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The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

Meeting with a study abroad counsellor: What to ask

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When is the application deadline?

Universities differ so widely and particularly according to each country and so application deadlines will vary. However, study abroad counsellors are equipped with extensive knowledge and tools to inform you of university application deadlines for different institutions.


When should I start my application?

It’s a good idea to get a head start on your application because it can take time to gather all of the evidence you need. You can check the university website and ask your counselor so that you have plenty of time to complete the application to your best ability. Rushing through might seem easier at the time but putting effort into the application will pay off in the long term.



What qualifications will I need to go to university?

Again, each university will differ with the qualifications that they require. If you are looking to study an English taught course, your language abilities will need to be up to standard. Internationally recognized qualifications include IELTS and TOEFL which both test your English language proficiency and can be used as proof within a university application.


What evidence will I need for my university and visa applications?

When speaking to a counsellor, it’s important to ask what documents you need to provide because leaving any evidence out of your application could cause it to be delayed.


How should I start my visa application?

Sometimes, starting something can be the hardest part, especially if you have no clue what to do. Applying for a visa can feel overwhelming at first as there can be a lot of information to digest. There will also be different requirements and restrictions according to your country of origin and where you want to go. Yet a counsellor can use their expertise to guide you through the process.


Which countries offer the best opportunities to remain after graduation?

This is a good question to ask as you may want to find work and remain in the country once you graduate. This could even impact which destination you choose as some countries offer considerably more time than others. Want to find out more about post-study work options?


Which country would be best for the course I want to pursue?

As much as counsellors are there to offer advice and support, we recommend that you have institutions and courses in mind before you meet. The more prepared you are, the better advice a counsellor can give. Some institutions will be better for certain courses and a counsellor will be able to help you find the best option depending on your grades and interests.


When will I hear back about my university application?

You’re probably hoping for a straight answer, but unfortunately it really depends on the university. However, asking these types of questions early on is beneficial as you will have more realistic expectations and guidance throughout the process.


How should I choose a country for my studies?

A counsellor is likely to ask whether you have a specific country in mind. So, doing a bit of research beforehand is encouraged. Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to ask the counsellor more specific questions.


How can I make my studies more affordable?

It’s no lie that studying abroad can be expensive. However, there are ways to reduce the costs such as scholarships. It would be a shame to miss out on free money to help with the cost of your studies. That’s why it is helpful to receive advice from a counsellor about different funding opportunities.


What happens if my application gets rejected?

Being rejected is obviously not ideal but it can happen, and it pays to be prepared. If you aren’t accepted, don’t feel too discouraged, you can apply to other universities which offer the same or similar prospects. You might even be better off in an institution which you hadn’t planned on applying to.


How should I choose my accommodation?

Finding the right accommodation is an important part of studying abroad and can make a huge difference to your overall happiness. Ask your counsellor about the types of housing on offer at the institution you are looking to apply for. They will be able to help you with the logistics and setting up before you arrive.


Can university credits be transferred to other countries?

It depends on your country of origin, as your qualifications may not be a direct equivalent in other parts of the world. So, you would need to check with your counsellor whether you are eligible for the course you want to do. Otherwise you might need to do a pathway course.


How can I make the most of my time abroad?

This is another really important question to ask so that you get the most out of the counselling service. Counsellors have experience of working with lots of different people with specific needs so they can use their expertise to help you enjoy your time abroad.


You might be thinking, “I can’t afford to use an education counsellor”.  Luckily IDP counselling services are completely free. They have been operating for 50 years and have helped more than 450,000 students.


Now that you know what to ask a study abroad counsellor, fill in a form  to start your study abroad journey!  

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