Applying for University Abroad


Chart Your Course – A Guide for International Students

Studying abroad is a dream for many and can be an exhilarating experience filled with opportunities for personal growth, cultural exchange and academic enrichment. And while applying for a place at an overseas university can seem overwhelming, we’ve produced a simple guide to help you navigate the complexities of the process.

Start Early, Research Thoroughly 

The first step in your journey is to carry out thorough research – understanding the admission requirements, courses, campus culture and cost of living in different countries will help to narrow down your choices. You also need to start early, as some application processes can take up to a year, so give yourself ample time to prepare. 

Know What You’ll Need

Every university has its own set of admission requirements, but typically you’ll need to provide academic transcripts, such as those from an NCUK qualification, English language proficiency scores (EAP, IELTS or TOEFL, for example), letters of recommendation and a personal statement or essay. Make sure you understand what’s needed and get your documents together accordingly.

student taking notes

Craft an Outstanding Personal Statement 

Your personal statement is your chance to shine. This is where you can show your passion for the course you want to study, why you want to study overseas and what makes you an outstanding candidate. Remember, be honest and make sure you showcase your personality.

Highlight Your Achievements 

Universities don’t just look at grades, they look for well-rounded individuals who can contribute to their community. So if you’ve been involved in any extracurricular activities, volunteer work, internships or leadership roles, highlight them in your application. It’s extremely important, especially if you’re applying to high-ranking universities such as the Russell Group or for medical programs such as Medicine, Dentistry or Nursing.

Prepare for Standardised Tests 

Many universities insist that international students take standardised tests like the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT. Passing these tests takes thorough preparation, so plan your study schedule well.

Understand the Visa Process 

Once you’ve been accepted into a university, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. The process can be time-consuming and you’ll need to really pay attention to detail. Make sure that you fully understand the requirements, deadlines and necessary documentation you’ll need. Some of that documentation, such as Finances (Bank Statements or Evidence of Funding) or Medical Certificates, may need gathering or preparing for, so be sure to incorporate enough time into your planning.  

students walking

Look into Financial Help

Studying abroad can be expensive, and if you’ll need financial help, there are several scholarships, grants and financial aid options for international students. Many NCUK universities offer financial assistance programs and scholarships, so explore these opportunities.

Further Help

Applying to universities overseas can be time-consuming and seem overwhelming, but with careful planning and determination it’s easily achievable – and as an investment in your future, it will open the door to global opportunities and experiences that will shape your life.

We have a wide range of resources available to help you with your university and visa applications and more, and if you need any support at any stage, our expert teams are on hand. Just contact our team directly and they’ll be happy to help.