Ask these vital questions before STARTING your study abroad journey.

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Planning to study abroad but uncertain about the steps to take? Then ensure you answer these questions to gain clarity on the demands of your journey before you begin. In recent times, there has been a surge in the number of people who desire to go abroad first to study, and then to relocate. However, making impulsive decisions without being properly informed can be catastrophic as many have encountered different difficulties. Hence, the importance of properly planning before you begin your study abroad journey. We’ve outlined and explained a list of important questions you shouldn’t ignore before planning your study abroad journey in this article. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful information and updates. 

Also read: How To Stay Organized While Studying Abroad

Vital Questions to ask before starting your study abroad journey.

Proper planning is necessary before you begin anything at all. The same principle also applies to studying abroad. To make the process smooth and easy for you, it is pertinent that you familiarize yourself with the things to expect and make adequate preparations to avoid being frustrated. We have curated a list of questions that can help make your study abroad journey easier: 

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1. What are my career and academic goals?

As an undergraduate or postgraduate student, before selecting a course, be sure to first clarify your academic and career goals. Some postgraduate students pursue their master’s degree abroad to work in that country and then settle there permanently. On the other hand, others study abroad to get the skills and then come back to their home country to implement what has been learned. As a student, it is important that you identify the course you wish to study and that your previous academic records are also valid in the pursuit of that course. It will be difficult for an arts major to pursue a course in data analytics or robotics because they do not have any prior knowledge, and this will affect their learning process. Some questions you can answer to help with with this step include:

  • What is my area of interest? 
  • What area do I excel most academically?
  • What career path do I want to specialize in
  • Where do I see myself 10 years from now concerning my career choice?
  • With regards to finance, what are the highest-paid jobs currently?
  • Do I have an interest in any of the jobs/skills?
  • What is my motivation for choosing this course? 

2. What school/course am I picking? 

Once you have clarified your career goal, another vital question you need to ask yourself before you begin your study abroad journey is to select the right course and the right school. Selecting your most preferred course will in turn influence the school you are going to pick. Universities offer a wide range of courses, however, some courses are best studied in certain universities, while some universities do not offer certain courses. Hence the reason you ought to be intentional in your selection of your preferred course and school. At this point, you can employ the help of a study abroad counselor to take you through the process. They will work with you in finding the best option that suits you. 

Read also: Choosing The Correct Study Abroad Destination For You

3. What is my financial plan?

Additionally, there is no education without finance. If it is free, it means that someone else is paying for it. Due to the current economic situation in the world today, the cost of education has further increased and improper financial planning will affect the outcome of your goals. This is the reason why having a solid financial plan is necessary before you begin your study abroad journey. Many things will require payment like:

  • Application fees
  • Tuition fees
  • Other mandatory school fees
  • Visa fee
  • Accommodation fee
  • Flight ticket 
  • Transportation
  • Feeding
  • Book fees etc. 

It’s not just enough to have some money, you need to have enough money to settle all the bills. Some of the financing options available to students who want to study abroad include; 

Draw up an estimated budget of the cost, and then source for adequate funding to help you with the process. 

Read also: Understanding Financing Options For International Students

4. Do I have all the required documents? 

Furthermore, an integral aspect that can slow down your study abroad journey is the availability of all the required documents. Generally, when applying for admission into schools abroad, there are requirements students have to meet. In addition to these requirements, some documents must be submitted and verified before your application will be processed. Failure to provide these documents will hinder the application process. This is why it is important to be prepared before starting the application process. The documents that will be requested fp0r varies from school to school but some of the generally acceptable documents that you should have before starting include: 

  • University certificates
  • Academic transcripts
  • International passport
  • Personal statement/Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Medium of Instruction (optional)
  • Letter of recommendation 

5. What are the other additional requirements? 

Apart from the generally acceptable requirements listed above, some schools and the criteria of some courses will demand additional requirements from the students. To be considered for admission, students will have to provide these documents or take these tests. Sometimes, they can be waived, but this is dependent on the selected school’s requirements. These additional requirements include:

  • Language tests (IELTS, TOEFL Duolingo)
  • Standardized tests (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT)

NOTE: For master’s students, some courses require that students have done a similar introductory course during their bachelor’s degree. If these specific courses are not outlined in the student’s transcript then the student will be unable to go ahead with the application. 

6. What does the visa application process entail? 

You certainly cannot travel to another country without a valid visa right? If you’re detected, there’s immediate punishment that comes with it. In addition to all the requirements you need to submit to your school, you also need to process your visa as it is your pass to the new country. The visa application process and requirements are dependent on the specific country you want to travel to. Generally, you can visit the country’s official immigration website to start the process or visit the nearest embassy around you to begin. 

Read also: Student Visa Rule Changes By The USA, UK, Australia France, Etc. For International Students

7. What are my plans for accommodation?

It’s quite easy to focus on your admission aspect and you don’t pay enough attention to accommodation. It’s therefore important that you also make plans for your accommodation during the period you will spend studying. Generally, schools have dormitories/hostels. However, students can also rent spaces off campus. If you have relatives or friends you can put up with, it makes the whole process easy. If you’re going to be getting a personal space, it means that you will consider the cost of furnishing the place in addition to the rent you are going to pay. Whatever route you take, make sure that your accommodation is settled before you leave your home country. 

Read also: Student Accommodation 101: 5 Great Tips For International Students

8. What safety and security measures should I take into consideration?

Every country has its unique rules and regulations. Every country also has its culture. Before traveling to a new country for education purposes, it is important to read about the country and familiarize yourself with its peculiarities. This can save you a whole lot. Also, ensure to observe all the generally acceptable security rules, like not staying out late, not getting drunk in open places, and dressing moderately without attracting unusual attention amongst others. Networking with like-minded friends who have lived in the country for a while can prove useful as they will outline the things you need to take note of. 

9. What are my adaptability and networking strategies? 

Additionally, you cannot afford to be a lone ranger in a foreign country, especially when you’re there for education. You’ll need to network and make like-minded friends. They will help make the journey easy and more fun. Once you’ve chosen your preferred course and school, it’s time to be on the lookout for friends. You can join student groups of your school online, you can reach out to immediate friends from your country who have also traveled too. Attending orientation programs and other endorsed social programs on campus is also a good way to network. Additionally, joining a c-curril=cular activity or volunteering for a course will expose you to interaction with people. However, you must ensure that your friends are trustworthy and they are also working towards the goal you have in mind. 

10. What is my plan after graduation? 

Finally, starting your study abroad journey is not enough, the goals you outlined at the beginning to influence your plans after graduation. Do you plan on staying in the country? If so, then you will have to start looking for employment opportunities. A student visa cannot qualify you to be a worker in foreign countries are there are restrictions to the number of hours you can work in a foreign country. If you desire to pursue a higher qualification, then you should start processing it before your visa expires. Consequently, if you desire to return to your home country to implement the skills you have learned, then you have to start making plans for your return journey. Outlining your goals at the beginning of your study abroad journey will make creating a continuity plan for your life easy. 


In conclusion, as emphasized earlier, it’s not enough to just desire to study abroad. Choosing to study abroad is not an impulsive decision that you can take, hence the importance of proper preparation.  We hope these questions guide you to make the most effective decisions that’ll be helpful to you. 

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Do you want to study abroad? Note that obtaining a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in this field helps to improve your chances in the labor market. Studying abroad is no joke for international students due to the cost. However, you can achieve your dreams without breaking the bank by applying for student loans, which you can pay for as long as 10 years. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. Reach out to us today, and let’s help you get started. 


  • Mercy Awofiranye is a creative writer with over five years of experience. Currently, she specializes in creating helpful content for students in the education space. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and learning new things.