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How to apply for UG abroad

Pursuing undergraduate studies abroad is becoming increasingly popular among Indian students. With a plethora of course options to consider, the pressure  of deadlines, along with numerous documents to arrange, the college admission application process can be  exceedingly daunting and confusing. However, in reality, all it takes is a precisely planned approach with a thorough understanding of what constitutes a strong application.
Manya-The Princeton Review, an ace admissions consulting service provider recommends the following sequential steps that undergraduate applicants must undertake:


Planning and preparation - Seek counseling/advice on how to pursue the following activities to start building your profile and application

Identify areas of interest and build profile accordingly

Can include -

  • Activities both inside and outside the classroom
  • Leadership roles and responsibilities in school
  • Identifying project ideas, get involved in related activities, internships, and competitions
  • networking with peers and teachers for feedback and suggestions
  • Participating in national and international level contests and projects

In addition to these, focus on maintaining a consistent academic performance

Finalize the main interest area (major)

  • Finalize main interest area (major) for undergraduate education abroad
  • Continue working on activities related to the interested major

Choose the appropriate destination (country)

  • Exploring suitable study abroad destinations based on factors such as cost of education and living, climate, class size, career options, job opportunities, quality of education, and culture
  • once destinations are finalized, research about aspects considered for admissions

Research  and shortlist the best fit colleges

Research  best-colleges and identify the best-fit colleges based on:

  • Curriculum offered for the major
  • Teaching methodology
  • Entry requirements
  • Tuition cost and scholarships
  • Quality/credibility of faculty
  • Ranking
  • Research and internship opportunities
  • Campus life
  • Networking opportunities/alumni network
  • International collaborations

Prepare and take the required standardized tests

Start preparing for the standardized tests depending on the shortlisted universities’ and destination requirements; aim to finish taking the tests as early as possible

    • Take the SAT if there is a requirement (ACT is also an option instead of SAT in case of US); achieve the target score in maximum two attempts
    • Could consider taking the SAT II if there is a requirement
    • In case a university accepts AP scores, could think about taking that as well
    • Appear for language tests (TOEFL/IELTS) in case of any requirement
    • Use the option of free score reporting to universities as much as possible

Finalize application documents

Arrange documents required for applications

  • Transcripts/mark sheets
    • Required for Class 9-12 (if still in Class 12, then half yearly scores can be shared)
  • Standardized test score reports
    • Submit test score reports to universities (if not reported during free score reporting)
  • Letters of recommendation (LORs)
    • Obtain 2-3 LORs from subject teachers, school counselors
  • Essays/Statement of purpose (SOP) and resume
    • Identify number of essays, resume and/or statement of purpose required by each university
    • Brainstorm ideas for essays and/or statement of purpose
    • Essays must demonstrate an attitude of continuous learning, leadership skills, adaptability and perseverance, ethics and integrity and demonstrated interest and fit
    • Customize essays for each college
  • Financial documents
    • Obtain bank statements and other financial documents (bank letter, notarized financial affidavit).
  • Miscellaneous - photographs, and passport copies may also be required

should start this stage at least 3 months prior to the application deadlines in order to submit strong and impressive applications

Submit application

  • Avoid submitting the application on the day of the deadline; better to submit at least a week in advance
  • Identify which document is required online or via airmail; dispatch hard copy documents at least 10 days prior to the application deadline
  • Fill online application forms, upload required documents and submit after payment of application fee
  • Advantageous to apply early since it can increase chances of admission

Remember - it is always advantageous to apply early

Prepare for interview (if applicable)

Some top colleges such as MIT, Princeton, etc., shortlist candidates for interview

  • Take interview prep sessions to prepare well for the interview
  • Interviews are generally conversational in nature and aimed at judging the true personality of the student
  • In students, colleges look for motivation and passion for the activities that they are involved in, demonstrated interest in the major and the college

Obtain visa (upon receiving admit/s)

Post receipt of admit/s, freeze the final college and apply for visa (visa procedure is country specific)

  • Fill and submit visa application form
  • Submit required financial and visa-related documents
  • Take prep sessions for visa (if visa interview is required)
  • Get ready to depart!


Contact our counselors to know more about applying for an undergraduate abroad

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