How to Apply to Study Abroad

The application process for international students can be a lengthy process, so make sure you start your application well in advance of your start date.

Many universities will ask you to provide a written statement detailing why you want to study at the institution, or even interview you by phone or Skype.

How to Apply to Study Abroad

Although application procedures do vary by country, you will almost always be asked to provide:
  • Completed application form
  • Degree and qualification certificates
  • References
  • Language ability certificates
  • Bank statements showing your ability to support yourself
  • Visa applications
  • Passport photographs
Preparing and managing this amount of information can take a lot of time, so make sure you plan and apply early enough to cope with any possible problems.

Application deadlines vary across institutions, so make sure you make a list of when you need to get applications in by. Speak to university admissions team about any help they offer international students and ask to speak to current international students.

Application timetable
Deciding to study abroad is a long, difficult process. It’s not something that you can do overnight. Luckily for you, Study Overseas is here to do your planning for you.

Follow our year long checklist to make sure your study abroad experience goes smoothly.

9-12 months before:
  • Discuss your plans with family, friends and tutors
  • Research information on the courses and countries you’re interested in
  • Start to examine your finances and research living costs in the country you’re interested in
  • Begin applications for scholarships/bursaries and other forms of funding
  • Ask your current university for recommendation letters
  • Narrow down your list to your chosen course and apply
6-9 months before
  • Renew your passport if required and apply for a student visa, providing you have received all the necessary documents from your chosen school
  • Take starter lessons in the language of your chosen study abroad destination
  • Find out if your study abroad university will provide you with somewhere to live – if so, choose a halls of residence
  • Familiarise yourself with the culture of your new country – try out food, films, music and more
3-6 months before
  • Book your flights and sort out an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) at the same time, which will entitle you to a discount
  • Apply for a credit card that can be used everywhere in the world, such as American Express or Mastercard
  • Sign up for a medical and get a record from your doctor
1-3 months before
  • Begin to notify everyone about your impending departure – give plenty of notice to landlords and employers
  • Visit the doctor and begin to get and immunisations and certificates you might need
  • Arrange for any packages or furniture you need to relocate to your new country to be sent
The last month
  • Stock up any prescription drugs you might need, including contact lenses
  • Get an international phone and SIM card
  • Buy a power adapter
  • Get travellers cheques or exchange currency to cover your first couple of weeks
  • Start packing!
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