How to Apply to Foreign Universities – Admission Process, Exams & More


How to apply to foreign universities? The answer to this question deserves a special explanation. Read on to know how you can apply to foreign universities for master’s 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 to Foreign Universities? 

Before applying to foreign universities, several things must be taken care of to make the process easier, as traveling and settling in a 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 if 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 better clarity.

Find out how to apply:

You can apply directly through the university’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 universities of a particular country.

Details are essential, don’t miss out on it:

Remember that details must not 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 to 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 when planning to study abroad. Ensure that these documents are well-written and proofread for errors. It should be in the proper format or per the requirements stated by the university; don’t exaggerate your experience 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 you are planning to study:

Several countries have special guidelines for international students coming 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 courses, 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 opt personal interviews. In Switzerland, universities do not recognize part-time high schools, certificates, distance education courses, and night-school certificate courses. 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 for 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 to Foreign Universities after 12th 

Where to study abroad:

Moving to another country is a crucial decision, and require several considerations – like cultural differences, food, weather, living expenses, and future prospects. One should research well and shortlist country according to the affordability and availability of courses and universities.

Which university to choose:

A preferential list of universities 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 is very important and a well-informed decision should me made. 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 exams/tests that are required for application to study abroad:

Prepare for required tests/exams TOEFL/IELTS/PTE, SAT/ACT, etc., to fulfill the required criteria. You should take these exams and secure good scores to be considered a 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 portal. All the essential documents should be ready and 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)

Apply for visa and other travel documents after getting an admission to the university:

Visa applications are made directly by students after receiving a confirmation letter 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, etc


How to Apply for Master’s in Foreign Universities?

When applying for master’s course in a foreign university, one must follow the given tips to make their application procedure smooth.

Where to study abroad?

You must shortlist a country where you want to pursue your masters. Be considerate of your needs, finances, prospects, and weather conditions, because all these are essential aspects to consider before applying.

Which university to apply?

The first step is to research and choose a university that suits your preference based on place, course, and other determining factors. Then start filling out the application form, 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, etc. You must gather all the information regarding the program you are looking forward to pursuing.

Consider profile building before you graduate to fulfill the requirements:

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

Take the exams/tests as per the requirements:

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

Apply 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 the guidelines mentioned by the university.

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

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

Deadlines should be considered seriously, and avoid submission at the last moment:

Start writing 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 another country, you will experience cultural differences and diversity in its 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 and 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 diverse backgrounds making it more likely that you will develop certain skills which will help you in your personal and professional life.

Language skills

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

Boosts your confidence and self-esteem

Living abroad and witnessing different cultures help in personality development. It makes you confident and gives you good self-esteem.

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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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