The process of applying for admission to universities abroad can be somewhat overwhelming. Sometimes, a lot of people do not even know where to begin, the right university to apply to, or the study destination that fits their profile. They just want to Japa! And here is where a study abroad specialist can be of help.
Here, Afordau Afobunor, a study abroad specialist, talks about all you need to know about applying to schools abroad, what to consider before applying, funding, and other issues around international education:
As a study abroad specialist, what advice do you first give to people who want to study abroad, since many people do not really have a well-formed idea of their study plans? – They just want to Japa!
The first thing I do is to profile the prospective student. I consider the prospect’s age, their previous academic record, financial standing, work experience, the country where they have family or friends in, and other factors before advising them on the most suitable study destination, course of study, or university to apply to.
What are the factors to consider in choosing a particular study destination?
You have to be clear on your long term objectives. And you have to consider the chances of gaining permanent residency after your study. Another important factor when choosing a study destination is where you have family and friends. But more than any other factors, you have to consider your budget.
Given your experience as a study abroad specialist, do you think there are courses or universities that you think are most appropriate for specific groups of people?
Courses vary, there is no specific course; it is, however, essential to note that choosing a program that is progressional or related to the previous study is essential to having a successful application.
What are the things that one should consider when applying to universities in the UK?
The program the school is offering, the location of the university, the budget, the reason for wanting to study.
Are there particular courses that certain age group should target when applying to universities abroad?
All courses have no age restrictions, personal choices are what matters.
Do people in, say, their early 20s have an equal chance of acceptance into universities as people in their 30s?
Age doesn’t matter, as long as there is an explanation for study gaps. Applicants might be required by the school to provide an explanation for the break in academic progression. This is not a problem, really.
Are there universities that give discounts on tuition? And how does one qualify for it?
Definitely, we have schools that give discounts. But there are different criteria, and it varies from school to school. And there are also scholarship options to apply for.
For students who do not have the funds to cover their tuition fees, are there ways that they can access loans?
Yes, though it’s a little complicated. One of the banks I work with has a loan option specifically for students.
Are there universities that accept instalment payments?
Yes, there are lots of schools with flexible payment regime. Especially in the UK, where you have schools with payment plans that allow you to pay your tuition between four to five instalments.
Some schools in the US also have this flexible payment plan though they are not as definite as you have in the UK. In the US, payment plans vary according to the peculiarity of each student.
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