Frequently asked questions about studying abroad.

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Studying abroad comes with its challenges, hence the emphasis on proper preparation before starting your journey. As a prospective international student seeking to study abroad, you will certainly have a lot of questions running through your mind that will need proper clarification. Starting your study abroad journey without proper guidance, or information will lead to you making mistakes, thereby delaying the whole process. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of questions that are likely to bother you on your study abroad journey and their appropriate answers. To access more articles like this guide, subscribe to our newsletter. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Studying Abroad 

Here you’ll find a list of the most frequently asked questions on how to study abroad. Questions that bother on finding the right school, tuition fee payment, financing option, student visas, and so on. We’ve also included the appropriate answers to these questions. 

1. Where should I choose to study?

Identifying the right study-abroad location and choosing the right school is not an easy task. Keep in mind that there are so many factors to consider before you finally identify the right study-abroad location. Before filing for a particular school in a desired location, consider your study goals, the cost of studying, funding opportunities, the duration of your study, the prospects after your studies, the culture and language of your study location, the facility the school has, the school’s ranking, amongst other factors. You can start by looking into popular study destinations like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and so on. It’s going to be a process that’ll take some time. Once you select your most suitable study destination and school, the other processes won’t be as confusing. 

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2. How do I start the process? 

Additionally, after you have settled on a school in your desired location, the next step is to get started. If you have not chosen the most preferred program and course, you should finalize that at this point. You will also need to consider the admission requirements for your chosen course as they differ. 

Once you have selected the right study abroad program, in your desired school at your desired location, the next step is to begin the application process. Generally, the application process usually takes place online on the school’s website. You will find the requirements for the application and the guide on how to go about it on the school’s website. Sometimes, the application process for international students interested in studying abroad might be a bit different and have more requirements when compared to other students. Keep in mind that the application takes several months to complete before you finally get a response. 

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3. What is the Duration of study abroad programs? 

The duration of your study abroad program is largely dependent on the program type, level of the degree and the course you are taking. Sometimes, the location of the school can also affect the duration of the course. Generally, the duration for each course offered at the university is always indicated on their website. 

For example, an undergraduate degree in the UK will take three to five years for students who are studying full time while in the US it is four years. A graduate degree like a master’s degree lasts for two years and a postdoctorate degree lasts for three to four years. You should also keep in mind that there is another shorter program that can last for weeks or a few months offered at the universities. 

4. What are the eligibility requirements for studying abroad? 

Another popular question in the minds of international students is the requirements they need to meet to be eligible for programs abroad. Generally, the eligibility requirements differ based on the individual school’s requirements and the program type. The requirements will also be listed on the school’s website so that students can prepare accordingly. Before you start an application or pay the application fee, first of all, check the eligibility requirements, If you do not meet these stated requirements, you will not be granted admission.  

Furthermore, international students who want to pursue their undergraduate degrees will be required to show that they completed their secondary school education. On the other hand, postgraduate students will be asked to provide their bachelor’s degree in a relevant field before they can apply for a postgraduate course. 

Language is also another important requirement. If you are from a non-English speaking country, you will be asked to take the specified language test with a required cutoff mark and vice-versa. 

Also, keep in mind that some courses have some subject-specific requirements that students must have done in their previous education level before they will be able to apply. 

5. What are the required documents I will be asked to submit on my application? 

Again, it is certain that you will be asked to upload a list of documents together with your application before your application is considered. You should go through this list before you begin your application and prepare the documents so that they do not delay your application process. The documentation requirements also differ based on the school’s requirement, program type and the course you are applying for. Oftentimes, students are asked to follow the following documents: 

  • Bachelor’s degree certificate (for postgraduate students)
  • Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education
  • Transcripts (for postgraduate students)
  • A statement of purpose
  • Passport photos for identification
  • International Passport
  • CV/résumé
  • Academic references/ letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test results
  • Language proficiency test results and so on. 

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6. Do I need to apply for a student visa?

International students who are from countries outside their study destination geographical location or continent will need to apply for a student visa. However, EU citizens planning to study in another EU country will not need a student visa to gain legal access to the country. 

Additionally, if the length of your program is three months or less than that, then a tourist or a visitor’s visa might suffice for you. It is also important that you go through the immigration website of your study abroad destination to familiarize yourself with the requirements of a student visa and to begin the application process. 

7. Do I need to learn a new language to study abroad? 

Again, just like we stated earlier, if your study abroad destination/country’s language is different from your native language you will need to take the language proficiency test. Also, you might need to learn the language in some cases. However, there are exceptions. Some non-English speaking countries offer some courses taught in the english language. If your chosen course falls under this category, then you might not need to be so bothered about learning a new language. Consequently, for adaptation purposes, you should learn as much as possible about the language and the culture. 

Some of the common language proficiency tests include: 

  • DSF
  • TestDAF

It is also important to note that you must only take the language test required and recognized by your chosen school. 

8. How do I find the right accommodation option?

Sometimes, your chosen school might have readily available accommodation facilities on campus. You can go ahead and space a space before resumption. However, if they do not have one then you should consider looking for vacant flats or hostels around the school area. If you have a small budget, you can look for shared accommodation options. The student support team and the student union in your school should be able to provide guidance and offer advice at this stage. 

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9. When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

Also, you must start the application process as soon as possible. Schools always include the deadline for the submission of applications on their website. You should start early and finish early so you can plan for other things. Application deadlines differ according to the school’s requirements. For programs starting in the fall (September/October), applications are likely to open from (January/February) and close (June/July). 

10. How much does it cost to study abroad?

The cost of studying abroad is also largely dependent on the study destination, program type, and course you are applying for. The average tuition fees for international students studying in the UK start at £10,000 (~US$14,200) a year, with an additional £12,180 (~US$17,300) per year needed to cover living costs (with more needed if you study in London).

For international students studying in the US, the average yearly tuition fee is US$25,620 at public universities and $34,740 at private universities with an additional recommended budget of at least $10,800 to cover your living costs. In some countries, there are no tuition fees at all. 

11. What are the financing options available to me? 

One of the major restrictions for international students who desire to study abroad is the financing options available. Well, if you cannot incur costs the costs attached to studying abroad, there are different financing options you can access as an international student and they include: 

12. Do I need to prepare for an admissions Interview?

It is quite unlikely to be asked to come for an admissions interview as a prospective international student. However, if your program is competitive, there is a possibility that it will be required. Additionally, some universities hold virtual interview sessions for the benefit of prospective international students. 

13. After receiving my letter of acceptance, what next?

Once you’ve aced the application process and you have gotten admission, the next step is to start preparing to travel. Get your travel documents, book your flight tickets, and pack your bags. 

Your study abroad counselor can also put you through what is required of you at this phase. Don’t panic and do not fret. You can also reach out to colleagues who have successfully gone through this phase before for guidance. Keep in mind that you will need a valid international passport and visa and other required documentation for your travels. For more information about your student visa visit the immigration website of your study abroad destination. 

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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 begin the process. 


  • 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.