How to Prepare for Admission Abroad: Stages of Admission to Foreign Universities

May 16, 2023 Reading time : 8 min

Going abroad begins with a desire, and is realized by careful preparation. It is based on a step-by-step plan of action. It takes into account the financial risks and cultural aspects, increases the chances of building a successful career, and instills confidence in the applicant. Let’s discuss the steps involved in preparing for admission to foreign universities without unnecessary stress.

Step 1: Choose a Country

The first step is a comprehensive analysis of countries. Relying only on geographical location or conventional prestige is a mistake. The main thing is to get a quality education and to live comfortably while studying. Consider the criteria for evaluating countries:

Level and Cost of Education

American universities are objectively stronger than Chilean universities, but their programs are more expensive. You need to find a balance between the cost of education and its quality. Or consider Greece, where education is free and prestigious in some areas. Or consider countries with good scholarships.   

Accommodation: Options and Prices

In the Czech Republic and China, students at some universities offer dormitories for free or for a minimal fee. In France, the cost is higher. Costs need to be taken into account so that you can plan your budget in advance.

Career Advancement

In some countries, there is a high demand for engineers and doctors, in others – for IT specialists and teachers. Career prospects determine the job market and salaries. If you plan to move after graduation, look at the indicators of the country where you are going. If you are staying here, assess in advance your chances of becoming a sought-after specialist.

Time for Employment After Graduation

Swiss graduates have to find a job before they graduate. In Spain, you can get a visa – it will take up to 2 years to find a suitable position.

Language of Instruction

It depends on your knowledge and financial preferences. In most countries in Europe and Latin America, you can study in the official language for free, or for only $ 300-400 per year. Programs in English are often more expensive.

Climate and Culture

The cold kingdom in Norway or the grueling heat in Dubai, the friendly Hungarians, or the reserved Asians – the choice is yours. It’s better to choose an environment where you don’t have to reshape yourself.

Step 2: Choose a University

If finances are not limited, the issue is resolved quickly. The list of the most expensive universities is the top 10 most prestigious universities in the world. Applicants without millions in their account should study the international ranking of universities.

Other criteria to consider:

  1. Available majors. Studying for a successful filmmaker will work out in the U.S., and for an oil major in Scandinavia. 
  2. Student feedback.  Students actively share their opinions about the campus, the teaching system, and other important aspects of student life on social media.
  3. Requirements for applicants. Underestimating or overestimating your strengths is an unfortunate approach. Foreign universities accept applicants with poor grades, but not all. A common sense approach to choosing a university is a better chance of a positive answer. The problem is, sometimes grades don’t reflect the true potential of an applicant. In this case, the essay writing service can come to your rescue. It provides assistance in preparing quality essays that can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants. 
  4. Ranking of universities in the specialties that interest you. You can use the QS list. Even if the university ranks first in the country on the level of education, it does not mean that you have to apply exactly to it. The quality of degree programs in your field may be better at other institutions.
  5. Additional features and bonuses of universities: student exchange programs, and the availability of research centers with the option of internships. The list of extras is always different, and it is worth paying attention to. 

It is wise to choose several suitable universities and apply to them all at once. When choosing universities, study their programs carefully. They should match your academic interests and career plans. A syllabus with detailed course descriptions will tell you a great deal about the program. Compare the admission requirements with your resume. It is a good idea to choose several institutions and a few programs at once.

Step 3: Prepare for the Language Exam

Some students choose the format of language study on the spot. In Turkey or Greece, you can enroll for a language year and learn Turkish or Greek while in the country. Others need to get a certificate of language proficiency in advance, which is required by a particular university.

GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT in German, DELF/DALF TOUT PUBLIC in French, and DELE in Spanish can be taken. If the chosen universities require another language certificate (IELTS, etc.), you need to think about where to take them in the CIS and put the cost of the exam and travel to the line of costs in advance.

Take into account the minimum passing score of the university and aim to pass with the best result. It takes an average of 200-600 academic hours to prepare for the exam. The exact figure depends on the starting level of preparation and the desired end result.

Step 4: Prepare Documents

Successful admission to foreign universities depends not only on grades and desire. Package of documents, portfolio, applicant’s profile, and resume. The list of required documents universities usually publishes on their official resources.

The most common list of documents:

  • A notarized translation of the diploma. A transcript of the diploma (also notarized) is included in the list if the applicant has previously graduated from an institution of higher education. 
  • GPA – GPA of a university diploma.
  • Language certificate.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Letter of motivation.
  • Recommendation letter.

In addition, the university may require a portfolio, financial plan, essay, etc. Writing these papers can be a daunting task, so to make sure you submit them properly and on time, it is best to seek help from a cheap paper writing site

To be admitted to a university in Spain you will have to have your diploma officially recognized as valid according to Spanish law.

It is desirable to start preparing and collecting documents in advance. The process takes about 3-4 months. With homologation – up to 6. 

Step 5: Send Documents to the School

Once you have chosen the universities and gathered the necessary documents, the next step is to submit your applications and await responses from the admissions committees. Most universities around the world accept applications through a form on the website or connected portals. For example, in France, it is Campus France. In Greece, documents are asked to be sent directly to the local Ministry of Education. In China, applicants for a scholarship are required to register on a special website of the city government and make an application before submitting all papers to the university. 

It takes about 1 week to prepare letters and applications, register on the portals, and final mail. 

Step 6: Apply for the Student Visa

The long-awaited positive answer from the foreign university is received! Now you need to apply for a student visa. The rules for its obtaining depend on the country.

For example, for getting the German student visa Visum fur Studiumszwecken you need:

  1. Collect a package of documents (passport, internal passport, photos, filled-in German questionnaires, health insurance, a receipt of payment of the visa fee, motivational letter to the university, an invitation from the university, confirming financial solvency of the certificate). You do not need to enclose a letter of recommendation.
  2. Translate and certify all documents according to ISO standards.
  3. Go to the German consulate.

In the Netherlands, the task of issuing visas is entrusted to universities. Applicants must meet all university requirements for admission and collect the requested documents. Then the school management independently draws up a new student long-term visa MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) and at the same time – a residence permit under the procedure TEV (Toegang en Verblijf). 

It is not difficult to obtain a student visa in the UAE. Arab state promises the most talented students 5-year residency visas. All universities in the country have departments for foreign students. They need to send:

  1. An official letter of admission to the university.
  2. Medical certificate.
  3. A letter of sponsorship (from the university or a relative living in the UAE).
  4. Permission from the General Directorate of Residence and Alien Affairs.
  5. Additional documents on request.


With a competent approach, it will take about a year to prepare for admission abroad. However, if you already have a language certificate, a certificate, or a diploma, you can still have time to enroll in the universities of South Korea, Germany, China, Greece, the UAE, and Turkey this year.

Zayn Tindall
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Zayn Tindall