How to Apply for Foreign Universities – Admission, Exam & More


How to apply for foreign universities? The answer to this question deserves a special explanation. Learn more on how to apply for foreign universities for masters or undergraduate courses, depending upon your requirements. There are diverse aspects associated with the procedure. Take them carefully into account. 

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How to Apply for Foreign Universities? 

Before applying to foreign universities, there are several things to be taken care of to make the process easier because travelling and settling in some place far from your home is an overwhelming task. Here are some tips to follow before applying to study abroad.

Always keep options in your hands

Even if you aim for a particular university, you should always have your options open and apply to a minimum of three institutions, even if they are situated in varying locations.

Be mindful of guidelines regarding the eligibility of your application

Keep track of information before applying to the university to assess whether you are fulfilling their eligibility criteria or not. All the accepted requirements depend upon the guidelines and must be scrutinized and ticked off before applying. You can also contact student advisors or international student departments for more clarity.

Find out how to apply

You can apply directly through the institution’s website and submit all your documents online. Some universities may require you to send documents via post. You can also apply through unified portals in several institutes of a particular country.

Details are essential, don’t miss out on it

Remember that details are not to be missed when you are applying for universities, and your preferences should encapsulate the choices you have made. Multiple application portals are there to apply for universities depending on the country. Carefully scrutinize what university you have opted for before finalizing the submission.

Well-written Letter of Motivation/Statement of Purpose is a must for a smooth application process

A letter of motivation/statement of purpose is an essential part of the application while looking to study abroad. Ensure that you have written it well and are proofread for errors. It should be in the proper format or as per the requirement stated by the university, don’t exaggerate your experiences and achievements, and be honest in your explanations.

Proper documentation is needed and should be readily available

Documents required to be translated into the official language of the specific country should be done and verified beforehand. Ensure that all the documents are in order and not missed by any chance. 

Be well informed about the rules and regulations of the country/place where you are planning to study abroad.

Some countries have special guidelines for international aspirants from a certain region. If you hail from the EU and apply to universities in EU nations, the application procedure will be smoother. Most universities in the UK only take applications via UCAS for undergraduate degrees, while universities take direct applications for postgraduate degrees or via UK PASS. In countries like Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, you must undergo the pre-application process, checking eligibility criteria beforehand. Many EEA nationals need entrance examinations, while some institutions require portfolios or personal interviews. Universities do not recognize part-time high schools, certificates, distance education courses, and night-school certificate courses in Switzerland. You will thus have to clear the maturity examination or international baccalaureate equivalent for Switzerland.

Additional tips

If you want to study in the USA, start researching at least a year before applying. Contact the officers/advisors at universities well before submitting all your documents. China has 30 as the maximum age limit for bachelor’s degrees and 40 as the maximum age limit for master’s courses.


How to Apply for Foreign Universities after 12th 

Which place to study abroad

Moving to another country or place is a crucial decision, and it comes with several things to consider like cultural differences, food, weather, living expenses, and future prospects. One should research well and shortlist according to the affordability and availability of courses and universities.

Which university to choose 

A preferential list of institutions should be prepared with good research about why to study in that particular university by diving deep into the information available.

Which course to apply

Choosing a course of interest and the availability of the system in that particular university/place should be kept in mind. List all information and make a preference list depending upon interest, availability, and other considerate things like affordability, prospects, etc. Some universities or courses require you to have experience before making an application and should also be considered before choosing a course.

Taking several exams/tests that are required for application to study abroad

Prepare for required tests/exams TOEFL/IELTS/PTE, SAT/ACT, etc. To fulfil the required criteria, you should take these exams and secure good scores to be considered a strong potential candidate.

Consider deadlines strictly and apply as early as possible

Application to the universities should be made in their timeline, whether through a unified portal or directly to the university. All the essential documents should be ready and be made available when required by the university to smooth the processing of your application. Required documents include:

  • Your academic transcripts
  • Mark sheets
  • Score reports
  • Letters of recommendation(LORs)
  • Certificate of financial capability
  • Application essays
  • Statement of purpose (SOP)

Visa and other travel documents should be applied after securing admission to the university

Visa applications are made directly by students after receiving confirmation or a letter of acceptance from the university. It depends on the procedure of the specific country and whether they are offering an online/offline application process. Submit your application with all the essential documents like passport, acceptance letter, proof of funds, academic papers, language proficiency test records


How to Apply for Master’s in Foreign Universities

When applying for master’s in foreign universities, one must follow the given tips to make their application procedure smooth-

Which country to apply for

You must know which place you want to study abroad before applying. Be considerate of your needs, finances, prospects, and weather conditions because all these are essential aspects to consider before applying—thorough research about the place to be done before studying abroad.

Which university to apply for

The first step is to research and choose a university according to preference based on place, course, and other determining factors. Then start filling out the application forms, writing your statements of purpose (SOPs), getting your LORs, and preparing your CV/Resume.

Which course to apply for

Choice, of course, depends on factors like interest, the prospect of the program, what you are looking to pursue in your professional career, and the market orientation of the course. You will need to research and information regarding the program you are looking forward to pursuing.

Consider profile building before you graduate to fulfil the requirements

Those in pre-final years should start developing their profiles with papers, research work, portfolios, etc. 

Exams/tests as per the requirements should be taken and cleared accordingly 

Sit for necessary entrance examinations like GRE/GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL and submit your required scores. 

Applying through a unified portal or individually to the university

Apply online at universities or standard portals like UCAS, wherever applicable. Make sure it is per guidelines mentioned by the university.

Essential documents should be kept ready and must be attached to the application.

Apply with documents like your CV, Resume, LORs, SOP, examination score sheets, academic transcripts, identity documents, etc.

A deadline should be considered seriously, and avoid submission at the last moment

Write your SOP ideally by July/August and finish by mid-September. University deadlines usually fall between October and February. Make sure you send all documents by mid-October.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Cultural exposure and diversified experience

When you are in some other place/country, you are bound to experience cultural differences and diversity in their society. This exposure leads you to build a diverse network and makes you more inclusive, opening the door to acceptance and recognition. Comfortable bonding and relationships will develop gradually, as it influences how we react to certain situations. You will see things from various perspectives when in a diversified environment, enhancing your way of thinking.

Social connections add up to your personal and professional life.

Studying abroad comes with the perk of building a good network, professional or personal. You will be interacting with people from different demographics. You will build good communication skills while interacting with people from all ethnicities. There will be a significant population of students from different backgrounds making it more likely that you will develop certain skills which will help you in your personal or professional life.

Language skills

Being multi-lingual is always advantageous. If you plan to pursue your foreign education in a non-English speaking nation like Germany, Spain or France, it will provide you with a good chance of learning a new language. When you are in a different country, their language will be a more effective way to interact and connect with local people. 

Boosts your confidence and self-esteem

Living abroad and being in a different culture requires being more adaptable and independent, skills that help your personality development. It makes you confident and gives you good self-esteem.

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upGrad Abroad is a leading platform that offers curated programs for students who want to go abroad to study. Top universities from countries like Germany, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and France have collaborated with upGrad to make quality education available at a feasible expense. To know more about how to pursue your dream of studying abroad, you can get in touch with our counselors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. When should you start applying for foreign universities for 2022?

You should start at least one year or ten months before planning to study abroad. Shortlist programs, find everything about eligibility criteria, and apply well in advance before the application deadlines. Most universities usually take entries between November and February or slightly earlier. Check the summer, winter, fall, spring, and other intakes with care.

Q2. Which are the most affordable countries for studying abroad?

Some of the most affordable countries for studying abroad include Taiwan, Germany, Norway, Argentina, France, Mexico, Austria, Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway, the Czech Republic, and Sweden, to name a few.

Q3. Which is the best time to apply for foreign Universities?

You will probably have to apply between August and December, when most applications are taken by universities abroad. Apply early without waiting for the last dates. Application deadlines vary, but for the courses beginning in the fall (September or October), applications usually begin from January or February till mid-year, i.e. June or July.

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