Study Abroad? Why Not?


Since a few years ago, in Indonesia, there was a new trend in education, that many people are tend to continue they study abroad. It's of course a good trend for me, because the awareness for higher (and better) education is increase. I think this trend also contributed by LPDP, an institution below Ministry of Finance that give scholarship for they who wants to continue their studies at Postgraduate programs, either in country or abroad. Thousands people can be selected in this program. In this year, LPDP will gives scholarships to 5.000 people to study abroad. So, it be a good news for them who wants to study abroad.

LPDP, can give you scholarships to study in most of top Universities in the world.

This condition also be used by some institutions that can help prospective students to apply to university they want. Institutions like IDP, for example, regularly make an University Exhibition or Education Fair in some cities. They brought some universities from English-speaking country, like United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Similarly like IDP, IBEC (Indonesia-Britain Education Centre) also make this exhibition. The objectives of course to give a chance for prospective students to gain information as much as possible from universites. So, it is a good chances for us, and they often give us a free program prospectus (and some merchandises also!).

Prospectus from some Universities

For me, it is really helpful. I can gain some information and also practice my English, because we can talk to native-speaker in each stand. Other than that, sometimes they make seminar about study abroad, how to improve English ability, scholarship and IELTS simulation. So far, I came to two exhibition in Bandung that organize by IDP and IBEC.

Well, for you (yes you! Indonesian people like me!) who interested in study abroad, here some information and tips that I get from exhibition, webiste of university, people blogs and experiences, etc. First, make sure you have a reason why you have to study abroad. It's important so you not just try it to follow the trend or just for prestise.

Next, you must meet the entry requirements. Here are entry requirements that mostly universities wants you to have it:

  • GPA requirement. Most of them have minimum GPA requirement by 3.0. But, some universites are have minimum GPA requirement greater or lesser than 3.0 (for example, to apply to University of Edinburgh, you must have GPA more than 3.2, see here for details). You also must attach your diploma and transcripts (must be translated to English, you can get it from your university or ask a sworn translator to translate it).
  • English Requirement. There are some tests that can you take for this requirement, The two of them that usually requested by them is IELTS (International English Language Test System) and TOEFL-iBT (some university maybe still accepted TOEFL-ITP). For IELTS, usually you must have 6.5 score on it, and for TOEFL-iBT usually you must have 85-90 score. To take this test, you must pay about US$ 200 (Rp 2.700.000) for IELTS and US$ 150-US$190 (Rp 2.030.000 - Rp 2.540.000). So you must practice for this test, because the cost is expensive enough (for me :D).
  • Two references. You can obtain references from your lecturer, your thesis supervisor or your boss. For the example, just googling it.
  • Personal statement. It's contain about yourself, motivation, strength, your plan, etc. You can try to googling it.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Other requirements. From what I get, that most universites in US, for example, requested GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) for its applicant. 
Well, that's for entry requirements. So, I think you have to determine what university that you want to apply. Just search it in internet, open their websites, search whether your subject is available or not. Once you find it, see the entry requirements and prepared for it. Then, apply to the university you want. If you are qualify, they will sent you a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) or Letter of Offer (LoO). There were two kind of LoA, conditional and unconditional. Unconditional LoA means that you are fully-qualify. Conditional LoA means you must to complete the requirement(s) in order to qualify. They will sent your LoA for a couple weeks or even couple months, depend of the university.


Merchandises from Universities: Rubber Bracelet and Flashdrive (contains University information)

If you qualify, you can proceed to next step, maybe like to pay the cost. If you rich enough, you just have to pay it (for International Students in UK and Europe, mostly it cost about 15.000-20.000 Poundsterling or Euro). But, if you don't have much many to pay it (like me and many people), just find a scholarships. There were many institutions that provide scholarships for you, like LPDP (favorited by Indonesian people), Fullbright, Erasmus Mundus, DAAD (Germany), Chevening (but you must have works experince before), Nuffic Neso (Netherlands), and many more. Just check their websites to see the requirements. Some university also provide scholarships for its student.

So there were informations that I get for my "research" about study abroad. For myself, I want to study in University of Southampton or University of Twente (because I found my subject -spesific subject- there).

Well, hopefully this article can be useful for you, and good luck for your study!

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