Deciding if, where, when and how to study abroad is easier than you may think!
With so many study abroad program types and destinations available to you, and the long check list of tasks you need to complete before actually heading overseas, it can be difficult to decide where to start. Get yourself organized with these seven steps that will help you plan ahead for your time abroad.
If you answer “yes” to most or all of the questions, study abroad is probably a great choice for you. If you answer “no” to a lot of the questions, it might be time to do more honest soul searching before you decide. The reality is, studying abroad is a unique, adventurous opportunity to try something new and grow as both a student and a person, and it also comes with some challenges such as being out of your comfort zone and away from family and friends.
Meet with your consultant to ensure you can stay on track to graduate on time, plan the coursework you need to take before you go abroad, the coursework you should save and take while abroad and the coursework that you will need to take after you return. A good consultant will not force you to study in a particular destination and in fact gove your various options depending on your needs. It is also advisable to do research online and ensure that all that you have been told is actually true! Talk with your parents about why, when and where you want to study abroad. Deciding to study abroad is often a family decision, and having an open conversation with them can help both you and them plan the best study abroad trip for you as possible. It’s important to come to the conversation prepared with your points, and be ready with answers to their questions .
There are so many destinations to choose from when deciding where you want to study abroad that it can often be an overwhelming choice. It might be best if you first narrow down the type of location that interests you the most, and then make your decision. For example:
Check the test dates, register for these, as early as possible. This approach helps as you would also then have the timesheet by when you MUST finish your preparations. I would believe IELTS / TOEFL exam requires 15 days to 3 months for preparing whereas GMAT / GRE / SAT may take anytime between 1.5 months to 3 months (depending whether you enjoy or hate Math and English). Another benefit of taking the test early is that if you had a bad test day, you know you have time to give it again. Well, that does not mean you keep appearing for the test. Ensure that your first shot is the best one. While you are preparing for the test, you can start collecting your application documents. Meet your consultant for the document checklist as per the shortlisted options and ensure your application process is started will in time. Many universities issue conditional admissions so the students can apply before appearing for the final exams or the above mentioned tests. This will help you save time. If you apply early and have been a good student during your academic career and / or have been great in some sports or any other activities, it is always worth giving it a try for some scholarships. You may be in for some useful luck!
Once you have had your admission offer letters and / or decline letters, check when you have to reply to them or accept the offer. It is assumed that through the above process you would have prioritized your choice of University. The day you hear from your best choice, accept it or wait until you receive replies from most (if not all) and then decide carefully. Accept your offer and check with the University if they wish to supply you with any other useful information that may help you. Many Universities may require you to make an advance fee payment, which you must pay and get the next letter (of confirmation) that arrives from the University. Once you have had your admission offer letters and / or decline letters, check when you have to reply to them or accept the offer. It is assumed that through the above process you would have prioritized your choice of University. The day you hear from your best choice, accept it or wait until you receive replies from most (if not all) and then decide carefully. Accept your offer and check with the University if they wish to supply you with any other useful information that may help you. Many Universities may require you to make an advance fee payment, which you must pay and get the next letter (of confirmation) that arrives from the University.
Check the visa process while you were applying for the Universities. It is important to prepare for your visa application in advance as some countries like UK and Australia will require you to show the funds for at least a specific period before you can apply for your student visa. Take the appointment as required (in advance) depending on how soon your documentation will be ready. Once you have applied, it is only in the hands of the visa officers to decide. If you have been accepted go to the next step; otherwise check the reasons for refusal (if available) and prepare to reapply.
If you wish to live in the Universities' accommodation, you must apply for this in advance. Thus, as soon as you have an offer, ensure that you also check this bit of information at least. Check out and buy your insurance, do your medicals, buy forex, attend a pre-departure briefing (Girnar Global hold pre departure program for all students) and get answers to questions like how to open a bank account, what is the life going to be like, about food, etc. Ensure that you also book your tickets as soon as you get your visa (or at least block book it) because most students would be travelling at the same time like yourself (evidently) and there might just be some rush. You should also try and get in touch with students who who are already studying at the Universities you have selected. They are very useful and helpful too when you ask them some questions about the place, the university, the cost involved, etc. Online networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and such could be very useful during these times. Again, please understand select your sample correctly. Eg. You must explain to the student you are talking about what you think and your plans. Do not blindly accept it. Because they may have had different plans altogether when they would have decided to study at their Institution. Also, please ask more than one student at a specific university to ensure more students have similar opinions or not