What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about “study abroad”? Probably “exciting but how to study abroad”. How about we help you with the “how to” part!
First of all, we recommend that you apply on your own instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money to some study abroad agencies. It’ll give you complete control over your applications, such as which universities and study programs you’d like to apply for.
The following 7 steps will help you understand how to study abroad. Then you can plan and execute your journey accordingly. Remember, you can only eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Further details about the steps can be found in the posts linked to them.
How to study abroad
Step 1: Decide on a country
Questions to ask yourself before deciding on a country for studying abroad:
- What is my budget?
- Are there any scholarships or part-time jobs available in that country?
- Am I willing to learn a foreign language in case I don’t speak the primary language of that country?
- How does the job market look like in that country for my field of studies?
- What are my goals after graduation? This might help you reconsider some of the above mentioned questions.
Step 2: Find study programs
You can find study programs for studying abroad by using these approaches:
- Check different world university rankings and find universities according to your subject in the country where you’d like to study
- Use different online platforms/portals where you can search study programs and sometimes even compare them. Some platforms are country specific, for example DAAD for Germany, while others are generic, where you can filter study programs according to different countries.
Step 3: Find study abroad scholarships
There are many ways to finance your studies but a scholarship is probably the best way to do so. Learn how to find study abroad scholarships, so that you can focus on your studies instead of having to worry about your finances. Scholarships are generally not that easy to get because of high competition. Our tip: tailor your documents to scholarships, especially your Letter of Motivation (LOM) and CV, instead of simply applying by using the same documents that you used for admission applications.
Step 4: Prepare application documents
Typical documents required for admission and scholarship applications are:
- Letter of Motivation (LOM)/Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Letter of Recommendation (LOR)/Reference Letter
- Transcripts/degree certificate
- Language proficiency certificate, for example IELTS or TOEFL for English
- Standardized tests, such as SAT, GRE and GMAT (mainly required for the USA)
- Research proposal (usually needed for PhD applications)
Step 5: Submit your study abroad applications
Most of the times, you can easily apply online by yourself. Because we’re talking about studying abroad, universities receive applications from around the globe. That’s why many universities offer the possibility to apply online. Some universities, however, might ask you to send the documents by post.
Once you’ve shortlisted the universities, we recommend noting down their application deadlines so that you can prepare the application documents and submit your applications in time. This will help you avoid stress and high costs (for urgent courier service) associated with last minute applications.
Step 6: Apply for a study visa to study abroad
Inform yourself about the visa application such as required documents and the visa appointment well in time, so that you can apply for a study visa as soon as you receive an acceptance letter from a university. You might want to have a look at the documents required for the study visa application. There might be some documents that require some time to prepare, for example, attestation of your transcripts and degree certificates from different offices. Prepare for the visa interview by familiarizing yourself with common visa interview questions.
Step 7: Make travel and accommodation arrangements
When you know for sure which university you’d like to study at, make necessary arrangements, especially for accommodation as soon as possible. If you’re lucky, you might get a room in a student dormitory on campus or close to campus. However, you might have to wait for a few weeks or months before you get a room in a dormitory and private hostels close to university are usually expensive.
We suggest discussing accommodation arrangement with your university, so that you can plan things according. Sometimes, it’s not that easy to arrange an accommodation in a foreign country, so the sooner you start, the better it is. You can also connect online with students or alumni of that university and ask them for accommodation tips.
Your documents, particularly CV, Letter of Motivation (LOM) and Letter of Recommendation (LOR), play a vital role in your study abroad application for admission and scholarship. In order to make your documents stand out and enhance your chances of getting selected, we recommend you our document review and writing services. We also offer interview preparation and career counseling services to help you fulfill your dream of studying abroad.
We hope we could give you an overview of how to study abroad. For more details and tips, read our post: How to Study Abroad: Tips and documents required.
Start your journey with Adifiles and good luck with your applications!