Studying abroad offers a unique chance to explore new cultures, gain valuable experiences, and unlock exciting opportunities. Yet, the application process can be overwhelming, which is why having a well-structured study abroad timeline is crucial to ensure a smooth journey toward achieving your dream.
It’s no secret that studying abroad requires advanced planning, and the application process typically starts at least a year in advance. Starting early gives you ample time to research and choose the right course, prepare for standardized tests, apply to universities, secure scholarships, arrange finances, and book accommodation. With so many things to consider, a study abroad timeline can help you stay on track and ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines.
In this blog post, we will guide you through every step of the study abroad timeline and provide helpful tips to make the process smoother and more manageable for you.
12 Months Before Flying Out
The journey to studying abroad starts with deciding on the course that best suits your personal and professional interests. It’s essential to research various courses and take the time to consult with your family and career consultant to help you make an informed decision. This step ensures that you choose a course that aligns with your aspirations, and goals and is suitable for your future career path.
Apart from selecting the course, researching the best universities that offer the course you want to pursue and the lifestyle you desire is also vital. Take the time to explore different universities and consider factors such as location, campus culture, academic excellence, and extracurricular activities. This step ensures that you choose a university that not only meets your academic needs but also fits your lifestyle preferences.
Preparing for Standardized Tests: For students who plan to study abroad, passing standardized examinations like the SAT, GRE or GMAT, TOEFL or IELTS, or PTE is a must. Although studying for these exams could seem intimidating, many internet resources can help you prepare properly and increase your chances of succeeding. Start your exam preparation as early as possible to give yourself ample time to study, practice, and refine your test-taking techniques.
Shortlisting Universities: The next step is to narrow down the list of colleges to those that meet your criteria once you’ve decided on the course you want to follow and the universities that best suit your needs. Do some research to learn more about the prerequisites and application procedure for universities. Majority of colleges have a long list of criteria, including completing a form, giving letters of recommendation (LORs), drafting a statement of purpose (SOP), transcripts, and meeting entrance requirements. Before applying, double-check that all the required paperwork is in order.
Applying for Scholarships: Applying for scholarships early on can significantly reduce the financial burden of studying abroad. Find out which scholarships you are eligible for and apply to them as soon as possible. Keep in mind that scholarships are competitive, so make sure you put in the effort to create a compelling application. Be sure to research and apply for scholarships well ahead of the application deadlines to increase your chances of being awarded.
Receiving Offers: Within 60 days of your application, you should receive offers from the universities you have applied to. Once you have reviewed your options, you can pick the best university out of the ones that picked you. After that, you can initiate the bank loan process. Since this process can be time-consuming, it is best to get your finances sorted early on while you have started the university application process.
Overall, choosing the right course and university, preparing for standardized tests, completing a strong application, and applying for scholarships are all important steps to take 12 months before departure. By giving yourself enough time to complete these tasks, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in your journey to study abroad.
8 Months Before Flying Out
The next stage is to start getting ready for the visa procedure after shortlisting universities and getting offers. This procedure can take some time and calls for a number of papers, including financial & educational documentation.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the amount of money needed as evidence of funds changes based on the country that you are visiting for your study. Researching the particular criteria for the country in which you will be attending school is essential, as is making sure you have the necessary funds deposited into your bank account well in advance.
For example, let’s say you’ve decided to study in the United States. The US government requires international students to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their education and living expenses while studying in the country. The amount required can vary depending on the university, location, and duration of the course.
To prepare for this, you can start by researching the estimated cost of living in the US and the tuition fees of the universities you’re considering. This will give you an idea of the total amount you’ll need to deposit in your bank account.
Once you have an estimate, you can start depositing the required amount in your bank account at least 8 months before your planned departure. This will give you enough time to accumulate the necessary funds and provide ample proof of finances for your visa application.
In conclusion, depositing the required amount of money for proof of finances is an essential step in the visa process when planning to study abroad. It’s crucial to research the specific requirements for the country you’ll be studying in and start preparing well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush or complications.
6 Months Before Flying Out
Congratulations, you’ve made it halfway through the process! Now it’s time to take care of some essential tasks.
Booking Your Seat and Accommodation: Once you have received your acceptance letter from your dream university, pay the deposit fee to secure your seat in the course. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, so make sure to complete this step as soon as possible.
Afterward, start looking for accommodation. Some universities offer on-campus accommodation, while others do not. If your university does not offer accommodation, you can search for options off-campus. Make sure to choose a location that is convenient and safe.
Paying the Total Balance of University Fees: Paying the total balance of university fees is crucial to ensure that you can enroll in the course without any hassle. You can either pay the fees through personal funding or apply for a bank loan. If you plan to apply for a bank loan, make sure to start the bank loan process at least 2 months before planning to pay the fees to avoid any last-minute delays.
Applying for Visa Invitation Letter: Different countries have varying timelines to issue the Visa Invitation Letter. For instance, if you’re planning to study in Europe, the UK, or Canada, you need to apply for the Visa Invitation Letter at least three months in advance. On the other hand, if you’re planning to study in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Singapore, you need to apply for the Visa Invitation Letter at least five months in advance.
Applying for the Visa: Once you have received the Visa Invitation Letter from the university, it’s time to apply for the student visa. This process may take some time, so make sure to have all the required documents ready and apply as soon as possible. Remember that a student visa is crucial for your study abroad journey, so make sure to complete this step with care.
In conclusion, six months before flying out is a crucial time to take care of essential tasks such as booking your seat, finding accommodation, paying your university fees, and applying for your student visa. By staying organized and following the study abroad timeline, you can make sure that you’re on track
4 Months Before Flying Out
Congratulations! You’ve received your joining dates and approval on your visa application. It’s an exciting time, but there are still a few important things to take care of before you leave for your studies abroad.
Firstly, it’s essential to book your flight tickets as soon as possible to avoid any surge in prices. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where flight prices skyrocket just a few weeks before your departure.
It’s crucial to think forward to how you will bid your loved ones farewell as you get ready to depart. Whether it’s a modest gathering or a lavish goodbye party, be sure to take the time to treasure these moments and develop memories that will last a lifetime.
And of course, don’t forget to celebrate this important life achievement!
Make sure you’re prepared and organized before you start packing. Make a list of everything you will require for the trip and your first few weeks abroad to get started. Passports, visas, tickets, and all other necessary travel paperwork should be packed.
Overall, remember to enjoy the process and take in every moment of this exciting time. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, and with proper planning and preparation, you can make the most of it.
In conclusion, studying abroad is an exciting and life-changing opportunity that can open doors to new experiences and career prospects. With the right planning, preparation, and guidance, you can make the most of this opportunity and achieve your academic and personal goals. We hope that this study abroad timeline has provided you with a comprehensive plan to help you through the application process. Remember, every step you take is a step closer to your dream of studying abroad. If you have any questions or need further assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always here to help you. Good luck on your journey!