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Steps to study abroad

With 50 years’ experience and more than 450,000 successful student placements around the world, IDP knows what it takes to find a good match and set you up for success.

IDP has been helping students like you to study abroad for over 50 years. We know what it takes to set you up for success with assistance on course and visa applications, travel and feeling at home in your new destination. Best of all, most of IDP’s advice services are free.

1. Research
Do a little research before you speak to us. Get an idea of the subject areas that interest you the most. You might also look at some course descriptions, university reviews and their locations. Start a wish list of your preferences and begin to narrow down your selection. 
Research can also include asking your friends and family. Have they studied overseas? Where did they go? What did they like about it?
If you use Facebook, this can be a great way to do get feedback and advice from your friends. Post a message to your timeline and you might be surprised at how many people have experience of an international education.
What if you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, come in to one of our offices and our counsellors will help get you started.
One final word of advice – don’t trust everything you read online. Some reviews from other students might have been influenced by a single negative personal experience or choosing a course that wasn’t right for them. It doesn’t always mean you will feel the same way. IDP can ensure you get accurate and non-biased advice.

2. Speak to one of our IDP counsellors
When you’re ready, make an appointment with an IDP counsellor. Our counsellors are professionally certified and many have been international students themselves. They’re a friendly face and a wealth of first-hand professional advice and personal experience from different study locations all over the world. 
Take your wish-list and course preferences along with you to your appointment as a starting point. Your counsellor will work through all the big and small details to ensure the best possible fit between you, your future university and your area of study.

3. Make your application 
After you’ve chosen your course and university or school, it’s time to apply. Your IDP counsellor will support your university and course applications. We take our job very seriously and follow the strictest legal and ethical standards. 
Your counsellor will personally contact your chosen university or school to make sure they support your application to improve your chances of acceptance.
If you need to take an English test to qualify for your course, don’t assume you’ll get the grade without practise. In a test such as IELTS you will need good grammar and spelling, as well as a wide range of vocabulary. Even the best English speakers can have bad habits so remember to practise these skills.

4. Accepting your offer
Once the university or school receives your application it will be assessed and you will be notified of the result. It can take a few weeks (or longer for postgraduate courses) for your application to be processed. 
If your application is successful, you’ll receive a letter of offer and an acceptance form. Before accepting your offer, your counsellor will read it carefully through with you and check any conditions that may apply.
If you are accepted for more than one course or school, we'll help you decide which option is best for you.
It’s natural to be nervous as you wait for the outcome of your course applications. If you are feeling anxious, we want you to tell us. This is perfectly normal and we can help you feel more confident.

5. Develop your English skills
It’s always a good idea to brush up your English skills to make sure you keep up with what your teachers or lecturers are saying, especially if English is not your first language. You can watch things like the news and talk shows on TV, you can read books or listen to podcasts where English is likely to be more formal. Remember to have some fun learning some of the local slang in your new country. For example, Australians call themselves ‘Aussies’ and have many different words (and even different accents) compared to the British, who call themselves ‘Brits’.
There are lots of websites that explain the slang from different regions of the world and some of these words will help you understand the local people in your new country.

6. Apply for your student visa
Now you’ve been accepted, you need to apply for your student visa. IDP provides you with the information you need to help ensure you are well positioned to navigate this process with the appropriate authorised migration departments.

7. Ready, steady, go
Congratulations! You’re off on your big adventure. With lots to think about at this time your IDP counsellor will help you along the way with advice on a whole range of things from exchanging money, getting insurance and a SIM card to opening a bank account.
We host regular pre-departure seminars throughout the year to help you prepare for student life in your new country.

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