Eligibility to Study Abroad: Language Tests, General Exams & Documents Required (2023)

Requirements to Study Abroad: Studying abroad has become an increasingly popular choice among students worldwide. However, it comes with a set of eligibility criteria that students must meet before applying to top universities abroad. One of the most crucial eligibility requirements is proficiency in the English language, which is typically measured through standardised language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. Additionally, many universities and colleges require students to take exams such as GMAT, GRE, SAT, or ACT, depending on the program they wish to enrol in.

Apart from language proficiency and exam scores, students must also provide various documents such as transcripts, recommendation letters, SOP, and essays to demonstrate their academic achievements and personal qualities. Some popular study abroad destinations include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The application deadlines for studying abroad vary depending on the country and institution, and it is advisable to start the process well in advance to avoid missing out on opportunities.

Why study abroad?

Most international students choose to study in US, UK, Germany, France, and Australia. These countries host half of all international students. Some of the reasons to study abroad are given below:

  1. According to a study by the Institute of International Education, students who study abroad are more likely to graduate on time and have higher graduation rates than those who do not.
  2. A survey by the British Council found that 90% of employers consider international experience to be important for applicants, with 64% of employers believing that graduates with international experience are more employable.
  3. A report by the Institute for International Education of Students (IES) found that studying abroad can significantly increase students' cross-cultural communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and self-confidence.
  4. The European Commission's Erasmus Impact Study found that students who participated in the Erasmus program (which allows European students to study abroad in other European countries) had higher employability rates and earned higher salaries than those who did not.
  5. The study conducted by Erasmus Impact found that 74% of college students who graduated from foreign universities reported initiating a professional career.

Eligibility to Study Abroad: Language Exams

One of the most crucial eligibility requirements for studying abroad is proficiency in the English language. Many universities and colleges around the world require international students to demonstrate their English language proficiency by taking standardised language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. In this section, we will explore the language exams required for studying abroad.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognized and popular language proficiency test used for academic and immigration purposes. It evaluates a person's proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English across all four language skills. Over 10,000 organisations, including universities, institutions, employers, and immigration authorities in more than 140 countries accept IELTS as a valid credential.

For studying abroad, the required IELTS score varies depending on the institution and program. Universities and colleges typically require a minimum overall band score of 6.0 or 6.5 for undergraduate programs and 6.5 or 7.0 for graduate programs. It is important to examine the prerequisites of the institution and programme you are interested in as some may have higher score requirements for certain programmes or courses.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a widely recognized English language proficiency test that assesses the four language skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing. It is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is accepted by over 11,000 universities and institutions in more than 150 countries worldwide.

The TOEFL scores required for studying abroad vary depending on the institution and program, but typically fall within a range of 60-100 for the internet-based test (iBT) and 520-600 for the paper-based test (PBT). However, some highly selective institutions may require higher scores.


PTE (Pearson Test of English) is another widely accepted English language proficiency test for studying abroad. The exam measures a student's ability to communicate effectively in English by testing their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. PTE is recognized by many universities and colleges in English-speaking countries, including USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


Study in UKStudy in AustraliaStudy in New Zealand

The scoring system for PTE ranges from 10 to 90, with 10 being the lowest and 90 being the highest. The minimum score required for admission to a university or college varies depending on the institution and the program. However, most universities and colleges require a minimum score of 50 to 60 for admission.


The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) is a standardised English language test recognized by many universities in Canada, as well as in USA and other countries. The test assesses the language proficiency of non-native speakers in academic contexts and is designed to measure their ability to use English for academic purposes.

The CAEL test consists of four components: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each component is scored on a scale of 0-90, and the total score is the average of the four component scores.

Eligibility to Study Abroad: General Exams

In addition to language exams, many universities and colleges around the world require international students to take general exams such as the GMAT, GRE, SAT, or ACT as part of their admissions process. These exams are used to evaluate applicants' academic skills and readiness for higher education. In this section, we will explore the general exams required for studying abroad


The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardised exam used by many business schools in the world to assess applicants' analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. The GMAT exam is typically required for students applying to Master's in Business Administration (MBA) programs.

The GMAT is divided into four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. The exam's overall score ranges from 200 to 800, with a 556 average. However, the score requirements for admission vary depending on the institution and program, and some schools may have a minimum score requirement of 600 or higher.


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised exam required by many universities and colleges for admission to graduate programs in various fields such as business, engineering, and social sciences. The test evaluates a student's analytical writing, verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, and critical thinking abilities.

Both the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE are graded on a scale of 130–170, with 170 being the maximum possible score. The analytical writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 in half-point increments.


The SAT, or the Scholastic Assessment Test, is a standardised exam that measures a student's knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and maths. The SAT is commonly used by universities in USA as an eligibility requirement for undergraduate admissions. However, some institutions outside of the US also accept SAT scores as part of their application process.


The ACT (American College Testing) is a standardised test used for college admissions in USA. It covers four subject areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science, with an optional writing section.

Choosing between SAT and ACT? Here's what you need to know to determine which exam is the right fit for you: SAT v/s ACT


The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardised exam used by law schools in USA, Canada, and some other countries to evaluate applicants' critical thinking and reasoning skills. The LSAT is required for admission to most law schools in the United States and Canada.

While the LSAT is not required for all study abroad programs, some universities and colleges that offer law degrees or programs may require LSAT scores as part of their admissions process. Typically, law schools abroad require LSAT scores of 160 or above (out of a possible 180) for admission, but the score requirements may vary depending on the institution and program.

Eligibility to Study Abroad: Documents Required

Students who wish to study abroad must also prepare and provide various documents to meet the eligibility criteria. Some of these documents are listed below:


A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is a document that provides a summary of an individual's education, work experience, skills, and achievements. While a resume or CV is not always required for admission to study abroad programs, it may be necessary for certain programs or internships, particularly in fields such as business, engineering, or technology.

Crafting a compelling resume is essential for success in today's competitive admission criteria followed by universities abroad. Here are 10 tips on writing an effective resume to help you stand out from the crowd.

Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

Letters of recommendation (LOR) are a crucial component of the application process for many study abroad programs. These letters are written by teachers, professors, or employers who know the applicant well and can provide insight into their academic abilities, personal qualities, and potential for success in the program they are applying to.

Explore the format and samples of LORs required for studying abroad along with tips on how to prepare effective LORs.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a critical document required by many universities and colleges for admission to their study abroad programs. The SOP is an essay in which students are expected to express their motivations, academic background, and career goals.

In an SOP, students are expected to explain why they are interested in pursuing a specific program and what they hope to gain from the experience. This essay provides the admissions committee with insight into the applicant's character, personality, and potential to succeed in the program.

Also Read:


Studying abroad provides a unique opportunity for students to broaden their horizons, gain international exposure, and develop valuable skills that will serve them well in their future careers. However, to be eligible for study abroad programs, students must meet certain criteria, including academic qualifications, language proficiency, and document requirements.

By understanding these requirements and preparing accordingly, students can increase their chances of being accepted into their desired study abroad program and make the most of this life-changing experience.


Eligibility to Study Abroad: Language Tests, General Exams & Documents Required? ›

Academic references/ letters of recommendation. Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education. Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries), or other language test. Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

What qualifications do you need to study abroad? ›

Academic references/ letters of recommendation. Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education. Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries), or other language test. Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

What exams are taken to qualify for further education abroad or in the USA? ›

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Along with GRE, there are subject-specific tests that one can take up. Some business schools have also started accepting GRE scores for admission in MBA. The test comprises three different sections and is accepted by more than 1400 universities across the globe.

What are the requirements to study abroad in Korea? ›

To study in Korea in English, you will need to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS. These are the required minimum scores to study in Korea: At the undergraduate and masters level, a minimum score of TOEFL 71 and IELTS 5.5 is required. At the PhD level, a minimum score of TOEFL 79 and IELTS 6 is required.

What to say when asked why you want to study abroad? ›

Top Reasons Why I Want to Study Abroad
  • I'll have access to a better form of education. ...
  • I get to experience a whole new and different country. ...
  • I get to develop a deep sense of appreciation for my country. ...
  • I can learn a different language. ...
  • I can find attractive employment opportunities. ...
  • I'll get to meet new friends.

What GPA do you need to go on exchange? ›

maintain minimum of 4.5 cumulative GPA in the semester prior to exchange.

What kind of GPA do you need to study abroad? ›

What GPA do you need to study abroad? The minimum GPA requirements for study abroad programs vary by institution, faculty, and partner university. Most programs require at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), but some programs out there that do accept lower GPAs!

What is the US equivalent of the A level exam? ›

For those considering US universities, the American equivalent for A Levels are the AP examinations.

Which language test is required for US? ›

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exams are the most common language tests for American universities like Baylor, and other test options include D You can take TOEFL and IELTS exams at testing centers worldwide.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Korea College? ›

Tuition per year through direct enrollment:

Chonnam National University: $3,600-$4,800 per year (2023/24) Seoul National University $9,200-$11,600 per year (2023/24) Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST): $5,350 per year (2022/23) Sogang University: $6,400-$8,400 per year (2022/23)

What is the eligibility criteria to study in Korea? ›

high school diploma (to apply for a Bachelor's) Bachelor's diploma (to apply for a Master's) proof of English proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL) proof of financial resources (to live and study there)

What is the minimum bank balance for South Korea visa? ›

Students on a one term program (3-4 months) must provide a recent bank statement with a minimum balance of $3,000 and students on a year-long program must provide a recent bank statement with a minimum balance of $10,000.

What are the 10 most common university interview questions and answers? ›

How to answer common admission interview questions
  • Why do you want to attend this university? ...
  • Why do you want to study this subject? ...
  • What are you reading at the moment? ...
  • How would your friends describe you? ...
  • What achievement are you most proud of? ...
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

How do I write a personal statement for study abroad? ›

Introduce the personal statement by broadly describing your interest in the study abroad program and how you hope to benefit from the program. The first section in the body explains what you can bring to the program or internship. How will you benefit and reflect positively upon the institution you will represent?

What is the lowest GPA accepted? ›

Unofficially, 2.0 is the lowest GPA accepted into a standard college, so while there's a chance that college admission is possible, it's not likely at more than a few institutions.

What is the lowest GPA to get accepted? ›

What's the lowest GPA a college will accept? Typically, colleges will not accept a GPA below 2.0 to a four-year program, but there are options for students with a GPA lower than this to succeed in being accepted.

How much money do you need to be an exchange student? ›

You can expect to pay about $600 per week for an exchange program. Add to that the cost of your travel, which can be equal to the cost of the exchange itself, your visa expenses (if any), and insurance. You'll also need some pocket money and may have to pay for some meals.

What is the average GPA in America? ›

The average high school GPA in the US is 3.0, which also accounts for roughly 35% of students who don't end up applying for college. However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely between 3.5 and 4.0.

How many times are you allowed to study abroad? ›

Can I study abroad more than once? Absolutely! We encourage students to begin studying abroad early in their college career so they have time to take advantage of multiple overseas opportunities. Read the stories of these students who have each studied abroad three or more times.

How much GPA is required to study in USA for international students? ›

International transfer requirements

Official or unofficial transcripts from your high school and college/university. A 2.0 cumulative GPA from a US institution or college OR 3.0 cumulative GPA from a USA high school is required for full admission.

What is year 12 in america? ›

The twelfth grade is the twelfth school year after kindergarten. It is also the last year of compulsory secondary education, or high school. Students are often 17–18 years old, and on rarer occasions, can be 19 years old. Twelfth graders are referred to as Seniors.

What is a US high school diploma equivalent to in the UK? ›

High School Graduation Diploma is considered comparable to GCSE (grades A*-C / 9-4), for every Grade 12 level subject passed High School Graduation Diploma (with a minimum 3.0 GPA), plus three Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations at grade 3 or higher. This must include science, if applying for a science degree. We also ...

Do you need A Levels USA? ›

Entry requirements for American Universities

Entry requirements will vary across the US but as a minimum you will likely need 5 GCSEs A* - C to include English and Maths. You will need to be studying post-16 qualifications (ie A-Levels) for four-year universities but you could get into a community college with less.

How can I prove my English language proficiency? ›

The most popular English proficiency tests are IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, CELPIP and the Cambridge English Qualifications of KET, PET, FCE, CAE and CPE.

Do I need to pass an English language test to study in the United States? ›

An English language test is a standardized test that all international students are required to take as part of the admissions process at US universities and colleges. You are required to earn a specific score in this US college entrance exam, and the exact score you need will differ between institutions.

What is the most difficult English exam? ›

Cambridge Exams

The Cambridge exam suite is the most difficult English test to understand because it is actually a set of several tests for different skill levels and student profiles.

What is the first step to study abroad? ›

Meet with an academic advisor from your school or college's advising center to review your degree and graduation requirements and to discuss your plans to study abroad.

How can I study abroad for free in America? ›

Apply for grants and scholarships

If you want to study abroad without the price tag, it pays to do some research around grants and scholarships. Universities, charities, foundations, and government organizations help thousands of international students each year with their tuition fees and living costs.

Where do I start if I want to study abroad? ›

Let's dive right in!
  • Determine how much you want to spend on your education abroad. ...
  • Decide what you want to study. ...
  • Decide where you want to study. ...
  • Choose your favourite study programmes and compare them. ...
  • Apply at multiple universities. ...
  • Pass your English language test if you haven't already. ...
  • Apply for scholarships.
Nov 17, 2022

Is studying in Korea worth it for international students? ›

Internationally acclaimed degrees to study in Korea

Seoul National University (SNU), KAIST, Yonsei, POSTECH, Korea University, and SKKU are among the top 100 universities in the world. They have a global reputation due to high-quality teaching and cutting-edge infrastructure.

Is it cheaper to go to college in Korea? ›

How much does it cost to study in South Korea? Studying abroad in South Korea is very affordable when compared to tuition and living prices in the US. Tuition for a direct enrollment semester abroad in South Korea ranges from $1,800 to around $6,000 depending on the university and subjects you're studying.

Is it cheaper to study abroad for college? ›

Study abroad can be cheaper if you enroll directly in a foreign university. Cost of tuition can range from a few hundred dollars in countries like Germany and Sweden to over $10,000 in Australia and New Zealand.

What is the age limit for student visa in Korea? ›

Answer: There is no written upper age limit that I am aware of. However, whether you can get accepted to a specific school and get a student visa will depend on your nationality, what you have done during the past 10 years, and of course what and where you want to study.

How much money required to study in South Korea? ›

Tuition Fees in South Korea
ProgramApproximate Costs (per semester, in USD)
Associate Degree$1,500-$2,600 (INR 1.22- 2.12 Lakh)
Undergraduate Course$1,600-$10,000 (INR 1.31-INR 8.19 Lakh)
Postgraduate Program$1,100-$10,000 (INR 90,091 – INR 8.19 Lakh)

Can an American open a Korean bank account? ›

Approvals and Rejections. South Korea has become a very cosmopolitan country, and almost all banks now allow foreigners to open accounts. 99% of the time, people will be able to open a bank account with no problem, provided they have all the right paperwork.

Which bank is best for foreigners in Korea? ›

Best Banks in South Korea for Expats
  • Kookmin Bank (KB)
  • Standard Chartered Bank Korea.
  • Hana Bank.
  • Woori Bank.
  • Shinhan Bank.

How much cash can you fly with to Korea? ›

However, if you enter the country with foreign currency, KRW notes, or checks above USD 10,000 or the equivalent in total, you must report it to the Customs. The same goes for cashier's checks in Korean won.

What are the 5 hardest interview questions and answers? ›

The most difficult interview questions (and answers)
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What's something that you didn't like about your last job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?
  • Here's an answer for you.

What are the 3 most popular questions asked at any interview? ›

Common interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in working for this company?
  • Tell me about your education.
  • Why have you chosen this particular field?
  • Describe your best/worst boss.
  • In a job, what interests you most/least?
  • What is your major weakness?

Is study abroad actually worth it? ›

97% say they deepened their understanding of their host culture. 91% believe they are now more aware of global issues. 79% built skills relevant to their careers. 25% earn higher salaries than their peers who did not study abroad.

Why is it so hard to study abroad? ›

being too far away from family, course requirements of existing curriculum, finances, language and cultural barriers, and health and dietary issues.

Are study abroad worth it? ›

Advance your future career

Studying abroad is not only about educational and cultural experiences. It looks great on your resume as it provides excellent career opportunities. You can gain many hard skills from your period of time abroad. These include language skills or a specific area of study.

How long should a personal statement be for study abroad? ›

Essay Prompts and Essay Length

The instructions may request that you “should include information about you and your academic interests and goals, and should explain the reasoning behind your wish to study abroad.” The Study Abroad Application personal statement should be approximately one page long.

What should I say in my study abroad application? ›

Mention major academic accomplishments, work experience, or skills that you might find useful abroad, such as knowledge of a second language. The university knows you will learn a lot during your time abroad, but the more you can bring to the program, the better!

How do you write a 500 word personal statement? ›

Tips on writing a 500-word personal statement essay
  1. Brainstorm themes or stories you want to focus on. ...
  2. It should be personal. ...
  3. Answer the prompt. ...
  4. Show don't tell. ...
  5. Just start writing.

Can you study abroad with a 2.0 GPA? ›

Most study abroad programs require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and programs accepting students with a GPA under 2.5 are rare. But low grades don't have to ruin your dreams of studying overseas. There are limited programs with relaxed requirements out there—you just have to be motivated and know where to look.

What majors are good to study abroad? ›

15 best majors for study abroad
  • International Relations.
  • Environmental Studies.
  • Art History.
  • Business.
  • Asian Studies.
  • Pre-Med.
  • Communications.
  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.
Aug 22, 2022

Can I study abroad without being in college? ›

You're Never Too Old to Study Abroad

No one ever truly stops learning, and study abroad programs are for everybody. You don't have to enroll in college and pursue a degree to attend school in another country. You also don't need to be well-established in a career to continue your education abroad.

How do I become a student abroad? ›

The most reliable way to become a foreign exchange student is to find the right program provider. A program provider will orchestrate your exchange and advise you on types of exchanges and picking a destination. However, it's up to you to do your research and choose your program provider wisely.

What is the lowest GPA to get into Harvard? ›

You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.

What is the lowest GPA possible? ›

The lowest possible grade is usually equal to a 0.0 on any scale and most times correlates to an "F" or the failing grade for the course. The scale coverts linearly from the 0.0 to 4.0 with your grade whether you are on a number or letter grading system for the class.

What is the best year to study abroad? ›

Junior year is a popular time to go abroad, particular for students who started as a freshman. This could be a perfect choice if you have a solid plan with how study abroad fits in with your major plan.

Which bachelor degree is best for abroad? ›

Top 9 Bachelor's Degrees You Can Study Abroad in 2023
  • Bachelors in Computer Science and IT. ...
  • Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Construction. ...
  • Bachelors in Medicine. ...
  • Bachelors in Architecture. ...
  • Bachelors in Design. ...
  • Bachelors in International Relations. ...
  • Bachelors in Language Studies.
Nov 17, 2022

Can a 40 year old study abroad? ›

Many flexible programs are designed for adults.

While you might think of the typical college student demographic when you think about studying abroad, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, many study abroad programs are designed for 'adults.

Can older students study abroad? ›

There is no age cut off to register. If you are a non-traditional student, a senior taking classes for pleasure, or an older adult returning to school, please feel encouraged to join study abroad.

Is college free in Europe for US citizens? ›

In many European countries, universities are tuition-free for local, EU, or EEA citizens. Public universities are tuition-free for Americans in Norway, Iceland, Germany (some exceptions apply), and Sweden (for doctoral students)—and they may even offer classes in English.

How can I study abroad if I am poor? ›

5 Ways to Study Abroad for Free or Cheap
  1. Choose a country with an affordable cost of living. You don't have to break the bank just to take your studies overseas. ...
  2. Enroll directly in a foreign university or language school. ...
  3. Complete a work-study. ...
  4. Opt for a cheap study abroad program. ...
  5. Apply for scholarships & grants.
Mar 2, 2023

Can an American become a foreign exchange student? ›

The U.S. Department of State offers many programs for American citizens wishing to go abroad for cultural, educational, or professional exchange.

Is studying abroad paid for? ›

Depending on the program and country, study abroad can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000. Study abroad costs can be steep, but there are a few ways to get help paying for it. Finding scholarships, loans, and roommates can help you cover some program and housing costs so you can enjoy your time abroad.


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