How to Study Abroad in 2023 - Complete Guide for International Students

There's a lot of planning that needs to go into a study abroad application. As long as you do your research, prepare all the relevant documents, and work logically through the admissions process, applying to study overseas is relatively simple.

How to Study Abroad in 2023 - Complete Guide for International Students

Is studying abroad on your mind but wondering how and where to start? We must admit, that figuring out how to study abroad can be a daunting process. The entire process might seem a bit difficult. However, if you know each step that needs to be taken and how to prepare everything you need, you’ll find yourself studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree abroad in no time.

Moreover, taking your studies abroad unlocks so many exciting possibilities. You’ll gain a top-quality education, discover new cultures, boost your career prospects, and also get to continue your education abroad at some of the world’s best universities. Well, studying abroad is truly life-changing, and you should do it if you can.

This article provides a complete and easy-to-follow guide on how to study abroad. We will go through the step-by-step process, and by the end, you will have all the information you need to prepare for an international study experience. Read on and follow these steps and you will be studying at your dream university in no time.

Why Should You Study Abroad?

There are many reasons why studying abroad is becoming more popular. For most international students, it is likely to be a combination of gaining a high-quality education, experiencing immersion in a new culture, gaining a global mindset, and expanding future employment prospects.

Moreover, for some the prospect of leaving home and heading off into the unknown is daunting but studying abroad is also an exciting challenge that often leads to improved career opportunities and a broader understanding of the way the world works.

Furthermore, the type of experience you have during your time abroad will vary hugely depending on where you go, so make sure to pick a study destination based on your own personal interests as well as the country’s academic reputation, in order to keep a healthy work/play balance. There are several other benefits of studying abroad aside for these ones.

Make a Study Plan

Don't get discouraged by all the study abroad myths out there. From considering a program to actually stepping foot on campus may appear to be full of hurdles. But just as we said earlier,  good planning and a positive mindset can go a long way. The biggest decisions you’ll have to make are when to study abroad and how to pay for it.

Studying abroad is many things: exciting, challenging, empowering, and life-changing, but not exactly cheap. Moreover, it may also be a challenge to convince your parents to let you study abroad. Some study destinations are more affordable than others, but it is best to know early on how much you are willing to spend. Meanwhile, the tuition fees for Bachelor's and Master's programs vary significantly. However, there's always something for everyone's budget.

When learning how to study abroad, your budget should play a main role in decision-making. Furthermore, don't forget to take into account living costs as well. However, this will depend on the city and where you will live. Keep in mind that you will be able to find more affordable places to study outside of bigger cities, especially in the more expensive countries.

When making a plan on how to study abroad, make sure it works with your life first. When making your plan you should decide the following: what you want to study, where you want to study, when you want to study, how much it costs to study abroad, etc.


Study Abroad Applications

Furthermore, once you have decided on the subject you would like to study and the country you want to live in. You can then begin applying to universities overseas. Keep in mind that each country and university you apply to may have a different process. For instance, in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, all university applications are submitted through a centralized application service. Whereas in other countries, you must apply directly to the university.

Moreover, as an international student, you might have to complete a two-stage application process. Firstly, you will apply for a place at the university, before submitting a more specific course application. Full application details can usually be found on the university’s website. However, once you have been offered a place at the university and also receive a letter of acceptance. Then, it's time to start the student visa application process. This can take months, therefore, it is sensible to give yourself as much time as possible.

Choosing a Study Program

Moreover, here's a guide to help you choose what to study abroad that best matches your eligibility and aspirations.

Applying for a bachelor's program to study abroad

You will need to show that you have an interest in the subject you want to pursue, likewise the academic ability for the course you are applying for in order to earn a place in a bachelor's program. Moreover, the entry criteria for a bachelor's program vary between universities and countries. Therefore, it will be best if you get familiar with these first. However, to stand the best chance of being offered a place, you will need to meet the grade and language proficiency test scores of your preferred university.

Furthermore, applying to multiple universities can also improve your chances of success. Even if you have top grades and an impressive motivation letter or essay, you shouldn't apply to only one university. You might still get accepted if you apply to only one university, but what will you do if you aren't? This is the reason you should apply to at least 2 or 3 universities. You can still apply to more than that, but keep in mind that in some countries, international students can apply to a limited number of universities. Moreover, you may also need to pay an application fee for each program you apply for.

Furthermore, you will also be asked to provide some supporting documents. The documents required will depend on your university. However, here’s a breakdown of what you might need:

  • Secondary education transcripts and qualifications
  • Letter of recommendation/ references
  • Personal statement/ essay
  • English language certification
  • Admissions test results
  • Passport / ID photos

Applying for a master's program to study abroad

Normally, master's applications require lots of information about your previous educational records, and primarily your undergraduate qualifications. Therefore, you might need to submit the following documents as part of your application:

  • University results with module/ class breakdown
  • Letter of recommendation/ references
  • Personal statement/ essay
  • English language certification
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Passport/ ID photos

Moreover, to secure a place on most taught or research master's courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree that meets your university’s entry requirements. Most universities prefer undergraduate qualifications in related subjects, but this isn’t always the case. However, you may be exempt from providing a language proficiency test score if you have studied an English-taught program at the undergraduate level.

Applying for a Ph.D. to study abroad

You must prove your dedication to a particular profession in order to earn admission to a Ph.D. program. However, you won’t always need a master’s degree to study for a Ph.D., but you will need sufficient subject knowledge.

Moreover, remember to find and contact a university professor whose areas of expertise match your research interests. Explain the topics you’d like to research and see if they’d be happy to supervise your work if you were to gain a university place. If they agree, you can use this to strengthen your application. However, you may need to provide the following as part of your Ph.D. application:

  • University results with a class breakdown
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • English language test certification
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Photo ID
  • Research proposal

Tips on How to Study Abroad

Here are some hints and tips to make certain you have the best possible chance of submitting a successful application:

  • Apply early: Starting the application procedure early gives you plenty of time to organize the rest of your study abroad experience, such as accommodation, part-time work, and insurance.
  • Remember the application deadline: Write it in your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, just don’t forget about it.
  • Ask for help: You don’t need to go through the application process alone. There are many support teams that are always on hand to answer your questions and offer guidance.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, once you’ve made up your mind about where you want to study, you should start to think about choosing a program and a university. Then, you’ll want to look closely at the courses offered by your preferred institutions, as well as research the local area and lifestyle, admission requirements, and costs.

You should start to think about your application(s), as soon as you’ve firmly decided on your program and institution. Moreover, application processes differ depending on the university and the country, but generally, each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.

Moreover, just as we said earlier, in some cases, there is a two-step application process for international students. That is to say, you must submit two applications: one for a place at the university and one for a place on the course itself. This should be clearly stated on the university’s website. If you still have questions about the process, you should contact your chosen university directly.

Furthermore, if you think you might need a student visa, remember that in most cases you won’t be able to apply for one until you have received a letter of acceptance from your chosen university. Each stage can take several months, so allow as much time as possible.