Every student, at some point in life, dreams about studying abroad. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big. In fact, it’s these big dreams that fuel success in life. But then, to pursue studies in another country is not as easy as it might sound. Starting from dreaming about studying overseas to finally getting enrolled for a course is a lengthy process that can be overwhelming to students as well as their parents. Thankfully, when you approach this dream in a well thought- out and systematic manner, your chances of success in this regard are higher. To help out all the students starting out, here is a step-by-step guide to follow religiously. Check out-
- Do your research! – The first and most important thing that you need to do is research. Research well into everything that seems pertinent from the standpoint of studying abroad. Try to find out about the Universities where you can enrol yourself, the courses they have on offer, and also the exact locations where these educational institutes are located. Other aspects to focus on are campus life, prospects of employment, opportunities for research, etc. Make use of social media and try to find out people who might have studied in the educational institute of your interest. They can be a great resource for you to learn more about the place where you want to study or the course you want to specialize in.
- Take advice from a counsellor– It’s extremely important to know if you are heading in the right direction. Study abroad consultants play a pivotal role here. Book an appointment with a certified counsellor and seek advice. Make sure you choose a reputed professional for this purpose, preferably a person who has been an international student himself. There are other criteria too that you need to consider. For instance, a friendly counsellor is going to be of more help to you than someone who knows it all but is grumpy. Don’t forget to have a list of courses you might want to know in detail about. This will help you ask the right questions. The reason why it’s important to hire a good counsellor is that they can give you all the details you might need to start out well.
- Time to apply- Once you have gathered the required information, you are all set to apply. Your counsellor will help you choose a University and, of course, a course to specialize in. To make things smoother for you, counsellors generally contact the chosen University or college for information. They also do it to improve your chances of acceptance. While doing all this, your counsellor will maintain good ethical and legal standards. One thing you need to understand here is that application forms for foreign colleges and Universities are designed in a way to dig deep through applicants’ calibre and personality. So, do not apply in a hurry. Make sure all the specifics you fill in are genuine and not exaggerated.
- The selection phase- Once the University or College in question receives your application, they will examine it thoroughly before letting you know about your selection. Although the process takes a few weeks, the time limit might stretch a little further for postgraduate courses. In case your application is selected, they will send across an offer letter to you along with an acceptance form. Make sure you read the documents sent to you carefully before giving the offer your nod. This is where your counsellor can help you immensely. They will also help you zero in on a course or educational institution in case you have received more than one offer.
- Apply for a visa– Once your selection is made, it’s time for you to apply for a student visa. Remember that every country in the world has its own norms regarding student visas. They also have their own formalities that applicants need to fulfill. It’s an important phase of the process where you again need help from your counsellor. Your counsellor will make the visa application process easy for you and will help you get the documents required for submission ready. Some of the documents you would be required to produce are enrolment evidence, parental consent for under 18 students, a passport copy, etc.
- Accommodation– There are two modes of accommodation for students. One is on-campus accommodation, and the second one is self-managed. You will have to look for accommodation for yourself in case you have not been offered to live inside the campus by your University. If there is a local host that you know, you can live with them. There are homestays and rooms on rent available too. It’s important to note here that the accommodation costs vary from place to place. Another thing to consider is that rental accommodations can be a little costly as they include utility bills too.
- Book flights early– Booking the flights might not seem like an important step here. But a lot of people make mistakes in this regard that land them into trouble. To avoid any untoward situation, it’s advisable that you book your flights in advance. When you do this, your chances of getting cheaper flights are higher. Different countries have different air travel rules, so make sure you have acquainted yourself with all of them. Baggage allowance norms and entry requirements are also something you need to take into account.
- Set out for the adventure! – This is the last step of the process but then an important one. Here you recheck all your documents and have the last conversation with your counsellor. They will help you through this phase too. You will be given advice on everything, including creating a bank account and getting a SIM card to insurance and money exchange.
So, now you are ready to fly. But before you get set and go, make sure you have done your packing well. It always pays off when you pack in an organized manner, avoiding the unnecessary stuff. Lastly, don’t panic. Have confidence, and you will adapt well to your new environment and culture!