Written by Overseas Education Consultant and Study Abroad Career Counsellor in Mumbai, Karan Gupta


Admission process for universities in the USA, Canada, UK, Singapore Australia

You should ideally start your application process one year ahead of when you want to go and study. You will then have ample time to finish the entrance tests required by the universities. The selection process of universities is based on several criteria and the final choice of university depends on the comfort level of the student applying. Each country generally has its own ranking system which lists the top universities in each faculty. Rankings are just one of the criteria you should use in determining whether or not you want to apply to a particular university. Instead rely on information from alumni and current students. Remember, no matter which country you are applying to you must adhere to their rules and regulations and carefully follow all the application instructions.


USA and Canada

The US is still the top choice for most students. Even after 9/11 and dwindling economic scenarios, the US saw an increase in Indian students of over 12%. More than 60% of all students applying overseas from India apply to the US.

The US offers a wide variety of subjects also giving you the options of choosing majors and minors from different faculties. For instance, if you are majoring in business you can also get the opportunity to minor in music or any other subject you are interested in. However, before you start applying is it imperative to do research on the potential universities you are considering. Each school is different and it is important finding the school where you will fit in and feel comfortable.

Once you have a concrete list in hand the next step is getting all the documentation ready. The process begins with collecting transcripts and recommendations from the schools and colleges in which you are studying or have graduated from. Then collect two to three references from the faculty that has taught you. Once you have managed to acquire these documents, you have completed more than half the required paperwork. The next step is filling out the applications and writing the essays the universities require. Depending on the programme you are applying for, you will have to send the SAT, GMAT or GRE scores. The TOEFL scores have to also be sent to all universities irrespective of the field you are applying in.

Along with your application, you must show evidence of sufficient funds to cover expenses at the university. Once all these documents are ready, compile your application and you are now ready to mail out your applications. DHL offers students special discounts and your application packets will reach the universities in 48 hours and so it makes sense to send your application packets by DHL.

The application process for Canada is pretty much the same as the US. The only difference is that Canadian universities do not ask for any entrance tests except the English language test or TOEFL. If, however, you are applying for an MBA, you will need to take the GMAT for admission to the top Canadian universities.


The good news is that the UK application process is the simplest of all developed countries. After you have been through the mind-boggling process of applying to US universities you will find the UK application child’s play. Undergraduate students or students applying for Bachelors degrees, only need to fill out one UCAS or Universities and Colleges Admission Service form. This form can be completed by paper or online and you can send the form to a maximum of six universities. Besides the general information, the form also asks for a short personal statement and one recommendation letter from any professor.

The postgraduate application is similar but you have to fill separate applications for each university. With two reference letters, a personal statement and transcripts of the degree college you are ready to apply.

Singapore and Australia

Indian undergraduate students applying to Singapore are not required to take the SAT I for all courses. However, to better your chances of admission the SAT I and II can be sent along with your application. The TOEFL is again, required from all international students. Applicants will even undergo an interview before they are finally offered admission. Graduate students for MBA programmes will be required to take the GMAT. Some universities in Singapore like NUS only accept online application forms. Paper forms are not accepted.

Like the UK, undergraduate applicants to Singapore must submit their final examination results before the admission is confirmed.

Australia currently has around 237,000 international students and is growing at a fast pace.


The application process for Austrlian universities is rather simple. Identify the universities you want to apply to and research the universities carefully. Make sure you are applying to accredited universities and meet the minimum admission criteria. While most Australian universities do not require standardized exams like the GRE, SAT and GMAT, some top MBA programmes require the GMAT for admission. Also, students should take the IELTS exam and not the TOEFL.

No matter which country you apply to, make sure to carefully prepare your application materials. Write an essay for the admissions committee explaining the reasons why you are applying for a particular course or a particular degree. Talk extensively about your career goals as well. Make sure you research the universities very well before sending in your applications.


Karan Gupta is the leading international education and career consultant in Mumbai, India. Since 1999, he has given career counselling and has helped thousands of students with study abroad and get admission and visas to universities and colleges in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and EU and also helps them get scholarships, loans and financial aid. In addition to aptitude tests and career counselling, his firm also provides training and coaching for the GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE exams. Karan Gupta is the best study abroad career counsellor, consultant and career guidance expert in Mumbai.

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