Studying internationally

Studying internationally will give you the chance to develop your cultural awareness, language skills, and an international network as well as gaining a further qualification. You should start planning in your penultimate year - 12-18 months before you intend to start a course - as it will take time to research suitable courses, look for funding and, if it is required, obtain a student visa.  

  • Is studying in another country the right choice for you? Is it the right time?
  • Where do you want to study? Will you need a student visa?
  • Does your existing academic qualification meet the entry criteria?  
  • How will you find a suitable course? Is it an accredited programme?
  • How will you fund the course? Is funding available?
  • Will the qualification you achieve be recognised back home or in the global market, by recruiters or academic institutions?
  • Will you be able to remain in the country once you've finished your course? What are your chances of finding work?
  • What additional costs will you incur, for example travel and accommodation? What support is provided for international students? 

Careers Consultants are happy to explore your ideas with you. So, once you've done some research and gained a clearer idea of what's involved, you may feel that you have some questions or would like to talk it through. It's easy to set up an appointment.  

Planning/Applying

  • Remember that the academic year may start and end at different times to the UK
  • Will you need to take pre-entry admissions tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or subject specific tests such as LCAT/MCAT? You will need to submit the result with your course application so plan to take the required test well in advance of application deadlines
  • Application deadlines may be early in the autumn term of the final year of your undergraduate course. If you want to apply for funding awards you should apply as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of success - particularly for US awards
  • You may need a student visa if you want to study outside Europe and you should look into this at an early stage
  • The application process will vary by institution and country so, when you apply, check carefully what documents are required
  • Put together the documents that you will need as early as possible. It will take time to obtain a student visa, references, and transcript (detailing your academic record) and degree certificates as proof of your qualification(s)
  • Apply for funding

Equivalence of qualifications

Look at the following resource if you need to find out how your qualification compares with the entry criteria for the institution where you intend to study although their admissions staff should be able to advise you on this.

  • ENIC-NARIC gives a list of national information centres that you can contact if you have any questions concerning the recognition of your qualifications in a particular country. The country information also provides information on the education system, loans and scholarships, and opportunities for studying abroad

Funding

Look at the Finding funding page to find information on funded opportunities you could consider. Some of the resources on this page will include funding information.

Finding a course

You may be able to find information about research interests in overseas institutions by searching online, and looking at academic journals and research directories. You could also talk to lecturers, tutors and researchers in your department. 

Student exchange programmes

  • Brunel University has formal agreements, for example through the Erasmus programme, with other universities. If you are studying an eligible subject you may be able to spend a period of time studying at a partner institution in another country within Europe or internationally
  • British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Programme (BUTEX) offers information and several scholarships for students wishing to study in America for part of their degree

University rankings

Global resources

  • BrainTrack Links to university and college sites worldwide, and includes profiles for US higher education institutions. Searchable by phrase, eg type of study
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities addresses higher education issues through projects, networks and events, administering scholarships across the Commonwealth; the site includes a searchable list of members by country
  • International Graduate A searchable database for postgraduate taught and research courses by subject, institution and country
  • Prospects profiles provide information on postgraduate study in specific countries
  • StudyAbroad.com Directory of study abroad programmes, organised by subject, country, or city
  • StudyLink A searchable database with the ability to compare courses online, online newsletters and student forums
  • TARGETcourses Country profiles giving an overview of the higher education system, courses, how to apply, fees and scholarships, exchange programmes, recognition of overseas qualifications in the UK, and visa requirements
  • Third Year Abroad is a network to support students who study, work or volunteer abroad during their degree
  • UK Students Abroad: British Council website gives information and links to help you with your research and includes brief information on funding opportunities   

Australia/New Zealand

Canada

China

  • Prospects Study in China 
  • Study in China (China Scholarship Council (CSC)) has information on scholarships and which universities accept international students
  • TARGETcourses Country profiles giving an overview of the higher education system, courses, how to apply, fees and scholarships, exchange programmes, recognition of overseas qualifications in the UK, and visa requirements

Europe

  • Bologna Process - European Higher Education Area (EHEA) includes country profiles giving information for international students on the higher education system, quality assurance, academic recognition etc 
  • EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion Provides access to a range of information and support services to researchers who wish to pursue a research career in Europe
  • Europa Your Europe Information on university admission and entry conditions, fees and financial help, diploma recognition, student exchanges and working while studying
  • EuropeanPostgrad.com Search for Master's and PhD courses taught in English; the site also gives application advice, country specific visa requirements, fee and other information
  • Eurypedia gives specific information on the education systems in the countries participating in the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme
  • Ploteus: Portal on Learning Opportunities Throughout the European Space aims to help students to find information about studying in Europe; it is searchable by country and includes information on exchange programmes and grants
  • Postgradireland.com Search for courses in Ireland/Northern Ireland, and find advice and funding
  • Prospects Profiles for European countries
  • Studentfinance.ie Information on the financial support available for further and higher education in Ireland
  • TARGETcourses Country profiles giving an overview of the higher education system, courses, how to apply, fees and scholarships, exchange programmes, recognition of overseas qualifications in the UK, and visa requirements

Japan

USA

Fulbright Commission are the official source of information (including funding) for British students on applying to American universities. They also offer scholarship awards for postgraduate study, lecturing, professional exchange or research in the USA. International students should apply in their country of citizenship. You have the option to visit a resource library and attend information sessions.  The website provides an application timeline for postgraduate and undergraduate study.

  • American Graduate Education Information on topics ranging from school application preparation and American graduate school testing to travel information and American culture
  • EducationUSA Guide to US higher education: undergraduate, postgraduate, and short-term study
  • GradSchools.com Information about graduate school with links to institutions
  • Peterson's Searchable database of postgraduate courses and graduate schools including information for international students
  • Prospects Studying in the USA
  • Study in the USA Guide to the American higher education system for international students
  • TARGETcourses Country profile giving an overview of the higher education system, courses, how to apply, fees and scholarships, exchange programmes, recognition of overseas qualifications in the UK, and visa requirements

When you are applying for postgraduate courses you will generally be required to take an admissions test - the GRE for entry to Master's and PhD programmes and the GMAT for MBA programmes - in addition to your standard academic qualifications. Look at university websites to find out which test you will have to take, checking application deadlines to make sure that you take the test in time.

Studying Law in the USA

To practice in the USA you will need to be admitted to the Bar in an individual state, passing the respective state Bar Association examinations, eg the California or New York Bar, and to have the legal right to work in the country. Additionally US Law firms will expect you to have relevant work experience. Each Bar Association will specify its own entry criteria.   

  • American Bar Association Look at the 'Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar' for information for foreign applicants. The site also lists State and Local Bar Associations
  • Best Criminal Justice gives information on US criminal justice and law scholarships, awards, and fellowships
  • Fulbright Commission Subject specific guide to postgraduate Law study
  • HG.org Information on Bar admission, law schools and more
  • National Conference of Bar Examiners provide a Bar Admissions Guide that includes information for Foreign Law School Graduates, and a Directory of State Bar Admission Agencies
  • New York Bar You are eligible to sit the New York Bar (NYB) examination without taking the US JD Juris Doctor (JD) or LLM programme if you have obtained a qualifying UK University Law degree
  • State Bar of California You can sit the California Bar examination if a) you have qualified as a solicitor or barrister after you have completed an LLB or Graduate Diploma in Law or b) you have completed an LLB and then obtained a US LLM degree 

You can take a course in the UK to help you to prepare for the New York and California Bar exams:

  • CLT offers preparation courses for both the New York and the California Bar
  • Kaplan altior offers an online version of the New York Bar Review Course to help candidates prepare for the exams which are held in New York

Page last updated: Wednesday 26 February 2014