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The study abroad process can be meticulous and time-sensitive. Thus, having a professional education consultant by your side can help you avoid many pitfalls and save you time.
Especially when it comes to overseas universities such as Australia and the United Kingdom (UK), which have limited application deadlines. This is due to the high demand from thousands of students across the globe.
So, When Should You Speak To A Study Abroad Consultant?
As a rule of thumb, education consultants recommend that you give yourself at least 6 months from your target intake period to start preparing for your study abroad journey.
This is to ensure that, even if there are missteps or delays from circumstances out of your control, you still have sufficient time to secure your seat.
Nevertheless, our expert counsellors are able to support you for a minimum of 3–4 months prior to the intake period. But, bear in mind that it will be tight.
# Pro Tip!
You do not need to wait for your final results before starting your applications.
In fact, you can use forecast results, semester results, or other valid checkpoint exam results to apply. For example, A-level students can use the AS exam results to start their registration.
Universities will typically provide the offer letter first, with the condition of submitting the final exam results later.
Application Deadlines For Popular Study Abroad Countries
These are the major deadline periods for top study-abroad countries for most Malaysian students:
|Popular Countries||Major Intake Period||Minor Intake Period|
|Australia||February & July||October & November|
|Ireland||February & September||–|
|New Zealand||January & July||–|
As an example, an A-level student completing and receiving her results in August can apply for the following year’s February intake (for further studies in Australia). There is a comfortable runway to prepare for the application process.
Typically, all courses will be available during major intake periods. In the minor intake period, only popular courses are offered. This arrangement is to mainly cater for students who missed the major intake period deadline.
Benefits Of Finding A Study Abroad Consultant Early
1. No Rush, No Stress
This is pretty obvious. Having more time to prepare will ensure you do not pull out all your hair before you board your flight overseas.
2. You Won’t Miss Deadlines
Different universities have different application deadlines. Learning early about this will allow you to have more options and time to plan out your applications. Plus, your education consultant will keep track of the various deadlines.
3. Time To Contemplate What You Want
More time will allow you to really consider whether the area of study, course and even university is right for you. An education consultant will even share deeper insights you may not obtain on your own.
4. Time To Meet Entry Requirements
When applying for overseas universities, you may receive conditional offer letters. This means, there are certain criteria you may need to fulfil, such as earning an English qualification like IELTS. Don’t worry. Your education consultant will guide you to meet the requirements in the quickest way possible.
5. More Time With Family and Friends
Studying abroad is indeed an exciting adventure but do not forget that you will literally be away for a couple of years. So, secure your offer letter and visa early so you can spend the remaining time with your loved ones.
# Read This Too!
Before you choose your education consultant, first read our 7 vital tips on how to choose your education consultant.
What Can Go Wrong? 7 Mistakes You Can Avoid
In this section, we list 7 potential common mistakes made by students when they did not seek early assistance from a professional study abroad consultant.
1. Missing Important Deadlines
Different countries have their own major and minor intakes. Each university also differs in the actual intake dates. The later you do your research or talk to a professional consultant, the more likely you may unintentionally miss out on the intake of your desired university.
When you engage early with a study abroad consultant, they will help keep track of all the important deadlines and provide a comfortable plan to prepare for enrolment.
2. Skipping Additional Tests Which Causes Delay
When studying abroad, you may find out later that there are other conditional entry requirements at play, such as fulfilling English tests like IELTS. Or, preparing a portfolio to be submitted for certain courses, including design and architecture.
Therefore, allowing more time for your education consultant to check will provide you more time to fulfil and submit in time. They may even be able to help you waive the English requirement.
3. Not Knowing Other Viable Options and Pathways
Doing your own research is a must but it typically puts blinders on your vision only towards your dream universities. Now, in the event your applications are rejected, you need to have a Plan B.
A study abroad consultant or counsellor has the experience and awareness of many alternative choices. These options will still fulfil your preferences in terms of courses, budget, environment and prestige.
For example, if you do not meet the direct requirements of Monash University, there are 2 potential options:
- You may complete a Diploma course at Monash College, which leads you into Year 2 of your Degree; or
- Consider other universities with lower requirements but still within the Top 100 QS University World Ranking.
Find Out If You Meet Entry Requirements!
Uni Enrol’s counsellors will help you scan multiple universities at one go while providing you with primary and backup plans. Drop your enquiry here!
4. Not Aware Of Subject Prerequisites and Minimum Scores
It is also a good idea to talk to a study abroad consultant even before you enrol on a pre-university course (e.g. A-level, AUSMAT, SACE, CIMP, Foundation). Even if you have plans to study overseas.
Degree courses that lead to professional careers such as medicine, engineering, and accounting typically have prerequisite subjects. Some of these subjects that you should have taken during your pre-university stage may include Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
Unfortunately, many students are not aware until it is too late.
5. Having An Incomplete Application Causes Delays Or Rejection
When handling your own university applications, it is quite common to inadvertently miss out on essential documents or information. (Especially when you or your parents are inexperienced in the process.)
This will cause delays in your acceptance or even rejection. For high-demand universities, the seats are quickly taken up by other students.
The process of document compilation may sometimes take up to 1 month. Once submitted, universities may take between 2 weeks and 1 month to process and reply. Thus, any mistakes will be time costly.
In short, the earlier the engagement with an education consultant, the less you need to rush to compile. Additionally, your consultant will ensure your submission is complete.
The earlier the engagement with an education consultant, the less you need to rush to compile. Additionally, your consultant will ensure your submission is complete.
6. Being Unaware Of How Long It Takes To Secure Your Study Visa
Securing your visa study is one of the most crucial steps before you can officially fly over and kickstart your new chapter in life.
However, for most countries like Australia and the United Kingdom, a visa application needs to include a health check report and a written statement of purpose (SoP). Or, sometimes referred to as a personal statement (for Australia).
The entire process will usually take between 3 to 4 weeks to complete. This is because health checks will take about 1 week and the visa approval takes up to 15 working days.
When you start your preparation early, you will have sufficient time to secure your study visa. In return, you make allowance for any potential unexpected delays.
7. Overlooking The Fact That Securing Accommodation Is Competitive
On-campus accommodation is generally the most desired residence for students. The reason? It is convenient being near the university campus and close to a community of newfound friends
On the flip side, availability is limited. So, it is safer to secure your place early before other students start submitting their applications near the deadlines.
Even off-campus accommodations in strategic areas can be quite popular. Due to their distance from the campus and/or affordable rental rates, these locations are also snapped up relatively fast.
In both cases, a study abroad consultant is able to help you liaise directly with the university representative. Or, recommend you to reliable property agents to source the best accommodation to rent.
Get acquainted with the detailed application process consisting of pre and post-application steps that Uni Enrol’s counsellors will bring you through.
Recommended Study Abroad Timeline
Based on our recommended minimum 6-month timeline, here are key milestones you can expect:
1. Educating And Guiding You To Shortlist Options (4 – 12 weeks)
- We identify your preferences, determine your budget, check your eligibility, take note of deadlines, and tailor the options that best fit you.
- Most students take between 1 to 3 months to decide on where to apply.
2. Submitting Applications (2 – 4 weeks)
- You will be submitting to a few universities as there are no guarantees of acceptance especially for high-demand universities.
- Compilation of documents required (application forms, reference letters, resume, etc.) may sometimes take up to 1 month. Uni Enrol will assist you with the submissions.
3. Receiving Full Or Conditional Offer Letters (2 – 4 weeks)
- For conditional offers, we check and explain to you what needs to be fulfilled and guide you accordingly.
- Popular universities typically take longer to turn around.
4. Securing A Visa Application (2 – 4 weeks)
- We help you apply for and secure your study visa. Prerequisites such as health checks and personal statements are required as part of the application submission.
5. Arranging For Accommodation (1 – 2 weeks)
- We work with partners to help ease your sourcing of accommodation. Additionally, we partner with local partners with good track records who are able to find property options quickly.
- We will begin your accommodation search usually right after your offer letter acceptance to ensure higher chances of securing the ”hot” locations.
6. Attending The Pre-Departure And Briefing (1 – 2 weeks)
- This is the final lap where the university will organise an online briefing on what to expect when you arrive. We will also provide you with a checklist of what to bring.
- Once your university provides the actual orientation date, you typically will have already booked your flight ticket as well. This is the stage where Uni Enrol will help you sort out the last few requirements, such as your mandatory student health insurance.
All in all, there are many good reasons to seek professional help for a big undertaking, such as taking off for several years in a foreign land. Leverage the experience of study abroad consultants who have been around the block today!
It is never too early or too late to start talking to Uni Enrol’s consultants!
Drop us an enquiry here and let our counsellors set you on a smooth enrolment experience.