Studying an undergraduate course abroad
After a lot of consideration you have finally decided to apply for an undergraduate degree abroad. Well done! This is the first step into an exciting journey. You will not only gain maturity and independence, but also you will expand an invaluable global perspective in today’s international marketplace.
However, take into account that from now onwards a lot of planning will need to be done.
Typically, it’s best to start planning at least 10 to 12 months ahead of time. Many undergraduate courses abroad require applicants to apply at least six months before the course begins, so having at least 12 months gives you time to research, find and apply to a course. Additionally, preparing your application early will give you the chance to qualify for scholarships, whose deadlines are often earlier than the enrolment deadline.
Then you need to find the course that best suits your needs. Check that you are able to prove the minimum entrance requirements for your chosen course(s). Though fulfilling the minimum entry requirements doesn't guarantee you a place in itself.
Before applying, you might want to consider a Foundation course or pathway to undergraduate degree, which will help you reach the required level to undertake a course in English.
As you research your options, it is also important to find out more about what the universities or colleges offer, at what cost, and which services are or are not included such as airport pick-up, onsite orientation, housing, etc. You can talk directly with the university or department of your interest or you can check the university prospectus for more information.
Things to take into account
You can consult our database of courses abroad here.
Your current education level
You required to have completed 12 years of primary and secondary education or to have and International Baccalaureate Diploma before applying to a University abroad. When applying for undergraduate courses, you will need to check with your prospective institution regarding qualifications for direct entry to an undergraduate programme.
Proof of language ability
Most institutions abroad will offer degrees in English unless the state the opposite. If English language is not your first language, you will have to prove you have the relevant skills to undertake a degree in English for the duration of the course.
As part of the application process, you will need to have reached a certain standard in an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam before the course begins.
Usually this is around 4.0 to 5.0 for an access course, 5.5 to 6.0 for an undergraduate degree and for postgraduate study a 6.5 or 7.0 is usually needed. Some universities may accept alternative English language exams such as TOEFL. Be sure to check with the university as to which English language qualification they recognise before you apply.
As international student you will need to check if you have any immigration requirements before being allowed to start your course abroad. As part of your application to university, you will be asked to prove that you have entry clearance to study at your chosen study destination. The best to do is to double check with the university you are applying to. The university or college will provide you with the necessary documents and the guidance you need to make a visa application.
Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd