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Applying For Overseas Studies


As a university admissions counsellor, I am regularly asked by clients, ‘What are the benefits of studying abroad?’ My answer? Too many to count! Studying overseas, especially for an extended period, can have positive and lasting impact on your academics and career.
Whether you choose to study Medicine in the UK, Business in the US, or Psychology in Australia, you will gain not only a strong education to support you in your career development but also the soft-skills to succeed in many life arenas.

Now that I’ve expounded on the benefits of choosing to complete your degree aboard, you might be wondering how you can get there from here in Singapore. The first step, of course, is to gain acceptance to a university.

The admissions process, however, depends very much on the country you choose to study in. Here is a rapid breakdown by nation:
The United States. Most would probably agree that the US values individualism. As you could predict, this is reflected in the great diversity of American college and universities – most of which have unique and specific applications. While applicants will have to do more work in researching the strengths and uniqueness of the schools, I can promise you that the rewards of an education at a school tailored to your needs will make the headache worthwhile.
Once you have decided what institutions you would like to apply to, check their individual websites to read up on their admissions requirements as they differ by institution. In most cases you will need:

  • Application form
  • Standardised test scores (SAT I or ACT)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as TOEFL or IELTS results)
  • College application essay(s) on different topics
  • Counsellor recommendation
  • Teacher recommendation(s)
Some liberal arts colleges, specialised programmes, or highly selective schools may ask that you submit samples of your writing, research or artwork; complete an interview; or send in SAT II Subject Test scores.

The United Kingdom. The application process for all UK universities is centralised through www.UCAS.com. You can apply up to five university courses via one online application system, which asks you for personal and academic information. Write your personal statement carefully, as it will be sent to all five universities of your choices. UCAS also requests one reference letter from a teacher, advisor, or professional who knows you well.

Australia. This is the most straightforward of the three countries in terms of admissions processes. While individual Australian states govern university admissions for AU/NZ nationals and AU permanent residents, the schools themselves accept applications from international students.

You simply need to check that you meet the entry requirements for your course, then fill out an application form and submit it online or by mail. Unless you are applying to highly selective, specialised courses such as Medicine or Design, you will not need to supply additional materials such as standardised test scores, personal statements, recommendation letters, portfolios, etc.

Aureus Consulting, one of Singapore’s leading admissions and career consultancy firms, offering university application guidance, personal branding and self-development advice to individuals and educational institutions.

Visit www.aureusconsulting.com for more information.