A lot of Ghanaians and other Africans have been making enquiries on how to apply to study abroad and what it takes to gain admission to their dream universities abroad. In this article, I’ll attempt to answer all your questions with regard to studying abroad from Ghana. These practical steps will help you in making successful applications to schools abroad.
From my observations, many Africans dream of schooling abroad someday but only a few take a step to realize their dream. If you will desire to study abroad, then you need to take practical steps to make that a reality.
First of all, you need to realize that studying abroad isn’t impossible. Several Africans have gained admission to top universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Australia, China, Japan, etc. If they did it, then you don’t have an excuse not to give in your best shot.
To take you further, In this post, I’ll show you practical and proven ways to apply to your desired school abroad and get admitted.
Can I Apply to Universities Abroad all By Myself?
So many students have fulfilled their dream of studying abroad by employing the services of educational agents and liaison offices to process their admission abroad. Although this is not a bad idea, however, this process can be expensive.
So if you don’t have the financial backing to employ a third-party channel to secure your admission abroad, then this post is for you. As an individual, you can apply and get admission abroad without passing through a third-party, however, it will cost you some time, money, and commitment.
1. Choose Your Preferred Study Destination
Having a choice of study destination is an important step in securing admission abroad. There are thousands of schools scattered across hundreds of countries across the six continents. You can have more than one choice for a study destination.
Some of the top study destinations for Africans include
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Study Abroad Destination
There are several factors to consider when choosing a study destination including
- Cost of Living
- Visa Regularion
- Local Life
- Universities and Courses Offered
2. Choose Your Desired School(s)
Now that you have choosed your preferred abroad study destination, next thing to do is to choose school(s) you’d like to apply to. Remember that application process takes time, money, and commitment so, I will advice you stick to between 2-5 schools.
As earlier mentioned, you need to consider the courses offered before applying to your preferred school. You also need to consider the acceptance rate of the school before sending in your application. Finally, look at the diversity of the school, before making your application.
3. Get Your International Passport
Getting your passport is an important process in applying for admission abroad. In fact, most schools require that you upload a scanned copy of your international passport during application process. Depending on your country, international passports has validity period of 5 – 10 years. You can apply for international passport at any passport office of the Immigration Service.
4. Prepare Your Documents
Next step, you need to prepare your documents need for application. For undergraduate programme, you will need to make ready your high school result and transcript, birth certificate, and other required credentials (refer to the admission requirements on the website of your preferred school(s)).
For postgraduate programme, you need to forward your transcript from your alma mater to the school you’re applying to. Note, some schools may permit you to use a studen’t copy of your transcript for application. Also, your degree(s) certificate/statment of result (if the certificate is not ready) and other credentials must be ready.
5. Register for An English Test
Most schools abroad offer English-taught programs and you need to show proof of proficiency in English language. You can register for TOEFL or IELTS.
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- How to Calculate IELTS Band Score By Yourself
- IELTS vs TOEFL: Which One Is Better? (Admission & Visa)
Both English test (TOEFL/IELTS) are highly recognized English language testing exam that grade students based on their Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing performances. You need to prepare for these test in other to have a good band score.
Also, some schools (especially in the US) may demand for Graduate Record Exam (GRE), SAT, etc. As such you have to register for these examinations to boost your chances of getting admitted. Take time out to peruse all the admission requirements and ensure that you qualify and can meet them.
6. Prepare Other Documents
Before starting your application, you need to prepare your personal statement. The purpose for the letter of intent/personal statement is to state your passion for the desired study programme and why you should be offered admission by the admission committee.
Also, you need to make available your letter of recommendation written by your professor or any one in your field. You may need more than one reference letter or letter of recommendation which will be a part of the application process.
7. Application Fee
Most universities abroad accept a fee for international applications. As such you need to make adequate preparation for the application fee. Although not all schools charge application fees and some do offer application fee waivers that you can take advantage of.
- List of Australian Universities Without Application Fees
- List of Canadian Universities Without Application Fees
8. Start Your Application
With all your documents intact, it’s time to make your admission application. Depending on the school, you might need to take all the tests earlier mentioned in this post. Visit the school website, navigate to the admission tab. Then start your application by choosing your preferred study program, upload all necessary documents, make payment, and submit.
Importantly, UK universities have a different application process, as you can only apply through UCAS. See our guide on how to apply to universities in the UK.
9. Apply for Scholarships
Congratulations, once you have been offered admission, you can start applying for scholarships. There are several scholarships in all the countries for international students, you can explore some of these opportunities. Also, some universities offer scholarships to African students, explore this to your own advantage.
To get started with you scholarship application process, check out our guide on how to get a scholarship abroad.
- 100+ UK Scholarships for African Students
- 50+ USA Scholarships for African Students
- 20+ Canada Scholarships for African Students
- 50+ Government-Sponsored Scholarships for Africans
Did you know you can get a fully-funded, fully-paid scholarship abroad? In our next article, I will show you how to get a fully-funded postgraduate scholarship in the United States.
10. Apply for Your Study Visa
Once you have received your admission letter from the school, you need to proceed to the embassy with all the visa requirements to book your interview appointment. Each embassy has its own visa application requirements, so it’s best you visit the embassy page to make your enquiries.
- How to Apply for US Student Visa From Ghana
- How to Apply for US Student Visa From Ghana
- How to Apply for Australian Student Visa From Ghana
- How to Apply for Canadian Student Visa From Ghana
- How to Apply for Chinese Student Visa From Ghana
- How to Apply for France Student Visa From Ghana
Applying for study abroad is a simple process, all you need do is to pay attention to details. Ensure you meet the admission requirements of your preferred school before sending in your application. Trust me, you don’t want to waste your $100 application fee sending in a fruitless application. I believe this guide was helpful to you, drop your comments below.