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The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

How an International Office helps you

How can an international office at a university help you when you're looking to study abroad or are in the process of applying? We went to find out for you, getting an idea of how the offices operate and what tips they have for you.

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What is the role of the international office?

The international office is focused on helping international students navigate their study abroad journey. This includes everything from pre-application advice, through to helping students integrate into their new life abroad. The office aims to make the study abroad experience as pleasant and memorable as possible, offering help at every stage. 


international student office advice


What do people in an international office get up to on a daily basis?

The majority of the activities in the international office focus on servicing students’ questions, queries and requests. This can be via email, telephone or in some cases in person. Many international offices have a team that travel across the world meeting students in their home countries. Further, the offices often have a number of student ambassadors who are international students assisting in fielding queries and chatting with students. In many cases, they are from the same countries and speak the same first language as some applicants which can do a lot to make prospective and current students feel at ease.  



What advice can and does the office give?

An international office is equipped to deal with the majority of questions students may have regarding studying at a particular institution. This can be everything from entry requirements to applications and accommodation to scholarships. Often the office is able to act as a first point of contact in getting students in touch with particular departments and experts at an institution. Remember that generally an international office does not have any executive or administrative power, meaning they don’t make decisions on things like applications and funding. 


International student office help

How do they work with students? 

International offices generally try to build relationships with students over the course of their time at an institution and even before they arrive. This can be over email or during university exhibitions / roadshows. Constant communication is the key and ensuring that students have the relevant and sometimes time critical information available to them when it matters. 


international student office application


What tips and advice do they have? 

The primary advice that most international offices give is to make sure that you begin the application process well in advance so that you leave enough time to get all the necessary elements in place. In many cases things can take longer than expected so in order not to put yourself under pressure it’s best to start early. The recommended time frame for kicking off your study abroad application is about a year prior to the date you want to start studying. 


What’s the best part of the job?

The representatives with whom we spoke were all unequivocal in their take on what makes the work they do worthwhile - students. Most indicated that being able to assist students in realising their ambitions of studying abroad is particularly satisfying. Being able to meet people they have been helping and seeing them thrive in a new environment is most gratifying.  







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