What documents do I need to study abroad?

By grace.mccabe, 21 February, 2023

Trying to remember everything you need to apply to universities abroad can be a challenge, especially when you’re considering multiple locations. In this guide, we’ve listed all the forms and documents you need to prepare with the relevant links to help you study abroad. 

What documents do I need to study abroad?

- Acceptance letter – either from your university or a centralised admissions system. 
- High school transcripts – including your grade point average and extracurricular activities. 
- Final high school exam results – this will depend on which exams are accepted at your university.
- Passport – required to travel and as a form of ID. Make sure you have plenty of time left on your passport when applying.  
- Student visa – this can applied for via the relevant government website.
- Tuition and funding proof – documents proving that you have enough savings to fund yourself while at university, and any scholarship letters.  
- Accommodation contract 
- English language test results – this could be IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo results depending on which your university accepts. 
- Contents and travel insurance
- Health insurance or registration forms for the country’s universal healthcare system

What documents do I need to study in the UK? 

Ucas letter – confirming your acceptance to your university. 
Exam results – either A-level, BTEC or Scottish Highers results (or your home country’s equivalent) depending on where you went to school. 
Tier 4 student visa – applied for through the UK government website and costs £348.  
Accommodation contracts – most first-year students will live in university accommodation, which can be arranged through the university admissions office. Private housing is available for second- and third-years.
- Tuition fees and funding documents – students cannot access any government funding but can apply for scholarships to study abroad.
English language test results – could be IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo results depending on your university. 
Healthcare – Full-time international students studying for six months or longer in the UK are eligible to use the NHS, the UK’s universal healthcare system. To do this, you’ll need to pay an immigration health surcharge (IHS) costing £470 per year. This is paid as part of your student visa application. Students will need to register with their local doctor’s surgery once they arrive in the UK to be able to access these services.

You can find out everything you need to know about studying in the UK on our website. 

What documents do I need to study in the US? 

- Acceptance letter – from your university or the Common App if you applied through it.  
Exam results – usually either SAT or ACT results but this may vary across universities.  
Student visa – to study in the US, students need one of three visas; an F1 for academic studies, an M1 visa for vocational studies or a J visa for students taking part in exchange programmes. The visa application costs US$160, and some students may need to pay an added issuance fee. Prospective students need to pay a I-901 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Programme) fee of $350. 
Tuition and funding documents – student visa applications require proof of funds through the I20 form. Students can also apply for scholarships or financial aid through their universities or external organisations.  
English language test results – could be IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo results depending on your university. 
- Accommodation contracts – when looking for accommodation in the US you can choose between university dormitories or private student housing. 
Healthcare – the US does not have a universal healthcare system so students need private medical insurance. Plans can start from $1,000 annually and can increase depending on what you choose to be covered for. Many universities in the US offer a group plan to students, so you could speak to them about what is covered. 

You can find out everything you need to know about studying in the US here. 

How much does it cost to study in the UK? 
How much does it cost to study in the United States? 
How much does it cost to study in Canada? 
How much does it cost to study in Australia as an international student?  

What documents do you need to study in Canada? 

- Acceptance letter – universities in Ontario use the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) with a one-off application fee. Universities in British Columbia use the EducationPlannerBC application system with a one-off application fee. Other provinces of Canada require applications directly to the universities.
- High school exam results – you will need to supply the results of your high school or college exams (at least a 70 per cent score in the equivalent of 12th grade mathematics to study a bachelor’s degree, and a bachelor’s equivalent to study a master’s degree). 
- Language test results – Canada is a bilingual country and most courses are taught in English or French. Non-native speakers will need to take IELTS, TOEFL or the Cambridge English Advanced Test. For French, the most common tests include the TEF, the TCF, the DALF and the DELF. 
Study permit or student visa – the visa application costs CAN$150. Applicants might also need to pay fees for possible other checks. These include a biometric check costing CAN$85, a medical exam, police checks and language certification. 
- Tuition and funding documents – each university will set its own tuition fees. Students can apply for scholarships and financial aid too.
- Accommodation contracts – students can choose between on-campus or off-campus accommodation.  
- Healthcare – international students are not able to access the universal healthcare system so they must have private healthcare which varies across the 13 provinces. Plans range from CAN$600 to CAN$900 depending on what cover you need. 

You can find out more about studying in Canada here.

What documents do you need to study in Australia? 

- University acceptance letter 
- Exam results – you need exam results equivalent to Australia’s year 12 exams or the International Baccalaureate.  
English language test results – this could be IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo results depending on your university. 
- Subclass 500 Student visa – the visa application costs AUD$1,080 for applicants over the age of 18 and AUD$770 for those under 18. 
- Tuition and funding documents – students  are required to show proof of funds for 12 months of tuition fees, plus AUD$21,041 for living costs, and travel costs of up to AUD$3,000. Alternatively, you can show that your parents or partner had an annual income of at least AUD$62,222 in the 12 months before your application. Students can also apply for scholarships to study in Australia. 
Accommodation contract – students can choose from on-campus or off-campus accommodation.  
- Healthcare – Australia’s public healthcare system is called Medicare and all international students need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to access it. All international students need to apply and have their cover start before they leave their home country. Some universities may cover your OSHC cost for you. If not, on average individuals pay about A$438 each year, couples pay about A$2,685 and family cover costs roughly A$4,026. OSHC insurance plans don’t usually cover dental, optical or physiotherapy services so you may have to take out additional private coverage.

You can read more about applying to university in Australia on our website. 


There is a lot of paperwork and many documents to keep track of when it comes to studying abroad so here’s a handy list to keep track of everything 

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