The Go-To Glossary of Common Study Abroad Terms

While studying abroad can be an exciting experience to look forward to, the process can also be confusing and challenging. You might come across confusing terms and acronyms during your research, application process, and relocating plans. Different countries and universities can have different ways of saying things.

To help you navigate the world of study abroad, we have prepared a glossary of common study abroad terms you may encounter along your journey. Whether you plan to study abroad for a semester, a year, or a degree, this glossary will help you understand what you need to do and what to expect.

Application Process

  • Application Form: The form that you need to fill out with your personal and academic details, as well as your preferred course and university. You may need to pay an application fee as well. You can apply through the Global Admissions platform to submit your application to the programs you are interested in. Our student advisors are available to help ensure you complete the form correctly.
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose): A personal essay that explains your motivation, goals, and suitability for studying abroad. The essay should highlight your achievements, skills, and interests and how the chosen program and university will help you fulfill your aspirations.
  • Personal Statement: Narrative essay that tells your story, motivation, challenges, and achievements. Your personal statement should reflect your personality, voice, and values. Also, share how your experiences have shaped you and your goals. Find more tips and examples of personal statements here.
  • Transcript: Official records of the courses, grades, and credits you have completed at an institution, or from previous degrees and dipmoas. Transcripts are usually an application requirement for most programs. You can request need to request official academic transcripts from the institution you studied at. You may need to get them attested or verified by your institution or a third party.
  • LOR (Letter of Recommendation): Letters from your teachers, professors, or employers that vouch for your academic or professional abilities and potential. They should mention your strengths, weaknesses, achievements, as well as how you have contributed to their class or organization.
  • CV/Resume: A document that summarizes your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. It should be tailored to the specific program and university that you are applying to. Make sure you highlight your relevant qualifications and accomplishments.
  • Scores in Standardized Tests: The scores you need to obtain in certain tests that measure your academic aptitude, language proficiency, or subject knowledge, often needed as an application requirement. Some common tests are GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc. You may need to take different tests depending on the country and program that you are applying to.
  • Essays: Short written responses based on specific questions or prompts given by the university or program, which you may need to provide as an application requirement. The prompts may ask you about your background, interests, goals, challenges, opinions, or experiences. Write essays in a clear, concise, and convincing manner.

Financial Aid

  • Proof of Financial Support: Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs related to studying abroad. You may need to provide bank statements, scholarship letters, sponsor letters, or loan documents.
  • Scholarship: A type of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. It is usually awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria. In different countries, there are usually a variety of scholarships offered by governments, third-party organizations, and universities. There are many different types of scholarships, and they can sometimes be for a specific program, field, or career. Learn more with our Global Scholarships Guide 2023/2024
  • Grant: Another type of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Governments, organizations, or institutions usually offer these to support specific projects, research, or studies. You may need to meet certain eligibility requirements and submit a proposal or report.
  • Loan: A type of financial aid that needs to be repaid with interest. Loans are usually borrowed from banks, lenders, or governments. They usually require a good credit history and a co-signer or guarantor.

Visa Procedures

  • Visa: A permit that grants a foreign national the right to enter, stay, or study in another country for a specific period of time. Visa requirements vary depending on the country, duration, and purpose of the study abroad program. You may need to apply for a visa in advance and provide supporting documents such as passport, acceptance letter, financial proof, etc.
  • Visa Application Form: A form you need to fill out with your personal and travel details, along with the purpose and duration of your stay. You may also need to pay a visa fee and submit biometric data.
  • Valid Passport: The travel document that proves your identity and nationality. A valid passport must have at least six months of validity left from the date of your intended travel (i.e., if it expires in less than six months, apply for a new passport).
  • Visa Interview: An appointment you may need to attend at the embassy or consulate of the country that you are applying to, or at an appointed visa processing center. The interviewer may ask questions about your study plans, financial situation, and ties to your home country.
  • Visa Approval Letter: A letter that confirms that your visa application has been approved and that you are eligible to enter the country. These days, visas are usually given digitally or as a passport sticker. Pri nting out this letter and carrying it with you when you travel is a good idea.

Apply with Global Admissions

We hope that this glossary of common study abroad terms has helped you gain more clarity and confidence in your study abroad journey. Studying abroad can be a life-changing opportunity that can open many doors for your personal and professional growth. If you are ready to take the next step, you can browse and apply to hundreds of programs on the Global Admissions platform.

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