Want's to study abroad? Here are 100 most frequently asked questions by students who want to study abroad. The answer to almost every question about studying abroad can be found here.
Studying abroad is one of the most prominent interest in the heart of many international students who are looking to undergo an undergraduate degree or even a masters or other postgraduate courses in a university overseas.
In trying to achieve these, these students just like you, have many questions about studying abroad. You asked we listened, so below are 100 most frequently asked questions by students who want to study abroad:
1. Is Studying Abroad A Good Decision?
If you are planning to study abroad, you should definitely do it, because it opens you up to new opportunities, new people, and also let’s you experience other cultures. Studying abroad also makes it easy for you to travel internationally without much problems from immigration.
2. Can I Study Abroad?
Yes, you can. However, there are certain requirements and eligibility criteria stipulated by a number of universities and scholarship bodies before you can study abroad.
3. I Am Below 18 Can I Still Study Abroad?
Yes you can. If you are below 18 your parent or guardian will have to write a letter indicating that they are aware you are going abroad for studies, and are the ones funding your studies.
4. Why Should I Even Study Abroad?
There are so many great reasons to go abroad and it comes with numerous benefits. The most important reason to study abroad is the access to a world class education that comes with the first-world nations, popularly called western countries. No matter how we try to paint it, the curriculum of our third-world nations are outdated and can’t match the sophistications and novelty that the westerns bring. You will also return home as a global citizen who is more independent, mature, and tolerant of cultural differences.
5. What Countries Can I Study In As An International Student?
The list is numerous. A number of first-world countries allow expatriates from less developed nations to study in their schools. Example of these countries are;
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand and many more.
6. What Benefits Do I Have Access To As An International Student?
As an international student in another country, you can enjoy medical care, scholarships for international students, rent good houses at affordable prices, open a bank account, and even own a vehicle if you want.
7. Is It Possible To Work Why Studying Abroad?
Yes, very possible. They have a flexible style of teaching that ensures student have a perfect study-life balance and also get to work part-time if they want.
8. Which Countries Can I Work In While Studying Abroad?
While countries like India have restrictions about students working while studying, other countries like Canada, UK, and USA allow international students to combine work with studies. However, students can only work for a directed number of hours so that it doesn’t affect their studies. Before you apply to any country, check that international students can work there.
9. What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing A Country For Studies?
The factors to consider before studying in a country are, affordable school fees, possibility of international students working there, low cost of living, availability of good accomodation for students, what percent of African students visit that country for studies, and how safe the place is.
10. What Steps Do I Need Take To Study Abroad?
Once you have made up your mind to study abroad, the first thing you should do is to find the best countries for international students can comfortably study.
Once you have found such countries, depending on your budget, look for affordable universities in those countries that offer the course or courses you want to study, find their stated requirements and start applying if you meet them.
11. Is it Safe To Study Abroad?
Studying abroad can be quite safe for international students, as long as they adhere to the prescribed safety measures. Before you apply for studies in a country, you can also check the crime rate.
12. What Are The Challenges Of Studying Abroad?
Of course yes. A new environment with new challenged. Some of these are:
- Culture shock
- Financial Difficulty
- Language Barriers
13. What’s The Eligibility For Studying Abroad?
Eligibility requirements varies from one institution to another. Typically however, students must be at least in their second year at time of departure. The minimum cumulative GPA usually varies between 2.50 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, while more competitive programs have a higher GPA requirement. Other qualifications may include a personal statement or letter of recommendation. Consult your home university and/or program provider for specifics, and plan accordingly so you can meet all of the requirements by the time you want to study abroad.
14. What Are The Requirements To Study Abroad?
Good things don’t usually come on a platter of gold. The requirements can be cumbersome. They also differ for different programs. Some of the generic ones are however found below;
- Be enrolled at a designated learning institution
- Show proof of funds to cover your tuition fees, living costs, return travel
- Have no criminal record
- Be in good health (you might need to complete a medical exam)
- Prove that you will be leaving the country after your studies (for some countries)
15. What Are The Documents Needed To Study Abroad?
- Birth Certificates
- SSCE Results (Certificate and Statement of Results)
- BSc Certificate or Statement of Results (For Post Graduates)
- Academic Transcripts
- Valid Means of Identification
- Reference Letter (Personal and Academic)
- Recommendation Letter
- Essay Write-ups
- Personal Copy of your Essays (Differs from Schools)
- GRE/GMAT or TOEFL/IELTs (Differs from Schools) and etc.
16. Must I Need To Be Able To Speak The Language Of The Country?
Language proficiency is not compulsory for many countries. However, you need to make efforts to understand the basic words of that country if it’s not an English speaking nation.
17. Can I Learn The Language Of The Country I Am Going To?
If you need to learn for your studies or just want to know the language, then you can take classes. This is a good skill to pick up.
18. Will I Be Able To Interact With My Foreign Classmates?
Yes, that's the whole point of going to study abroad, to meet and make friends with students from all over the world.
19. Must I Have IELTS Or TOEFL Before Studying Abroad?
While having an IELTS or TOEFL result is a necessity for Studying Abroad in various countries, must countries can wave these things if you studied in a country where you were solely taught in English language, or previously completed a study in a major English speaking country like Canada, UK, or USA. Check with the school’s admission requirements to be sure you don’t need these things.
20. What If I Haven't Gotten My IELTS Or TOEFL Yet, Can I Still Apply?
Yes you can. If you have all your other documents and meet all the requirements, the school may give you a conditional offer letter and once you submit the IELTS or TOEFL you can receive an unconditional offer letter.
21. I have Studied Abroad Before, Can I Study Abroad Again?
Yes you can. There is no limit to the number of times you can study abroad as an international student. As long as you have the required documents, you can keep studying abroad.
22. Are Universities Safe For International Students?
Universities have standard safety measures in place to protect both international and domestic students. Just adhere to them and you will be fine.
23. At What Point Can I Start Applying To Universities?
You need to keep a tab on the University of your Choice, keep a track on them through their email subscription list and push notifications. This helps you get a usual update of all information that pertains to students looking at studying there. If you want to do an undergraduate study, you can start applying immediately after SSCE. If it’s a post graduate course, you need to start applying immediately after you get your statement of results.
24. What Should I Consider While Choosing A University To Study In?
While choosing a university, do well to find out that the university is international students-friendly, is located at a good area, has housing for students within their vicinity, offers scholarship opportunities, is affordable, has courses with prominent career opportunities, has work placement programs, and offers students visa to study at their school.
25. What Is An Application Package?
In case you come across the term application package, what it means is your application form, application fees, letter of recommendation, letter of intent, transcripts, financial aid form. Basically, these are the materials a university usually requests for when you are applying to them.
26. How Do I Know I Classify As An International Student?
An international student is a student who is not a citizen of the country they want to study in. E.g: a Nigerian student studying in Canada is an international student.
27. What Do Schools Look For In International Students?
Schools usually look for students who show a personal or professional interest in a course and are passionate about it, students who have a solid reason for wanting to study in the university. Your reason could be because of the university’s ranking or facilities provided to students.
28. I Am A Disabled International Student, Can I Study At A University Abroad?
Yes you can. Every sensible school has measures in place to cater for the disabled international students applying to study with them. Just indicate that you have a disability when filling your application form and also when you are applying for your visa, and the rest will be taken care of by the school.
29. Where Can I Talk To Other International Students Like Me?
Most universities have international students forum where you can chat with other international students that are already studying in that school, and ask them whatever you want to know. These forums are usually located on the school’s website.
30. Can I Contact The Admission Office Of A University?
Yes you can. To contact the admission team of a university you are applying to, you can either call them using the number the provided on their website, or send them a mail via their official email. You can also fill out and submit an enquiry form, and they will contact you directly.
31. Who Is An Admissions Advisor?
An admissions advisor is the officer a university assigns to you, to assist with any questions you may have about studying a course in their school. This advisor gives you the best tips to a successful application.
32. Where Can I Find The Admission Requirements For The Course I Want To Study?
On the school website, visit their courses or programs section, once you see their list of courses, click on the course you want, there you want will find the admission requirements.
33. Should I Get To Know My Teachers Before Applying For A Course Abroad?
In some cases you have to. Normally, when you are undergoing a postgraduate degree you have to familiarise yourself with the faculty members and their work because when writing your letter of interest, you have to indicate the teacher you would love to work with. This is common when applying to study in Canada.
34. Can I Redo A Program I Have Done Before Abroad?
Yes you can. If you have previously completed a bachelor’s degree or masters degree, and want to pursue that same program abroad, you can apply for it.
35. What Is A Sandwich Program?
A Sandwich Program is a course that consists partly of time spent studying, and time spent working in an industry. These types of programs usually go beyond the 4 or 3 years for a Bachelor’s degree.
36. Can I Combine Two Courses At Once?
Yes you can do that. Certain universities abroad offer students the option to major in two or three courses at the same time. You can study all the course combinations at once.
37. How Do I Know If My Grades Are Good Enough For Me To Gain Admission?
If you want to know if your grades are high enough for you to gain admission to a university, you can use a Grade Conversion Tool like WES to convert your grades to the acceptable grading system of the country you are going to. You can also submit your results to the school and the faculty of the course you want to study, will determine if your grades are good enough.
38. Can I Study Abroad If I Have A Low Grade?
Yes. Although most universities have a required grade for international students, students with low grades can still study in them. However you may be required by the university to do something to make it up.
39. Must I Fill A University Application Form To Study?
Yes. Filling in an application form is the first and important thing you should do while applying to the university. This form is how the admission office contact you and collect your personal information.
40. Must I Write A Letter Of Interest To A University?
Writing a letter of interest or letter of intent, or personal statement is your one chance to convince the admission board of a university, that you indeed has what it takes to be accepted as a bonafide student of their university. You must write one, it is important.
41. What Should I Include In My Letter Of Interest
When writing your letter of interest, be sure to include why you want to study in that university, why you want to study your chosen course, what personal or professional experiences piqued your interest in that course, why you believe are a good fit for the course. Some schools give specifications for writing a letter of interest, you can use the points they gave.
42. How Do I Correctly Submit My Transcripts To A University Abroad?
Usually, international schools prefer that you ask your former school to attest and send your official transcripts directly to them via post office. Some schools can also ask you to scan and send it to them online.
43. How Do I Correctly Submit A Letter Of Reference?
Put in the name or names of the person you want to write you a reference letter on your application form, the university will now send them an email with a link where they will submit the reference letter. Note that you are not submit the letter by yourself, unless the school states otherwise.
44. How Do I Submit My Documents To A School Abroad?
You can either submit your documents along with the online application form in the school’s applicants’ portal, via email, or via post office to the postal address provided by the school.
45. Do I Need An Educational Agent To Study Abroad?
It depends. You can apply to study directly to an institution, or you may choose to use the expertise of an agent to guide you through the process of choosing a university or school and enrolling.
46. Can A School Provide Me With An Agent To Help Me Apply To Study Abroad?
Yes, the school can provide you with someone else that can handle the entire admission process for you. These people are called agents, and they can help you process your admission with the university you are applying for. Keep in mind that every school has a list of approved agents in your country, who you can approach for assistance, use their list to avoid being scammed.
47. Must I Complete My Application At Once?
If you have all your documents ready, then you can finish your application at once. However if you need more time to gather your documents then you can take as much time as you need. But try to complete it before the deadline.
48. Do I Need To Pay An Application Fee?
In some schools, application for a course is free and for others, a small amount is charged for your application to be processed.
49. What Happens If I Miss An Application Deadline?
If you miss an application deadline, then your application may not be processed. However, some schools extend their application deadline to give students more time to submit their forms.
50. Do They Carry Out Interviews Before Giving Admission Abroad?
For most of the schools, yes. This could be in different forms – usually via phone or a virtual session.
51. What If I Don’t Meet The Requirements To Study An Undergraduate Program Abroad?
In most cases, if an international student doesn’t meet the requirements to study an undergraduate program abroad, they will have to complete a foundation program at the university they are applying to. This foundation program usually lasts one year and after that, they will be directly admitted to start their undergraduate degree.
52. What Is An Offer Letter
An offer letter or letter of acceptance is a confirmation that the university sends you, if you have been successfully accepted to study in their school. When you get this, it means that you are now a bonafide student of the school.
53. What If I Don’t Meet The Requirements To Study A Postgraduate Program Abroad?
International students who do meet the requirements for a postgraduate degree, but managed to convince the faculty that they can do their chosen course, may be admitted to undergo a Postgraduate Certificate program. This program lasts 6 months and usually comprises of the first semester of a master’s degree. After this program the student will be admitted to a proper postgraduate / masters degree, if they performed well during the PG certificate programme.
54. What Is A Conditional Offer Letter?
A conditional offer letter is the letter a university sends to you when you have been accepted to study at their school, but you still need to submit some documents. This can be for you to submit your English language test or international passport if it was missing in your initial application. In some cases the letter might state that you need to take extra English classes, a foundational program or a postgraduate certificate program before you are can be accepted into your program of choice.
55. What Is A Rejection Letter?
A Rejection Letter is what the university sends to you when you haven’t been accepted to study in their school.
56. What If I Change My Mind About Going To A School Abroad?
If you no longer want to attend a school, you can inform the admission office that you will no longer be continuing your application. If you have already received admission, you can thank them for the opportunity and respectfully decline the admission.
57. What If I Got An Admission But I Am Not Ready To Go To School Yet?
If this happens to you, you can defer your admission to the next year and join the next batch coming in for that course. Please note, deferring an admission won’t affect your place at the university, just be ready to attend the university when the next batch starts.
58. What Should I Do After I Gain Admission?
Once you have been accepted to study at a university, you should pay your school fees and then start processing your visa for you to be able to travel abroad.
59. How Much Does It Cost To Study Abroad?
It depends. If it’s not on scholarship, it might cost a fortune. However, this still depends on the school, course of studies and other factors. However, some research have it that international students can pay as high as USD$20,600 in a year.
60. What’s The Estimated Amount It Costs To Study Abroad?
There’s no fixed price for a school fees to study abroad. The cost of studies differ from country to country and even school to school. To get the exact amount, visit the website of the university you want to study in.
61. I Heard That International Students Pay Higher School Fees Is That True?
Yes. International students tend to pay more school fees than citizens of the country. However, their are many beneficial scholarships in place for international students to use to finance their studies, so don’t panic.
62. How Much Money Do I Need To Have In My Bank Account To Study Abroad?
Most schools give students an average amount that they should have in their accounts while applying for studies. Your bank account should have up to that amount or more if it can.
63. Must I Pay My School Fees At Once?
If you are not ready to pay all your school fees immediately, depending on the school you want to attend, you can pay a certain instalment, then complete as you study. Talk to the school for a suitable payment plan or see what scholarships you can apply for as an international student.
64. Which Countries Are Said To Have The Cheapest School Fees For International Students?
Some cheap countries to study in for international students are, Germany, Hungary, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, etc. You can conduct further research on this later.
65. Is It Possible To Get Financial Support To Study Abroad?
Yes. There are numerous options as stipulated in this article on how to study abroad. Generally however, you can do any of these;
- Apply for a scholarship
- Apply for a student loan
- Use a crowd funding platform or
- Go for low-budget programs
66. What Are Financial Aid Packages?
Financial aid packages are the scholarships or grants, or employment opportunities a university offers you to help you pay for your studies with them.
67. How Do I Apply For Financial Aid As An International Student?
During your application, the education counsellor assigned to you, coordinates with the university to send a financial aid form, which you will fill and submit before the financial aid deadline date mentioned in the application package of the respective University.
68. What Is A Tuition Waiver?
A tuition waiver is an awards given by a university, that waives a student’s tuition fees. Waivers could range from partial to complete tuition waivers.
69. What Is S/F/G?
In case you are applying for a program and come across S/F/G, you should know that it simply means - scholarships, fellowships, grants
70. Which Website Can I Find Scholarships To Study Abroad?
Numerous of this platforms abound. However, in order to be able to get legit information on the scholarship application and its processes, www.scholarshiptab.com is the most reliable platform for this. There are undergraduate and master’s scholarships and also scholarships in UK, US, Canada and many other study countries and different scholarship bodies.
71. How Do I Apply For Scholarship Abroad?
There is a guide, with some stipulated steps that gives you all the details. Read How to get scholarships to study abroad - 10 fuides on finding scholarships
72. Can I Work For My School As An International Student?
Yes you can. Most schools offer work opportunities for their international students to work within the university as they study. These students can either work as a teacher’s assistant (TA) or student advisors, or research assistant to pay their school fees. Enquire from the school which jobs you can do for them and get paid as an international student.
73. What Is A Research Assistantship?
A Research Assistantship is the opportunity provided by the university, for you to act as an assistant to a professor, on a research project assigned to said professor. As an RA you enjoy benefits like tuition waiver, paying in-state tuition fees and earning additional money to support your living expenses through out your education.
74. Who Is A Teacher’s Assistant?
As a teacher’s assistant, you can assist a professor to teach an undergraduate class or check exam papers. You are paid for this job, which covers most of your expenses at the University.
75. Where Will I Live During My Study Abroad Program?
A variety of options abound. School hostels paid for or sponsored or even with family members living around the vicinity of the school.
76. When Can I Make Arrangements For Accomodation?
This should be done immediately you receive the application letter to study. Start making arrangements so that you won't be stranded abroad.
77. What If My School Doesn’t Have A Hostel Where I Can Stay?
If you can’t stay at your school hostel or your school doesn’t have hostel arrangements for students, they can provide you with other available housing options that can be suitable for you. You can make this enquiry during your application and they school will advice you on what to do.
78. Can I Freely Talk To My School As About Any Concerns I Have As An International Student?
Yes you can. Most universities have unions for international students to use to communicate their needs to the school.
79. Do I Need a Student Visa To Study Abroad?
Yes. Visa application is necessary. You can start this process as soon as you get your admission letter showing the proof of your resumption at a later date.
80. What Type Of Visa Should I Apply For To Study Abroad?
You need to apply for a study permit or study visa in order to be able to study abroad. Every country gives their own international students' visa, which is issued by their embassy.
81. Where Can I Get Accurate Information About Visa Requirements
Most countries have an immigration website where you can visit to find information about applying for their students' visa. There, you can also find updates about immigration policy.
82. Where Do I Get A Visa Application Form?
You can get a visa application form on the website of the immigration of the country you want to study in.
83. Can I Use An Agent To Apply For A Visa?
As long the agent is approved as someone who can help students apply for visas, they can handle the entire visa process for you.
84. Can My University Help Me Apply For A Visa?
The university you are applying to cannot directly help you get your visa, but they can assist by giving you the list of documents you will need to submit at the embassy, in order for you to easily get your visa. Once you have been giving an acceptance or offer letter by the school, they will tell you when to start processing your students' visa.
85. Do I Need A Sponsorship Letter For A Study Abroad Visa?
Usually, if you are a minor (underage) then you will need to provide the letter of the person who will be sponsoring your education abroad.
86. Do I Have To Do Check Ups Before Applying For A Visa?
Yes, this is necessary. At the embassy you will need to present the required medical results along with the rest of your documents.
87. What Medical Results Do I Need To Apply Abroad?
Usually, you will need to present a HIV test result and a yellow fever card. Please note that every country has specified medical test results that international students need to present. Find out the requirement in your intended country of study.
88. Is Getting A Visa Hard?
Due to the seriousness of acquiring a visa, most visa processes are more exhaustive than others. However as long as you have all your documents and adhere to the instructions religiously, you should get a visa to study abroad.
89. Are Visa Interview Questions Hard?
No. You will be asked questions about your study plans, background, and financial status, then asked to submit your documents. No need to panic.
90. Can I Visit Other Countries While Still Studying Abroad?
Yes you can. Most schools provide their students with the overseas experience by allowing them to travel to other countries for studies during the course of their program. The students can complete a semester overseas, and return to their original university after that.
91. Can I Visit My Country While Studying Abroad?
You should be able to come down home for a visit, once you have the necessary document to let you go home for sometime and then return to where you were studying.
92. What Do I Do If My Visa Isn’t Approved?
When this happens, promptly inform the university and make arrangements to join the next batch of students. However if you were barred from entering the country, then you have to start looking for another country or contact an expert in those matters for advise.
93. What Do I Do If My Visa Expires?
Students' visas are giving for a particular period, once yours expires, you can either apply for an extension if you are still studying there, or prepare to come back home or go to another country.
94. What Do I Do If My International Passport Expires?
If your international passport expires while you are still studying, you can easily get it renewed. Just go to your country's embassy in the country where you are studying.
95. After I Travel Abroad, Can I Change My Major?
Yes definitely. Most universities allow students to change their majors (course of study) at least once a year or as much as they need to.
96. Can I Still Graduate On Time If I Study Abroad?
Definitely yes. Most students who study abroad will graduate on time. It is important you plan your courses carefully before departing, as well as the courses you will take abroad, so that you will not interrupt course sequences or miss out on required classes offered during specific semesters if you will be away.
97. As An International Student Can I Work In A Country After Studying There?
Yes. As long you have your work permit, you can decide to get a job in the country. Find out how certain permit works, should you want to extend your stay after studies.
98. Will My International Qualifications Help Me Find A Job In My Country?
Your international credentials should be able to help you get a job in your home country, as long as it meets or even exceeds the required standards of the chosen profession.
99. Can I Decide To Reside Permanently In A Country I Studied In?
Yes you can. If the country has the option for international students to become permanent residents in their country after studies, then you can apply for a residential permit to stay in the country.
100. Can I Process My Visa To Go To Another Country While Studying Abroad?
Yes you can start making arrangements to go to another country while you still an international student in another country. However it is better to do so towards the end of your program of study.
We hope we have answered all your questions about studying abroad as an international student.
Good luck with your application.