What documentation do I need if I want to send my child to study abroad?

Planning to study abroad can be a very long and tedious process for the student applicant and his family if not done properly. After having done the extensive research and chosen the course or program and in which country to study, the documentation process begins. There is a lot of documentation that is required especially in today’s pandemic situation and each country will have different requirements depending on the age of applicant, destination, duration of stay, course or program, and learning institution or university. Aside from the number of documents needed, this process is also time sensitive like for example, the start of the course or program, available flights, finding accommodations and applying for the visa if necessary.

It is best that the applicant make inquiries at the embassy or consulate of his choice and at the educational institution or university information office for foreign or international students for information on the documentation needed and other necessary requirements.

Travel Documents to study abroad

Student Visa

A student visa may be required depending on the nationality, age, type of studies, and length of stay. Documents like proof of financial means to live and study in the country of choice, certificate of criminal record, personal appearance and a biometric passport may be required.

Medical or Health Insurance

While living and studying in another country that is not one’s own, medical insurance is required for any situation or emergency that may arise. There are many different types of insurance that best suits one’s situation and it is best to consult with a company who is familiar with the requirements of different countries.

Financial Means

The applicant must show that he has the financial means to cover all living expenses, tuition, and return to his country of origin. A bank or financial institution certification will be required.

Proof of Organized Accommodation

The applicant must show that he has living accommodations in the country of his choice whether it be in a privately owned residence, an apartment, dormitory or university housing.

Residence Permit

A residence permit may be required if one is staying longer than three months in the country of choice.

Work Permit

For those student applicants who want to work part-time to cover expenses or train on the job for more experience, a work permit may be necessary. However, as a student there may be some restrictions on the kind of jobs one can have access to.

Academic Documents to study abroad

School Record or Transcript of Records or Diploma of Academic Degree

The applicant must submit a certification and corresponding academic qualifications of degree or level of study that he has achieved. He must also show above average grades.This information helps universities decide whether the applicant has the necessary skills and knowledge to complete the course especially if it is a postgraduate degree.

Language Proficiency Tests

This is required for those who have applied to study in a country where the language is not their mother tongue or unfamiliar to them. Applicants must be able to understand the language of the destination country at an academic level. These tests are available and provided by the different embassies, consulates or cultural centers in many countries.  This is not required if one is going abroad to study the language of that country.

Specific Tests for Specific Studies

Some courses, like the sciences or medicine, may require additional specific tests.

Letter of Intent

The applicant must include a copy of his Letter of Intent addressed to the institution of learning or university that he has chosen that indicates why he has chosen that particular course in that particular learning institution or university and of the extensive research he has done to come to this conclusion. It must also include the attitudes, skills and competencies that he already has to complete the course and what he hopes he will achieve after he has finished the course.


The applicant must prepare himself very well for the interview, particularly if it is not in the language he is most comfortable with. Research as to who may be doing the interview, what possible questions may be asked and where the interview will held is very important.

Curriculum Vitae

An updated curriculum vitae that states all the applicant’s achievements including awards, citations and prizes is important. The European CV model is a good reference.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation from people who know you, your work and your potential will help greatly with your application.  They should preferably be from people with very good reputations and excellent credentials.

We at Orience can advise each person and family on what visas may be necessary for the applicants study abroad.  We will help families through this long and tedious process and support you and your family from the beginning to the successful end.