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IDP's step-by-step guide to studying abroad

IDP can be your guide throughout the process of becoming an international student—from choosing the right course and school, to school and visa application assistance and even pre-departure support.

If you’re wondering where to begin your journey, here’s a step-by-step guide to turning your study abroad dream into reality:

1. Research

What subject areas are you most interested in? In what city do you want to study? What are your considerations in choosing a school?

It’s best if you can do your research first and come up with a wish list before going to IDP. Our advice is to look at some course descriptions, university reviews, and their locations. Narrow down your choices according to your priorities and preferences.’s course and school finder features will be a huge help in narrowing these down.

You can also talk to your friends and family who have studied overseas. Social media is a great tool for crowdsourcing. With one Facebook post, you can get helpful tips and recommendations from people who have experienced studying or living abroad.

Having said all these, don’t trust everything you read online. Always consider the fact that some comments or reviews might have been influenced by a single negative or positive personal experience. Remember, different people have different preferences. Just because someone you know likes a certain experience, it doesn’t mean you will. This is where IDP comes in—to help you get accurate and non-biased advice.

2. Speak to an IDP Education Counselor

Once you have your wish list, you can book an appointment with an IDP Education Counselor. You can do this online or by visiting our office. Our Education Counselors are all experienced and certified. They can share not only their expertise in the field, but also their first-hand study abroad experiences, as several of them have been international students themselves. 

Your IDP Education Counselor will take every detail on your wish list into consideration when giving advice and will do what it takes to find a good match and set you up for success. 

3. Submit your application

Once you have decided on your course and school, you can start working on your application. This process can be long and tedious, but IDP will be there every step of the way. Your Education Counselor will personally contact your chosen school and support your application to improve chances of acceptance. We follow the strictest legal and ethical standards in doing so. 

If you want to know if you are eligible for your dream course and find courses that match your existing skills, you can also use the IDP FastLane service and check your chances before applying! 

FastLane lets you answer a few questions about your education and browse recommended courses you can apply for. Then, you can get a response from institutions within 15 minutes. Simply download the IDP Live App to avail of the FastLane service:

Most schools in English-speaking countries require an English test from foreign students. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration. IELTS results are recognized by more than 10,000 organizations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments.

IDP is a proud co-owner of IELTS, and administers the test in the Philippines.

If you are still not sure about the school you'd like to go to, enter your details on the form below and we'll send you a guide on the top-ranking schools abroad!

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4. Accept your offer

Upon submission of your application and requirements, the school will do an assessment and notify you of the result. It can take a few weeks or longer depending on the school and your chosen program. This waiting period can be extremely stressful; it is normal to feel anxious. Know that IDP is here as support, and your Education Counselor is one call away if you need any assistance. 

If your application is successful, you will receive a letter of offer and an acceptance form. Your IDP Education Counselor will carefully explain these documents and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before accepting the offer. If you are accepted into more than one school, we will do our best to lay out your options to help make the right decision. 

Note that all international students in Australia are required to have health insurance. IDP can provide the assistance that you need to choose the right insurance for you. IDP provides the right services to make sure you have your student essentials for a hassle-free study abroad journey. Your Education Counselor can help you find accommodation, choose the right insurance, open a bank account, or transfer money securely.

5. Practice your English skills

If English is not your first language, you must practice speaking it on a regular basis to improve your communication skills. Remember, most of the people you will be dealing with in school are native English speakers. If you don’t practice, you might not be able to keep up with what your teachers are saying. It could be helpful to watch English news or talk shows, reading books or listening to podcasts to familiarize yourself with the accents and vernacular.

One fun thing to do is learning the local slang in your destination. There are several online sources that describe the differences between Australian, British, and American English.

6. Apply for a student visa

You are one step away from becoming an international student! At this point, you have to apply for a student visa. A student visa is an endorsement by the immigration authorities on your passport. It indicates that you are allowed to enter the country and stay to study for a specified period of time.

There are several and strict requirements in order to obtain a student visa. At IDP, we provide visa application assistance for those who wish to study in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Learn more about visa application requirements.

7. Ready, steady, go!

And…you are all set! Congratulations on this new adventure and thank you for letting IDP become part of your international academic journey.

Know that while waiting for you flight, you can still consult your IDP Counsellor on matters such as exchanging money, insurance, SIM cards, and opening a bank account.

We host regular pre-departure sessions throughout the year to help prepare you for student life in your new country.

Knowing the cost of living is vital when preparing to study abroad. Use our cost of living calculator to estimate how much you will need to cover all your expenses as an international student. Go to IDP's Cost of Living Calculator.

Need to take IELTS?

Recommended Articles

Visa application requirements

IDP can assist you with your student visa requirements and application by helping you accomplish the paperwork, and direct you to official websites and authorised immigration representatives.

Pre-departure support

IDP can prepare you for your study abroad with our pre-departure orientations which will help you prepare for life in a new country. Know more about your study country's culture, student life, basics of banking and foreign exchange, part-time job opportunities, and support networks.

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