Deciding on a Career choice is one of the biggest & most important decisions you can make in a lifetime. With such a life-changing impact this decision imposes before you, this task may seem daunting & insurmountable. Many people struggle with tough choices because they really want to have no regrets.

Although not everyone gets it right 100% of the time, you can mediate this by gathering information so that you can think things through. Making a well-informed decision will lessen the odds of disappointment later on.

Education systems differ by country and to make things more complicated, every state and/or university has their own policies and procedures. Applying for a Student VISA involves an understanding on how the country’s immigration process works and may require a myriad of confusing documents and procedures.

Putting the time in on the front doing research, application process and VISA processing times all takes time – and it could very well take several months for the entire process. On top of this, some countries & particular courses may have early application deadlines that close months before intakes.

The importance of gathering accurate information, formulating a reliable study plan and applying in as early as possible cannot be stressed enough! Fortunately, you do not have to embark on this perilous journey yourself – Help is readily available by engaging one of our friendly & knowledgeable counsellors.

Guide: 8 Steps to Apply for Your Favourite University

Step 1: Reflection and Self Evaluation

The first step is to find out what your key strengths & interests are. Consider the skills, educational qualifications, and personal attributes that you possess needed to be successful in various fields. Being good at your chosen profession is most often not enough – aim to be exceptional. Doing something you have an interest in & love will certainly help to fuel your passion & motivation to persevere in order to succeed where others will not.

Key takeaway

  • Consider your lifestyle preferences, personality type, work-related values, and financial needs.
  • Conduct field research meeting with people in different positions or industries that you are interested in and asking them questions about their job.
  • Gain first-hand experience on what an occupation is like by work-shadowing for a short duration.
  • Know the market trends & job opportunities.

Step 2: Explore and Research Options

There are thousands of available courses and universities worldwide.  Think about what sort of university you would like.  Here are some things to consider:

Key takeaway

  • Check entry requirements carefully. Be aware of academic & english requirements and be realistic with your predicted grades.
  • Whether you’d prefer a full-fledged campus or one located in a big city.
  • A highly-ranked university may not necessary always be the best fit. Universities usually have several select areas in which they excel in.
  • Location. Which country? Would you like to live in a big city or smaller town?
  • Preferred climate.

Seek help - Engaging a Further studies Counsellor will help to fast-track the process

Step 3: Application

Once you have narrowed down your choices to a select few it’s time to apply.

Key takeaway

  • Know your application deadlines. Which one applies to you, and what you need to do by then.
  • Consider applying to an additional university with lower entry requirements than your predicted grade for insurance as a fall-back plan.
  • Complete an application form & submit your forecast/actual results along with IC/Passport.
  • Read the application procedure carefully & pay close attention on what other documents may be needed. Any missing or incorrect documents may result in your application process being delayed.
  • You may need to prepare additional supporting documents depending on the Universities you are applying for (UKVI IELTS, Birth Certificate etc.)  Certain documents may need to be translated to english or certified.
  • You may be required to submit a personal statement. Be aware of what is expected.  How it should be written & how much to write.  References may be needed.

Applying through an education agent doesn’t affect your application any differently compared to applying in by yourself.

In fact, Counsellors offer guidance to avoid mistakes & we may even get the application fee waived!

Step 4: Consider your Options

Wait for the University to process your application. If your application is successful, a letter of offer will be issued.

Pay close attention to the details.  Interpret & understand the information on the offer including first installment fees payable, indicative total tuition fee & any other miscellaneous costs.   Take note of terms & conditions, refund policies & acceptance deadlines.  Verify & check anything that you don’t understand as it may be very important.

The letter of offer may be conditional or unconditional.  Conditional offers indicate what other criteria or conditions you must meet before you can accept the offer.

Additional documents may be needed in order to satisfy these conditions.

Key takeaway

  • Please note that at this point in time, there is no obligation to accept/attend the University.

Step 5: Acceptance

If you have decided to accept your offer, signatures are required on the acceptance forms provided with your offer letter.

A deposit (refundable if VISA is denied) is usually required in order to confirm and secure your place at the University. Payment methods are usually stated on the offer letter.

Once you have submitted your acceptance documents & payment remittance, your chosen University will require a few working days to issue a Confirmation of Enrolment/Acceptance to Study. These confirmation letters are needed in order to apply for your student VISA.

Step 6: Applying for Student VISA: (only for international students)

You will need to pay an application fee to immigrations for a student VISA.

Be sure to apply for the correct type of VISA.

Various documents are needed here, particularly for under 18 students requiring appropriate welfare and accommodation arrangements to ensure proper care is provided in line with government regulations.

Certain documents must be translated and/or certified true copy.

Where applicable, biometrics appointments and medical check-ups must be booked and a fee is payable directly for these services.

Key takeaway

  • Once all the required procedures have been done, it may take up to 1.5 months for your student VISA to be approved and released by immigrations.

Immigration regulations are not flexible and any omission of required documentation and/or incorrect formats may result in the delay or outright rejection of your student VISA.

Counsellors will guide you to minimize the chances of something going awry or tackle any problems that pop up.

Step 7: Accommodation

Booking an accommodation as early as possible to land the best deals and rooms is important. You will be staying at this accommodation for a good period of time whilst adjusting to the new environment.

  • A conducive study environment in a convenient location will certainly have a palpable impact on your university experience and lifestyle.
  • Universities usually have their own accommodation options on-campus (inside the university grounds) or off-campus (hostels or apartments that have an agreement to house students).
  • There may be accommodations where the living spaces are specifically designed and exclusive only to students.
  • Another option is to arrange your own accommodation with landlords who are willing to rent or share their property.
  • U18 students may only stay at accommodations approved by their attending Universities.  Know which these are!  Some Universities will also require you to engage the services of a professional carer/guardian.
  • There will usually be a wide range of accommodations & room types available to fit your preferences & budget.
  • Take note of the distance to the University you are attending and possible transport & routes to get around.
  • Be sure to assess the locality of your accommodation for ease of access to eateries, banks & convenience stores.

We have partnered with 2 global student accommodation providers to help you find your perfect home during your studies.

Step 8: Travel Arrangement & Final Checklist

Boarding a plane to your destination & checking into your accommodation sounds like a seemingly simple task.  For some students, this will be the first time to have ever stepped outside alone.  It is therefore imperative that travel arrangements are made properly in order to facilitate a smooth transition and ensure the safety of students in transit.

  • Take note of your orientation date, time & venue.  Book a flight to arrive before orientation day.
  • Get cheaper air fares by booking flights early. (Advisable only when VISA is approved)
  • Obtain travel & health insurance.  Be aware of what is covered in your health insurance package.
  • Book your airport pickup if required.
  • Inform your accommodations when you are expected to arrive & check-in.
  • Be aware of how to open a bank account.
  • Exchange enough currency to last at least 2 weeks.
  • Start packing! Check what you can or cannot bring through immigrations & customs. Depending on where you’re heading there may be different items you’ll need to bring. (e.g. Adaptors, type of clothing)
  • If available, obtain your University student portal user & login.   Register and enrol for your course.
  • Familiarize yourself with the overall cost of living & set yourself a realistic daily budget.
  • Ensure all your documents are in order.  You must bring your application documents & original results transcripts/certificates.  Make a copy to leave behind with someone you trust.
  • Get tips to help you prepare for life and study at your new environment!

Want to have a checklist to help you plan?

You can download the guide above in a simple PDF version that can guide you if you wish to make the preparations yourself. Alternatively, if you wish to skip the hassle and let us handle it for you, kindly fill out your details below and we will contact you soon!