It is believed that entering the leading universities around the world is difficult and expensive. However, this is not always the case. With proper planning of time, finances, and personal resources, admission to a foreign university is possible. In this article, we will debunk the most common myths about studying abroad, as well as reveal the main subtleties of admission in a step-by-step instruction based on the experience of our employees.

In this article you will learn:

  • What steps do you need to go through to enter a university or college in another country?
  • What pitfalls can be encountered along the way?
  • When should you start preparing for applying to a foreign educational institution?

Spoiler alert: You need to start your preparation at least a year before admission, but it's better to decide on educational institutions and assess your abilities even earlier.

MYTH. Even if I can afford it, it is almost impossible to enter

If you think about it, the requirements for entering foreign universities are not very different from those in your country. Absolutely everywhere, they depend on the rating of a particular university, and the country’s policies regarding foreign students. Here you need to pay attention to three important factors.
Firstly, you should not chase only the top universities, solely based on their reputation. The quality of education and career prospects are determined not by the big name of the university, but by the knowledge and skills acquired during the training period. With a careful study of the programs, you can notice that universities that do not occupy very high positions in the ratings can suit you much better, and it will be much easier to enter.
Secondly, many countries are actively developing international academic mobility programs and are striving to simplify the application procedure for foreigners. This is facilitated by language courses and preparatory programs (Foundation / Pathway programs), allowing you to achieve the required language or academic level directly on the spot, sometimes even with guaranteed admission to the university upon completion.
Finally, it all depends on your motivation and determination. There are many examples when just by setting a goal and taking the time to prepare, students entered Harvard or Cambridge.

MYTH. I won’t be able to handle the workload

Ask yourself the question: "If everyone can do it, why can’t I?"
Fear of the unknown often limits the student in realizing their full potential. The perception of foreign education in society as something special gives reason to believe that studying abroad is difficult, and even impossible. The truth is that on the grand scheme of things, the essence of learning is the same everywhere, but each person has a different understanding of the optimal workload. To some, this or that element of the educational process in the country may seem insurmountably difficult, but to someone else, it is surprisingly simple. The only way to dispel your doubts is to study the peculiarities of countries, get to know different points of view, determine what education system is suitable for you, manage your expectations, but at the same time be willing to leave your comfort zone.
Also do not forget: foreign universities put great importance to independent work, including the search and study of information, writing essays, and research papers. Therefore, self-discipline and time management are the skills that each student will have to develop in order to successfully master the program. Having learned how to properly manage your time, you can deal with anything.

MYTH. I am already too old to study

When it comes to education, there is no appropriate age, and the desire to learn is encouraged at any point in life. Receiving an education is a conscious choice that a person can make at the age of 17, and 45. In modern foreign universities, no one is surprised by adults studying hand in hand with high school graduates.

Step by step instruction for admission to a foreign university

Further, we describe in detail all the steps taken by every applicant who wishes to study abroad.

Before applying

Competition in good foreign universities is usually quite high, so before you enter you need to allocate some time to do things that will strengthen your profile and increase the chances of enrollment.

Here are some of them:

  • Organize events (forum, science fair, social event, etc.);
  • Publish a scientific article in a journal (minimum city or university level);
  • Make public speeches/reports on significant social issues at conferences/forums;
  • Take part in competitions/workshops/masterclasses that award diplomas or certificates;
  • Take relevant online courses on Coursera and other online platforms;
  • Listen to lectures related to your future specialty from world-leading universities, for example, Harvard, Stanford, and others;
  • Participate in a volunteer program or internship, preferably abroad;
  • Gain work experience in the selected field and achieve some results if possible;
  • Develop a research plan or prepare material for future graduate work.

At the same time, it is important to consciously approach various kinds of activities — choose only those that will correspond to the future specialty. Obviously, it makes no sense to write reports or articles on the topic of economics if you are applying for medicine.

If you devise a plan a couple of years before admission, you will manage to distribute the load and not burn yourself out right before applying, when you will need to simultaneously prepare for the graduation exams, TOEFL, SAT, write an essay, prepare for an interview plus additional activities.

Note: the requirements for the profile of the future student vary depending on the cycle of education — for master’s and doctoral programs much more significant achievements will be needed compared to a high school graduate entering a bachelor's program.

Step 1. Choosing a country

First, you need to choose a country and a city of study, specialization and a university. So, what factors do you need to pay attention to?

Tuition and living costs

The first thing you should consider is your budget, especially if it is limited. On the one hand, this will significantly narrow the choices available, on the other hand, it will simplify the search — you will not waste any time on considering options that are beyond your reach. Remember: the total cost is not only the tuition fees that are set by the university. A significant and sometimes even larger cost comes from living abroad. For example, in Germany, tuition fees may be around 160-320 USD per year, but at the same time, for rent and other personal expenses, the student will need to spend about 11,743 USD/year. Generally, the necessary amount of funds to cover the tuition and living costs per year (programs in English) is:

  • 8,000-10,000 USD — Eastern Europe, the Baltic States;
  • 10,000-25,000 USD — Europe, Asia;
  • 25,000-60,000 USD — USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.

For accommodation, you need to have at least the amount that is required when applying for a student visa (bank statement). In practice, students spend even more depending on the city in which the university is located and how they spend their free time.

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MYTH. All foreign students are given a dorm room at affordable prices

Often, the parents of future students jump to conclusions when it comes to the cost of living abroad, assuming that a dorm will cost them no more than 10-50 USD a month and at the same time it is guaranteed to all non-native students. However, booking a hostel abroad is completely different.
In some countries (USA, Canada, Great Britain), most foreign students really receive a dorm room, but the prices in them are far from affordable. The cost is often the same as when renting an apartment off-campus. For example, in the USA a year of living in a hostel will cost about 11,000 USD. Approximate costs can be found here.
As for Europe, many universities do not provide dorms to foreign citizens at all. Basically they are designed for local students, in extreme cases — for master’s and doctoral students. As an alternative, universities offer accommodation options in partner residences, which are usually located near the school and very comfortable, but also not cheap.

"What should I do if I dream of entering a top university, but most likely won’t be able to afford it?"” — you ask. It is possible and even necessary to submit documents to the "dream university". With an excellent profile, you have a chance to get a scholarship, but at the same time, you should send applications to other universities just in case. Backup universities need to be selected on the basis of:

  1. Budget — how much the prices correspond to your financial capabilities;
  2. Profile — how much your academic achievements correspond with the requirements if they are enough to bring your odds to almost 100% chance of being enrolled.
MYTH. If you pay to study, you are guaranteed to enroll

Often, applicants are sure that enrolling in a paid university is an easy task: it is enough to pay the required amount to get a guaranteed enrollment.

Unfortunately or fortunately, this is a big mistake. It is not enough to have a certificate with satisfactory grades and the necessary amount of money for admission. More than 50% of universities abroad are paid, but this does not mean the absence of competition.

In general, foreign universities can be divided into the following categories:

  • State, or public, universities are: free (only organizational fees), affordable (small fee up to 7,000 USD) and paid. Regardless of the cost, at state universities, there is high competition for admission. For them, the “quality” of students always comes first. For example, even at a cost of 49,837 USD/year, a competition in Cambridge is up to 13 people per place. To become an attractive candidate, first of all, you need a strong profile with good recommendations, high scores, and an engaging motivation letter.
  • Private universities are always paid, while the cost in them, as a rule, is an order of magnitude higher than in paid state universities. The competitive situation here depends on the particular educational institution:
    • It is extremely difficult to enter top ranking universities, especially for business schools with expensive MBA programs (for example, INSEAD, Harvard Business School, Bocconi University, etc.);
    • Private universities with a low rating usually are much easier to get into, even with not the best grades, having only the necessary amount of money in the account and sufficient knowledge of the language. However, when considering options for such universities, it is worth checking whether they have accreditation or not.

Language of instruction

With a limited budget, the language of instruction plays an important role. Most of the students want to study in the most widespread and, in their understanding, the most promising English language, but few people can afford English-speaking countries such as the USA, Great Britain or Australia. In this case, they are replaced by cheaper English-language programs in the cheaper countries of the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.

An even more affordable option is to study in the national language, for example, in Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and some other countries. The student can start learning the language in advance, at high school and enroll in the 1st year of bachelor’s immediately after graduation, or go through the preparatory year with language courses directly in the country of study, and then continue to study at one of the state universities for free and with a low cost of living.

Of course, Czech, Polish, and other national languages are often not the first choices of applicants and parents due to their low popularity. But at the same time, they provide a number of advantages: after graduating from a university, students can get a residence permit or even citizenship in any country of the Schengen area much easier.

MYTH. You need to proficient in a foreign language as a native speaker

Of course, studying abroad involves the ability to communicate, listen to lectures, and write papers in the appropriate language of instruction. It is important to objectively evaluate your abilities — your academic performance and satisfaction with your studies depend on how well you are adapted to spoken language and what your vocabulary is. However, this does not mean that you are expected to be as proficient in a language as a native speaker. Some universities and colleges accept applicants even with low language scores, but most often the applicant is required to know the language at level B2-C1, which can be achieved in 9-12 months of intensive preparation. If you wish, you can study independently or take a language course/preparatory program directly in the country where you are planning to study. The latter option will provide an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the linguistic and cultural environment and facilitate the process of adaptation. Remember the main thing: a slight accent or small flaws in speech will not interfere with your studies: modern universities are so international that no one puts special importance to such trifles.

As for non-English speaking countries, in most cases a wide choice of programs in English is available to the applicant. However, knowledge of the national language can provide benefits in the form of additional discounts on tuition, grants, and employment opportunities.

Required education

An important detail that applicants often do not take into consideration is the minimum education requirements. Not all countries accept applicants who completed 11 years of high school. This is due to the difference in secondary education systems: in many countries, school can last for 12-13 years. Because of this, applicants are forced to gain additional qualifications: for example, to study for a year at a university in the home country or undergo a preparatory program directly in the country of study. Remember: this might be different depending on the country — some countries with a 12-year education system will still accept students who studied for 11 years. It is important to study the features of a country’s educational system. Regarding postgraduate programs, almost always bachelor's/master's degrees acquired elsewhere are recognized as sufficient (equivalent) for admission to master's and doctoral programs. But at the same time, universities can set their own requirements, such as having work experience in the specialty or, in rare cases, the minimum age (35+ for some MBA programs).

Read more

Step 2. Selecting a program

Having set the initial search criteria — budget, language of instruction, country(ies) — you need to start the actual search for programs. This is the most difficult and crucial step. Programs selected in accordance with your academic profile will provide the maximum chance of admission and, as a result, a quality education, a rich student life, and good employment prospects. Otherwise, the loss of the year until the next study year and going through the admission procedure all over again.

For the initial search, you can use the ratings of universities for the specialty you are interested in. Please note that the general ratings do not reflect the full picture: even in top universities there are weaker areas, and inconspicuous at the first glance universities may be recognized leaders in your field. With this in mind, you should compile a list of 40-50 programs, and then you need to move on to studying the requirements and content of each of them on the websites of universities.

Where to look for programs?

The most convenient resources are aggregator sites (FindAMaster's, Bachelorsportal and the like). They greatly simplify the task due to the ability to set search criteria. However, note that such sites are only useful in the initial stages of your research. In most cases, the data presented on publicly available (non-specialized) aggregators is irrelevant or very superficial. You can’t count on them if you want to know the exact names or content of programs, requirements, and even more so deadlines and tuition fees — all these must be checked on the official websites of universities.
Important: many students for convenience use the English or their native tongue versions of the sites (if any). But it is clear that universities rarely have time to update data in other languages. The most relevant information, as a rule, can only be found in the national language of the country of study. For example, if you are entering Germany, you should use the German version of the site, even if you intend to study in English. If you have any difficulties, you can always use Google automatic translation (there will be some mistakes and uncertainties, but it is still better than nothing).

Minimum requirements

As a rule, universities’ websites indicate the minimum requirements for admission. However, minimum requirements in this case only represent the possibility of participation in the competition — a kind of guarantee that the refusal will not come automatically without considering the full application package, only due to non-compliance with the requirements.

To assess your chances, you need to focus on the results of students who actually entered last year: GPA, SAT, TOEFL, and other exams. It is highly advisable to not count on the minimum threshold, but to set the bar a little higher — every year the statistics change and not always in favor of the applicant.

Program content

Be sure to read the curriculum. Universities often offer programs of the same name, but in reality, their content varies. This is especially important for master’s and doctoral studies, which are supposed to have a narrower specialization.

If you are applying to master’s programs, pay special attention to the scientific interests of professors — do they coincide with yours? You can track the career or scientific path of graduates — master’s or PhD degree holders, find scientific publications of teachers, ask about the availability of the necessary infrastructure: laboratories, clinics, etc.

Other factors

In addition to everything that we have already discussed, it is important to pay attention to several factors that will ensure comfortable training and living abroad. For example:

  • Does the urban/rural environment suit you? What about the climate?
  • Is there everything you need on campus or close to campus?
  • Do you have sufficient proficiency in the language of the host country? If not, pay attention to language courses and Foundation/Pathway programs.
  • How many people do study in one group?
  • What is the reputation of teachers?
  • What research areas are available for students?
  • What place does the university take in leading world rankings?
  • Are there any internships planned during the program?
  • Is there an opportunity to participate in exchange programs with other foreign universities?
  • Is there a career center at the university that helps students look for work?
  • What is the percentage of employment of graduates of this university?

How to choose a university? Programs and universities

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Step 3. Deciding on financing

A good opportunity to reduce expenses on education and accommodation is scholarships and grants. Obtaining them is quite difficult: as a rule, it is necessary to have very high scores and achievements that correspond with the training program. But even these are not a guarantee that you will succeed. Some excellent students frivolously choose expensive programs, without having the funds to pay for them and hoping only to get a scholarship. As a result, they risk spending a lot of time and effort on enrolling, but not being able to accept the invitation due to lack of funding.

A more reliable strategy would be:

  • To select programs according to a predetermined budget (see Step 1);
  • To check available scholarships on the official websites of universities (Financial Aid / Funding sections) and, if necessary, apply;
  • To find grant and scholarship programs offered by third-party organizations.

Achievement-based scholarships can be provided by the government, private foundations, or universities themselves. Many educational institutions also offer financial assistance to all those in need (for example, US universities, including Harvard and MIT).

Of course, the competition for such programs is quite fierce. But do not fret — if you did not manage to win a grant, take a look at countries where education is free (Germany, Czech Republic) or has affordable prices (France, Belgium, Belgium, Korea).

You can learn the specifics on specialized resources (Scholarship Portal and the like). UniPage, in turn, offers document preparation services for submission to a number of scholarship programs that fully or partially cover the cost of studying at the university.

Important: universities and foundations in 99% of cases are ready to give scholarships only upon admission to the master’s and doctoral programs. Bachelor’s students should rely solely on their own financial capabilities.

Scholarships and grants

When to apply for scholarships and grants?
  • It is preferable to apply immediately after the start of the application process for the chosen specialty: by doing this you increase the probability of obtaining a scholarship;
  • An application for need-based aid is submitted along with the main package of documents during the admission process. Usually, this rule also applies to other grant and scholarship programs of the university — all documents are submitted together with the main package or a little earlier;
  • The deadlines for applying for state scholarship programs are usually way earlier than the deadlines for admission — up to 18 months before the start of studies;
  • Third-party scholarship funds may also partially cover tuition and living expenses. Applications for such funds are accepted either long before the admission or, on the contrary, only after successful admission to the university;
  • Also, many universities are ready to give scholarships to students after a semester or a year of study for excellent academic performance or other merits. It is necessary to clarify the availability of such opportunities by asking the admission committee immediately after the start of studies.

Step 4. Passing international tests

The next step is to pass the tests and exams required for admission to the selected university. This is the main reason why it is recommended to start your preparation at least a year before admission. There are three types of exams:

Foreign applicants must pass the language test, the rest depends on the requirements of a particular country or program. For example, for admission to bachelor’s studies in the United States, the SAT test is required. Universities in Europe, the USA, and some other countries accept GRE/GMAT as an entrance exam to master's programs.

Do not take the exams lightly: each of them has specific features that can catch off guard even those who are completely confident in their knowledge. Preparation should begin at least 6 months prior to the test.

All international exams are paid (from 30 USD to 300 USD) and take place in specialized centers (usually not in all countries and only in large cities). It is necessary to register for them in advance. When choosing the date, it is worth considering the following points:

  • Frequency. All exams have their own deadlines. Some take place once a month, others only a few times a year;
  • Waiting. The official results of some tests may not be available until several weeks after examination;
  • Shipment. Some educational institutions do not accept results in a digital form — in this case, additional time will be spent on sending a printed version;
  • Second attempt. Not all applicants manage to achieve the desired result in their first try — if possible it is better to play it safe and allocate some extra time for a second attempt.

Sometimes universities additionally have their own tests that require an in-person presence.

More about exams

Step 5. Collecting and sending documents

When the necessary tests and exams are passed and their results are obtained, it is time to start filling out the application and sending documents. Submission deadlines vary depending on the institution and country. Some universities may accept documents all year round (for example, private universities), but most strictly follow the schedule. Despite the fact that the admission campaign can last several months, it is better to submit the application as early as possible — ideally 3-4 days after the start. There are a number of reasons for this.

Reasons not to delay the submission of applications until the deadline
  • Consideration of applications. Enrollment in many universities occurs upon receipt of applications. Accordingly, the closer to the official deadlines, the fewer seats left and the tougher competition becomes. By submitting documents in advance, you will increase your chances;
  • Visa application. Universities also often have a fixed time for reviewing documents from the moment they are received (for example, at least 2 months in Austria). If you apply right before the deadline, there is a risk that you will not have time to apply for a visa — this process can take up to 3 months. As a rule, universities are not very concerned when it comes to issues that foreign student face — most deadlines are the same for local and foreign students;
  • Technical issues. In the days before the deadline, due to the influx of students who postponed the application to the last moment, websites often go down: they load with an error, do not save the application, etc. By the way, a similar situation can be observed in the first couple of days after the opening applications. The ideal time to apply is 3-4 days after the start of the admission process.

A detailed list of required documents can be found on the pages of universities. As a rule, it includes:

Education document For bachelor’s: a certified and translated copy of the secondary education certificate or, if study is not yet completed, a transcript with grades for the last 3-4 years. For master’s/doctoral studies: a certified and translated copy of a bachelor’s and/or master’s diploma with a transcript. Similarly, if you have not finished training, you will need an intermediate report with GPA and a more detailed academic transcript, which shows the courses you completed, the number of hours, and other information.
Results of international examsWhen submitting online, as a rule, you upload a scan of a document to your personal account on the university website. When sending documents by mail, you send copies that must be certified accordingly. The cost of some exams sometimes includes sending the results to several universities. Here, the coordination with the examination center and the control of reception of the results by the educational institution are important.
Motivation letter
(Personal Statement)
One of the most important documents for admission to all cycles of higher education. A motivation letter can be written based on the topic set by the commission or in free form. It is necessary to provide arguments in favor of the fact that you deserve to study in your chosen specialty, indicating your academic and personal achievements, goals, and also explain why this particular university is suitable for you. Do not underestimate this document — as practice shows, it is the most complex and time-consuming part of your application: even with instructions and successful samples to study, not everyone finds inspiration for writing their story, all the while it should convince the admissions committee to choose you among thousands of applicants. Avoid arrogant tone: sincerity, self-awareness, and lively style are appreciated here. Without the proper spark in your motivation, in its first lines, you will lose a competitive edge.
Letter of recommendationFor bachelor's: 1-2 recommendations from school teachers (preferably in subjects of the future specialty). For master’s/doctoral studies: 2-3 recommendations from former teachers, academic supervisor, and/or employer. Recommendation letters are written according to certain rules. Sometimes, the applicant writes a recommendation himself, having previously agreed with the recommenders to sign the finished document immediately in a foreign language (to avoid additional procedures for translating the document). The most common way to send a recommendation is to upload a scanned copy to a personal account on a university website. A less convenient way is to send a letter by mail in a sealed envelope or alternatively via an online questionnaire that should be filled by the recommender.
Academic essayAn essay demonstrating the skills of thinking, analysis, and reasoning in relation to the main idea. The subject is set by the university or is chosen by you independently. Often required for admission to bachelor’s studies in the United States, as well as for some master's and doctoral programs in different countries of the world.
Academic resume/CV A special kind of resume, which describes the main stages of your academic past. It is important not only to list the facts of the biography but to show the experience relevant to a particular program. Usually, an academic resume does not exceed two pages. Mandatory upon admission to master’s or doctoral programs.
Research proposalA brief description of the future dissertation research in doctoral, less often — master’s studies. If the future program involves writing a dissertation, it is recommended not only to attach the plan along with the rest of the documents but also to find a professor in advance at the selected university, contact him by mail and discuss ideas for joint scientific work.

Solvency certificate

Documents with which you can confirm your solvency: bank statement of the applicant’s account, sponsorship letter, grant/scholarship certificate. For bachelor’s, the university does not always require financial documents, but they are still needed for a visa. For master’s and doctoral studies, such a certificate is mandatory.
PortfolioCollection of examples of work for admission to creative specialties (design, architecture, photography, music, journalism, etc.).

All documents must be carefully checked for mistakes. Sometimes a ridiculous typo can cause a denial.

An application is filled using:

  • The country's special application system (uni-assist in Germany, Common App in America, UCAS in the UK, etc.);
  • or university website (mainly for graduate and doctoral studies).

Scans of all necessary documents are uploaded simultaneously with the application. At the same time, the university may additionally request printed versions of all or some of the documents. The most suitable way to send them is an expedited international delivery by courier service with mandatory tracking (DHL, Pony Express, etc.).

Subtleties of processing and sending documents
  • During the admission campaign, you do not need to send the original documents to the educational institution — only copies certified according to the requirements of the university/country;
  • The main difficulty is the translation and legalization of documents before sending (the procedure for giving them legal power in the territory of another state). Depending on the country, you may need notarization, apostilling, double apostilling, certification of the Ministry of Justice and other formalities. Moreover, even if the country has a standard procedure, universities often put forward their requirements. For example, some universities in Austria only accept diplomas with the translation made by local sworn translators — for this you need to send the original document to Austria, which will cost a lot. Note, that in some countries, especially within European states, there is a much simpler order of applying without legalization — check the governmental agreements;
  • English-language documents that must be sent by mail can cause particular difficulties. It would seem that papers in English do not need to be translated. But the problem is that in some countries notaries do not certify foreign documents. Therefore, for example, IELTS certificate in English (if it is not sent to the university by the test center) has to be translated into your native language, certified, translated into English, re-certified and only then sent. But again, everything depends on a certain country;
  • In order to avoid losing your documents in transit or at the university itself, be sure to check if your documents have arrived — for this, contact the coordinator or another admissions officer via email or phone;
  • Be prepared for the fact that the university can at any time request additional documents (certificates, diplomas, additional copies) online or by mail.

In some cases, after reviewing all of the documents, the applicant receives an interview appointment.

In general, the entire process of compiling and editing documents is the most time-consuming and takes at least 3-4 months. With the help of the agency, you can reduce this period to 1 month. At the same time, we modify them several times in accordance with your wishes. The more time we have, the better we can prepare your documents.

Help with document preparation

Enter a university abroad

Step 6. Waiting for a response from the university

This step is one of the most tedious ones. After sending the documents you will have to wait for a response for several weeks. The letter can come by email or regular mail. There are several kinds of answers:

  • Letter of acceptance (invitation letter) the official invitation for study, it is necessary for visa and other formalities;
  • Conditional offer means that you have been accepted on the basis of a personal profile, but for an unconditional offer you need to keep your GPA at a certain level. Extra conditions may be sending the missing document (for example, a certificate/letter from the principal/dean that you will finish your studies and receive a certificate/diploma on time);
  • Rejection is a very common occurrence for foreign universities, which you should mentally prepare for.
What to do if your application was rejected?

As a rule, the rejection is written according to a specific template and does not contain specifics. To get specific information, you need to request an official letter with the reasons for rejection from the university:

  • If you see that the reason was some kind of an error that does not apply to you (for example, the wrong exam scores were counted), then this decision can be appealed;
  • If the reason is objective, it is important to analyze what exactly was off and improve the profile before trying again.

An invitation to study

Step 7. Choosing the best university

If you receive positive answers from several universities at once, you need to make a choice and inform the university about your intentions — if you are going to study at it or you have chosen another educational institution. Please note that the letter needs to be sent not only to the chosen university but also to other universities — so another applicant from the waiting list will be able to apply for the now vacant place. To make the right decision, try to recall the criteria that were used when searching for universities and programs in the first place.

At this stage, you also need to:

  • Pay the advance payment for training and attach a copy of the receipt to the letter with which you admit the invitation;
  • Apply for a dorm — often there is a huge queue in universities for accommodations, so if you want to live in one of the dorms, you should take care of this matter immediately after receiving an invitation (as a rule, all details are already contained in the letter) or when an announcement appears on the site of the educational institution.

Step 8. Preparing for departure

The final stage on your journey to study at a foreign university is preparation for departure. This includes searching for airline tickets, obtaining health insurance, and, most importantly, obtaining a visa.

An important document when applying for a student visa is a cover letter in which you must:

  • Indicate the reasons for choosing this university and this country;
  • Give convincing reasons why you are going to return home after completing your studies (for example, working in a profession), even if you really do not plan on returning. In many countries, the problem of migration is now quite acute, so any hint that you plan to stay after graduation can cause a visa denial.

Important: during peak seasons (admission periods), embassies are very busy. Therefore, after submitting the documents, it will take quite a long time to review them with a possible appointment for an interview and a personal visit to the embassy. This should be taken into account so you should apply for a visa no later than two months before the start of training.

How to get a student visa?

Subtleties of applying for a student visa
  • Some countries, for example, the USA, Canada and Australia, are very wary of students who have never been abroad, so it is advisable to go to a European country before applying for a visa;
  • Many embassies and universities require an extract from a special bank account, on which the funds sufficient to pay tuition and living costs in the country have been held for more than 6 months. To this, you need to add time for receipt and registration of the visa itself;
  • If you suddenly did not have time and were unable to enter the university immediately after studying in your country, then the representatives of the university and the embassy will most likely have a question about what you have been doing all this time. A good explanation is a job (preferably by profession) with an official confirmation of your employment;
  • Obtaining a visa is also closely related to the choice of university and study program. The level of the planned educational institution should not be lower than the one in which you previously studied in your native country. For example, if you graduated from a private elite school or prestigious university of your home country, enrolling in the cheapest community college in the United States will be considered an attempt at cheap student immigration, which means a 90% visa denial.
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Conclusion — you need to start now!

And this is only a small part of what you may encounter when planning admission yourself — most of the subtleties appear only when we begin to consider each individual applicant. With our help, you will avoid mistakes and be able to devote more time to studying a foreign language and preparing for entrance exams. The sooner we start the admission process, the more chances you will have to enroll in your priority university and receive additional financial assistance. We recommend starting the admission process at least one year before the start of training. However, even if you think that you won’t be able to make it in time, we can help you to go through all of the steps in an accelerated fashion.

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Admission to the university is an important and crucial step in the life of each person. Allow the professionals to guide you at every step of admission. UniPage specialists can:

  • Consult on education abroad;
  • Select universities and academic programs based on your criteria and capabilities;
  • Prepare and adjust a set of documents;
  • Send applications to educational institutions;
  • Apply for a scholarship;
  • Help you to get a student visa.

Most importantly, we went through the whole process hundreds of times and we will be glad to help you to go through it too.


Studying abroad with UniPage

Want to study at a foreign university but don't know where to start? We can help!

Our specialists will find a university, arrange your documents, fill out the applications, and stay in touch until you receive an offer.