How to Study Abroad?

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the best countries for pursuing international education?

Choose the country where you wish to study based on the course you are interested in. If you are looking for a technology career, the US is home to world-class ivy league universities. The UK boasts of the University of Cambridge and London School of Economics, which offer a wide range of management and economics courses. A plethora of courses and low living costs make Australia the third most sought after country after the US and UK. Germany is known for engineering and automobile courses that attract a large number of international students. For a course in fashion, there's nothing like France.

Do I need to learn the native language of the country where I am applying for admission?

It depends on the country you are applying to. Most foreign universities will ask you to take an English language test like TOEFL or IELTS to gauge your language proficiency. While applying to a non-English speaking country, check if the course instructions are in English or the native language. Many international universities still use English for basic communication. Learning the local language spoken in the area you will be studying in helps you with other aspects such as using public transport, exploring tourist or hangout spots and even negotiating rental accommodation (if you want to stay off campus).

How can I find out the global rankings for universities and courses?

Choosing the right university is paramount when applying for studies abroad. Take the help of global ranking agencies while making your mind up about where you want to study. The QS World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds is a good place to start. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is another list to watch out for.

Is there any minimum score that I need in my school or graduation to be eligible for studying abroad?

Entry criteria will vary for courses and countries that you apply to. While most universities do not have a benchmark score at secondary or undergraduate levels, a good score will help you with your application. In many countries and for many courses, admissions are conducted based on entrance exams such as GRE or GMAT. You may also have to take an additional English language test. Be sure to carefully check the eligibility criteria for the course you are applying to.

Are extra-curricular activities helpful in strengthening my application?

Yes. Statistically, universities are more likely to choose a candidate with all-round achievements over someone with good grades but no extra-curricular interests. Extra-curriculars give you a chance to shine in your application. To be able to grab a seat in a university of your choice, you need to stand out from the others.

Should I consider campus accommodation or an off-campus stay?

Campus accommodation is a convenient, cheap and safe option for international students, especially those visiting the country for the first time. However, the availability of accommodation is an issue as not all universities offer student housing. Check with your university for the options available to you. If you have been awarded a scholarship, find out if it includes housing expenses.

Can I work part-time while I am studying abroad?

It depends on the country you plan to study in and the type of visa you get. Most countries and universities allow students to work part-time off-campus from the second year onwards. Some countries may have restrictions on the number of hours a student can work. The best way to find out is to ask your programme manager or drop in an email to the embassy. You can also check with university seniors to get an idea about the part-time work scenario for students.

Can I take a break for some time from my course in case of any medical or personal issues?

Yes. Most universities have provisions for international students to take a break before the end of the course. You can take a leave of absence for a part of the term or skip it entirely for personal reasons. Each university handles these breaks differently. Get in touch with the liaisons office for international students to understand how you can apply for a break and what consequences it may have on your career and visa.

What are the essential documents I should carry abroad?

The two most essential documents for any student studying abroad are a valid passport and visa. Universities will also ask you to enrol for medical insurance when you join. It is essential for you to carry your health insurance card. Some countries also require a doctor's certificate for proof of vaccinations and medication. During the Covid-19 pandemic and even today, many countries have made it mandatory for incoming passengers to carry a negative RT-PCR test report from the point of origin.

Can I continue to stay in the country where I am studying after my course is over?

Whether you can stay back after the completion of your course varies from country to country. For example, the UK allows international students to remain for four months after completing the course (for a degree-level course they can stay for 12 months or more). In the US, an F1 student visa holder can complete up to a year of temporary employment directly related to their major field of study. However, employment must be found within 90 days of the completion of the course. If you have completed at least two years of study in Australia, you may stay back for 18 months to gain work experience.

Is the student visa valid only for the duration of my course?

Not necessarily. Some countries allow students to stay back to gain experience or seek temporary employment. You can apply for a work visa afterwards and if approved continue to stay there.

Can I extend the duration of my studies if I need to do further specialisation and other courses?

Yes. Universities in most countries allow international students to extend their studies' duration, depending on their attendance and performance in the ongoing subjects. Once you are on campus, discuss your options with your supervisor or advisor. Be sure to check the additional charges for specialisation courses as these are chargeable by the university, over and above the fees you may have already paid.

Can I renew my student visa from abroad, or do I have to visit India to renew my student visa?

If your student visa expires before completion of your course, you can apply for an extension online. You do not need to come back to India for a renewal. Do not forget to apply for an extension at least 30 days before the expiry date of the visa.

If I transfer from one university to another in the same country, will my student visa still be valid?

Once you are on campus, you may feel the need to transfer to a different university. In such scenarios, the consequences on the validity of your student visa will depend on your university. When you are granted a visa to study at a university abroad, it is usually based on the university's requirements. If you wish to change to a different university, you may need to cancel your student visa and apply afresh, depending on the rules governing visas in the country you are studying in.

Do I need to open a bank account in the country where my university is?

Almost all major universities ask international students to open a local bank account. It helps you pay bills and accept payment for part-time work. Opening of a bank account is part of the orientation programme at most universities. Your liaison officer or advisor on campus will help you through the process.

Can I get a loan for education abroad?

Absolutely. DBS Bank offers education loans for students who wish to study abroad at attractive interest rates.

When do I have to start repaying my student loan?

You can start repaying your student loan a year after your studies are completed or six months after getting your first job, whichever is earlier.

How can the Indian embassy help me during my stay abroad?

The Indian embassy plays a crucial role during your stay abroad. Within 24 to 48 hours of your arrival in the country, you must register yourself with the ministry of internal affairs. This legalises your stay in the country. The second step is to register at the local Indian embassy. Not only is the embassy a home away from home, but people at the embassy can also help solve any problems you may face during your stay. The embassy is also a great place to connect with other Indians in the country you choose to study in.

If I need money urgently when I am abroad, what are the online options available?
You are a global citizen, and the distance is immaterial during emergencies. You can get funds through online remittance facilities. With DBS Bank Remit, your loved ones can transfer money to you in a day, without any additional charges and at competitive exchange rates.
Can students get travel insurance?

Yes. It is advisable to insure all aspects of your travel, including medical expenses and baggage loss. Travel Secure by DBS Bank is a comprehensive policy that offers a range of features so you can travel in peace.

How can I fund my education abroad?
There are two primary ways of funding your study overseas - look for a scholarship or apply for an education loan. Many corporates and philanthropists offer partial or full scholarships on merit to students in need. DBS Bank offers education loans to students planning to study overseas at attractive interest rates.