Study Abroad Requirements

15 Study Abroad Visa Documents You Must Prepare Right Away

15 Study Abroad Visa Documents You Must Prepare Right Away

Here’s the list of documents you need for student visa.

1. A Valid Passport
2. An Error-free Visa Application
3. Proof of Being A Bonafide Student
4. A Compelling Statement Of Purpose (SOP)
5. University Confirmation Letter And Fees Receipts
6. Two Letters Of Recommendation (LORs)
7. Original Academic Certificates And Transcripts
8. English Language Test Scores Are A Must
9. (IELTS/TOEFL)Work Experience Letter (if any)
10. Proof Of Funds: They Are VERY Important!
11. Parent’s Proof Of Income, FD Acknowledgements, Property Report, Share or Bonds
12. Health Insurance Certificates
13. Student Visa Application Fee Receipt
14. Accepted Passport Size Photographs
15. Proof of Accommodation

For more details, read on.

Study Abroad Visa Documents – Your Complete Guide

The student visa requirements process might be daunting at the periphery.

But, here’s the catch – you can simplify the student visa complexities by just having your paperwork intact.

In this blog, let’s walk you through all the documents you will need to gather along with a pre-departure checklist for studying in a foreign country.

: Study Abroad Visa Documents For Student Visa

To touch base, there are two types of student visas to study abroad as a foreigner. i.e., short-term study visa and long-term study visa.

Snapshot of short-term students visa

The Short-Term Visa is provided to students who plan to take a diploma certificate course or a short-term course for not more than a period of 90 days (3 months).

A long-term Visa is provided to students planning to take up a degree abroad.

15 Important Documents You Need To Apply For A Student Visa

To apply for a students visa, every country has its own set of document submission requirements depending on its immigration Law.

So, while applying to different universities and colleges abroad, make a note of all the required documents in advance.

While the specifications differ depending upon the country you are applying to, some of the essentials remain the same.

Let’s quickly run a glance over this checklist:


1. A Valid Passport

As a basic requirement, you will need a valid passport to travel abroad.

To study abroad make sure your passport has a validity period of at least six months after the planned return date to your home country.


2. An Error-free Visa Application

At the visa office, you will be handed a student visa application that will ask you about the necessary personal details.

Make sure you fill out this visa application with utmost accuracy.

Avoid making errors, especially with your name, initial, date of birth etc.

A visa application is a crucial document that puts all the pieces of your student visa together. Thus, carefully cater to every question, attentively.


3. Proof of Being A Bonafide Student

A Bonafide certificate clarifies the legitimacy of a student’s past education.

To prove this, you can request the university you graduated from to acknowledge proof displaying you have passed out from the specific university.

In case of an outstanding academic record, universities include academic laurels in your bonafide certificate, earning one of these might be beneficial for your career.


4. A Compelling Statement Of Purpose (SOP)

An SOP or a Statement of Purpose is a letter you, the study abroad aspirant compose expressing his/her interest in pursuing a particular course abroad.

Most Universities and colleges too expect you to provide a statement of purpose.

However, your SOP for a visa application is slightly different than the one submitted during your admission.

An SOP for a university focuses on your academic interests, achievements, career goals, experiences etc. Whereas, an SOP for students visa circles around financial backup, career plans, future plans etc.

Your visa SOP must clearly define the sources of your funding abroad.

The VO must be given enough evidence to prove that you have the finances to survive in a different country during your course tenure.

Suggested Read: Here’s An Easy Way To Compose An Effective SOP


5. University Confirmation Letter And Fees Receipts

For a student visa, you obviously need to have a confirmed university admission.

One of the crucial documents you will be submitting to the visa officer includes stapling the university acceptance letter.

Along with your admission confirmation, you will also have to attach fee payment proofs to show that you’ve enrolled yourself in the course.


6. Two Letters Of Recommendations (LORs)

LORs or reference letters are letters that add to your credibility and acts as an advocate to justify your caliber to the visa officer.

These LORs are written on official letterheads, be it by a university professor of a college
you studied in or by a manager whom you worked with.

In a LOR, qualified professionals describe your potential, performance, achievements, skills, and interests that have motivated you to pursue your education further abroad.

These letterheads must also be sealed and signed by the professional writing the letter.


7. Original Academic Certificates And Transcripts

While applying for a student visa you will have to also submit your marks report, certificates and transcripts.

Include the below list of certificates along with the other documents:
● 10th Grade Transcripts and Certificate.
● 12th Grade Transcripts and Certificate.
● Bachelor’s Transcripts and Degree (for Masters/PG Programs only)
● Master’s Transcripts and Degree (if available)
● Diploma Transcripts and Certificate (if available)
● Other diploma certificates (if available)


8. English Language Test Scores (IELTS/TOEFL)

Hailing from India, you are required to submit an English proficiency test course while applying for a visa abroad.

The purpose of these scores is to cross-check if your language abilities are thorough to prosper in another country.
Students usually take the IELTS or TOEFL test before moving abroad.

Have a look at the below table to learn about the accepted language scores:
Country Minimum Accepted IELTS Score Minimum Accepted TOEFL Score
USA 6.5 – 7 78
Canada 6 80
UK 6 70
Germany 5.5-6 80
Australia 6.5 79
9. Work Experience Letter (if any)

Having work experience before moving abroad to study is beneficial.

Courses like MS, MBA or executive MBA, etc require students to have at least 2 years of work experience to have a working knowledge of the industry.

So, be it any internships, volunteer work, social work or work experience, attach the experience letters along with your visa application.

This allows the visa officer to understand your interests as well as reflects responsibility. It also helps you convey that you shall be back to your home country after your Master’s to continue your career.


10. Proof Of Funds: They Are VERY Important!

Visa authorities thoroughly check your financial statements. It is important to ensure that you have ample financial aid to study abroad.

To provide the proof of funds to the visa officer, you will need to submit bank statements, a student loan acknowledgment letter (if any), blocked account proof (if required) and sponsorship proofs (if any).

Your bank statement must prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses abroad.

Blocked Account Proof:

If you choose to study in Germany, having a blocked account is a must.

A blocked account is a bank account with a blocked sum of money that you receive in installments once you move abroad to study.

As Germany offers high-quality free education for international students, choosing the best university from SelectRight will help you have a successful career at an affordable price.

11. Parent’s Proof Of Income, FD Acknowledgements, Property Report, Share or Bonds As parents act as your support system, their income proofs need to be submitted to the authorities.

If you aren’t opting for a student loan and your education is sponsored by your parents or a relative, you will have to provide proof for the same.

An affidavit of supposed can be issued to prove the same too.

Students traveling abroad with the financial assistance of a student loan submit the loan approval documents or the transaction receipt.

But, students financing their own education abroad or the ones having ancestral grants for the purpose of their education must attach additional proof of funds.

To show that you have enough money to take care of yourself during your college tenure, you can produce proof of your savings, property documents, etc.


12. Health Insurance Certificates

Health insurance should be purchased according to the regulations of the country you are applying to.

Due to the pandemic, you will additionally require a health insurance card and a vaccination certificate.

It is also highly recommended that you conduct a full-body medical check-up before flying abroad.


13. Student Visa Application Fee Receipt

The visa application fee receipt is required for the visa interview appointment.

The payment receipt of your student visa application form confirms your go-ahead for a student visa and thus, is important to be attached along with the other documents.


14. Accepted Passport Size Photographs

Your passport size photo is an important factor to keep your process going.
As your photograph is the only visual evidence of you, make sure it is a recent photograph.

A recently clicked photograph avoids confusion as it’s easier for the visa officer to recognize that you are the same person traveling.

Another interesting fact about photographs is that every country has its own size, background and zoom specification.

So, make sure you are catering to the right photo style guide while submitting your picture.

Your passport-size photo should also include your name and date of birth at the back of your photograph.


15. Proof of Accommodation

Along with your address proof, university evidence, and financial credentials, the last leaflet to complete your document folder in the visa office is the proof of accommodation.

You can provide any proof of stay in the country you wish to study in.

You can submit the hostel fees recite to display the same.

This is to ensure that you have a place to stay once you land abroad. Therefore, make your stay arrangements prior to flying abroad.

By gathering the above list of documents, you are sorted for your visa interview.

Visa interview?

Once you have your documents in place, you can book an appointment at the consulate for a visa interview.

At the visa interview, you will have to discuss your interests and also, provide your biometrics. This again is a very important part of the process.

After your interview, the procedure proceeds and you finally have your student visa approval (obviously, if everything seems right).

You are then ready to fly.

Statement Of Purpose: Craft a compelling SOP

Craft A Compelling Statement Of Purpose

You spend the greater part of your childhood swimming in a metaphorical river, constrained by the rules set in place by the government, society, and your parents. You get some breathing room to dabble in your interests when you enter college. Now, as you’re hoping to enter graduate school, you will have even more space to craft the path of your career and contribute to the broader community.

With more space, comes more uncertainties.

The committee needs to know that you have a focused purpose that will shield you through all the uncertainties. The statement of purpose is your chance to convey that purpose. It is a statement of your purpose.

This is what Ross Gortner, Associate Director of Engineering Management at Dartmouth College, shares about what he’s looking for in an SOP:

“In the statement of purpose, I’m looking for the answers to two basic questions: who is this person and what is their story. The essay should talk about where you want to go from where you are presently and how this particular program will act as a bridge for you.

Another important factor that I look at is whether you talk specifically about the university’s capabilities and whether you have done your research to understand why you are applying to this program. I expect an applicant to provide a customized essay over a generalized one for the universities they apply to.

I first scan through the SOPs and check if most of the aspects are covered, and then spend more time on the selected ones. I read through all of them but would give more importance to the ones that are concisely written after distilling one’s thoughts. Overall, I want to perceive how interested the student is in this program.” 

In general, there is a lot of content on the web around this topic. Some ask you to include interesting anecdotes while others suggest using this space to offer explanations on another part of your application (such as a low CGPA). We distilled all the information out there to present the five questions we feel you definitely need to answer in this essay. To make it more actionable, we have given examples from well-written essays at the end of each question. 


Let’s begin!

Why this major and university?

Answering this question takes a non-trivial amount of effort. 

Here are two things to avoid while answering this question: First, don’t assume it is obvious to the admissions committee that you are pursuing a graduate degree in computer science because your undergraduate degree was in computer science. Second, don’t search for the most recently published paper on the department’s website and include that as the reason you wish to pick the university.

Making the above errors indicate that you are lethargic and put little thought into this. 

“You should not try to answer this question alone. You should start off by collecting research guides (or brochures or summaries) from the different departments where you will apply. You’ll look through these things and you’ll find summaries of ongoing research in the different areas that [that school] offers. You’ll find a few projects (and possible faculty advisors) that interest you, and you will ask yourself this question: “If I worked in this [area], and if I worked on chunks of these projects, what would I try to do on my own?”   The answer to this question should form about a third of your Personal Statement.” 

– Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology[14]

The admissions committee generally uses the statement of purpose for a few reasons:

  • To weed out anomalies, such as students who claim they’re pursuing graduate studies because their parents asked them to or students who have extremely poor writing skills (which we’ll talk about soon)
  • To gauge the interest of the applicant and
  • To potentially match the student with a faculty from the department. 

While it’s understandable if you don’t end up pursuing exactly what you stated in your essay, there needs to be a strong correlation or reason for you to have digressed. For those reasons, it is highly recommended that you do your due diligence in understanding the boundaries of what research is possible, what interests you, and what you have experience with from your undergraduate degree before answering this question (or choosing the major and university). 

“[paraphrased] Throughout my undergraduate studies, I’ve been fascinated by solving problems that are an amalgamation of business and engineering principles. I’ve focused my coursework on two key pillars of the program – operations research and information systems. Within operations research, I have a strong foundation in probability and statistics, optimization and stochastic modelling. I’ve not only performed well in all classes, but also applied the concepts learned in real world situations. For example, I led a small team of two students to determine the outcomes of possible breast cancer screening policies (e.g. annual, biannual, every three-year mammography). We built a decision tree (with 3 health states and 3 different screening policies over a 10-year period). Based on analysis of the tree, the optimal screening policy was determined. […] My undergraduate education and abundant internship experiences have shown me I have the strong quantitative and qualitative skills necessary to thrive in all the core courses and electives in the IEOR department and the business school at Columbia. I believe these factors would enable me to excel in Columbia’s Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) program.”

– Graduate Student at Columbia University

What do you want to spend the two (or five) years on?

Graduate school is not easy, to put it mildly. You are putting yourself through financial debt, cultural transformation, gruelling hours of schoolwork, and possibly developing an imposter syndrome[15]. All in the hopes of getting a job that will pay off for all your hard work. 

Note that this question is extremely important if you’re applying for a doctorate degree, which stretches on for five years or more. Nevertheless, even for a master’s degree, you need to have an idea of the research that you want to pursue.

“It is best for both the department and the student if there is some match between the student’s interests and the department’s research projects. It is a good idea to do some research on each graduate school’s research projects and tailor your personal statement accordingly. Statements that praise our department on its excellence in a topic where no current research is going on raise a red flag to the committee and these applicants are generally rejected.” 

– Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology[14]

This ties into what we mentioned for the previous question. Unless they see a fit between your interests and what they can offer, they would not be motivated to pick you. This question is also a place for you to go back and write down all the questions that have grabbed your attention while you were running a model simulation during your internships or sitting through a powerful presentation at a conference. 

Elucidate how you plan on getting these questions answered during your graduate school either by working under a professor’s wing or by leveraging the industry partnership program at the university (or both). 

“One of these days, while I was trying to implement a self organizing map, I wondered if a hardware implementation of the neuron exists. Isn’t the massively parallel architecture of the brain the reason behind its ability to process petabytes of data daily and swiftly? Google eventually gave me something: a silicon brain project, a chip that mimics the neuron; but I didn’t get as many search hits as I would’ve really liked. […] The brain’s processing needs to be simulated using a new architecture that is vastly parallel like the neural mesh of the brain itself. Has it already been simulated like this? I need more knowledge on the subject to answer such questions. This thought is only related to a subset of the vast subject that is Artificial Intelligence. There is so much still to do in Artificial Intelligence that Russell and Norvig in their book “Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach” state that “several full-time Einsteins” can work on it! I want to be part of the academic community diving into Artificial Intelligence.” 

– Doctorate Student in Computational Neuroscience

Do you have the required experience?

The nail in the coffin for the two questions above is your response to this one. Expressing your interest in a topic that is being worked on by the university would bear no fruit if you don’t have some relevant experience already in the said topic. A best-selling author does not start out asking publishing houses to look at her manuscript without spending years conducting painful research and writing relentlessly. 

You need to show tangible work you did, along with the results.  

“We have admitted some students because of projects they talk about in the SOP, but we want to see results (publications, etc.) and what the faculty letter-writers have to say about it. The SOP itself is not driving this evaluation but may help to put what you have done into context for us. The SOP is your chance to tell us what you want to do (at this point) and why, and to put all the other information in the application into some sort of contextual or narrative framework that helps us make sense of what you have been doing.” 

– Professor Emeritus, CMU[13]

We understand that not everything you have worked on in the past might be relevant to your future; at least not directly. That’s completely fine, as you can see from my own story. The admissions committee understands that students like to explore their interests and dabble during their undergraduate degree to find their passion(s), so to speak. While they’re okay with a student not having multiple relevant experiences, they do want to see someone who has taken things to the finish line before. 

Have you published a paper? 

Did your team get to the final stage of a hackathon, maybe even win it? 

Were you the founder of an organization or community that created an impact? 

All of these carry enormous weight because it shows them that you have what it takes to finish what you start.

“The Discrete Mathematics course during my sophomore year introduced me to predicate Calculus and prepared me for a research internship in Logic at the [university] under [professor]. Under his tutelage, I developed an automated problem solver for the famous Einstein puzzle, which involved translating user input to meaningful predicates and extensively used resolution principles to arrive at the solution for the puzzle. Drawing inspiration from my experience at [university], I took to developing an automated Boggle solver back at college. I drew on the ideas I picked up in my algorithm course to use a greedy approach involving recursion and backtracking to find words in sequences of adjacent letters in a grid. […] During my final year, the elective course on Data Mining drew me to explore Recommender Systems. In my final year thesis, my work involved enhancing the traditional memory-based filtering technique by effectively using singular ratings to improve the accuracy of existing recommender systems. The proposal was prototyped using Python and received an award of S grade, the highest one allotted.”

– Graduate Student at Stanford University

Why did you do the things you did?

This is a crucial question to answer, because this is not answered anywhere else in your application. While your grades and scores talk solely about outcomes, this question gives you an opportunity to justify them. This question can be used to explain anomalies in your application (such as a very low CGPA or test score) and/or walk them through your thought process during the moments you took an important decision in your career, such as choosing to work on a niche topic under a professor.

“Understanding the reasons that led to something, accepting it gracefully and striving hard to get better, are all the signs of maturity, and top programs hunt for mature people. For something as basic as failing an exam, a mature person will always realize where (s)he is at fault. More than the ‘situation’ itself, the admissions committee is interested in the experience of it, how you overcame it and what you learnt from the entire experience.” 

– Overseas Education Specialist at MINDLER[16]

If something changed the course of your career path or you faced a hardship that influenced your future goals, this is the place to address that. Sai and I changed our course of careers after undergraduation. We studied core engineering (mechanical and chemical respectively) but then switched to a degree in engineering management which led to a career in product management. We understand the difficulty in writing a cogent essay, hoping the admissions committee will see where you’re coming from without having met you. 

The best way to do that is to be honest in addressing your transformation.

“Growing up, I was very close to my grandfather. When I was about 12 years old, he suffered a brain hemorrhage resulting in retrograde amnesia. He couldn’t remember his family members or his own name, but could perfectly identify mistakes in Ragas when my mother sang, as he had been an Indian classical musician for many years. I wanted to find out how this was possible. This was the first time I started reading about the human brain. And, from this stemmed my passion for neurobiology. […] After graduating as valedictorian in both my high school and pre-university, I wanted to study life sciences. Being in India, where there is little interplay between life science and technology in undergraduate science courses, I felt that the best way to experience the synergy would be to study Biotechnology Engineering. I enrolled at the Department of Biotechnology at [university], which is one of the leading Biotechnology departments in India.”

– Doctorate Student in Biochemistry

What will your future contribution to society be?

We know you have grand dreams you wish to realize one day. Show the committee that studying at their institution is the right means to achieve them. This goes back to the point of having questions that you want answered through your graduate school experience. If you’re hoping to become a biomedical engineer who wants to help paraplegics walk again, you need to find out the questions that your graduate school experience can answer for you: can we use technique A to improve somatosensory reflexes by x%? What are the main causes of symptom B? What research has been conducted thus far at the university on topic C? Once you lay out your thoughts on the topic, don’t be shy in speaking in detail about your goals. 

Each of us wants to leave this world better than we entered it. Why am I writing this book? 

To bridge the gap between those who seek out quality education and those who can offer it. 

To democratize valuable information so everyone who needs it has access to it. 

To level the playing field irrespective of someone’s economic background. 

So, as you describe your future goal(s), go into specifics on why and how you wish to achieve them. 

“[paraphrased] In five years, I will launch India’s first virtual reality restaurant. In a food obsessed country like India, this unique eatery, via an application, will bring the menu alive by projecting a virtual 3-D representation of food choices and present customers with the look and texture of the food item before they place the order. There would also be a projection of a mini chef who prepares the dish on the table in front of clients, waiting to be served. My vision is to channelize the profits from my restaurant into finding an effective solution to India’s food wastage problem. […] India wastes 40% of the food it produces and yet, 135 million people go hungry every day. I encountered this disturbing statistic when I volunteered as a Community Representative for The Roti Bank Foundation of India, a non-profit that collects perfectly edible surplus food from houses and distributes it to the needy. By designing the distribution process around a temperature controlled casserole which gave community residents the flexibility to drop off their rotis on the way to school/work, I collect and supply 240 rotis and feed 150 people every day.”  

Aniruddh Menon, Graduate Student at Dartmouth College

Aniruddh was meticulous in adding a footer in his essay explaining what a roti meant. If you plan on including terms that are colloquial or regional which an international audience might be unfamiliar with, please add a footer or provide some context inline. 

Finally, be yourself

This is a lot harder to explain than any of the previous questions. 

Identifying a disingenuous essay is like seeing through clear water. 

Don’t forget that those who read your essay have years of experience reading thousands of such documents. They know when they’re listening to a student talk about a topic they have little knowledge on. They know if you’re faking an illness to justify a bad outcome. We cannot stress the importance of sincerity while writing this essay. 

Graduate school is a dream come true for thousands of students every year; but truly reaping the reward from the experience won’t happen if you begin the journey with an inaccurate portrayal of yourself. 

This is also a chance to think about how you can channel your quirks and personality through paper. If you were to read out the essay to someone in a conversation, how would you word it? 

To finish this off and give an example, below is an example from the final passage in Ankur’s essay. 

“There is only so much one can include in a statement of purpose. I hope you will take the chance of knowing me in person by accepting me to the institute. I want to be part of the Artificial Intelligence dream of developing intelligence as humans exhibit it. I am committed to contributing to the global committee to the best of my ability. I am working at a consulting firm at the moment. The work is good, yes, but it isn’t anywhere near challenging or thrilling as the smallest new piece of information that I come across on Artificial Intelligence. It’s only a nudge I’m looking for to get me started. Please grant it to me.”

Doctorate Student in Computational Neuroscience

Take a walk

As a final piece of advice, take a walk. 

Alone, and without your phone. 

It can be around a basketball court or in that garden next to your university’s main office. Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science and the author of many best sellers, says in a famous talk,

“The way to find your passion is to be so good at something that the people around you can’t ignore it.” 

And the way to be so good at something is through unadulterated practice and deep work, an ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. That cannot be attained by sitting in a noisy cafeteria surrounded by people and distractions. 

So take a walk, every day if possible, for thirty minutes to an hour and observe your thoughts without judging them. You will be surprised at the kind of insights you generate about yourself and your environment. It is no surprise that the best ideas come to you when you least expect them. 

Graham Wallas, a social psychologist and co-founder of the London School of Economics, broke down the creative process into four steps in his 1926 book The Art of Thought. The four steps are: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification

Most people tend to overlook stage two in this process, where they are supposed to incubate themselves somewhere far away from a problem so they can generate novel thoughts and be more efficient while they return to solve it. Your brain likes it when you let it wander on its own after putting in cognitive effort in the preparation stage. So take a walk alone with your thoughts, and you just might figure out the opening sentence of your essay.


I performed the painful task of re-reading the different versions of my statement of purpose I had written more than five years ago. In one sense, it acted as a time-travel lens to magnify the level of specificity (or lack of thereof) I possessed when I was applying for my graduate program. My essay was all over the place. 

It began with a childhood memory of how I was inspired to pursue science. The body of it battled between an overview of my research and the organizations I managed. The ending was lackluster with a generic mention of a professor’s name and a recent paper of his from the university I was applying to. I ended up not following many of the qualities that make a great essay; many of which I’m asking you to follow now. 

If I was reading my essay right now, and had to decide to select or reject 2017-me solely based on the essay, I would probably reject me.

That is why I want you to learn from my mistakes. I want to shine a light on the many invaluable lessons that someone can learn in hindsight, and hope you imbibe some of them right now.

Overseas Education

5 Best Ways to Leverage An Alumni Network for Your Abroad Education

5 Best Ways to Leverage an Alumni Network For Your Abroad Education

According to the latest “Higher Education Abroad” report published by the consulting firm RedSeer, the number of students who opt for overseas education is set to grow from 770,000 in 2019 to roughly 1.8 million by 2024.

Overseas education is an investment that promises to yield incredible returns till long after our classroom days are over. Among these benefits, the value of a robust alumni network is unfathomable and should be leveraged efficiently. So, this blog will discuss some tips to help you gain insights from those seniors who have received premium abroad education.

1.Helps gain vital information on overseas education

  1. Many of us belong to a school alumni network. Yet, we are seldom active in it due to professional and personal commitments. So, now is the time to brush off the dust and connect with this network to help you realize your dream of studying abroad.

    If you have been out of the loop for some time, it is a great idea to initiate reconnecting with your school. Since some of your seniors might have pursued their studies abroad. Your school would be able to provide you with valuable information about the country you plan on visiting. So, information like visa requirements and employment opportunities will be available to you.

  2. Helps with funding

    Funding overseas education at the beginning of a career can be difficult for many. Thus, many people don’t have any other choice but to take on large amounts of debt. However, they will be repaying for years to come.

    So, your alumni network can offer fantastic advice on scholarships, grants, and other opportunities. It will be easier for you to secure the best funding options. If you wish to avail of an education loan at the best interest rates and 0 collateral, choose FundRight. It is India’s first education loan bidding platform and provides you with an opportunity to connect with more than a dozen lenders.

    You can know more about the types of scholarships available for international students here.

  3. Makes you better prepared for overseas education
    Preparing to move for studies abroad can be overwhelming in itself, let alone preparing for exams and assignments. So, an alumni network from your dream university would know what it takes to crack the admission process.

    Yet, you must remember to maintain your individuality while connecting with your alumni network. To find a university that suits your profiles and interests the best, choose Select Right. The Recommendation Engine utilizes more than 6 million data points across 8000+ programs to curate a list of universities that would fit your aspirations the best.

    Now, if you ace your exams and land at your dream university, you would need someone. Someone to help you adjust to the new surroundings and get accustomed to the prevailing culture of the place. Here, an alumni network becomes indispensable.


  4. Learn through insightful personal experiences
    Whether it is your first time moving out or not, the distance between you and your loved ones is bound to make you feel homesick. Moreover, there can be a host of other issues that might pop up and hamper your academics. The alumni network would have gone through the same phase,. They would ensure that they empathize with you and help you sail through. You can also connect your parents with your seniors to help them feel more relaxed.


  5. Alumni events can help you nurture meaningful relationships
    To ensure that you make the most out of your abroad education, it is crucial to stay connected with your alumni network by attending alumni events. As you will connect with like-minded individuals who share the same interests through these functions. Successful alumni can even help you get a foot in the door of a prospective employer.

But what if you don’t know anyone who has gone to your dream university? Well, GradRight is by your side! Through our mentorship program, you can connect to the college alumni or current students from your university and ask away all of your queries about overseas education!

If you want to pitch in your ideas on fostering an active alumni network, share your heartfelt experiences of connecting with college alumni for abroad education, or avail of our mentorship program, feel free to reach out! We would love to hear from you.

Admission Counselors

Why Your First Impression With Admission Counselors Matters

Why Your First Impression With Admission Counselors Matters

With the fall season just right around the corner, it is apparent that admission counselors from the best universities in the world will set out to scour the country to find the best students to attend their universities. 

After going through a journey of tremendous struggle while applying for college applications, it is that time of year when you will have to interact and interview with admission counselors to secure a place at your dream university.
Having a good academic background and extracurriculars look impressive on the college application. 

However, how you interact with the admission counselors is of supreme importance. It is essential because it is the first glance at your candidature to decide if you are the best choice for their university.

Why Your First Impression With Admission Counselors Matters

1. It decides if the admission counselors see a promising candidate.

  • You can have the best grades and still not get in.
    Do you know why? It is because the first impression you had on the admission counselors was of a student who did not do the primary research they were required to do. 
  • Use the available resources and make informed decisions about what you want to ask.
  • It is advisable to do thorough research on entry requirements and course modules. 
  • Do not hesitate in asking questions that are genuinely required for you to have a better understanding of the university and the programme you have applied for.

Tip: Go to the college website and find your programme page. It contains the information that the applicant must be aware of knowing.

2. The kind of conversations you have, tell a lot about you.

  • Admission counselors look out to have the opportunity to know you better and not judge you.
  • There is nothing to be afraid of because it is likely that they are already impressed by your essays and want a chance to know you personally before they make a decision. 
  • It is your chance to show that you are different from the other applicants.
  • Tell them what inspires you to study the course and how it will advance your career goals.
  • Open up about your career aspirations, friends, family, achievements and even downfalls.

Tip: You can think of how you will bring diversity to the class and let them know about your past endeavors.

3. They can make or break the opportunity.

  • You might not have many opportunities to meet with admission counselors.
  • So it is beneficial to make the most of the ones you have. 
  • It may be your only chance to showcase yourself as a potential student among the pool of many others. 
  • If you are a knowledgeable candidate, you will dress appropriately for video interactions and introduce yourself in the best way possible. 
  • There is a concept known as the primacy effect.
  • It suggests that when someone experiences things in a sequence, they remember that first thing better. 
  • If you do not make the first impression accurately, they might get the wrong idea in their head, which will stay for the rest of your application process.

Tip: Focus on how you converse with the admission counselors.

4. You are more than your academics.

  • Colleges look for a student who has more than just a great academic record. 
  • The admission counselors are likely to be well aware of your scores and grades; they want to see a person who is more than just their academic achievements.
  •  If you go on and on about how you scored well in a certain subject, they might not be interested in what you have to say. 
  • Go out of your academic realm and explore yourself.
  • Tell them about how an experience encouraged you to pursue a goal, how someone you once saw had such an impact on your life that it changed the way you saw the world, and why should they consider you instead of the others. 

Tip: Instead of getting involved in a conversation about dozens of activities, choose to dive in deep and make a lasting impact.

5. A chance to demonstrate your active interest.

  • Do not let the application become just another checkmark on your list. 
  • If you start with something mentioned on the website’s page, such as “Why choose this university?” it is likely that your chance for a good first impression is lost. 
  • The counselors want to know about your interest in the university, something that is unique to you and not a generalized sense of involvement. 

Tip:  Research well about the university and the programme offered and delve deeper to find the answer to why this particular college

6. It will simply decide how your application will proceed.

  • If you fail to make your case with that first impression, your application may be regarded generically. 
  • You do not want to fall into the category of uninformed applicants, you want to be seen as special. 
  • Indulge in a conversation with the admission counselors.
    You are there to make your case stronger and better, not only to impress them. 
  • Do first impressions matter?
  • Should you keep trying to impress them throughout?

Tip: Focus more on how the university will benefit from a student like you and how the university will help you advance your aspirations as a student. 

First impressions with admission counselors really do last, and sometimes they can have life-changing impacts. Candidate etiquettes are a real thing when it comes to such interactions. If you are well informed and knowledgeable, you will likely ace them. But one can never be too careful, right?

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Canada GIC For International Students

Canada GIC for international students

What Is A GIC?

A GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) for international students is the proof of funds required for a student’s Canadian visa/Canada study permit application. The Canadian government needs an assurance that once a student lands in Canada, he/she has sufficient funds (minimum 10,000 CAD) to cover their living expenses for at least one year. A Canada GIC for international students would prove this. 

GICs lock in the funds for a predetermined time with a fixed or variable interest rate. The interest rate is directly proportional to the time chosen i.e. the longer the time, the higher the interest rate.

Types of GICs For International Students

There are 2 types of GICs:

  • Cashable or Redeemable GICs
    In a cashable/redeemable GIC, financial institutions allow the holder to redeem or cash out their principal before maturity. Interest rates are typically lower.
  • Non-Cashable GICs
    A Non-Cashable GIC cannot be cashed in before the maturity date. The funds are locked in for a specific term. These yield a higher return.

How Does A GIC Work?

A GIC acts as a savings account that offers fixed returns to all eligible candidates over a period of time.

Once a student owns a GIC, the interest is paid out to their savings account at regular intervals or it can be added to the initial investment and paid at maturity. 

When the term is over, and the GIC matures, the student can choose to automatically invest in another GIC or have the earnings deposited into his/her savings account.

How Is A GIC Different From A Regular Savings Account?

  • Interest rates for a GIC do not fluctuate unless the student has opted for variable interest rate. 
  • GICs are typically non-redeemable. If he/she decides to break the non-redeemable GIC, they may be charged a penalty. 

Benefits Of A Canada GIC For International Students

  • Low-risk and predictable returns.
  • The principal amount is insured.
  • A good option for short or mid-term financial goals.

Quick GIC Facts

  • A Canada GIC for international students is needed to qualify for a student visa/Canada study permit.
  • An advantage of the program is that the student will have access to a Canadian bank account once a student account is set up in his/her name.
  • As an alternate option, some universities allow students to submit a copy of:
    The receipt for the first year’s tuition fee
    An Educational Loan from an Indian Chartered Bank equivalent to CAD 10,000.

GIC For International Students: FAQs

What is the minimum & maximum amount that can be transferred into a GIC account?

Min: CAD 10,000 + 200 (processing fee)

Max: CAD 50,000 + 200 (processing fee)

What will be the monthly disbursed amount?

An equal monthly instalment of principal and interest will be paid from your GIC account into the student’s savings account for 12 months.

What if my VISA gets rejected?

 If your VISA gets rejected, the entire amount deposited will be refunded back. However, the student needs to provide valid documents to support it.

What does a student have to do after arriving in Canada?

After reaching Canada, the student must do the in-person verification at the nearest branch of the GIC Account bank. With few banks, the verification can be done for your Canada GIC for international students at the nearest post office.

Speaking of arrival in Canada, if you’re looking for indirect flight routes from India to Canada, you can find them here.

Can a third-party in India transfer or deposit funds into my GIC Account?

GIC For Students: Why GradRight Is A Good Option!

GradRight’s additional services, GradOns has partnered with ICICI Bank to help Canada-bound international students open a GIC Account. But why should you choose GradOns for your GIC?

  • ICICI Bank is one of the most popular options for Indian students heading to Canada.
  • Receive the Proof of Funds Certificate within 24 hours & if the source account is ICICI, then within 3 hours.
  • 24/7 customer support in India and Canada.
  • Debit Card delivered at Indian residence before travel.
  • Operate the account from India.
  • Low rejection ratio.
  • Avail Credit card at no annual fee.
  • Cashbacks & offers are available.
PS: We recently did an Instagram Live session with Mr Venu Chinta, Product Solutions Manager, ICICI Bank Canada. The live session revolved around topics like Canada GIC for international students, Forex and prepaid cards. Make sure you check that out. 

Click on ‘GradOns’ below to get started with your GIC Account.
best forex card for students

Forex For Students Going Abroad, Explained.

Forex For Study Abroad Students, Explained.

best forex card for students

What Is Forex?

Foreign Exchange (forex or FX) is the trading of one currency for another. Foreign exchange transactions take place on the foreign exchange market, also known as the forex market which is an electronic network of banks, institutions, and individual traders. Forex for students going abroad is very important as Forex transactions allow students to pay for their expenses without worrying about currency or cash issues. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the best forex card for students. 

In simple terms, a 100 Rupee note is valid only in India, but if you were to go abroad, you’d need to buy the currency of that country. Each country decides the exchange rate of its currency, which is called the mid-market rate. Forex rates are constantly fluctuating and it is important to find the best time to make a transaction.

Best Forex Cards for Students: The Different Types Of Services

Different Forex services serve different purposes, such as:

  • Wire transfer/Remittance: Money transfer from a domestic account to international account or vice versa is a remittance. Considering you are in India, an outward remittance is money transfer from an Indian account to an international account and the opposite is termed inward remittance. It is primarily used for University fee payment or bank account to bank account money transfer.
  • Forex card: In the absence of an international account, students use a forex card which allows them to convert the currency at a fixed rate & load into a card. This card can then be used as a debit card, although, it doesn’t help in building a credit history. It is widely used for personal expenses.
  • Currency notes: A maximum of USD 3000 can be carried in the form of currency notes. Bank & forex brokers convert the currency and hand over the amount in cash to you.

Key Forex Service Providers

  • EbixCash
  • BookMyForex
  • Wall Street Forex
  • WISE
  • ICICI Bank

Tips to find the best deals

There are many forex organisations and choosing the best one can seem daunting.

Here’s a handy checklist you can use to find the best forex card for students.

Find out:

  • Is exchange for relevant currency available?
  • What is the markup fee?
  • Other charges apart from the exchange rate?
  • What is the process to book an order for a remittance/Forex card?
  • What are the documents required?
  • Turn around time for wire transaction completion?
  • Is forex card home delivery available? & what is the TAT?
  • How much time does the card activation process take?
  • What are the ATM withdrawal/POS/E-commerce transaction charges on a forex card?
  • Can tax be exempted for your transaction?

Forex For Students: FAQs

Is there a limit to how much Forex I can carry?

The total amount of Foreign Exchange utilized by a student both in terms of Forex cards & Wire transfers, in a financial year must not exceed USD 250,000 for educational purposes.

My brother is studying abroad. Can I use his card for my use?

No, Forex cards for students are highly regulated and KYC compliant. If you don’t have valid proof of Forex purchase, your entire Forex amount is liable to be confiscated.

What are the benefits of a Forex Card over Debit/Credit Card?

  • Little to no issuance fee.
  •  $2 or its equivalent in other currency is charged per withdrawal vs upto $500/$1000 for international debit/credit cards.
  • No Merchant Service fee.
  • Frozen exchange rates.
  • No additional conversion charges.

Where can I send a Wire Transfer / Purchase a Forex card from?

  • Banks
  • Online Sites
  • Local Vendors

What documents are required for different Forex services?

Remittance (Wire Transfer):

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • University offer letter
  • Student Visa
  • Cheque
  • A2 form (Provided by forex agent)
  • Form 26AS (if applicable)

Forex Card:

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • Student Visa
  • One way air ticket
  • Form 26AS (if applicable)

Currency Notes:

  • Passport front & back
  • PAN Card
  • Student Visa
  • One way air ticket

When is the ideal time to find the best exchange rates?

The forex market closes by 5:00 pm every day. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm is an ideal time to make a transaction. Towards the end of business hours, the rates tend to increase. Avoid transactions on weekends as holiday charges will be applicable.

Is there an annual limit to utilize forex?

A total of USD 250,000 can be transferred for education purposes. This limit is inclusive of wire transfer, forex card & currency notes. A maximum of $3000 can be carried in the form of cash.

What are the other charges applicable?

Most forex agents charge as follows apart from the forex rate:

  • Conversion charges/Service charges (ranging from INR 200 – INR 500)
  • GST @ 0.1%
  • Tax (as applicable)

But the charges may vary based on the agent that you choose. Please check with your agent before you go ahead.

Can my Forex card be home delivered?

Most banks do not have a home delivery service. However, some forex brokers provide home delivery service for forex cards. 

When should I really buy a forex card?

You can buy a forex card within 60 days of the travel date. However, it is recommended to order the card at least a week before your travel date. This will ensure you have sufficient time for card delivery & activation.

What are a few market practices to look out for?

Here are a few unhealthy practices that are common in the market:

  • Hidden transaction charges.
  • Unclear communication on required documents.
  • The unclear status of transaction.
  • Forex card delivery issues.
  • Poor TAT on Forex card activation.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Unreasonable exchange rate.
  • Unlicensed agents.

Best Forex Card For Students: Why GradRight Is A Good Option?

GradRight’s additional services, GradOns, brings you the best in town partners for safe & fast transactions. We can help you choose the best forex card for students. Here’s why you should choose GradOns for your Forex.

  • Compare rates of multiple partners on the same page.
  • Freeze rates for upto 3 days.
  • Forex card available at your doorstep.
  • Verified & licensed forex agents.
  • Better rates.
  • Guaranteed Cashback on completion of a transaction.

Click on GradOns to get started!