Start browsing and shortlist the courses and the Universities you are interested in. Make careful note of the entry requirements. In general, learn as much as possible about your future study destination; read up well about Unis you are interested in and go through student reviews. This is to be your new home for the next couple of years — so you should take the effort to know all about it.
Start Your Test Prep!
You must begin with your prep nearly 12-16 months ahead of when you would actually like to gain admissions in your dream uni. Different countries will have different requirements, which you must prepare yourself for, such as the TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT and GRE tests. Practice by taking as many mock tests as you possibly can and ace your tests.
Know the Seasons!
If you are to start your applications soon, then you must familiarise yourself with the timelines the Universities follow, in general. You should be planning around these; there are three terms in total within one academic year: the fall term, the spring term, and the summer term.
May the Writing Begin!
You must start with your Statement of Purpose (SOP) essay. Write many sample SOPs and send through only what you think is the best — after reading and proof reading repeatedly. If you want a second opinion, you can forward one or two to your lecturers and incorporate any changes they may feel required.
Some Universities may require you to send up to two recommendation letters. Request your lecturers to log on the University website and upload the letter, or send it through e-mail or mail, as required by the University. Make sure you go through the University website and follow their process right, step by step.
Ensure that all your documents are in place — such as your resume, your Letter of Recommendation, your SOP, your certificates and qualifications, your original transcripts, your visa details and copies, and financial documents. Check with the international admissions office of the Uni and get all the details sorted in time. It could reflect poorly on you if you forget to attach required documents, so double check or if needed, triple-check!
Once you start receiving offer letters from Universities, begin contacting them to check for accommodation options available. Your meal plans and travel arrangements will be taken care of, in most cases, with on-campus accommodation. It would be convenient for you to opt for on-campus accommodation at least for the first two years as it would help you settle in far more easily.
Start with the application of financial aid, once you have narrowed down which University you will most likely be studying in. Banks offer loans for many programs run by recognised Universities abroad, anywhere from Rs 20 lakhs to 30 lakhs in general. For example, Indian Overseas bank offers students Rs 25 lakhs and State Bank of India offers up to Rs 30 lakhs. While applying for loans, watch out for the interest rates. You may also apply for a loan at a local bank in your study destination if you have any reliable contacts there already. In this case, the interest rates would be much cheaper than in India and you’d be able to pay your loan back on employment, in foreign currency and would not need to worry about exchange rate fluctuations.
Keep in mind that the less financial burden you face, the more time you will have in your hands for studying full-fledged.
Last but not least, take care of your student visa application, based on which country your University is based in.
Plan Out All The Details!
If all goes as planned, you will soon be landing in your dream University. Don’t set foot in your dream destination without having a solid and realistic plan for your student life there. Ensure you have a fairly good idea of what to expect in terms of extra curriculars, quality of teaching, and job opportunities, so that you can make the best of your student life there!
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This, in a nutshell, is how to go abroad for higher studies and gain admission in your dream Uni. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step! With positivity and confidence, take the first step of your student journey right away.