Study Abroad Tips

Want to study abroad? Make your application perfect

Want to study abroad? Make your application perfect

Applying for university, or a higher education programme, can be overwhelming. Depending on where you go and what you study, you’re going to face a mountain of paperwork. Visas, references, past certificates. Where do you even begin?

There are quite a few things most universities will require and that you can prepare beforehand. Here are a few things you can think about:

Proof of English Language Ability

If you’re applying for an international programme, chances are it will be held in English. This is why a lot of universities need you to demonstrate that you can work well in English.

If you’re not from an English speaking country, most of the time this means you’ll need to have an IELTS or TOEFL certification. But if you don’t have them yet, or if your grades don’t make the cut – there might be ways around it.

Some schools are happy to extend the deadline so you can take the certification. Some even offer it as part of the programme. Getting the right advice will help you know how best you should approach getting certified.

If you’re a high school student looking to apply for a Bachelor’s programme – a Foundation Programme might be better for you. These are programmes in English speaking countries, especially the UK, that offer the chance for direct admission into the university if you do well.

Did you also know that some universities offer short English courses? These are both great opportunities for you to speak English, all day everyday!

Latest Qualifications

When you find study abroad programmes, certifying your latest qualifications across different countries can be a huge headache!

Every day, students ask questions like:

  • Are the American SATs equivalent to the UK GCSEs?
  • Can I do a Master’s in Architecture if my Bachelor’s is in Engineering?
  • Does it matter if I only have the GMAT and not the GRE to get into business school?
  • Do I need a business background to complete my MBA?

You could always do your own painstaking research or reach out to the programme co-ordinator to find out.

That said, it takes a really long time to do either of those. If you do your own research, you can’t be sure that you’re right. Programme co-ordinators are also usually swamped with other administrative work and take weeks to reply.

Visa

Another tricky must-have paperwork is the student visa. Being accepted depends on many factors. Aside from where you’re from and where you’re going, they will check how you plan to fund your studies.

But what does that mean exactly? Some countries put a firm number – in Australia, for example, you need to show you have AUD 18,000 per year living costs. In America it’s less clear. You have to have “proof of liquid assets to cover cost of first year study and living expenses.”

Another typical question students ask is if they can work while studying. In general, most countries state you can work up to 20 hours per week if you’re on a student visa.

If you’re planning to start a career in your study destination, it’s also best you check what this means for your student visa application. In Singapore, for example, you have up to three months after graduation to secure a job and work permit.

Essays

Writing essays as part of university requirement can be quite tricky too. Different countries have different levels of expectations and decorum.

For example, the UK system expects you to be more formal while the US want more personal essays. You are expected to show flair and personality so that you stand out among the pool of equally capable applicants.

The question is, just like writing a cover letter to a job – how would you tailor your essay to impress the specific school? Does it also matter if your English language skills are not the best?

Interview

Some universities have interviews as part of their application. This is for the faculty to assess your motivation and ensure that you’ll be a good fit for the programme. A lot of the time, interviewers are not interested in how much you know. They care more about how you think.

Here’s the Good News For You

All these requirements make university applications quite stressful. This is where Sqore comes in!

If you find a programme you’re interested in, and your profile matches what the school is looking for – we’ll connect you with each other.

This means you will get personalised assistance direct from admissions experts. They’ll guide you every step of the way. If you’re concerned with anything at all, you can work together with them to make sure you have your paperwork pitch perfect, and done on time.

For example – you might be concerned if you don’t meet the English language requirements. An admissions expert can advise you if the university can wait until after a certain date, and give you more time to complete your IELTS or TOEFL if you need to.

Maybe you don’t know if your GCSE or high school credits meet the requirements listed in the eligibility requirements.  Or perhaps you’re a little lost on how to complete your visa applications, or you want insider tips on how to impress the school with your essay and interview. An admissions expert can help advise you on all of this too!

So remember to be sure that you complete your profile as best you can. The better we know you, the more we can help.

All the best with your applications!

• Student Advisor

With a wide-ranging professional and educational background, Anna is passionate about travel and learning. Originally from Poland, she considers her time studying abroad in Italy one of the most valuable experience she's ever had. Today Anna lives in Stockholm and loves helping other international students succeed in their academic journey.