS2019 from your school. You will require this form for your visa interview.
You will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, following which you may apply for your international student visa through your nearest US embassy. Here, depending on the embassy, additional documents might be required. You will also need to complete Form DS160 online. Finally, schedule a visa interview with the nearest US embassy and attend it.
5. Can I work part time while on my student visa?
In order to make sure that their studies are not affected because of lack of funds, it is not uncommon to find students wanting to work during their stay abroad to cover their expenses.
In the US, students with F1 visas are not allowed to work during their first year. However, after the completion of their first year, they can seek employment. Students
with M1 visas can seek off campus employment only after the completion of their studies.
In Sweden, once you have a residence permit, there is no limit on how many hours you can work. In the UK, if you are from a country outside the EU and if you are on a degree level programme or above, you can work for 20 hours per week. In Canada, there is no limit in hours for on campus work as long as you are a full time post secondary student. For off-campus work without a work permit, there is a limit of 20 hours per week.
In countries like Italy, Costa Rica and China, it is either banned to work while studying or it is extremely difficult to do so.
6. Which country should I select for my study abroad?
The country you select will mainly depend on the course you wish to study, on the tuition fee and on the cost of living. It will also depend on the culture, the exposure you might get and the quality of education.
China has increasingly become a popular destination for international students who wish to pursue medicine among other courses because of the countrys affordability and quality of education. The United Kingdom has been considered to be the best country to study abroad in by some. With several top ranked universities like University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, the UK has been dubbed the "Education Hub." Students who wish to pursue a higher education in the fields of engineering or management prefer to study in Germany because of its affordability and the exposure you get by studying there. The universities in New Zealand have been ranked among the top 500 in the world, making it a popular destination to study at, especially for students studying social sciences, business management and engineering. Singapores top quality management programmes attract a large number of international students, too.
7. When should I start applying to universities?
Applying early is a good idea as you will have more time to get everything in order and get a visa in time. You will also have time to apply to other universities if you do not get into the one you applied for in the beginning. Depending on the university, the deadlines range from over a year to a month or two from the start of the course.
8. For studying in a country where English is not the official language, am I supposed to be fluent in the countrys official languages?
Over the years, English has become the medium of instruction in all international universities. So, if you are worried about classes being taught in a language that is not English, do not be. However, to be on the safe side, check to see if there are any language requirements before you apply.
9. Is studying abroad expensive? Are there any scholarships available?
Tuition fees vary depending on the country, the duration of your stay and the university. If you wish to study abroad cheaply, picking a university in Germany where they offer low cost schooling will help.
There is a wide range of scholarships and funding available depending on the country and the field that you wish to study in. They also range from partial to full scholarships. Most of these only cover the tuition fees and students will need to take care of their living accomodations on their own.
To know about which scholarships you are eligible for, it is advised to look into the scholarships recommended by your institution.In most cases, schools and organizations will have details about various scholarships posted on their websites. So, keep an eye out for them.
Hence, with a little extra planning, studying abroad can be affordable.
10. Does ones age matter? Is there an upper limit to it?
In general, there is no upper limit in age. However, this might change depending on the university.
11. Will I get to stay back after studies and work? Will I be able to gain citizenship there after my education?
In many countries, international students can get post study work permits for a short period of time. New regulations in Canada allow you to gain citizenship after only two years of being a permanent resident, after the completion of your education in the country.