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Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad
5th Nov 2023
Manisha Sharma

Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad: Planning, Scholarships, and Thriving Overseas

Embark on your international study adventure with confidence! Dive into our comprehensive guide covering budgeting, program selection, scholarships, visa navigation, and more. Make your dream of studying abroad a reality.

Are you considering the idea of studying abroad? It may seem like a tough task, especially because of the financial support that you would require throughout your stay in a foreign country. But, with a scholarship or the right kind of monetary support, you can easily secure a spot in a foreign university and study abroad for your bachelor’s or master's degree.

Here's a straightforward guide to assist you on your journey and provide insights into how you can secure career growth while studying abroad:

1. Planning Your Study Abroad Budget Studying in a foreign country is an opportunity that can truly transform your life. However, the first step is to determine how much you are willing to invest in your education. The course fees can vary significantly. But one thing is assured that there are options for every budget.

Additionally, take into account the cost of living. It can range from Rs 26,000 to Rs 88,000 per month, depending on your chosen study destination.

2. Discover Your Academic Passion Some people know what they want to do from a young age, while others might figure it out in high school or even later. It's good to choose a field that can get you a job, but make sure you really enjoy it too. Popular subjects include business, computer science, engineering, and medicine. If you're unsure what to study:

  • Try some online quizzes that suggest careers.
  • Think about what hobbies or topics you really like.
  • Look at jobs you might want in the future.
  • Maybe take a year off to work or volunteer and see what you like.

3. Choose Your Ideal Study Destination

Your budget and chosen discipline play a pivotal role in determining your study abroad location. But, additional considerations are:

  • Language preferences
  • Work opportunities during your course
  • The significance of social life and extracurriculars
  • Preferred living environment (urban hustle or serene town)
  • Proximity to home and travel opportunities

Shortlist 2-3 countries and weigh their pros and cons. While you might have a dream destination, keep an open mind; sometimes, where you end up might surprise you.

4. Dive into Programme Details

After zeroing in on a discipline and country, you now face the task of selecting a specific study programme. Different universities offer unique curriculums even within the same discipline.

Thoroughly examine each programme's coursework and approach (theoretical vs. practical). When in doubt, reach out to the university or study abroad consultants for clarity. Consider also the study duration and mode (full-time vs. part-time).

5. Cast a Wide Application Net

While you might be confident about securing a spot in a particular university, it's wise to apply to at least 2-3 institutions to ensure you have options.

Remember, some countries might have a cap on the number of applications for international students. Whether you're applying within one country or across several, always be attentive to specific application procedures and requirements.

6. Validate Your English Proficiency

For English-taught programmes, universities typically require proof of your language skills through tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic. These exams assess speaking, listening, writing, and reading capabilities. Prepare diligently, understand the test format, and aim to excel.

7. Explore Study Abroad Scholarships

Scholarships can significantly offset your education expenses. Some scholarships are integrated into the university application process, while others require a separate application.

Familiarise yourself with different financial aid options - from scholarships and grants (which typically don't need repayment) to student loans. Ensure you align with the scholarship criteria before applying.

8. Securing Your Spot in the University of Your Dreams Congratulations! Receiving an acceptance letter from your chosen university is one of the most exhilarating milestones in the journey to study abroad. If you've been accepted by multiple universities, then it's essential to evaluate your options diligently. Lean on study abroad consultants like Azent if you're unsure.

Give yourself a few days to reflect before making the final decision. Once you've made up your mind, then confirm your choice with the university, ensuring they acknowledge it. Sometimes, the university might request additional official documents or copies during or after this process.

9. Navigating the Student Visa Maze

Embarking on a study abroad experience might necessitate acquiring a student visa. Conduct thorough research to understand the specifics. Depending on the destination, obtaining a visa might take weeks or even months. Therefore, it's paramount to apply well in advance to seamlessly begin your studies abroad. The key takeaway is to discern if a visa is needed, understand the processing time, and align your application timeline with your study abroad programme commencement date.

10. Finding Your Home Away from Home

Choosing the right accommodation significantly influences your study abroad experience, both financially and culturally. Here's a concise breakdown:

**Student Dormitories:**Often the most affordable choice, but can entail sharing with multiple students. Utilities are generally inclusive. Private dorms can be pricier. While many opt for this experience initially, shifting to private housing later is common.

Renting a Private Flat: Preferred by many international students. Sharing can offset the higher costs. Utilities might be exclusive and an upfront deposit is typical. Many universities extend support in finding flats to avoid potential scams.

11. Mapping Your Journey Abroad With your university and accommodation set, planning your travel is the next step. Flying is often the go-to choice for long distances. It's essential to be aware of baggage limits and associated fees.

Key travel tips include:

  • Planning early arrivals for better acclimatisation
  • Reviewing ticket cancellation or modification policies
  • Strategising layovers or transit points efficiently

12. Packing Essentials for Your New Adventure

The quantity and type of luggage largely depend on your transportation mode. Irrespective of that, essentials include a laptop, power adapters, personal identification documents, medicines, a backpack, headphones, and some cherished personal items.

For varying climates, consider receiving season-specific clothes through post or courier services. Remember, it's unnecessary to transport your entire wardrobe. Local shopping can be part of the adventure, especially if your study abroad scholarships provide a comfortable budget.

Conclusion

Brace yourself! Your study abroad journey promises a whirlwind of experiences – challenging yet exhilarating, moulding you into a more evolved individual. So, here's to creating indelible memories on this grand adventure!

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