MBA Interview
6th Dec 2022
Afia Azmi

The Definitive Guide to Study Abroad

A majority of young students today aspire to have top quality education, reputed and acclaimed degrees, and a successful career. Additionally, they desire to have new experiences, explore uncharted territories and discover the unseen things to them this world has to offer. In an answer to all of this, overseas education has presented itself as a platform not only to gain knowledge and skills, but also to take advantage of numerous opportunities that developed countries provide.

Studying abroad allows students to study at some of the most reputed universities of the world. It puts them in such an environment where they can get a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With better standards of education, they also gain a new mindset of understanding things and keeping up with the world. This eventually helps them to grow into a mature individual at a global level.

With the new era of modernization, education and business has evolved across boundaries. Due to this, abroad education has become accessible to the masses. Today, with the right knowledge and information, the students can apply to study at a large number of global universities easily. Technological development has made the current study abroad admission process hassle-free for the students. Let us take a look at the study abroad process and some prominent ways to study abroad.

What is The Study Abroad Process?

Students interested in studying abroad at a well reputed institution can follow the below steps:

Research on countries, programs and universities

The very first step in the process of studying abroad is to research on a specific country and the program that a student is keen in pursuing. The students can first choose a program of their own choice, and then they can research about the institute and universities that offers the particular course. They can also seek the help from a study abroad expert, who would guide and direct them through the best countries for a specific course and institutions within that country.

Learning about admission procedure

In this stage most of the students feel uncomfortable and the students lack major knowledge that leads to rejection of application. It is must for the students to read the admission procedure and other related instructions thoroughly on the official college website. In addition to this, they can get in touch with an azent counselor who can not only guide them in the application process, but also direct them to choose best courses and universities based on their potential and field of interest.

Budget and expense planning

Before applying for the universities abroad, students can gather information about the fee structure of the particular course. So that students can make a rough calculation about the expenses for living there. So that students get a rough idea about the expenses.

Appear for eligibility exams

The students should fulfill the eligibility criteria and should provide the eligibility examination scores as demanded by the university or institution during the application process. A majority of countries mandatory requirement is English proficiency test scores since Indian students do not have English as their first language. GMAT score is required for MBA programs whereas GRE scores are required for masters programs in the field of science and engineering.

Gather necessary documents

In prior to filing applications, the students should have the necessary documents such as marksheets, passport, Statement of purpose, experience letters, and letters of recommendation. All these documents should be submitted during filing applications process.

File application

The students should then take measures to fill the application forms and submit the form along with the required documents to the particular universities. Once the documents are submitted, the students should then wait for processing their application by the admission committee.

Get offer letter

The students will receive an offer of admission after the universities finish processing applications. The students can start their student visa applications process once they have received the offer letter from the university or the institute.

Gather and check financial documents for visa applications

Filing a visa application is a bit critical step in the study abroad journey of each and every student and so they must take utmost care while arranging the financial documents for it. Before applying visa, the other documents should also be re-checked.

Apply for student visa

A student visa is necessary to study in any abroad destination. In some countries, the students need to appear for an interview. In case of rejection, the student can re-apply for the visa.

Pre-departure arrangements and accommodation

Once the student visa is approved, the students can start the preparations for their departure. They can continue with the booking tickets and making arrangements for accommodation abroad. They can either take help of the university where they shall be joining or can book accommodation online. You can check out the complete pre-departure checklist by clicking [https://www.azent.com/expert-tips/predeparture-checklist-and-tips-study-overseas] (here)

Even though the study abroad application process is lengthy, with the correct and adequate knowledge, the students can sail through the admission process in a smooth manner. Get in touch with an Azent counsellor to start your journey!

What are the Eligibility Exams required for studying abroad?

At current situation, most of the students dreams of studying in foreign universities because pursuing in the most reputed institute helps the students to acquire adequate knowledge. One of the major reasons behind the refusal or not being able to pursue their dream of studying abroad is due to lack of significant ‘academic procedure’ information.

Now-a-days the modern technology made the student from all over the world to easily reach out to any of the university or institution of their own choice and apply for it but there are several competitions involved in this process. In order to overcome this issue, institutions or universities over world keep some ‘academic eligibility’ criteria that has to be fulfilled by the students seeking admission.

Different institutions from all over the world asks for different competitive exams qualifications from the students depending upon the program they are opting for admission. Basically, the competitive exams that are required are categorized into two types, namely, Language Proficiency Exams and Standard Entrance Exams.

Language Proficiency Exams:
These are the kind of international level exams that are asked from foreign students to show their foreign language, i.e. English proficiency. There are various different language proficiency exams. Every one of them has their own valuation in different nations. Students can take anyone of these linguistic exams to get admission in foreign universities. Some of the famous language exams are:

TOEFL

  1. The Test of English as a Foreign Language, also often abbreviated as TOEFL, is one of the very famous and reputed language exams which was organized to evaluate a student’s proficiency and skills in English language.
  2. It is mainly preferred by the education institutions of US and Canada. The scores of this exam will be considered reliable and reputed worldwide for academic procedures because of the strict, impartial and neutral scorings.
  3. This test is required by the students from non-English speaking nations or from where English is not the main or nation’s language.
  4. This test comprises of 4 sections, namely Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing and can be taken either online (internet based, i.e. TOEFL iBT) or offline (pen and paper based, i.e. TOEFL PBT) depending upon students ease and choice.
  5. .With a total score of 120 in TOEFL iBT and 677 in TOEFL PBT, depending upon the mode of examination student chose, they have clear at least 55-60% of the total score for being eligible. You can learn more on TOEFL [https://www.azent.com/expert-tips/toefl] (here)
  6. The minimum score can vary for different college’s admission procedure. More than 8,000 universities and colleges in approx. 130 countries accept TOEFL test scores.

IELTS:

  1. The International English Language Testing System, also often abbreviated as IELTS is another one of the major language exam required for studying abroad.
  2. This test is generally preferred in the education institutions based in UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
  3. It is asked from the students who are non-native speakers of English and for the students wanting to take admission in English speaking countries.
  4. Like TOEFL, this test also comprises of 4 different sections, namely Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. But unlike the TOEFL, this test is designed to test the skill and proficiency of the student’s English and they put it on a scale, not marks.
  5. With a scale or marking range from 0 to 9, with 0 being the least non user and 9 being the expert user, there is no minimum score stated in this exam, i.e., no pass or fail.

PTE:

  1. Pearson Test of English or PTE is another language exam which is mostly preferred in UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also preferred in few US colleges as well.
  2. It is an online based examination consisting of four sections reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  3. Based on the score they got with a scoring ranging from 10 to 90, students are put into different levels like Foundation, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced and Proficient. The results of this score are valid for two years.

Standard Entrance Exams:

These are the kind of international level competitive exams which are held as entrance exams for different programs in overseas universities. Depending on the type and field of the programs, the exams are also different. Student can take any one of the exam based on their preferred program. Some of the Standard Entrance Exams are:

GRE:

  1. Graduate Record Examination, often abbreviates as GRE, is a popular examination that is taken by students who are applying abroad for graduate level programs.
  2. Countries like USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. require this test for admission in their institutions.
  3. This test can be taken online and have six sections, namely analytical writing, two verbal sections, two quantitative sections and one research or experimental section.
  4. With least score of 130 and highest of 170, this test mainly focuses and tests the basic academic skills like math, reading and writing skills, essay writing and critical thinking. And is acceptable by numerous of universities worldwide.

GMAT:

  1. Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT, is the entrance exam required by the students who want to take admission in management or business programs in overseas institutions.
  2. The business, management colleges around the world ask for the scores of this exam as an eligibility requirement.
  3. This online test examines certain skills like analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and verbal skills.
  4. With the scoring ranging from 200 to 800, student need to score above 650 or 680 to get top most desired colleges. Over the years, 600 being the average marks.
  5. More than 110 countries, including more than 1500 institutions offer more than 5000 programs related to business and management through this GMAT.

SAT:

  1. Scholastic Aptitude Test, known as SAT, is also a standard entrance exam taken for admission in undergraduate programs in US.
  2. This test comprises of Reasoning Test and Subject Test. It examines the skills like writing, grammar, and the knowledge in the subject chosen by the student.
  3. With scoring range from 400 to 1600, students need to score around 65-70% at least to get top undergraduate colleges in US. In USA, SAT is conducted seven times a year, particularly every first Saturday of Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Mar, May, June. Other countries follow the same date mostly.

These tests can give opportunities to the students to achieve their dream of standard higher education by studying abroad. But for better results, the students should need to research and learn more about the particular exam they are taking.

What are the Important Documents Required For Studying Abroad?

Studying abroad, a golden opportunity to have a successful career and how fascinating it sounds, is actually not that easy of a process to accomplish. Every year a vast majority of students get their applications rejected by overseas institutions due to lack of some essential necessary academic credentials they had to submit along with their applications. Gathering and preparing all essential documents in time for the further admission procedure is really not an easy task. It takes a lot of information, attention and guidance to make a well-filled and prepared application.
For a smooth and hassle-free overseas admission procedure, students first need to know about the types of credentials and important academic documents that would be required, and thus they should keep that in handy. Following are some of the essentials documents, a student must need to prepare and keep it ready while applying to study abroad:

Application Form:

  1. The very first step of admission procedure, or should I say the very first impression an institution gets of any student, is by how they fill out the application form and provide the asked credentials in it.
  2. While sorting the students, things like letter, essay (if asked) written by students, the admission officers does give a judge eyes onto them in application form.
  3. So students need to fill out the application form very carefully. They should not try to overwrite too much, rather they should try to be concise and clear to the point.

Academic Certificates:

  1. Along with the fully-filled application form, students also being asked to attach their academic certificates.
  2. Certificates of the academic studies from class 10th till their latest educational qualification along with their mark sheets, and Transcripts of higher school and further higher education are being asked in the procedure frequently at many stages, so it’s better to keep them in handy and ready!

Entrance Exam Scores:

  1. After the above two, this one is another very essential document which is being asked in the admission procedure.
  2. The scores of the exam, through which the candidate is applying for the institution, whether it’s any Language Proficiency Exam like TOEFL, IELTS, etc. or any other specific entrance exam mandatory by the institution like GRE, GMAT, etc. should also be prepared by the time of applying.
  3. By the time of applying, the validation date of the exam need to be looked with a serious concern.

Statement of Purpose (SOP):

  1. This document is also another very vital and deciding document of the application procedure.
  2. This document reflects the personality, thinking, beliefs, and determination of the student. It shows why the applying student aspire to study the particular course program in that vary opted institution, and also what they except and image their future from this study.
  3. Thus, admission officers take it very seriously while selecting any student for further enrollment procedure. So, students also need to prepare this document with utmost serious concern.

Recommendation Letter:

  1. When it comes to knowing about the student, a recommendation letter by any of their senior penning down good impactful words about the student surely increases the chance of selection.
  2. Institution take this document very sensitively as this signifies what other people think about the student and how much of an impact the student portrays on their surrounding people.
  3. So, it’s better to select a right person to write the letter is also a matter of serious concern. An elite looking recommendation letter can increase the chance of enrollment by numerous folds.

Resume:

  1. Preparing a good professional looking resume also shows the professionalism of the student.
  2. Having an impactful resume in student life period is a quite unlikely, but any internship done for any company or firm can add a good weightage to the resume.

Work Experience Document:

  1. This document is required to see the work experience of the student, if they have any. It is generally asked from students who opt for higher education like master’s degree.
  2. But, if the student had done any kind of internship after their higher school or while studying in their graduation, it can also add some experience in the application.

Travel Document:

  1. Documents which are essential for foreign students like a valid Passport, approved Visa, and a genuine valid ID card is asked by the institution as well as while immigration at the airport. So it’s better to prepare and keep them ready.

Passport Size Photographs:

  1. It isn’t as easier as it sounds. Many time several student gets rejected on the reason of submitting wrong size of passport sized photograph, or photograph with different background than the one which was being asked.
  2. Students to check up the dimensions and background of the photographs stated by the institution for the admission procedure.
  3. It’s also being asked by the visa department, so it’s should be given utmost concern as well.

Financial Documents: Documents stating the financial conditions of the student like their family income proof, loan documents (if any), or any other scholarship document the student possess need to be submitted at several admission stages

What is the Cost of Studying Abroad?

There are also many other documents required by many institutions depending and varying on their program and admission requirements. Once all the documents are prepared, students need to go through them once again to see if they are lacking or mistakes. It’s better to have caution than a solution.

Almost every student dreams of having quality standard education, living a good lifestyle and having a satisfied successful future. Along with it they also desire to explore new destinations, seeing and learning about new cultures, getting new experiences. And that’s the reason the vast majority of them aspire to study abroad, because studying abroad not only gives them the sureness of a better future but also gives them the opportunity to explore all the new adventures and experiences they desire.

But, with every dream, comes the real life consequences for its application, and Cost or Budget of Studying Abroad is one of the major hindrances in these dreams. Because studying and living abroad is generally not in everyone’s budget.

But, with some general overview of all the expenses that can happen while studying and living abroad, and some smart planning of it beforehand, students can still accomplish their dream of studying abroad. Here are an overview of various kinds of expenses that can happen in abroad studies in some of the prominent countries -

Education Cost

  1. The biggest portion of the budget for studying abroad goes to education.
  2. It comprises different academic expenses like tuition fees, library charge, facilities charge, examination fees, etc.
  3. The education cost is not the same everywhere, it depends on the program chosen or the institution.
  4. The cost of education also varies from nation to nation.

Accommodation

  1. Apart from the education cost, another major portion goes to the accommodation of the student. Students should look up that if the institution offers on-campus accommodation, if yes then they should opt for it.
  2. Otherwise they can rent an apartment off-campus, but that will cost a bit more in comparison to on-campus accommodation.
  3. The better solution to it is renting a shared apartment with any of the other fellow students.
  4. If possible students should apply for off-shore or off-main city campuses, the rent on the places side of the main city is a bit less in comparison to the main city’s apartments.

Transportation and Living Cost

  1. Living and studying in a foreign city also requires day-to-day expenses like groceries, transportation, stationery, daily utilities, communication (internet and calling), going out expenses, and various other daily expenses.
  2. Students can not overlook these expenses as these are the essential expenses which they will make on a daily basis in order to live a quality lifestyle there.
  3. Different cities from around the world have different living and transportation costs. Some cities offer monthly transportation passes, which actually comes quite less expensive than daily transportation payments.
  4. Similarly, almost every city has local cheap supermarkets in which students can get groceries and other daily basis required stuffs at quite good saving discounts. So, they should also look up for that as well.

Sometimes, some other different kinds of expenses can happen as well while living overseas like travelling expenses (airfares), health expenses, etc. which somewhat rounds up around an approximate average figure of ₹50-60,000 almost in every country.

All these summed up costs of studying and living abroad can give students some hard times in fulfilling their aspiring dream. But still there are several ways by which they can somewhat reduce the financial problems, like -

  1. Keep looking and applying for various scholarships which can reduce the burden of educational cost at least.
  2. Trying to find any bank which gives student education loans at very reasonable interest rates, and also helps in financing the visa as well.
  3. Majority of the students living and studying abroad do part time jobs in their locality. Foreign students are allowed to do part-time jobs for around 20 hours per week. Some countries also allow foreign students to do full-time jobs during their vacations.
Conclusion

Students should really research thoroughly about the costs of education and expenditure of living before applying. And thus, they should apply to the institutions which are well suitable and affordable for their budget.

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