ALL IN ONE GUIDES FOR VISA REQUIREMENT SCHOLARSHIP ABROAD INFORMATION
A growing number of students are choosing to study abroad, benefiting from a high-quality education while immersing themselves in a new culture (and often a new language), as well as gaining a global mindset and expanding their future employment prospects.
If you’re thinking of studying abroad, you may not know where to start, or how to apply to universities in different countries. The application process will vary depending on the country, and finding out what steps to follow isn’t always straightforward. But don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll cover all the information you need to apply to university abroad – including admission tests, interviews and visa requirements. Before you know it, you’ll be all set to jet off to your study destination of choice.
Choosing where to study abroad is not always easy. As well as your own personal inclinations, you should consider the costs of studying in that country (both tuition fees and living costs), your graduate career prospects (is there a good job market?), the selection of higher education institutions
on offer, the local language, and your overall safety and welfare.
Make sure your chosen destination is a good match for your interests and personality, to really give yourself the best chance of loving your study abroad experience.
You should also think about the kind of lifestyle you want during your studies. Make sure your chosen destination is a good match for your interests and personality, to really give yourself the best chance of loving your study abroad experience.
Once you’ve got some ideas about where you want to study, it’s time to focus on choosing a program and a university. You may also want to consult national or regional rankings, for universities in your chosen location(s).
The next step is to look closely at the courses offered by the institutions you’re considering, to make sure they match your own interests and aims. You’ll also need to check the admission requirements and costs, and try to find out about the local area and student life.
MAKING AN APPLICATION
Once you’ve decided on a shortlist of programs and institutions to apply to, you should start to plan your applications. Application processes differ depending on the university, country and study level, but generally each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website. In some cases there is a “two-step application process” for international students. This means you must submit two applications: one for a place at the university and one for a place on the course itself. This should be clearly stated on the university’s website. If you still have questions about the process, you should contact your chosen university directly.
Application processes differ depending on the university, country and study level, but generally each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.
At the end of this article, you will see procedures on how to apply for some specific countries…
Entry requirements vary significantly between universities, so be sure to check the guidelines provided by your chosen institution university before submitting anything. Speaking generally, if you are applying for an undergraduate degree you will be asked to show that you have completed your secondary education to a standard that is in line with the required grades (e.g. your GPA, Alevel grades or equivalent) for the program you’re applying to. For master’s degrees, you will usually need to show you’ve completed an undergraduate degree to a good standard.
Depending on the course, you may be required to have studied a specific set of subjects, which are deemed necessary preparation. If you are unsure about whether your qualification is accepted, contact the admissions department of the university.
You may also be required to complete additional exams. These could include language proficiency exams (if you are studying in a second language), standardized tests (such as the SAT or GRE), national exams, or university-specific exams.
Depending on the country, university and study level, you may need to take an admissions test. This is likely if your chosen program or institution is especially prestigious, meaning there is a lot of competition for places. In France, for example, you’ll need to take admissions tests if applying
for a place at one of the grande coleus and grands establishments (great schools and establishments).
Depending on the country, university and study level, you may need to take an admissions test.
SOME OF THE MOST COMMON ADMISSIONS TESTS INCLUDE GRE (GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION)
If you study at postgraduate level in the US, you’ll need to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). GRE scores are used to assess the suitability of applicants for graduate-level study across many different subject areas. Some departments may ask applicants to take one of the GRE Subject Tests, while others require the General Test. The Subject Tests assess knowledge in a particular field, while the General Test assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. You cannot pass or fail the GRE, but universities and departments may
require applicants to achieve a specific score. If you are unhappy with your score you can re-sit the test (a maximum of five times over a 12 month period).
GMAT (GRADUATE MANAGEMENT ADMISSIONS TEST)
Business school applicants may need to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test). Again there is no pass or fail score, so the score you need will depend entirely on the school to which you are applying.
SAT AND ACT
The SAT and ACT are standardized tests used for undergraduate admission at universities and colleges in the US, for both domestic and international students. They are both designed to test critical thinking and reasoning skills, and both are widely accepted by US universities. A new version of the SAT will be available from May 2016, focusing equally on mathematics and vocabulary. The main difference between the two is that the ACT includes a science section, as well as sections on English and mathematics. While the SAT has typically been more widely taken outside of the US, the ACT is a growing option among international students.
LSAT (LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST)
The LSAT is aimed at students who wish to study at law school at Juris Doctor (JD) level. It is required by law schools in the US and Canada, as well a growing number of law schools elsewhere in the world. It is designed to measure the skills necessary for success at law school and can be taken at test centers around the world on up to four dates during the year.
MCAT (MEDICAL COLLEGE ADMISSION TEST)
The MCAT is for prospective medical students in the US, Canada and Australia. It is offered 28 times per year, via computer at test locations in these countries and abroad. It tests critical reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as knowledge of scientific concepts and principles. Since medical schools generally won’t review applications until they receive MCAT scores, it’s a good idea to take this test before deciding where to apply.
If English is not your first language and you’d like to study abroad in English, you’ll need to prove your proficiency with a test such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE Academic. Your university should provide guidelines about the test and score they require as part of the entry requirements for your chosen course. Your university should provide guidelines about the test and score they require as part of the entry requirements for your chosen course. Likewise, if you’d like to study abroad in another language in a nonEnglish speaking country, you’ll need to prove your proficiency in that language. For example, in Germany most teaching is in German, and you can prove your proficiency with a test such as the TestDaF (formerly Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, meaning “Test of German as a foreign
Even if you study in English in a non-English speaking country, it’s still recommended to learn as much of the local language as you can. This will make settling in and communicating much easier, and is also a great opportunity to add to your language skills.
As a prospective international student, it is relatively unlikely that you’ll be expected to travel to another country to attend an admissions interview in person. However, this is not unheard of, especially for the most competitive programs. Some universities hold international interviews in various locations around the world, so you may be expected to attend one of these. There is also a growing trend of using video interviewing. This is like any other interview, with a prearranged time and date, but will take place online, via an application such as Skype. If you need to attend an admissions interview, here are some dos and don’ts!
DO: Show Your Passion For Your Subject Showing enthusiasm helps you stand out and will leave a
lasting (positive) impression on the admissions tutors who interviewed you.
DO: Be Ready To Think On The Spot Some admissions interviewers may test your ability to think on
your feet by asking unusual questions. They will be interested in seeing your thought processes and how you explain your views.
DON’T: Assume Your Previous Achievements Will Do The Talking Awards are good, but you shouldn’t rely on them. The admissions officers want to gain more insights into your personality, strengths and ambitions. Use this opportunity to show who you really are, and what motivates you.
DO: Research The Course In Depth Perhaps it goes without saying, but you should make sure you know what you’re applying for, having read the prospectus and full course details. Demonstrate this by mentioning specific parts of the course that appealed to you.
DON’T: Assume You’ve Failed Interviews can be tough, but remember that this is just one part
of the admissions process. And if you found it difficult, that’s often a good sign – It means you’ve challenged yourself to think, rather than just giving stock responses.
Also known as a personal statement or statement of purpose, the application essay is your opportunity to sell yourself and show what makes you unique. Use it to explain why you want to study this course at this particular university, and how it will help you achieve your ambitions. In some cases you will need to answer a particular question or write about a given topic, but generally application essays focus on why you’re applying.
In some cases you will need to answer a particular question or write about a given topic, but generally application essays focus on why you’re applying.
To write a good application essay, you should:
1. Show Off Your Strengths.
You should write about your experiences, knowledge and future plans, all with a positive outlook which shows your passion for your chosen subject.
2. Explain Why You Chose The Program / Institution.
To make a good job of this, you must research the program, faculty and facilities, so you can talk in detail about specific aspects that attracted you. Try to avoid general statements that could apply to any university.
3. Be Honest.
Don’t say you can do something if you actually can’t. The admissions officers want to read about the real you, and the truth always comes out sooner or later!
4. Ask Someone To Proofread It.
Once you’ve written your application essay, ask a friend, family member or teacher to proofread it. They should check for errors, make sure it reads well, and suggest additional points to mention.
You may be asked to provide some supporting documentation as part of your application. Once again, requirements will vary depending on the country and university, but international students are often asked to provide the following:
Passport photos for identification
A statement of purpose
Academic references/ letters of recommendation
Certificate and transcripts of completed qualifications
Proof of language proficiency
Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)
Congratulations, you’re in! Now all that’s left to do is to prepare for your studies, pack up your life into a single (large) suitcase, get your travel documents in order, apply for your student visa, research your accommodation options, and look for funding… don’t panic, it’ll all be
Ensure you have a valid passport and travel insurance, as well as a student visa if you need one.
In fact, as soon as you gain acceptance from a university, the first thing you should start to consider is your travel documentation. Ensure you have a valid passport and travel insurance, as well as a student visa if you need one. You will usually need to show your official acceptance letter from the university as part of your visa application, so keep this safe.
SEE CHECKLIST HERE
1. INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT
You’re not stupid, we know that. Of course you’re not going to forget your passport. But what you may need to ensure in the run-up to your study abroad program is whether your passport will remain valid for the duration of your travels.
Many countries, in visa applications and such, will require you to have at least six months extra on your passport beyond the end of your studies, so make sure you allow for your study time, any additional travelling time, plus an additional six months. If you do need to renew your passport, make sure you apply as soon as possible to avoid being without a passport come start of term. Processing times vary from country to country but can often take six weeks or more. If you wait until you’re abroad before renewing your passport, you’ll have to face embassy visits, queuing and even more form-filling than usual – the last things you want when in an exciting new country!
2. STUDENT VISA
Depending on your chosen country of study you will likely have to procure a student visa in order to be allowed in the country for the full length of study. Often, if applying for an undergraduate degree at an accredited university, the school will assist with the student visa process.
This is not always the case however, so make sure to ask. If no help is offered, get straight onto the job of securing your student visa yourself. To do this you will need to contact the embassy or consulate of your country of study and may need to attend an appointment as part of your student visa application. Here you’ll be asked to bring documentation such as a university letter of approval, the aforementioned valid passport, proof of funds, and, occasionally, a return ticket for your journey home at the end your studies.
When considering your finances, you should make sure you have money that is safe and accessible for the duration of your travels. Carrying the local currency is a must, but make sure you don’t rely solely on cash or withdraw large amounts of cash at a time. When converting your money make sure to do it before getting to the airport, where exchange rates are not the best. This can often be done through your local bank, travel agents, bureau the change, post office, some supermarkets or even a specialist online provider. To get the best rates, price comparison websites such as Money-supermarket can help. As well as cash, you should also have a bank account which you can access abroad with a cash card or credit card, through local ATMs or an international bank branch. Most major banks are internationally recognized, but you will often be charged a small fee every time you
withdraw money or pay with your card. Make sure your card is valid for the duration of your trip and that you let your bank know about your travels before leaving to make sure your card isn’t blocked.
Once you know how you’re going to access your money while away, you’re going to have to spend it wisely. Whether you’re funding yourself through personal savings, a student loan, a scholarship or income from a part-time job, keeping a budget is one of the best, and hardest, things you can do to avoid being penniless at the end of each term.
Before you depart, make a list of expenses, including everything from accommodation costs to daily food and entertainment. Figure out how much money you’ll have to live on per week and, if this isn’t enough, consider cutting down on non-essentials or researching further funding options.
If this talk of your finances has got you worrying, you may want to consider looking at international student scholarships to find out whether you are eligible to receive additional funding for your studies. Your first call should be to your new university’s website, where information on all of their available student scholarships, grants and bursaries can be found. Many of these awards are subject-specific and/or needs-based, and sometimes exclusive to high-achieving or minority students. If your school doesn’t offer anything you are eligible for, outside funding is also an option. Companies such as International Scholarships provide comprehensive lists of externally funded student scholarships around the world.
All student scholarships are heavily subscribed to, however, so make sure to research scholarships well in advance of leaving for university. You’ll need to work hard on your application, and pay close attention to application deadlines.
5. INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IDENTITY CARD (ISIC)
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) should be on every international student’s study abroad checklist, as it offers discounts on products and services around the world. Check online to see whether the International Student Identity Card would be useful to you, and discover discounts for public transport, travel insurance, international calling cards and a number of other useful things, from phone repairs to Segway tours! The International Student Travel Confederation, the organization behind the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), has offices in 106 countries worldwide and can offer help with many travel-related issues you may face as an international student.
6. TRAVEL INSURANCE
It might just look like an unnecessary cost, but, in reality, travel insurance is essential. For a small, one-off payment, travel insurance will cover you if anything happens to you during your studies – be this illness, injury or theft – and will make sure you don’t spend your entire life savings on a trip to the doctor’s! In many countries, health insurance is also a requirement for international students, and you may be asked to prove you have sufficient cover.
To make sure you’re fighting fit before leaving home, it’s wise to visit your doctor for a full medical check-up and to make sure you’ve had all the vaccinations you may need for your chosen study destination. For far-off countries, these vaccinations will come at a price, but rest assured your doctor will tell you if they are completely necessary. If you need ongoing care while you’re away, make sure your doctor sends a copy of your medical records abroad. Foreign prescriptions are not always honored so it is advised that you allow yourself extra time to collect your prescription before your medication runs out.
If you have chosen to study abroad in a country in which you do not speak the local language, fear not! Often, in many European countries as well as much of Asia, you’ll find that the locals speak at least a little bit of English. Regardless of this, you should consider taking some lessons in the local language before you depart, in order to fully interact with and immerse yourself in the culture of your study abroad country. While learning a language used to mean taking an evening course or reading / listening to a number of ‘teach yourself’ products, nowadays smartphone apps such as Duolingo offer comprehensive language learning methods for you to pick up in your own time, with a mixture of listening, speaking and writing to help you develop a more rounded knowledge before you leave. Should you leave your smartphone behind however, make sure to pack a phrasebook. Being able to converse with locals politely will no doubt be extremely useful, especially if lost in a new town or city!
First and foremost on every student’s study abroad checklist should be the means and knowledge to be able to get around and explore your new country and its culture. In order to be able to travel on a budget, not only will you have to book your initial tickets (including your return!) before you travel, but also you should consider researching means of travel for you to use once in the country.
The internet is a great tool for this, allowing you to compare prices of transport all over the world. You may also find that buying a rail-card will come in handy if you plan on doing a lot of travelling by train, the same with bus or coach cards. Purchasing deals such as this before leaving home will ensure you don’t have to dig into your travel money once out there. Make sure, however, that you only buy what you’ll definitely need!
Not all international students will need a student visa. If you’re an EU citizen planning to study in another EU country, for instance, you do not need to a visa. However, as a rule of thumb, if you come from outside of your chosen country’s geographical region/continent, you will probably need to apply for a student visa. This usually only applies to longer periods of international study; if you’re participating in a shorter exchange, lasting up to three months, a tourist or visitor visa may suffice.
Often, admissions departments will help you to prepare for your travels, and in some countries, they even apply for the student visa on your behalf. For more information on what documentation you need, visit the government website of your chosen country to find information for travelers, visitors and international students (e.g. gov.uk for UK travel information). All the travel information you need should be listed on these official sites, including whether or not you need a student visa.
You can also ask your university for guidance. Often, admissions departments will help you to prepare for your travels, and in some countries, they even apply for the student visa on your behalf. Make sure you check with your university, however – don’t assume someone else is going to sort everything out!
HOW TO BEGIN YOUR STUDENT VISA APPLICATION
To get your hands on the application forms and other useful information about student visa requirements, you should visit the official embassy or consulate website of your country of study. This website should have all the iformation regarding visa applications, forms, documentation and
interviews. If you’re struggling to find the guidelines, contact the embassy or consulate by phone, email or in person. If you have any other queries about the type of visa you need or any more general questions regarding the practical side of studying abroad, you can also ask for help from the university you plan to attend. Most universities will provide support for international students going through this process. In some countries you can even apply for your visa through the institution, meaning that much of the bureaucratic work is done by the university itself. To find out if this is the case, contact the international admissions department of the university, and ask whether they can help you at all with your application.
FILLING IN YOUR APPLICATION
To ensure you give yourself the best chances of success, make sure to fill in your student visa application as thoroughly as possible, and taking into account all the specific student visa requirements for that country. If you make a mistake in your application, make sure you correct it as soon as possible. If you fail to supply a required document or make an error filling in the forms, this may lead to your application being delayed or even rejected.
Once you have sent your application, be ready to promptly answer any further questions the visa authorities may have (check your phone, emails and post regularly) and make sure you have some free time to attend an interview in the coming weeks.
MEETING WITH THE EMBASSY
Although procedures vary, a face-to-face interview held in your home country is common among many countries’ student visa requirements. This interview is intended to ensure you are serious enough about your study abroad program and to gauge whether you were completely honest in your application. For this arranged interview, you will need to provide a number of documents. These typically include the following;
1. PROOF OF FUNDING FOR THE ENTIRETY OF YOUR STAY
This is required to prove to the authorities that you have enough money to cover tuition fees, rent and living costs, either by showing evidence of a student loan, scholarship, savings or a family member who is funding you. The amount required varies significantly depending on the country in which you plan to study abroad.
2. PROOF OF ACCEPTANCE ONTO YOUR PROGRAM
This will most likely be in the form of a letter, and must come from a recognized university or higher education institute.
3. VALID PASSPORT
This is your way in and out of the country, so don’t lose it. Often it is required that your passport be valid for at least six months after the end of your studies abroad.
4. OTHER REQUIREMENTS
In some instances you will also be asked to provide a clean bill of health from your doctor, English-proficiency test results, and proof of your intention to return home after completion of your studies (i.e. a return flight ticket).
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER LENGTH OF STUDY
When applying for a student visa you should make sure to take into account how long your studies will last. Often if your course or program lasts less than six months, you will be eligible for a shorter-stay visa, while for very short study programs you may just need a regular tourist visa or no visa at all. With this in mind, you should also think about whether you want to extend your visa to allow yourself some extra time to travel or work in the country after completing your study abroad program. If your visa expires before you leave the country, you may encounter some stern officials on your departure and maybe even a fine!
STUDENT VISA FEES
Not many countries give out visas for free, so make sure you’re ready to pay an application fee. Although this differs from country to country, expect to pay in the region of US$100 – $400.
In special cases, student visa fees can be waived, dependent on your country of origin.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR SPECIFIC COUNTRIES
Below are a few examples of the guidelines you should follow to get started with studying abroad in some of the world’s most popular destinations.
APPLYING TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES STUDENT VISAS
To study in the US, international students will need to obtain a student visa. While the process of applying for a visa can be daunting or confusing at first, there are thousands of visas successfully issued every year to incoming international students.
The step-by-step process for securing a US student visa is as follows:
1. Apply to and be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-approved school in the US. Once you’ve been accepted, you’re ready to apply for your visa – make sure to allow at least six months for it to be issued before your studies commence! You’ll most likely need the F-1 Visa, appropriate for university students at bachelor’s, master’s and PhD level. Other student visa types are M-1 (for non-academic or vocational study or training in the US) and J-1, for students on exchange programs.
Your university will enroll you in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and you will be sent a SEVIS – generated document called Form I-20 if you are eligible for an F or M visa, or Form DS-2019 if you are eligible for a J – visa.
2. Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee
This fee is currently US$200 for F-1 and M-1 applicants and US$180 for J-1 applicants. It needs to be paid at least three days before submitting your visa application.
3. Complete a US student visa application along with recent photo(s)
Next you’ll need to complete the online visa application form DS-160, providing the following personal details:
• Name and date of birth
• Address and phone number
• Passport details
• Details of travel plans and travel companions
• Details of previous US travel Your point of contact in the US
• Family, work and education details
• Security, background and medical health information
• SEVIS ID and address of US school/program you intend to enroll in (as printed on I-20 or DS-2019 form)
• A recent photograph of yourself that follows the requirements
Take care to answer all the questions accurately and fully as you may have to reschedule your visa interview appointment if you make any errors.
If you get confused when filling in the application form you may find answers to your questions on the travel.state.gov website.
4. PAY THE VISA APPLICATION FEE
You now need to pay the non-refundable, non-transferrable Machine
Readable Visa Fee, or ‘MRV’ fee of US$160 – your embassy will let you know where you should pay this.
5. SCHEDULE AND ATTEND A VISA INTERVIEW.
The next step is to schedule and attend an interview at your local US embassy. You can check with your embassy to find out what you’ll need to bring, but generally the documents required are:
• Passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US
• Signed SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 (including individual forms for spouse/children)
• Form DS-7002 (for J-1 Trainee and Intern visa applicants only)
• SEVIS fee receipt
• DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID number
• MRV fee payment confirmation receipt
• Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter
• Two photographs in the format explained in the photograph requirements, printed on photo quality paper.
You do not need to prove that you can speak English to gain your visa, although this is a requirement for university applications.
ATTENDING YOUR VISA INTERVIEW
As with any interview, be on time and dress formally. The consular officer at your visa interview will make the decision about whether to issue a visa. The officer will ask questions relating to your ties to your home country, financial plan, English language skills, choice of university and the academic and professional goals you have for studying in the United States, so be prepared to explain these calmly, truthfully and unambiguously. You’ll usually also be asked to provide your fingerprints, through an ink-free digital scan.
AFTER YOU’VE RECEIVED YOUR VISA
You can receive your visa a maximum of 120 days before your course’s start date, but can’t actually enter the US until 30 days before your course starts unless you have a visitor visa. It’s important to note that gaining a visa does not guarantee you’ll be admitted into the US; it allows you to
travel to a US port of entry to request permission to enter the country. On the plane, you’ll need to fill in a Customs Declaration form (CF-6059). Don’t forget to bring your important documents – including your passport (of course), your SEVIS form, proof of financial resources, and evidence
of student status.
The one fly in the ointment of US education is that tuition fees are not cheap. Private US universities often have just one rate which applies to all students, regardless of nationality. At public institutions, international students and out of – state residents should expect to pay more than in-state students (students who are US nationals and residents of the state where the university is based).
HSBC estimates the average yearly cost of university fees in the US is $33,215. Fees towards the lower end of the spectrum are most likely to be found among public institutions, within state university systems. College Board reports that annual tuition fees at state colleges for 2016-17 average $9,650 for state residents and $24,930 for everyone else. This compares to an average cost of $33,480 at private non-profit colleges. The cheapest options of all are two year community colleges,
where average fees for 2016 – 2017 are just $3,520. However, these institutions usually only offer associate’s degrees – you would need to go elsewhere to complete a full bachelor’s degree, master’s or PhD.
All US universities are now legally required to include a fees and financial aid calculator on their websites, allowing students to get a rough idea of how much their intended course of study would cost, and what aid they may be eligible for. These “net price calculators” can be accessed via the government’s College Affordability and Transparency Center, which also provides details of the US universities with the highest and lowest tuition fees and net costs.
Depending on where you decide to study, the cost of living in the US can vary considerably. Believe it or not, living costs in the US are typically lower than those seen in some other popular study destinations, with New York University giving an annual average estimate of $24,000. Iconic destinations such as New York City and San Francisco will be particularly expensive, but you might find them worth the high price tag for the culture and lifestyle. Suburban and rural areas in the South and Midwest generally have the lowest cost of living, with big cities bringing considerably higher expenses regardless of which state they’re in.
To cover living costs, international students are often able to seek work on campus, but work off-campus is restricted by visa regulations.
Your course provider may be willing to help you to apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course; ask to find out if this is the case. You can apply for the visa up to three months in advance of the start date of your course. Check the average visa processing times for your country, and be sure to allow plenty of time. UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system. In order to meet all the UK student visa requirements, you’ll need to provide:
DETAILS OF YOUR PASSPORT A RECENT PHOTOGRAPH
An unconditional offer of a place on a course offered by a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, evidenced by a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)
Proof of adequate English language skills, demonstrated by passing one of the Secure English language Tests (SELT). You will not need to provide this if you’re from an English-speaking country such as the United States or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree
in an English-speaking country. Proof you have financial support throughout your stay in the UK (worth 10 points)
Proof of financial support can take the form of bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor, showing you can cover your tuition fees, accommodation and living costs. You must prove that you have £1,015 (~US$1,230) per month for living costs if studying in the UK outside of
London, and £1,265 (~US$1,540) a month for living costs if studying in London.
You may also be required to produce documents showing your academic qualifications, and to attend an interview or biometric test, which includes a digital scan of your fingerprints. Depending on your country of origin, you may also be required to have certain medical vaccinations or undertake a tuberculosis test.
If you’re 16 or 17 years old and applying for the Tier 4 (General) student visa, you must have written consent from your parents/guardians that you can live and travel independently.
You must apply online for the Tier 4 (General) Student visa, ensuring you’ve read the full guidance here. You can apply up to three months before the start of your course.
UK STUDENT VISA FEES
The current fee for the Tier 4 (General) student visa is £328 (~US$400), with an additional £328 fee per person for any dependents. You’ll also need to pay a healthcare surcharge of £150 per year (~US$180) in order to access the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay.
The Short Term Study Visa costs £89 (~US$110) for the six month option and £170 (~US$210) for the 11 month visa.
USING YOUR UK STUDENT VISA
When you enter the UK, a UK Border Agency officer will put a stamp on your passport that states the duration of your stay in the UK. For example, if your course is 12 months or more, you can stay for the full duration of the course plus an additional four months. You cannot extend your stay beyond this period.
Before you arrive, you must make sure you are fully immunized, remembering to pack your immunization record in your hand luggage in case you are asked to show the Border Agency officer at your UK port of entry. You should also carry the documents relating to your studies (including your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS number), your proof of finances and your proof of accommodation.
Depending on where you’re from, you may also be required to register with the police within seven days of arrival in the UK.
When completing your online visa application form, you will need to provide evidence of the following according to the Australian student visa requirements:
Evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living costs. From July 2016, the amount you need to prove you have for living costs (separate from tuition and travel) is set at AU$19,830 (~US$15,170) for a year. If you have dependents (such as a spouse and children), you will
also need to show evidence of being able to cover living costs for them, including school fees. Alternatively, you can show evidence that your spouse or parents are willing to support you and that they earn at least AU$60,000 (~US$45,850) a year.
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT
If you’re not from an English-speaking country (and haven’t completed at least five years’ study in an English-speaking country) you’ll need to prove you can speak English to the required level. The DIBP website lists eligible tests, with possibilities being the IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE). The score you will need will depend on whether you are starting a full degree, doing a foundation course, or enrolling on a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
Some students may be asked to take a medical and/or a radiological checkup to show they are in good health (this applies, for example, to those who intend to train as a doctor, dentist or nurse). If told to do so, you must attend an appointment with a doctor who has been approved by the Australian immigration department. Except those from Belgium or Norway, all students are obliged to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You may purchase this cover through your university, or directly from one of the five approved providers: Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia,
Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC. The cost of this health insurance cover will vary depending on the provider and how long you purchase cover for.
Students from Sweden who have purchased health insurance through CSN International or Kammarkollegiet will not need to purchase OSHC. Belgian and Norweigan students are also not required to purchase OSHC as part of their visa requirements.
Australian student visa requirements stipulate that you must be of good character to enter Australia. This includes a criminal record check, to make sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also need to acquire a penal clearance certificate (or police certificate) or get a police statement, and may be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.
AUSTRALIAN STUDENT VISA DOCUMENTS
The DIBP website has a document checklist feature that will provide you with a list of documents required for your specific circumstances.
Typically, students must submit the following:
- Completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
- Paid visa application fee – currently AU$550 (~US$420 in most cases)
- Copy of passport bio-data page (some students may be asked to physically provide their passport)
- Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
- Evidence of sufficient funds
- Evidence of health insurance cover
- English proficiency test results
- Criminal record check results
- Four recent passport-sized photographs
After you have assembled and scanned your supporting documents, you’ll need to create an account and apply with the online “ImmiAccount” application system.
Most visa applications take four weeks to process. If you study in Australia for a course that is longer than 10 months and finishes at the end of an Australian academic year (usually mid-December) your visa will usually be valid until 15 March the following year.
If your course is longer than 10 months and finishes in January to October, your visa will usually be valid for two months following the completion of your course. Under some circumstances, it may be possible to apply for a further visa at the end of your course (consult the DIBP website for more details).
USING YOUR STUDENT VISA
You can enter Australia on your student visa up to 90 days before your course starts. Within seven days of arrival, you must inform your education provider of your resident address, and also inform them within seven days if you change address. While on a student visa, you may work up to 40 hours per fortnight during term time, and full-time in the holidays. The visa is automatically issued with permission to work, although you are not allowed to begin working until your course has started, and should not rely on work in order to support yourself or your family while in Australia. If you’re studying a master’s by research or a PhD you do not have any work restrictions. Keep in mind that any work required as part of your course is not included in the limit. Voluntary / unpaid work is not included in the 40 hour limit if it is genuinely voluntary, for a non-profit organization and for the benefit of the community.
While in possession of a student visa, you have certain obligations to fulfil: you must remain enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course, attend classes regularly, make satisfactory course progress and maintain OSHC health insurance. There are also certain visa conditions you and your dependents must comply with; breaching a visa condition may result in the cancellation of your visa.
To apply online, you’ll need a credit / debit card and the ability to create electronic copies of your supporting documents (i.e. using a scanner or camera). The visa office in your country will provide specific instructions about which documents you need to provide; this can vary depending on
The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:
- You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit. You can get this online, by printing out a form, or by requesting a paper form from your university, which will also provide advice on this subject.
- The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you are from a designated country (find out if you need to get one here), but this will not complicate matters too much as it’ll be processed at the same time as your study permit application.
- In order to get your application package you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you’ll need to provide.
- If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your
- code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fees amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.
- When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send
- your documents to CIC. You’ll need a printer or a scanner to do this.
- Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
- Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visaoffice.
Additional Canadian student visa requirements Canadian student visa
- Applicants from certain countries will need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).
- Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record – you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
- Unless you’re from the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to prove you have a valid passport which allows you to return to your country of origin after your course is complete. Two passportsized pictures are also required, with your name and date of birth written on the back.
- Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be C$10,000 (~US$7,070) for every year of your stay (C$11,000/~US$7,780 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.
To prove you have this money, you can provide any of the following documents: Bank Statements, Evidence of a Canadian account in your name if the money’s been transferred, a bank draft in a convertible currency, proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees, a letter from a person or institution providing you with money, or proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are undertaking a Canadian-funded program.
- Study and work permit holders from visa-exempt countries who received their permit on or before 31 July 2015 will have to get an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) as of 15 March 2016 to
return to Canada. Applicants who get their study or work permit on or after 1 August 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit.
APPLYING TO STUDY IN GERMANY
Applicants within the European Union (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein):
If you are applying to study in Germany from within the EU (including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein) you do not need to obtain a German student visa before entering the country.
Applicants from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea:
If you are from any of these countries you do not need a visa to study in Germany. However, you will need to register at the local Residents’ Registration Office and the Aliens’ Registration Office (Ausländeramt) to obtain a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) within two weeks of
arrival in the country
Applicants from Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino or Taiwan:
If you are from any of these countries, you will only need a German student visa if you plan to work before or after your degree. In this case you should apply for the visa in your home country via your local German embassy or consulate. Both visa holders and non-visa holders will also need to apply for a residence permit within two weeks of entry. Students from Taiwan must have a passport which includes an identity card number.
APPLICANTS FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
If you are from any other country not listed above, you will require a student visa for Germany. You should apply for this via the local German embassy or consulate in your home country. The typical fee for a visa is €60 (~US$65).
HOW TO APPLY FOR A STUDENT VISA FOR GERMANY
If you need a student visa for Germany, you should apply as soon as possible, and at least three months before your move to the country. To do this you’ll need to contact the local German embassy or consulate in your home country.
The documents you typically need are:
Completed application form
Letter showing you’ve been accepted by a German university
Transcript of academic record
Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany (if studying in German)
Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while living in Germany (€8,700 per year, which is roughly~US$9,390)
Certificate showing you’ve purchased health insurance
Declaration of authenticity of documents submitted Dependent on the embassy, you may also need to show proof that you don’t have a criminal record. One of the ways in which you can prove you
have sufficient funds to study in Germany is by depositing a security payment into a blocked account – this means you cannot withdraw the money until after you arrive in Germany.
If you are planning to study in Germany for more than 90 days you should apply for a National Visa for the purpose of study rather than a Schengen Visa, which will only allow you to stay in Germany for three months. As well as your student visa, you will also need to apply for a residence permit on arrival.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT
Once in the country, you will have to register with the local Alien Registration Office (Bürgeramt or Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of arrival. Here you must apply for a residence permit for study purposes. The documents you’ll need are similar to those needed for the visa:
Proof of valid private or public health insurance
Certificate of enrollment from your university
Proof of sufficient finances
Current visa, if you have one
Certificate of health (if applicable)
Your tenancy agreement (if applicable)
Bio-metric passport photos (if applicable)
Residence permit fee (check the current rate beforehand to make sure you bring enough money)
Although you will already have been asked for proof of language proficiency as part of your university application, you may need to provide this information again in order to gain your residence permit. For courses taught in German, international students need to provide a TestDaf or DSH score, or, for English-taught courses, you’ll need to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score.
This residence permit is valid for two years, and, if needed, should be renewed before it expires. Residence permits initially cost €110 (~US$120) and then the fee is €80 (~US$87) for each extension.
Students from the EU/EEA (as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein) do not need a residence permit, but must register with the local Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt (registration authority) within a week of their arrival. You’ll need your registration document from your university for this. EU students also need to prove they have enough money (€8,000 per year), statutory health insurance if under 30, and proficiency in their course’s language of instruction. Certain countries have bilateral agreements with Germany, which mean insurance policies in the student’s home country will be applicable in Germany.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is CHRIST HAN, an Educational Consultant, CEO/Admin of https://findscholarship.xyz who strive to assist students across the Globe on how to apply for admission and scholarships to study abroad.
We decided to compile this great tool to assist students in their search for benefiting institution to attain their desired degree, visa requirement depending on the location and procedure on how to apply to for available scholarships.
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