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Studying abroad: How to apply


Choosing to study a degree abroad means being organised. Applications to study a degree abroad take much longer to process than studying in your home country, so you’ll need to prepare well in advance.

Here’s what you need to know about applying to study in the USA, Europe, Australia or Asia.

Applying to study in the USA

Opting to study a degree in the USA is the number one choice for most international students looking to get a respected qualification and improve their job prospects.

Admissions to study degrees in the USA are similar to many European systems, with an application deadline of January. However, many universities in the USA offer earlier deadlines of October or November, so check with your chosen institution.

Most students will choose to apply directly through university websites. However, more than 500 US universities and colleges are registered with the Common Application, a site where you can centralise your application procedure.

Expect to be asked to submit an SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score as part of your application. You can register through the SAT College Board to take the test.

Most universities in the USA charge potential students £30-£60 per application.


Applying to study in Europe

EU nationals are allowed to study and live in any other EU country on the same basis as home students, so choosing to study a degree in Europe can be an extremely attractive idea, particularly for students looking to head to countries like Sweden and Denmark where studying is free, or the Netherlands or Germany which have low tuition fees.

You should apply directly to your chosen university, with application deadlines normally between January and March for start dates in September/October of the same year. Specific deadlines include:
 

  • France – January
  • Germany – January
  • Italy – April
  • Spain – June or December
  • The UK – January
     

Applying to study in Australia

Choosing to study a degree in Australia is a fairly straight-forward, but occasionally time consuming, procedure. Most applications are made directly to the university, but you could also use an education agent.

Agents will help you through the application process, including telling you what documents you’ll need and supporting you when it comes to dealing with the institution. However, some agents will charge you a fee for their services.

Due to the distances involved, most Australian universities will not require you to interview for positions. However, some specialist courses may ask you to take part in a Skype interview to test out your suitability.

Most universities in Australia share the same academic year, with courses starting in February and lasting until November. Consequently, most final application deadlines are in December.
 

Applying to study in Asia

Asia boasts several of the world’s top universities and has many highly sought after study abroad destinations, such as China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Application costs and deadlines vary depending on where you choose to study a degree in Asia. Tuition fees in Asia are generally lower than in Western Europe and the USA, particularly in destinations such as India and Malaysia.

Some specific application deadlines include:
 

  • China – June
  • Singapore – June
  • South Korea – September/November
     

What to do next

If you would like more information, help and advice on applying to study in any of these destinations, sign up for our Free Application Service and we’ll send you tailored information and help you through the entire application process.

Alternatively, find out more about different degree options or search our country guides.