Im Going To Study Abroad University Essay Format

You decided to study abroad? That’s great! Whether it’s just for a semester or you’re going to spend years as a student abroad, it’s going to be a great experience for you.

However, you’re also aware of the fact that this experience is going to cost a lot of money. You’ll have to cover the expenses for your studies, but the living expenses will also be high. Fortunately, there are scholarship programs that can cover that part for you. To become part of such scholarship program, however, you have to stand out among all other students who are trying to get their studies financed.

You know that many other students have the same academic achievements and similar interests to yours. The scholarship essay is the main differentiator. It’s the part of the scholarship application that shows your personality. The perfect essay will convince the board that you deserve that money to be invested in your education.

Don’t worry; you can write a scholarship essay that stands out. It will open the doors to your adventure of studying abroad. We’ll give you few great tips on how to compose this essay.

  1. Explore Essays from Native Students

If this is a scholarship program from the country of your interest, you’ll have to meet standards you’re not used to. French students, for example, write different essays from the ones American students write.

It’s important to understand what exactly you’re supposed to write. Read the guidelines for the scholarship program very carefully. If you don’t know what kind of essay they want, contact them with your request for clarification.

  1. Make Sure You Understand the Essay Prompt

Before you start doing anything, read and re-read the essay question. Think about it. Do you understand it? How will you answer it?

Let’s take this essay prompt as an example: Describe a situation where you demonstrated responsible leadership or innovation. What are the keywords here? Situation, demonstrated, leadership, and innovation. Take those themes. Make sure you understand them. Brainstorm on them. Develop an outline that will force you to stay on topic while bringing depth in the essay.

  1. Impress from the Very Beginning

The first few sentences you write are crucial. You may start with a quote if that’s what you prefer, but make sure to follow it with your own words that are powerful, too. You may also start with an anecdote related to the theme of the essay.

The important thing is to show your knowledge, interests, and personality right from the start. Don’t make any digressions and don’t make the introduction endless. Get right to the point.

  1. Surprise Them

Let’s take the same essay prompt as an example. If you write about a simple team project from school that allowed your leadership skills to shine, it might be boring. What’s so special about a presentation that every other student has done?

If, however, you write about a non-governmental organization where you really made a change, you’ll surprise the scholarship committee members. If you still take that presentation for school, but show how you used things you learned from Star Wars to be a good leader, you’ll still have them surprised.

Whatever the theme is, add a surprising element to it. It will make the essay feel more personal and unique. That’s what scholarships are awarded for.

  1. Relate This Essay to Your Target Country      

Remember: you’re not writing a generic scholarship essay. You want a particular scholarship that will allow you to study in a particular country. Why do you want to study there? Find a way to include that information in the essay, so you’ll convince the scholarship committee members that you’re worthy of the investment.

What will you bring back to that country? How will this experience of studying abroad help you influence the society in your own country? Why are these studies so important for your future and how will this scholarship program get you on that track?

  1. Don’t Forget to Edit!

Your work is not over until you edit and proofread that essay as close to perfection as possible. This phase will test your discipline. You’ve spent a lot of time working on your essay, and now you have to evaluate every single aspect of it.

Don’t rush through the process. Take your time to pay attention to each word, sentence, and paragraph. Is your message clear? If you suffocated with too many adjectives and unnecessary additions, cut them out. Keep reading your essay as you make the edits. You’ll come to the point when it sounds much better than its first draft did. That’s when you’ll know you’re done.

Don’t take the scholarship essay as an overwhelming challenge. Take it as an opportunity. Remind yourself how great this program is and how cool it would be for you to become part of it. That mindset will drive you towards the perfect scholarship essay.

About the author: Karen Dikson

Karen Dikson is a tech-savvy teacher and consultant at academic writing service Best Essays. Her works have been published on HuffPost and other educational resources. She enjoys helping her students achieve their most ambitious goals.

Follow Karen on Twitter.


For more articles, visit OD Blog.

Here you’ll find a collection of the most frequently asked questions regarding how to studyabroad. Find information on where to study, how to apply, entry requirements, getting a student visa, tuition fees and funding, finding study abroad scholarships and other practical information.

Browse the questions below to discover the answers to the mysterious secret of how to study abroad…

1.  Why study abroad?

2.  Where in the world should I study?

3. How do I get started?

4.  How long do study abroad programs take?

5.  When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

6.  What are the entry requirements for study abroad programs?

7.  What documentation should I submit with my application?

8.  Do I have to speak a second language to study abroad?

9.  Will I need to attend an admissions interview?

10. After gaining a letter of acceptance, what do I do next?

11.  Do I need to apply for a student visa?

12.  How much does it cost to study abroad?

13.  Can I get financial aid to study abroad?

14.  Where can I find study abroad scholarships?

15.  Where will I live during my study abroad program?

16.  Can I work while studying abroad?

17.  Further questions?

1.  Why study abroad?

There are many reasons why study abroad programs are becoming so popular. For most international students, the appeal is likely to be a combination of gaining a high-quality education, experiencing immersion in a new culture (and often a second language), gaining a global mindset and expanding future employment prospects.

For some, the prospect of leaving home and heading off into the unknown is daunting, but studying abroad is also an exciting challenge that often leads to improved career opportunities and a broader understanding of the way the world works. The type of experience you have during your time abroad will vary hugely depending on where you go, so make sure to pick a study destination based on your own personal interests as well as the country’s academic reputation, in order to keep a healthy work/play balance.

To get more of an idea of whether studying abroad is for you, read some of our blog posts:

2.  Where in the world should I study?

Choosing where in the world you wish to study is not always an easy task. As well as your own personal interests you should think about practicalities such as the costs of studying in that country (both tuition costs and living costs), your graduate career prospects (is there a good job market?) and your overall safety and welfare.

You should also think about what sort of lifestyle you wish to have during your studies. Do you want to live in a big city or a small university town? Do you want arts and culture on your doorstep or world-class sporting facilities? Whatever your interests, be sure to match them up with your study destination so that you really give yourself the best chance of loving your international experience.

If you need help making up your mind, take a look at some of the most popular destinations – Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the US  – or use the links below to view our university rankings and full range of country guides:

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3.  How do I get started?

Once you’ve made up your mind about where you want to study, you should start to think about choosing a program and a university, if you haven’t already. You can research leading universities with the QS World University Rankings®, use the subject rankings to discover universities which are best for your subject, and also consult national rankings of universities in your chosen destination. You’ll then want to look closely at the courses offered by the institutions on your short list, as well as researching the local area and lifestyle, admission requirements and costs.

Once you’ve firmly decided on your program and institution, you should start to think about your application(s). Application processes differ depending on the university and the country, but generally each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.

In some cases there is a “two-step application process” for international students. This means you must submit two applications: one for a place at the university and one for a place on the course itself. This should be clearly stated on the university’s website. If you still have questions about the process, you should contact your chosen university directly.

If you think you might need a student visa, remember that in most cases you won’t be able to apply for one until you have received a letter of acceptance from your chosen university. Each stage can take several months, so allow as much time as possible.

For more guidance on choosing a course and a university, check out the links below:

4.  How long do study abroad programs take?

The length of time you spend studying abroad will depend on the program and level of degree you’re undertaking. Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three or four years of full-time study (for example, in the UK the typical length for most subjects is three years, while in the US the norm is four), while a graduate degree such as a master’s degree or equivalent will take one or two years. A doctoral (PhD) program will usually take three to four years.

At many universities across the world, there is also the option of studying abroad for a shorter period of time. Student exchange programs allow you to study abroad for a year, a semester or even just a few weeks. Information about these shorter programs should be available on the website of the main university you plan to enroll at, as well as the university you’d like to be hosted by.

5.  When can I start applying for study abroad programs?

Considering your application as early as possible is the best way to go. After all, the sooner you gain acceptance into a university, the sooner you can arrange your travels. To avoid disappointment, note down all the relevant application deadlines (set out by your chosen university) in HUGE LETTERS on your calendar.

Application deadlines will be different depending on the school, but generally speaking, for programs starting in the fall (September/October), applications will be open from early in the year (January/February) until the middle of the year (June/July).

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6. What are the entry requirements for study abroad programs?

Entry requirements vary widely between universities and between countries, so be sure to check the information provided by your prospective university before submitting anything.

Speaking generally, however, if you are applying for an undergraduate degree you will be asked to show that you have completed your secondary education to a standard that is in line with the required grades (e.g. your GPA, A-level grades or equivalent) for the program you’re applying to. If you have an international qualification and are unsure whether this is accepted, you should contact the admissions department of the university.

For non-native English speakers wanting to study in English-speaking countries, it is also highly likely that you’ll need to provide proof of your English-language proficiency by taking an English-language test such as TOEFL or IELTS. Similar tests may be required for those studying in other languages. For more information about language tests, refer to question 8.

7. What documentation should I submit with my application?

You may be asked to provide some supporting documentation as part of your application. Once again, requirements vary depending on the country and university, but international students are often asked to provide the following:

    • Passport photos for identification
    • A statement of purpose
    • CV/résumé
    • Academic references/ letters of recommendation
    • Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education
    • Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries), or other language test
    • Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

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8.  Do I have to speak a second language to study abroad?

This depends on the country you wish to study in, and the language your course will be taught in. If you are not a native English speaker but wish to study a course taught in English, you will have to prove you can speak the language to a fairly high level, by providing English-language test results. This is to ensure you will be able to follow your course without any comprehension problems.

English is also used as a language of instruction in a number of other countries worldwide, particularly for graduate programs and business degrees. English-taught courses will be advertised on the university’s website and can sometimes be searched for using a centralized database run by a national agency.

Common tests accepted as proof of English proficiency are the TOEFL and IELTS. If you need to prove your proficiency in a language other thanEnglish, there are also similar tests in other languages, such as the DELF/DALF and TCF-DAP (French) or the DSF and TestDaF (German).

Before taking a language test, make sure you confirm which results are accepted by your chosen school to make sure you don’t waste money on the wrong test.

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From the blog:

9.  Will I need to attend an admissions interview?

As a prospective international student, it is relatively unlikely for schools to expect you to attend an admissions interview in person, although this is not unheard of – especially for the most competitive programs.

Some universities hold international interviews in various locations around the world, so you may be expected to attend one of these. There is also a growing trend of using video interviewing. This is like any other interview, with a prearranged time and date, but will take place online, via an application such as Skype.

Related articles and blog posts:

10.  After gaining a letter of acceptance, what do I do next?

Congratulations, you’re in! Now all that’s left to do is to prepare for your studies, pack up your life into a single (large) suitcase, get your travel documents in order, apply for your student visa, research your accommodation options, and look for funding… don’t panic, it’ll all be worth it!

In fact, as soon as you gain acceptance from a university, the first thing you should start to consider is your travel documentation. Ensure you have a valid passport and travel insurance, as well as a student visa if you need one. Make sure you have sufficient time to get your passport/visa approved so that you’ll be able to travel legally!

For more information on what documentation you’ll need to travel, you should visit the government website of your chosen country to find information for travelers, visitors and international students (e.g. for UK travel information). All the travel information you need should be listed on these official sites.

Alternatively, you can ask your university for guidance. Often, admissions departments will help you to prepare for your travels, and, in some countries, they even apply for the student visa on your behalf. Make sure you check with your university, however – don’t assume someone else is going to sort everything out!

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11.  Do I need to apply for a student visa?

Student visas are a big question for those who want to know how to study abroad, though not all international students will need one. If you’re an EU citizen planning to study in another EU country, for instance, you do not need to a visa. However, as a rule of thumb, if you come from outside of your chosen country’s geographical region/continent, you will probably need to apply for a student visa. This usually only applies to longer periods of international study; if you’re participating in a shorter exchange, last three months or less, a tourist or visitor visa may suffice.

To find out for sure, check either with your chosen university or the government travel website of your country of study. For information on how to apply for a student visa, see the articles listed below.

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