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The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

What services do education counsellors offer?

Need help with your university application? We look at how an education counselling service can help to support you through this often complex process.

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So, you’ve decided you want to study abroad. Great! But what’s next? There are several steps to complete when applying to universities abroad. You’ve got to sort out your visa, choose a course, pick a university and decide on a country. Plus, there’s accommodation, health insurance and English proficiency tests to think about. This can be a lot to deal with on your own. Wouldn’t it be great if an expert could guide you through this whole process? Well, they can! Here we look at what services you can take advantage of when using an education counsellor.


Free support

One of the major benefits of using an education counsellor is that their services are usually completely free. This is true in the case of IDP, a global leader in education counselling services. As international study can be expensive, this is one cost you won’t need to worry about. When using an education counsellor, you will receive specialist guidance from experts who have extensive experience in helping students with their university applications.


Personalised advice

Education counsellors will consider your background, qualifications, hopes and goals when assisting with your university application. This advice is tailored to you to make sure that you make the right decision about your future. You may be invited for an interview to speak with a counsellor about what it is you’re looking for. Their advice will cover everything related to studying abroad from submitting an application, part-time work to making friends.


Choosing a course and university

Deciding which course and university you want to apply to is arguably the hardest part of the whole process. What sort of university environment are you looking for? Do you know what career you want to pursue? These decisions can have a huge impact on your future, and with so much to choose from, so it’s no surprise that it can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to struggle.


An education counsellor will support you through this process, providing you with a shortlist of universities to consider. You might be asked to provide a ‘wish list’ of courses and institutions as a starting point so that the counsellor has an idea of what you want. To get you started, take a look at our article on five beautiful university campuses around the world.


English test guidance

If you decide to study abroad and want to learn in English, you will need to prove your language proficiency to the university. This is an important part of your application as you must hit the language requirements for the course in order to be accepted for a place.


Universities will have their own expectations and may accept different types of English tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, Duolingo, or PTE. Scores for these exams will vary according to the course and institution, so an education counsellor will be able to provide you with specific expectations. If your English ability isn’t up to scratch, you could consider a pre-sessional English course which an education counsellor will be also be able to advise upon.


Health insurance and accommodation

Once you’ve chosen a course and university, you might be thinking that it’s time to relax. However, when moving to a new country you need to make sure that you’ve planned everything before you go. This includes getting health insurance and organizing your accommodation. Luckily, an education counsellor can also help with this step.


They will be able to advise you on the best health insurance plans and can support you when looking for housing. For example, do you want to live on campus, in private halls or in rented accommodation? While you will receive advice and guidance on your plans, it’s also useful for you to think about questions you may want to ask a counsellor to get the most out of this service.


Applying for a visa

In order to study in another country, you will usually need to apply for a student visa. The terms of student visas differ according to each country including eligibility requirements, application fee and the evidence you need to supply. This can all be quite confusing and is a vital step in the study abroad process.


If you do not provide the right information, this could delay your application and therefore affect your admission to the university. If you want to remain in the country after you graduate, you may need to apply for an extension, or your visa may allow you to remain to work for a specific period of time. This again will differ according to each university and destination. So, an education counselling service will be able to give you the most up to date information on visa regulations across different countries.


Financial guidance

We know that international students generally pay high fees for their studies. This is a crucial part of understanding where you can apply based on your financial capacity. A study abroad counsellor will want to know how you will be financing your studies and will therefore relay which courses you can afford. They will also be able to recommend scholarships that you might be eligible for if you do need financial assistance.


Application submission

Not all universities will have the same application process and so receiving guidance on how to apply and what to include can be incredibly helpful. For example, you may need to include a statement of purpose which outlines your intentions and reasons for pursuing the chosen course and institution. This will be assessed as part of your application and must be written to a high standard. As part of your application, you will also need to think about:



All of this can be talked through with an education counsellor who will have helped lots of other students with the same task.


Ready to start your study abroad journey? If you live in a country with an IDP office, you can speak to an education counsellor about your studies. Or alternatively, you can enquire with the university.

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