Certainly studying abroad is a unique opportunity in the life of those who want to leave their home countries and live a different lives. However, without a doubt, it is something that requires a lot of planning and organization. To help you prepare, check out our comprehensive guide on how to study abroad, what scholarship opportunities are available, necessary documents, tips for working and studying abroad and how to organize your travel budget.
Whether for a language course or a postgraduate course, studying abroad makes all the difference in the curriculum. To ensure that the experience goes smoothly, check out the first steps below to prepare yourself in advance:
Determine your personal goals
The first step when deciding to live in a foreign country or area to study is to determine what your personal goals are. At this stage, it’s worth considering what type of course you want to take. The most common are:
- University graduate;
- Educational tourism;
- Short-term courses: languages or exchange;
- Postgraduate: specialization, master’s, doctorate, PhD or MBA;
- University exchange: lasting from six months to one year.
Choose a destination
After defining your goal, choose the country in which you would like to live. It is important to evaluate all options, considering not only your student profile, personal preferences and the cost of living in the country, but also the academic part as well as the quality of the chosen program.
In this sense, it is essential to do a good research before choosing the country to study abroad. Research the proposals of the institutions and compare the courses offered. If you determine to study in th southern hemisphere or Asia, you can go to CatEight.com which enables you to find schools and universities located in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. After choosing the right school/university, you can submit application directly to the school/university or via an education agent.
Register for the desired course
With the chosen course and institution, check all the necessary registration requirements in advance. The best educational institutions allow course applications to be done online, which makes the process even more practical.
In general, it is recommended to prepare at least 1 year in advance, especially if the application is to a university abroad and that requires passing the entrance exam. Also research if there are scholarship options available and apply in advance.
Did you choose the country, city and educational institution? It is necessary to prepare the necessary documents to study abroad. Although they change depending on the country, type of visa and course chosen, the most common documents are:
- Valid passport;
- Specific visa;
- Proof of accommodation / housing;
- Travel insurance;
- Proof of financial means to stay in the country;
- dmission letter from the educational institution.
However, before preparing the documentation, find out about the mandatory requirements and the type of visa required on the embassy website or at the consulate of the desired country while still in Brazil. It is also possible to obtain information from the chosen educational institution or even from agencies that offer study abroad programs.
It is also important to be aware that, in general, courses lasting up to 180 days only require a tourist visa, depending on the country chosen. On the other hand, courses longer than six months need a specific study visa with the date the student can stay in the country. The main difference is that the tourist visa does not allow the student to work in the country. In countries like the United States, for example, it is necessary to have a specific visa to live in the country during the study period.
Is it possible to study abroad for free?
Studying abroad requires a high investment, but these expenses can be significantly reduced through full or partial scholarships for graduate students who choose to study abroad. Therefore, it is worth researching the scholarships offered by the foreign educational institution or even the government and the conditions to be able to study abroad for free. Additionally, you ca take part-time jobs during your study to cover your living expense. For example, Australia enables international students work for 40 hours fortnight.
How to study and work abroad
Studying and working abroad is an enriching experience and attracts tens of thousands of students all over the world every year. There are numerous opportunities for those interested in gaining more experience in the field or simply finding a job to help with expenses outside your home countries. The choice will depend on your objectives, destination country and specific visa type rules.
Depending on the country, course duration and type of visa, it is possible to find work in your area of interest or according to your education to complement the study programme. The workload will also vary according to the rules of each country and course chosen. You can intern within specific companies or work with services such as hotels and restaurants, for example.
Pay attention to the language
Another important point to consider is that, depending on the country chosen, if classes will be taught in different or in the local language, it is necessary to have a minimum knowledge of another language. In fact, some institutions require proof of fluency to be admitted to the course.
There are several internationally accepted exams such as IELTS and TOEFL, proficiency tests used to assess whether the student has the necessary fluency to read, write, interpret, understand and speak in English. You can search for this information on the website of the institution you wish to apply for.
Prepare your budget
The cost of studying abroad is the biggest concern for those leaving Brazil because, in addition to the expenses of the course itself, it is also necessary to consider the cost of living abroad. To avoid a headache, it is important to prepare a detailed budget, considering all the expenses involved in moving to the chosen country, such as:
- Payment of fees for visa, passport and other documents;
- Travel insurance;
- School fees/tuition fees;
- Course value;
It is also essential to check the cost of living in the chosen country. That way you will have a sense of your monthly expenses. Some websites inform the costs of food, transport, leisure activities and other basic expenses in several countries.
Keep an eye on the exchange
Those going to study abroad need to prepare the budget carefully as the expenses will be in foreign currency. To save on currency conversion, you need to keep an eye on the exchange rates charged when sending money.
International transfers are more expensive when the provider uses tourism exchange because the conversion includes an extra margin in the final value. On the other hand, remittances will be cheaper when using the commercial exchange rate because it is the average market exchange rate, with no margin.
So, if you want to save, it’s important to make payments and transfers on the days when the currency is cheaper. It is possible to monitor the exchange on a daily basis through Wise’s rate tracker and receive alerts about the values of currencies in your email.
Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to take a big leap in your career, but the experience will have higher expenses. Therefore, if you want to save, CatEight.com is the ideal tool for you to find the right university or school and submit course application online.