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GRE Prep: Thinking about Graduate School Abroad? Here’s What to Consider

Planning to go abroad for graduate school? Then go for it!

Many benefits can come from studying abroad, and what more for a grad school. You’ll probably learn a lot from culture to language and responsibility to self-improvement. Just thinking about the things you’ll learn inside and outside the classroom is already advantageous to boosting your self-esteem.

However, the result may just be rainbows and butterflies, so you have to consider these things before crossing the borders:

1. Visa Requirements

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However long you plan to study abroad, securing a student visa is a requirement for many countries. That’s why you should first know whether a state you plan to go requires a student visa. You can search online or go to the Border Agency of the country you plan to go to. You can also find some useful information on sites like this.

If yes, then it’s time to prepare your documents that they may require. However, countries have different requirements, but generally, you need to have the following:

  • Biometrics – commonly known as fingerprints. It’s a simple process requiring you to register online then go to the tasked office for electronic prints.
  • Proof of Accommodation – you must present that before arrival in your target country, you already have a contract where you’ll live in that country.
  • Funds – countries may require different amounts of financial requirements. For some countries, they will require you to produce proof of existing bank account with a deposited amount that meets their required amount. Some will also require you to present a letter from your home country’s accredited institution that you can pay, or they can transfer your payment from them.
  • Photographs – don’t dare to take a selfie or take your photo because they have the required dimensions for photos. Instead, it’s better to let the professionals do the job to avoid being rejected just because of your photo.
  • Clearances – some countries, especially those prone to terrorist attacks, are strict with clearances form police or the FBI. It’s because a lot of criminals or terrorist uses studying abroad as a coy.

So before you enroll in a university abroad, you must complete the requirements to avoid delays.

2. Tests

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Wherever you plan to study a grad program, you still need to pass exams that the university or school requires. In Canada and the US, they require candidates to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as proof of grad school proficiency.

The reason behind this test is to measure the potential of the student in augmenting their professional performance to their previous undergrad. In this test, you’ll encounter analytical writing tests, quantitative and verbal reasoning tests, which are all standardized. A lot of test prep companies offer practice exams for GRE. Some even go the extra mile to help you choose the best courses you can consider with testprepadvisor.

It also isn’t hard to register for this test as more than 160 countries cater to it. Some conduct it thrice a month while others continuously.

Before taking up the GRE, you must know the scores that your target school desires. Thus, you’ll know when to submit your GRE because you can take up the GRE five times for twelve months.

If you’ve got an advanced proficiency in English, you’ll have an advantage. It’s because the test is conducted in the English language. The test will run for 3 hours and 45 minutes maximum. But if you can finish it earlier then the better. Moreover, focused prep books are available online or in bookstores so you’ll have an idea of how the test goes.

3. School Reputation

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One of the many reasons why you want to study for a grad program abroad is to have the best education for your specialization. Not only that, but a grad school university with an excellent reputation can also open more opportunities for your career advancement.

For instance, the mere mention of the University of Princeton and other Australian university graduates when applying for a job is a significant consideration that companies take. It’s not because the university offers one of the most expensive fees, but because of the quality of education that they impart.

Here’s how you can determine whether a university abroad has a good grad school ranking:

  • Higher ranked grad schools require higher test results of GRE.
  • Although the acceptance rate does not apply to all, most high ranking schools are harder to get into.
  • High rates of grad students getting a job may mean that the school has excellent connections with other schools, organizations, and businesses. As a result, grad students won’t have too much difficulty to get employed.


Wanting to study abroad for a grad program should not be taken lightly. If you’re serious about your career advancement, then a grad school abroad is an excellent choice. Not only will it boost your confidence, but you will become an expert on your specialization.

However, this will only happen if you’ve chosen the right university. That’s why before going abroad for your studies, you need to consider the things mentioned above.

About Suzan Vega