Here you’ll find a collection of the most frequently asked questions regarding how to study abroad. Find information on where to study, how to apply, entry requirements, getting a student visa, tuition fees and funding, finding study abroad scholarships and other practical information.

Browse the questions below to discover the answers to the mysterious secret of how to study abroad… 

  1. Why study abroad?

There are many reasons why study abroad programs are becoming so popular. For most international students, the appeal is likely to be a combination of gaining a high-quality education, experiencing immersion in a new culture (and often a second language), gaining a global mindset and expanding future employment prospects.

For some, the prospect of leaving home and heading off into the unknown is daunting, but studying abroad is also an exciting challenge that often leads to improved career opportunities and a broader understanding of the way the world works. The type of experience you have during your time abroad will vary hugely depending on where you go, so make sure to pick a study destination based on your own personal interests as well as the country’s academic reputation, in order to keep a healthy work/play balance.

To get more of an idea of whether studying abroad is for you, read some of our blog posts:

  1. Where in the world should I study?

Choosing where in the world you wish to study is not always an easy task. As well as your own personal interests you should think about practicalities such as the costs of studying in that country (both tuition costs and living costs), your graduate career prospects (is there a good job market?) and your overall safety and welfare.

You should also think about what sort of lifestyle you wish to have during your studies. Do you want to live in a big city or a small university town? Do you want arts and culture on your doorstep or world-class sporting facilities? Whatever your interests, be sure to match them up with your study destination so that you really give yourself the best chance of loving your international experience.

  1. How do I get started?

Once you’ve made up your mind about where you want to study, you should start to think about choosing a program and a university, if you haven’t already. You can research leading universities with the QS World University Rankings®, use the subject rankings to discover universities which are best for your subject, and also consult national rankings of universities in your chosen destination. You’ll then want to look closely at the courses offered by the institutions on your short list, as well as researching the local area and lifestyle, admission requirements and costs.

Once you’ve firmly decided on your program and institution, you should start to think about your application(s). Application processes differ depending on the university and the country, but generally each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.

In some cases there is a “two-step application process” for international students. This means you must submit two applications: one for a place at the university and one for a place on the course itself. This should be clearly stated on the university’s website. If you still have questions about the process, you should contact your chosen university directly.

If you think you might need a student visa, remember that in most cases you won’t be able to apply for one until you have received a letter of acceptance from your chosen university. Each stage can take several months, so allow as much time as possible.

  1. How long do study abroad programs take?

The length of time you spend studying abroad will depend on the program and level of degree you’re undertaking. Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three or four years of full-time study (for example, in the UK the typical length for most subjects is three years, while in the US the norm is four), while a graduate degree such as a master’s degree or equivalent will take one or two years. A doctoral (PhD) program will usually take three to four years.

At many universities across the world, there is also the option of studying abroad for a shorter period of time. Student exchange programs allow you to study abroad for a year, a semester or even just a few weeks. Information about these shorter programs should be available on the website of the main university you plan to enroll at, as well as the university you’d like to be hosted by.

  1. When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

Considering your application as early as possible is the best way to go. After all, the sooner you gain acceptance into a university, the sooner you can arrange your travels. To avoid disappointment, note down all the relevant application deadlines (set out by your chosen university) in HUGE LETTERS on your calendar.

Application deadlines will be different depending on the school, but generally speaking, for programs starting in the fall (September/October), applications will be open from early in the year (January/February) until the middle of the year (June/July).

  1. What are the entry requirements for study abroad programs?

Entry requirements vary widely between universities and between countries, so be sure to check the information provided by your prospective university before submitting anything.

Speaking generally, however, if you are applying for an undergraduate degree you will be asked to show that you have completed your secondary education to a standard that is in line with the required grades (e.g. your GPA, A-level grades or equivalent) for the program you’re applying to. If you have an international qualification and are unsure whether this is accepted, you should contact the admissions department of the university.

For non-native English speakers wanting to study in English-speaking countries, it is also highly likely that you’ll need to provide proof of your English-language proficiency by taking an English-language test such as TOEFL or IELTS. Similar tests may be required for those studying in other languages.

  1. What documentation should I submit with my application?

You may be asked to provide some supporting documentation as part of your application. Once again, requirements vary depending on the country and university, but international students are often asked to provide the following:

  • Passport photos for identification
  • A statement of purpose
  • CV/résumé
  • Academic references/ letters of recommendation
  • Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education
  • Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries), or other language test (if the university requires, based on the country)
  • Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs) (if the university requires, based on the country)
  1. Do I have to speak a second language to study abroad?

This depends on the country you wish to study in, and the language your course will be taught in. If you are not a native English speaker but wish to study a course taught in English, you will have to prove you can speak the language to a fairly high level, by providing English-language test results. This is to ensure you will be able to follow your course without any comprehension problems.

English is also used as a language of instruction in a number of other countries worldwide, particularly for graduate programs and business degrees. English-taught courses will be advertised on the university’s website and can sometimes be searched for using a centralized database run by a national agency.

Common tests accepted as proof of English proficiency are the TOEFL and IELTS. If you need to prove your proficiency in a language other than English, there are also similar tests in other languages, such as the DELF/DALF and TCF-DAP (French) or the DSF and TestDaF (German).

Before taking a language test, make sure you confirm which results are accepted by your chosen school to make sure you don’t waste money on the wrong test.

  1. Will I need to attend an admissions interview?

As a prospective international student, it is relatively unlikely for schools to expect you to attend an admissions interview in person, although this is not unheard of – especially for the most competitive programs.

Some universities hold international interviews in various locations around the world, so you may be expected to attend one of these. There is also a growing trend of using video interviewing. This is like any other interview, with a prearranged time and date, but will take place online.

  1. After gaining a letter of acceptance, what do I do next?

Congratulations, you’re in! Now all that’s left to do is to prepare for your studies, pack up your life into a single (large) suitcase, get your travel documents in order, apply for your student visa, research your accommodation options, and look for funding… don’t panic, it’ll all be worth it!

In fact, as soon as you gain acceptance from a university, the first thing you should start to consider is your travel documentation. Ensure you have a valid passport and travel insurance, as well as a student visa if you need one. Make sure you have sufficient time to get your passport/visa approved so that you’ll be able to travel legally!

For more information on what documentation you’ll need to travel, you should visit your Gogenius Educational Services office.

  1. Do I need to apply for a student visa?

Student visas are a big question for those who want to know how to study abroad, though not all international students will need one. If you’re an EU citizen planning to study in another EU country, for instance, you do not need to a visa. However, as a rule of thumb, if you come from outside of your chosen country’s geographical region/continent, you will probably need to apply for a student visa. This usually only applies to longer periods of international study; if you’re participating in a shorter exchange, last three months or less, a tourist or visitor visa may suffice.

  1. How much does it cost to study abroad?

To work out the cost of studying abroad, you need to consider the average tuition fees for international students in your chosen country, as well as the cost of living.

As a point of reference, the average tuition fees for international students studying in the UK are UK£12,000 (US$18,200) a year, with an additional UK£7,000 (US$10,600) per year needed to cover living costs. In the US, the average yearly cost is US$28,500 with an additional recommended budget of US$15,000 to cover your living costs. With these yearly figures in mind, remember that undergraduate programs in the US tend to last a full four years.

In some countries, there are no tuition fees at all. Notable examples include European countries.

  1. Can I get financial aid to study abroad?

Although many international students may find it difficult to get a student loan to fund their studies, there are a myriad of other funding opportunities available to make studying abroad more affordable, including scholarships, fellowships, studentships, sponsorships, grants and bursaries.

Your chosen university is perhaps the best place to get funding information relevant to you, so make sure to scour the school’s website for advice, or contact the school directly. This is also where information about study abroad scholarships offered by the university and other external organizations can be found, along with details regarding eligibility and how to apply.

Many scholarships are granted based on academic merit, and are highly competitive. There are also lots of funding schemes targeting specific groups of students.

  1. Where can I find study abroad scholarships?

Study abroad scholarships can be found in many places! Your first port of call will be the website of your chosen university, where you’ll find information on available scholarships. Sometimes the university will also list external scholarships, such as those offered by the government or business partners of the school. If not, you should research governmental schemes in your home country and your country of study, as well as funding offered by external organizations relating to your field of study (e.g. an engineering firm might offer a scholarship for engineering students).

 

  1. Where will I live during my study abroad program?

If your chosen university has readily available campus accommodation, it is likely that you will be able to apply for a place in these student halls. If this is not the case, you will need to find your own accommodation.

If money is no object, you can consider renting your own flat, while those on a smaller budget can find shared accommodation with other students or use spare room listings found online. In all cases, you should make sure you do your research before signing anything or handing over any money. Your university’s student support team and student union should also offer advice on how to find accommodation locally.

  1. Can I work during my studies abroad?

This will depend on whether or not your student visa allows you to work. In some countries there are restrictions on the amount of paid work you can undertake during your studies; often there’s a limit of 20 hours’ paid work per week during term time, with full-time work permitted during holidays.

If you don’t need a student visa, it is more likely you’ll be able to work as many hours as you like, as long as this doesn’t affect your studies – but check with the university and/or official government site.

Regarding MBBS Abroad

Can I get a job in a Government hospital or allied medical institutions in India?

Yes. After clearing the MCI screening test and getting your registration with the State or Central Medical Council, you are eligible for any Government appointment.

What is MCI Eligibility Certificate?

All students going abroad to study MBBS are required to obtain the eligibility certificate from MCI before commencing their studies. Only students with an Eligibility certificate can appear in the MCI screening test required to practice in India.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has made it mandatory that all Indian students who are desirous of seeking admission in any foreign medical institution, shall be required to obtain an "Eligibility Certificate" from the MCI under the Eligibility Certificate Regulations 2002, before they are admitted in any foreign medical institution whether recognised under section 12 or under section 13 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. This is mandatory should the student intend to return to India upon successful completion of his/her MBBS programme and commence medical practice in India.

What are the requirements for MCI Eligibility Certificate:

Any Indian citizen who has attained the age of 17 years and has passed 10+2 Level from any recognised Council/Board of India or abroad. He / She must have studied Physics, Chemistry and Biology as elective subjects and obtained minimum 50% in aggregate of PCB combined. Also must have studied and passed English as a compulsory subject.

What is MCI Screening Test?

The Medical Council of India stipulates that all students studying MBBS programme from Medical Colleges outside India and wanting to practice in India after completion of their programme, need to appear for a "Screening Test".

The Medical Council of India stipulates that all students studying MBBS programme from Medical Colleges outside India and wanting to practice in India after completion of their programme, need to appear for a "Screening Test".

Screening test is an examination conducted by Medical Council of India. It is an eligibility test conducted by Medical Council of India for registration of successful candidates who pass the screening test. The test consists of three papers of multiple choice questions in Pre-Clinical, Para-Clinical and Clinical Medicine and its allied subjects including Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The screening test is conducted in English. The test duration for each paper will be of three hours.

Students have to obtain 50% marks in each paper separately in order to pass the eligibility test.

The "Screening test" is conducted by the National Board of Education (NBE), New Delhi. This exam is conducted twice a year; on last Saturday / Sunday of September and on last Saturday / Sunday of March.

Can I do internship/training in India?

Yes. You can do your internship/training in India. However, you would have to arrange it yourself. The University can arrange internship for you . Most students do their internship at the various affiliated hospitals of the University.

What is the medium of instruction/studies?

The medium of instruction/studies is English language.

My age is less than 18. Can I get admission?

Yes. If your age will be at least 17 at the time of entry in the University, it is possible for you get admission in China. You will be required to provide extra documentation for this purpose. We can assist you with the same.

will ship the document to accepted students after they have paid the necessary fees. Chinese embassies in certain countries also insist on a medical examination report prepared by a recognized hosiptal in their country of residence.

Usually there is no requirement to show evidence of funds. A personal interview/appearance by the applicant might be required in certain countries. It takes around 4 working days to process the visa.

A 30 day visa is issued initially. Students are required to obtain a residence permit once they enter China. The University/College will assist you in obtaining the residence permit. A multilple entry residence permit is issued to students. Student can enter/exit China as and when they want to during the validity of the residence permit.

For Parents/Guardians who want to accompany their wards to the University:

Parents wishing to accompany their Children to China for short trips should apply for a tourist visa or L visa at a Chinese embassy or consulate in the country of residence. Requirements for tourist visa vary. Chinese embassies in certain countries might ask you to produce return flight tickets, hotel reservation slips, bank statements etc.