How To Prepare for Admission Abroad: Stages of Admission to Foreign Universities

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What do I need to do and how long does it take to prepare?

Going abroad begins with a desire, and is realized by careful preparation. It is based on a step-by-step plan of action. It takes into account the financial risks and cultural aspect, increases the chances of building a successful career, and instills confidence in the applicant. Let us tell you about the steps involved in preparing for admission to a foreign university, and how much time you need to prepare well and without unnecessary nerves.

  1. Choice of country
  2. Choice of university
  3. Choosing your program of study
  4. Preparing for the language exam
  5. Documents preparation
  6. Submission of application
  7. Visa preparation
  8. Buying tickets and renting accommodation
  9. Conclusions

Step 1 – Choice of Country

The first question to tackle is “where should I study abroad?” This initial step involves a comprehensive analysis of potential countries. It’s a mistake to rely solely on geographical location or conventional prestige. The primary objective is to receive a high-quality education and live comfortably while studying. Let’s discuss the criteria for evaluating potential countries.

Level and Cost of Education

British universities are objectively stronger than Chilean universities, but their programs are more expensive. We need to find a balance between the cost of education and its quality. Or consider Greece, where education is free and prestigious in some areas. Or consider countries with good scholarships (Italy, Germany and others).   

Accommodation: Options and Prices

In the Czech Republic and China, students at selected universities are offered dormitories for free or a minimal fee. In France, the cost is higher. Costs need to be taken into account to plan your budget in advance.

Career Advancement

In some countries there is a high demand for engineers and doctors, in others for IT specialists and teachers. Career prospects determine the job market and salaries. If you plan to move after graduation, look at the situation in the country where you are going. If you are staying at home country, assess in advance your chances of becoming an in-demand specialist.

Time to find a job after graduation

Swiss graduates have to find a job even before they graduate. In Spain you can get a visa – there will be up to 2 years to find a suitable job.

Language of instruction

Depend on your knowledge and financial preferences. In most countries in Europe and Latin America you can study in the official language for free, or for only $ 300-400 per year. Programs in English are often more expensive.

Climate and Culture

The cold realm of Norway or the sweltering heat of Dubai, the friendly Hungarians or the reserved Asians – the choice is yours. It is better to choose an environment in which you don’t have to reshape yourself.

The choice of country takes on average from 1 week to 1 month. This is the first stage of preparation for admission.

Step 2 – Choice of University

Criteria to consider:

  1. Available majors. Studying for a successful filmmaker will work out in the U.S., and for an oilman in Scandinavia.
  2. Student feedback.  Students actively share their opinions about the campus, the teaching system, and other important aspects of student life on social media.
  3. Requirements for applicants. Underestimating or overestimating your strengths is an unfortunate approach. Foreign universities accept applicants with poor grades, but not all. A common sense approach to choosing a university is a better chance of a positive answer.
  4. Ranking of universities in the specialties that interest you. You can use the QS list. Even if the university ranks first in the country on the level of education, it does not mean that you have to apply exactly to it. The quality of degree programs in your field may be better at other institutions.
  5. Additional features and bonuses of universities: student exchange programs, the availability of research centers with the option of internships. The list of additional features is always different, and it is worth paying attention to.

It is wise to choose several suitable universities and apply to all of them at once. You need to strengthen your profile beforehand – the Univibes team is always there to help.

Step 3- Choosing a Program of Study

This step is inextricably linked to the second step. When choosing universities, study their programs carefully. They should align with your academic interests and career plans. A syllabus with detailed course descriptions will tell you a lot about the program. Compare the admission requirements with your resume. It is advisable to choose several universities and several programs at once.

The process of choosing universities and programs will take one to two months with thoughtful analysis.

Step 4 – Prepare for the language exam

language exam for studying abroad

Some students choose the format of learning a language on the spot. In Turkey or Greece you can enroll for a language year and learn Turkish or Greek while in the country. Others need to get a certificate of language proficiency in advance, which will be required by a particular university.

To prove your German skills, you can take the GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT, DELF/DALF TOUT PUBLIC in French, DELE in Spanish

Take into account the minimum passing score of the university and strive to pass with the best result. It takes an average of 200-600 academic hours to prepare for the exam. The exact figure depends on the starting level of preparation and the desired end result.

Step 5 – prepare documents

Successful admission to foreign universities depends not only on grades and desire. Package of documents, portfolio, applicant’s profile, his resume. The list of required documents is usually published by universities on their official resources.

The most common list of documents:

  • A notarized translation of the diploma (if your program isn’t in English).
  • A transcript of the diploma (also notarized) is included in the list if the applicant has previously graduated from an institution of higher education.
  • GPA
  • Language certificate.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Letter of motivation.
  • Recommendation letter.

Additionally, the university can demand: portfolio, financial plan, essay, medical documents. For admission to universities in Spain, you will have to have your diploma homologated – recognized as officially valid under Spanish law.

It is desirable to start preparing and collecting documents in advance. The process takes about 3–4 months. With homologation – up to 6 months.

Step 6 – Send your documents to the university

Documents preparation

When universities are selected and documents are collected, it remains to send applications and wait for the response of admissions committees. Most universities around the world accept applications from applicants through a form on the website or connected portals. For example, in France it is Campus France. In Greece, documents are asked to be sent directly to the local Ministry of Education. In China, applicants for a scholarship are required to register on a special website of the city government and make an application before submitting all the papers to the university.

It takes about 1 week to prepare letters and applications, register on the portals and final mailing.

Step 7 – apply for a student visa

The long-awaited positive answer from the foreign university is received! Now you need to apply for the student visa. The rules for obtaining it depend on the country.

For example, to apply for the German student visa Visum fur Studiumszwecken you need:

  • To collect a package of documents (passport, id card, photos, filled in German questionnaires, health insurance, a receipt of payment of the visa fee, motivational letter to the university, an invitation from the university, confirming financial solvency (block account) ). You do not need to enclose a letter of recommendation.
  • Translate and certify all documents according to ISO standards.
  • Contact the German Consulate.

In the Netherlands, the task of issuing visas is entrusted to universities

Applicants must meet all the requirements of the university for admission and collect the requested documents. Then the management of the educational institution independently issues for the new student a long-term visa MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) and at the same time – a residence permit under the procedure TEV (Toegang en Verblijf).

It is not difficult to obtain a student visa to the UAE

The most talented Arab state promises 5-year residency visas. All universities in the country have departments for foreign students. They need to send:

  1. An official letter of admission to the university.
  2. Medical certificate.
  3. A letter of sponsorship (from the university or a relative living in the UAE).
  4. Permission from the General Directorate of Residence and Alien Affairs.
  5. Additional documents on request.

Step 8: Buying Tickets and Renting Accommodation

Finally, once all the paperwork is in order, you can purchase tickets and find accommodation. Use reliable ticket purchasing websites and trusted accommodation rental services to make the process easier. – Hungarian lowcoster – Irish lowcoster

When searching for lodging, resources will be helpful: – rental marketplace, in operation since 2013 – furnished apartment rental service in the EU


With a strategic approach to preparing for admission, the entire process will take about a year. However, if you already possess a language certificate, certificate, or diploma, there are opportunities to enter universities in countries like South Korea, Germany, China, Greece, the UAE, and Turkey this year.

Univibes advisors can assist you in choosing a university and program, writing recommendation and motivation letters, gathering necessary documents, applying for a visa, finding accommodation, and applying for lucrative scholarship programs. To save time and stress, increase your chances of a positive response, and make your dream of studying in a foreign country a reality, trust in Univibes advisors.

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