The Application to Study Abroad

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Have you found “your” university in the land of your dreams? Then it goes into the application phase. The requirements for applicants differ according to the university and study program, so applying to study abroad can take more or less time. It is therefore important to plan ahead! In order to ensure that the application documents are submitted in good time and, above all, in full, it is essential to find out about all the modalities of applying to study abroad. Sometimes it can be quite bureaucratic. So that nothing goes wrong, you will find many valuable tips on the following pages.

Fill out forms

One of the most important documents for an application to study abroad is the application form. The necessary application form can usually be found on the website of the university in question. The application forms from our partner universities can you directly in the download area There you will also find detailed application instructions for the individual study programs. When filling out the form, care should be taken to ensure that it is complete.

Prove performance

Which certificates have to be submitted for an application to study abroad depends on the respective university and / or the course of study. Another crucial question is whether it is a full or partial course or just a summer session. It is important to only enclose certified copies of certificates with the application. If necessary, the Abitur certificate must be translated. You can either do this yourself (the translation must be certified by the school that created the original) or you can have it done by a certified translator.

An application to study abroad also includes a transcript of records. The Academic Transcript provides the basis for continuing studies abroad or completing individual semesters abroad. It is a tabular list of all study achievements made up to the time of application in English. In most cases, the German universities have corresponding forms with explanatory translations of the German grades. For the application, the transcript must also be certified by the university at which the work was performed.

Obtain references for applying to study abroad

In Anglophone countries in particular, it is customary to enclose at least two letters of recommendation with your application to study abroad. A letter of recommendation is also often expected in various exchange programs. The letter is usually written by lecturers or professors whose events you attended or where you wrote one or more seminar papers or the thesis

Furthermore come former teacher in question. Anyone who is socially committed can also turn to someone from this environment. In any case, it is important that the author is a person of higher standing who is considered to be of integrity and knows the qualities of the student.

What makes a good letter of recommendation for an application to study abroad? Here it depends on the special case: is it about a semester abroad, a master’s degree or a doctoral project? In addition to personal characteristics, the reviewer should above all emphasize technical skills and knowledge as well as achievements in studies or at school.

Some universities may prefer to fill out questionnaires. Here the assessor has to answer pre-formulated questions. Either way: The right choice of words in the letter of recommendation for the application to study abroad is crucial and every sentence should be checked to see whether the reader might interpret it negatively. Finally, it should be made clear that the author of the letter of recommendation unreservedly recommends the applicant.

Show motivation when applying to study abroad

Whether a letter of motivation is required and how this should look in detail depends on the universities. Sometimes a short statement is enough in which the applicant briefly describes how the choice of course came about; Others require a letter of motivation in the form of a multi-page essay when applying to study abroad. This is particularly common for Master’s and PhD programs.

Especially in the second case, enough time should be allowed for the application and the writing of the essay, because the letter of motivation is the admission ticket for the study place. The aim here is to leave a positive first impression, to give good reasons for studying abroad and, above all, for choosing the university and course of study. When writing the letter of motivation, attention should be paid to stylistic cleanliness and compliance with formal rules.

Prove your ability to study

In some countries – mostly in the USA – standardized admission and study aptitude tests are widespread. The skills of the applicants and their suitability for the respective course can thus be better assessed and compared with one another. These tests must be completed in advance of the application and the results obtained must be submitted along with the other application documents for the study abroad. As a rule, the admission tests only play a role in relation to a full course, whereby there are different tests for the Bachelor and Master.


The SAT and ACT are standardized tests for measuring the ability to study in the course of an application. Both are widely used in universities and colleges in the United States and are mostly accepted as equivalent alternatives. For locals, the SAT / ACT is almost always a mandatory part of the application. International applicants for bachelor’s degree programs in the USA often have to take one of the two tests, but not always – it is therefore advisable to carefully check the application requirements of the university of your choice in advance. However, anyone who has already started studying in their home country and is a transfer student If you want to change to a higher semester within the bachelor’s degree at a university in the USA, you usually do not have to take the SAT / ACT.


The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test for measuring the academic skills of prospective MBA students. Originally conceived and used in the USA, it is now required by business schools all over the world as an admission criterion for applications. This is mainly due to the fact that MBA programs are often very heterogeneous in terms of their participants. The GMAT result guarantees better comparability and must therefore be taken by both local and international applicants.

GRE and other admission tests for applying to study abroad

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is an interdisciplinary admission test that is often recognized as an alternative to the GMAT. There are also a number of other admission tests for specific courses. They are mainly based on the field of study, such as the MCAT for medical students and the LSAT for prospective lawyers.

Proof of language skills

Most universities expect their international students to provide evidence that they are able to communicate in the respective national language when applying to study abroad. Whether basic knowledge is sufficient or the language has to be mastered can depend on several factors. It is obvious that a higher language level is often required for master’s and doctoral programs than for bachelor’s programs. The language requirements can also differ depending on the degree program, depending on how important the use of language is in the respective subject area.

Evidence is provided either through standardized language tests (e.g. the TOEFL or the IELTS for English) or through language certificates (such as the CAE or the CPE from the Cambridge English Language Assessment). When applying for individual semester stays abroad, proof of language skills, such as a DAAD language certificate, is often sufficient.

The standardized proof is offered not only for English, but also for many other foreign languages. Since the requirements of the universities with regard to the required language level or the number of points to be achieved in the language tests often deviate from each other, you should always inform yourself in advance about the necessary level levels or number of points. After all, it would be very annoying if the application to study abroad should fail due to insufficient proof of language proficiency.

The Application to Study Abroad

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