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12 Common Mistakes All International Students Make

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Do you want to study abroad? Are you hoping to secure a significant scholarship or study grant? Studying overseas requires a lot of planning and preparation which can be a complex, time-consuming and expensive undertaking. are overseas education consultants that specialize in providing expert advice throughout the consultation and application process. We help students secure the best scholarships at the highest ranked universities. Book a FREE Consultation with an experienced education & career counsellor to find out what overseas study options are available. 

So, you have decided to study overseas. This article explores some of the common mistakes many international students make when studying overseas. You should be aware of these mistakes to ensure you make the most out of your time overseas.

1) Integrate

A lot of international students want to feel part of a familiar and comfortable community. This leads to students surrounding themselves with those from their home country. Remember, you are overseas and should meet people of all nationalities. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is an important skill to develop whilst overseas. All too often students from India will live with their own nationality, eat exclusively Indian food, work with Indian students and speak Hindi. To get the most from your education you should integrate and assimilate as much as possible. Building a network of global friends and colleagues will help you secure a job and improve your English.

2) Learn Basic Cooking Skills

Before you leave home learn some basic cooking skills. Most international students have relied upon their maid or parents for cooking, cleaning, and laundry. These services are not provided to students overseas. You should understand the basics of cooking so you can remain healthy whilst overseas. Many students rely on fast food and delivery whilst studying oversees which can lead to a dramatic weight gain and poor health outcomes. Speak to your parents or maid before leaving home and learn your favourite recipes to cook yourself and to impress your friends.

3) Budget

Many students stretch themselves financially when applying to overseas universities. Develop a clear budget before applying and ensure you can repay any debt incurred. Your budget should include an emergency fund to cover items which you did not plan for, relying on a part time income whilst studying is never a good idea. Many students become stressed and ill if they are unable to pay their education loan / debt. Students receive a high quality of education whilst overseas, you can always find options within your budget.

4) Applying Late

You have decided to study overseas but have left it extremely late to apply to a university. Visa officials may view your application with suspicion if applying to a university within 30 days of course commencement. recommends students start their planning 9-12 months before their course is due to start. And remember, universities have a limited allocation of study grants and scholarships, those who apply early will receive the highest amount.

5) Missing Orientation

Many students fail to attend orientation, they use this time to stay at home a little longer. Orientation is a really important time of the year. Orientation provides an environment to meet your fellow students, take part in activities and events, select units of study, and meet the professors and academics that are teaching you. Students who do not attend orientation will find it difficult to integrate into university life and have a limited number of units to choose from.

6) Expectations

Students from India are led to believe those who receive the highest grades will secure the best jobs. This is rarely the case; do not expect too much from yourself and spend an equal amount of time developing your soft skills. Employers overseas place a significant emphasis on a student’s interpersonal and communicate skills. Having a 1st class degree with a limited ability to communicate will lead to disappointment.

7) Joining Clubs & Societies

Universities place a significant emphasis on extracurricular activities. These could be social, sport or academic related clubs and societies. A big part of your university life is to grow your network and establish connections. You should prioritise the opportunities available to you and enjoy your time overseas.

8) University Ranking

Do not become fixated on a universities subject specific or overall ranking. Students will receive a high quality of education in most western countries. The universities focusing on rankings will place a significant emphasis on research output. Most international students will not be studying research focussed degrees. Investing a significant amount of money at a prestigious and highly ranked university does not guarantee you a job. Most prestigious universities only accept a limited number of students per year so make sure you have a range of study options available.

9) Prioritise

Your primary focus should study. Many students work part time whilst studying, working excessively can lead to significant problems in the short, medium, and long term. Remember, if you fail a unit overseas you are required to repeat the unit. The costs associated with a repeat range from $2,000 – $5,000 per attempt and will affect your overall GPA. You should effectively balance academic studies, social engagements, and work commitments to get the most out of your time overseas. Remember, if you work more hours than permitted your student visa could be revoked.

10) Seek Advice & Guidance

Whilst studying overseas you are likely to experience difficulties which will require the help of tutors or support staff. If you find yourself struggling, it’s important you ask for help as soon as possible. Leaving things too late can lead to unnecessary stress and problems that quickly compound. Most issues can be solved if identified early. Speak to your education adviser or a tutor the minute you are feeling stressed or do not understand something.

11) Ask Questions

Universities overseas will require students to work collaboratively and expect students to ask questions to their professors and tutors. Students should actively participate in their lectures and raise their hand to ask for advice or guidance when required. Simply writing notes and memorizing study material will not lead to a positive outcome at university or within the jobs market. Do not remain silent and get involved!

12) Documentation

Did you know most visa rejections are a result of insufficient financial documentation or a poor Statement of Purpose? You should invest the necessary time and energy into securing the correct documentation prior to university application and visa lodgment. Remember, if you receive a visa rejection you are required to declare this when applying for any other visa. Visit the website to download our FREE Study Guides, Admissions Guides, SoP & Resume Templates.


I hope you found the information in our blog useful. are overseas education consultants that specialize in providing expert advice throughout the consultation and application process. If you would like to study abroad and hope to secure a significant scholarship or study grant Book a FREE Consultation with an experienced education & career counsellor to find out what overseas study options are available. We look forward to helping you start your journey to a brighter future!

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