4 Things to Keep in Mind When Applying to University Abroad

So, you’ve decided to go to university abroad. Now what? With so many options for higher education, the process can become a bit overwhelming. But just think of all the amazing adventures that lay ahead in your new chosen country: the delightful local flavors, the charming neighborhood streets and the unbounded potential for new life-long friends. Combine that with the allure of a traditional American college experience or the prestige of a historic university like Oxford, and it’s hard to resist the wanderlust.

Applying to university in an English-speaking country, whether it’s in the UK, Canada, US or Australia, is less complicated than you may think. Here are four things to keep in mind when applying to a university abroad.


1. Do your research

Although it is important to determine which university's criteria would be a good match for you, it is equally important to know which university would be the best fit to serve you and your educational needs. Read the academic requirements carefully to make sure you fit the prerequisites for that degree. If you’re studying in an English-speaking country, you’ll need to provide evidence of English qualification. In the US and Canada, almost every one of Kaplan’s partner universities accepts the Kaplan International grading level for admission to their program. In the UK and Ireland, you’ll need to prove your English proficiency with the IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge English exams.

Other countries might have different educational values and systems than your own, so it’s important to research not just the course, but the different modules you can take as well. Most international universities have advisors specifically for foreign applicants, so it helps to reach out directly to the school if you have any questions about the application process.


university abroad: students
What sort of university experience are you looking for?


2. Understand the admissions process

Make sure you’re aware of the admission requirements and what documents you need to submit for your application to be a "completed application." Most of the time, you can apply through the website of the university directly and some online platforms even allow you to apply for multiple schools at once. It’s important to know exactly when the deadlines for the application are as these may vary per country. For example, the applications for medicine courses in the UK are about a year before you want to start the university, while US applications often need to be in by the November before you start your course.

If you’re studying abroad at Kaplan International, our University Placement service is a great resource for applying to university in your chosen country. The UPS advisors will work with you to ensure you find the perfect program, providing guidance throughout the entire application process.


university abroad: online application
Take some time to look through the online applications before you start


3. Spend time on your Personal Statement

This will make a difference, especially if you are applying for a competitive institution. Although it’s important to impress the school academically, you also have to impress them on a personal level. This involves highlighting the things that make you a valuable candidate. Have you won any prestigious awards? Have you studied English abroad? Did you do any volunteer work? This sort of bragging doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so be careful not to undersell yourself. On that same note, you shouldn’t make up something outlandish to appear more accomplished. Most admissions officers will know right away if you haven’t actually won and Olympic gold metal, so it’s best not to pretend that you did. Just be genuine and show them exactly why you would be a great fit for their institution.

Most importantly, make sure that your personal statement is written in correct English and is proofread before submitting. Nothing can stress you out more than realizing you spelled “university” wrong in the first sentence of your application essay after you already submitted it!


university abroad: personal essay
Remember to sell your skills, but don't overdo it


4. Explore scholarship options

When you’re planning how you are going to pay for your study abroad course, it’s important to remember that tuition fees for international students are slightly more expensive than domestic fees. Depending on your GPA and/or special skills, some universities may grant scholarships based on merit or a specific skillset. Take some time to explore whether you’re eligible for any scholarships, discounts or financial help.


Want to know more about how you can improve your English to get into university abroad? Share your questions with us on our Facebook channel or in the comment section below.

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