10 Most Asked Questions by Study Abroad Aspirants in 2024

Prodigy finance Logo

Prodigy Finance - June, 28 2024

9 min read

About the author

At Prodigy Finance, we're committed to helping international talent to achieve their education dreams. We offer international student loans to qualified individuals attending top master's programmes in the US.

  • Studying abroad can equip you with valuable skills and a global perspective, opening doors to exciting career opportunities worldwide.
  • Preparing well in advance is key to making the most of a study abroad journey. This includes researching destinations, understanding admission requirements, and planning finances.
  • Consider studying abroad as an investment in your future. Explore scholarship opportunities, student loans, and part-time job possibilities to ensure you have enough funds to cover tuition, living expenses, and travel.

Dreaming of studying abroad in 2024? You're not alone! Thousands of students worldwide set their sights on international education every year. It can be an exciting experience filled with a promise of future growth. But, with so much to consider, some questions are bound to pop up.

Whether you are at the absolute beginning, where you are still researching programs, or you need help filling out the application form, we’ve got you covered. With the right information and a positive mindset, you can turn your dreams of studying abroad into reality.

1. How to answer study abroad application questions?

The questions in the application form can vary depending on the program and university. They are generally designed to assess your suitability as a candidate.

Through questions like “Why are you interested in studying abroad?” or “Why do you want to study this specific program?” they are trying to understand your motivations. Instead of just saying you will study anywhere, as long as it's abroad, tell the university why you picked their program as your study-abroad destination. Write with enthusiasm and let admissions know what you are excited to see and experience in your new home.

If you are applying to multiple universities, don’t just copy-paste the same answers. Tailor your answer to the program. If one school offers top-class research facilities while the other one gives you a chance to learn from notable professors, elaborate on these specifics and highlight what you are most passionate about in the respective course. Make sure you do your research in advance.

Some programs might have specific essay-type questions related to the program's focus or the host country. These could be open-ended topics. For example, “Describe a personal quality or skill you possess that will make you a successful student abroad.”. The key is to follow a clear structure for essay-type questions. Add examples and real-life experiences that are relevant to the question, and let your personality shine through in your answers. Double-check your essay for any grammatical errors or typos before you hit that submit button.

2. Which exams should I take to study abroad?

The answer depends upon two things: where you are going and what level you are applying for. Admission requirements can vary between countries, universities and even among programs within a school. Are you applying for an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) or a graduate (master's or PhD) program?

Language proficiency tests: Many foreign universities require candidates to prove their proficiency in the English language if they are from a region where English isn’t their native language. Depending upon their university requirements, students may opt for IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo English Test.

Standardised entrance exams: Undergrad programs in some countries might not need extra exams, but grad schools often do. SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is the most common exam accepted for undergraduate studies. Many US universities may require ACT (American College Testing) as an alternative to SATs. GRE is common for many Master's programs, while GMAT is for business degrees. Medical and Law schools have the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and LSAT (Law School Admission Test), respectively.

The best way to find out for sure is to check the website of the university you want to go to! They'll have a list of all the exams you need to take.

3. How much will it cost to study abroad in 2024?

The exact cost you would end up paying for your degree abroad can vary. However, there are a few things to consider to get an estimate.

First, there is a tuition fee, as well as other mandatory university charges, study supplies or costs for publishing research papers (if applicable).

Then there's living expenses, like food, rent, and transportation. Big cities generally cost more than smaller towns. Factor in airfare and any additional travelling you’re planning during your studies.

Check university websites or contact the financial aid offices of the university you intend to apply to get a detailed breakdown of the cost of attendance. They can even help with information about the living costs for the city and guide you in finding affordable accommodation.

Studying abroad can be a costly affair, especially for students from emerging markets. Aspiring students may explore education loans to finance their studies. Prodigy Finance offers student loans designed specifically for international students pursuing master’s degrees. They don't require co-signers or collateral and follow a credit assessment method that goes beyond traditional credit history checks.

4. How do I choose the right program and university to study abroad?

Picking up the right program and then deciding which university to attend can be overwhelming for students who are just starting out on this journey. Your career aspirations and financial capabilities play an important role when making this decision. Here, we are going to lay down a simplified process to guide you through.

  • Think about what you love to learn: Start by narrowing in on what field of study are you passionate about. This brings you to the step where you research programs that align with your interests and career goals. Leverage resources like university rankings to make a more informed choice.

  • Select the preferred locations: Not only would you be making a choice here between the countries but also the cities further down. Consider factors like culture, language, and climate.

  • Sort through the Finances: Living expenses can vary significantly between cities, even within the same country. University websites can provide detailed information on tuition fees and estimated living expenses. This will help you get a clear picture of the overall cost and potential ways to manage it.

  • Application requirements: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the course. For example, many executive MBA programs require a minimum work experience. By researching application requirements early on, you'll be well-prepared to submit a strong application.

5. Fall or Spring Intake: Which is better for International Students?

Most international universities follow a biannual admission system. This gives international students a double chance to secure admission at a foreign university. So, if you are deliberating between whether to take admission during a Fall or Spring intake, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Course availability: Fall is the most popular time to start. It is a traditional start to the academic year. Most universities offer their fullest range of programs in the Fall, while the choices may be limited for the Spring.

  • Acceptance rate: More students apply for the Fall session, making it difficult to secure admission. Spring intake has higher acceptance rates due to fewer applicants.

  • Time to apply: Spring intake has an application deadline of around April/May, offering more flexibility for students who need additional time to prepare for their studies abroad. Application deadlines for Fall intake typically fall between October and December of the preceding year.

Job and internship opportunities: Students starting in the Fall have more time to secure internships and research assistant positions. In contrast, Spring students may miss out on summer internships due to the need to complete one full semester first. Also, Fall students enjoy more opportunities due to many companies aligning their recruitment cycles with fall intake.

6. Should I live on campus or off campus when I study abroad?

When studying abroad, deciding whether to live on campus or off campus is an important choice. Living on campus has advantages, like being close to classes, facilities, and events. Dorms offer a built-in social circle, with roommates and events right on your doorstep. However, unless offered as free accommodation, on-campus housing can be more expensive.

You can find more independence and flexibility in choosing your living situation when you go for off-campus accommodation. It gives you the option to select as per your budget and preferences. But you'll need to manage your own meals, transportation, and household responsibilities.

So, there are wins for each scenario, but there are other factors to consider, too, like cost, safety, and the type of experience you want. Talk to current students for advice. However, the right choice depends on your priorities and situation.

7. How can I get internships and practical experience during my international studies?

Many universities have partnerships with companies that offer internships to their students. Some programs even include mandatory internships or work placements as part of the curriculum. The best place to start looking for internships would be postings on your university's career centre website. Career centres offer workshops, job boards, and advisors who specialise in helping international students find internships.

Alternatively, reach out directly to companies you're interested in to inquire about program-specific internship openings. Connect with professors in your field and express your interest in internships. You might be surprised by the opportunities you get through genuine conversations.

Practical experience gained during internships can be invaluable when it comes to career growth. However, before you take up any internship opportunities, check for work authorization allowed for your student visa. Some visas might have restrictions on work hours or types of jobs permitted.

8. Can I work while studying abroad?

Earning some cash while studying sounds appealing. The good news is that many countries allow international students to work part-time. But there can be restrictions. Check the rules for your specific destination. Some places might limit the number of hours you can work per week, and some might have specific job types you can (or can't) do.

So if working while studying is your priority, check for permissions based on your visa type beforehand. Here is a brief overview of the general part-time work regulations in some countries:

  • UK: With a UKVI (Tier 4) student visa, you can typically work part-time up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays.
  • USA: On an F-1 visa, on-campus jobs are generally permitted without additional authorization. Off-campus work requires applying for a special work permit (CPT or OPT) after completing a certain period of study.
  • Canada: A study permit allows part-time work on campus without a work permit. Off-campus work requires applying for a separate work permit, but there are pathways for eligible students to gain authorization.
  • Australia: Student visa holders can generally work up to 48 hours per fortnight (two weeks) while their course is in session.

Disclaimer: Country/Visa regulations can change. The most effective way to get the updated information is to contact the embassy/consulate of the country you'll be studying in or your university's international student office.

9. What are the job prospects after studying abroad?

Studying abroad can open up many job opportunities, both in your home country and abroad. A degree from a prestigious global university instantly boosts your resume. But it is not just your degree that holds value; many employers value the global experience that comes along with it.

In the competitive job market, having international experience on your resume can give you an edge over other applicants. During your studies, you build connections with people from around the world. This network can open doors to future job opportunities or collaborations.

Also, studying abroad in a country known for its booming industries can put you in the heart of the action. You'll have access to internship opportunities and potential job placements with major companies right on your doorstep.

10. How to convince my parents to let me study abroad?

While you might be fully committed to studying abroad for higher education, it might take a little more convincing to get your parents on board. Show your parents that you are serious about studying abroad by creating a detailed plan. Research potential programs, universities, and countries. Put forward the benefits that come along with international studies, like career growth and potentially increased earnings.

Address the elephant in the room. International studies can be a costly affair, especially for candidates from emerging markets. Many parents lack resources to fund the study abroad aspirations of their children. You can ease this worry by exploring financing options like scholarships and student loans. Even scholarships may not provide complete coverage of the cost. Education loans can help here to bridge this financial gap. No collateral, no cosigner loans like from Prodigy Finance, puts no liability on parents.

Last but not least, parents tend to continuously worry about their children's well-being. Address their worries by assuring them that you will stay in touch regularly.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. We have addressed the ten most burning questions on the minds of study abroad aspirants. Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Take up all the help you can to turn this dream into reality. There are countless resources available online and through your chosen universities to help you navigate the application process, secure funding, and adjust to life abroad.

Image of webinar host

Talk to us

Wednesday & Friday 12 pm (GMT) | 5:30 pm (IST)
Hosts: Charndre and team

Join webinar
Download our mobile app

© Prodigy Finance Limited 2007 - 2024. All Rights Reserved. Prodigy Finance Limited is incorporated in the United Kingdom (Company Number 05912562) with its registered address at 85 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LT and registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (Reg. No. Z9851854). Prodigy Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm registration number 709641) for certain consumer credit activities. Prodigy Finance loans are offered to eligible borrowers and these loans are governed by English law. Prodigy Finance Servicing, LLC is incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA, is an affiliate of Prodigy Finance Limited and conducts the business of servicing of loans for residents of certain US states. NMLS # 2155440 (Prodigy Finance Servicing, LLC) and NMLS #1611590 (Prodigy Finance Limited) (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). View Prodigy Finance's lending, servicing and collection licenses.