Frequently Asked Questions
1. AM I ELIGIBLE TO STUDY OVERSEAS?
To apply for a higher education program of studies overseas, applicants should be at least 18 years of age, have completed minimum GCE O/L or GCE A/L in Secondary education. Other academic qualifications of foundation/certificate/diploma level may be considered on a case by case basis for selected programs. Other than academic, persons with industrial experience, entrepreneurs may be considered on special entry, on a case by case basis for some programs by selected education providers.
2. HOW DO I SELECT A SUITABLE COUNTRY FOR MY FOREIGN EDUCATION?
It is advisable to focus on affordability, climate, culture, language, recognition of qualifications, job market prior to selecting a country for your higher studies. Most study programs are offered in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada, Ireland, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Russia, Norway and Germany. Some countries prioritize for specialized programs such as Medicine, Biology etc. mainly due to affordability. It is advisable to get proper counseling from a Recognized Agent in Sri Lanka. Thames International provides education consultation for Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia.
3. HOW DO I SELECT A SUITABLE STUDY PROGRAM?
There is a wide range of study programs available in different subject areas and the level of qualification you should select will depend on the applicant’s academic and career background. The different levels of study programs are; Certificate programs, Diploma programs, Under graduate programs (bachelor’s degrees, graduate diploma), Postgraduate programs (postgraduate diploma, master’s degree) and Doctorate. When selecting a program of study the applicant has to take into consideration factors such as age, affordability, interested field of study/industry, outcome of qualification, immigration conditions and various other factors. The course fee and additional levy charges vary depending on the education provider and study destination. Generally, world ranked university fees are higher than in technical colleges/ polytechnics/private institutes. Course fees are subject to change annually and the payment structure differs from country to country depending on prevalent rules and regulations.
4. IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET A SCHOLARSHIP?
There are different types of scholarships on offer and it depends on your chosen education provider. Generally many scholarships are granted based on academic merit and are highly competitive. The education providers usually have information on available scholarships on their respective websites.
5. HOW DO I KNOW THE RECOGNITION OF AN EDUCATION PROVIDER?
It is very important to carry out a thorough research about the education provider prior to making a final decision as selecting a wrong provider could have adverse effects on your student visa.
You can refer globally recognized university rankings such as;
Times Higher Education ranking
and US News and World Report
University ranking and recognition can be a decisive factor in gaining access to well-paid jobs and ensuring a place in an esteemed postgraduate intuition.
You can get further details from an industry related experienced Agent. Thames International has been providing our services since 2004 with hands-on experiences in overseas studies.
6. WHAT WOULD BE THE FUNDS REQUIREMENT?
Financial requirement is another important factor to consider. According to the immigration rules and regulations of each country, the requirements are subject to change from time to time. Generally you are required to show sufficient funds to finance your tuition fee and living expenses for your period of studies.
Countries like New Zealand, Ireland require funds to be held in bank accounts for a minimum period of 6 months. Funds should be held in financial institutions which are registered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is advisable to get proper consultation from an industry expert to make sure that you are providing the correct documentation as required.
In addition to self-funding, acceptable sponsors could financially support an international student’s tuition fees and living expenses. It is very important to gather correct information from immigration websites.
7. DO I HAVE TO BE QUALIFIED IN AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST (IELTS/TOFEL ETC.)?
An internationally recognized English language test is a mandatory requirement when applying as a student in most countries. It is better to consult your agent or check the entry requirement of your chosen study program.
8. WILL THIS QUALIFICATION BE ACCEPTED IN MY HOME COUNTRY AND INTERNATIONALLY?
University Grants Commission in Sri Lanka recognizes foreign Universities/Higher Educational Institutes based on international acceptance. For information;
The acceptance of foreign qualifications in other countries has to be checked with the relevant academic quality assurance registration organizations in that particular country.
9. WHAT IS THE JOB MARKET FOR FOREIGN QUALIFICATIONS?
According to the National Education Commission in Sri Lanka, degree courses in Information Technology (IT), Business Management, Accounting, Finance, Nursing, Law, Engineering are more on offer than any other disciplines, reflecting the current trend in higher education.
Universities in Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand are better represented by these organizations than those in other countries, again reflecting the current trend in overseas higher education. Degrees from western universities are highly desired and highly recognized in the Sri Lankan job market.
There are professional qualifications which are mandatory to certain job categories. You must obtain recognition of your professional qualification if you wish to practice your profession in another country where your profession is regulated.
For example, if you are qualified as an architect in the UK and want to work as an architect in Spain, you will need to obtain recognition of your UK professional qualification in order to legally work as an architect in Spain.
10. DOES MY STUDY PROGRAM LEAD TO A POST STUDY WORK VISA?
This depends on the country you have selected for your higher studies and the level of program. It is always best to check the relevant immigration website for more information on post study opportunities.
11. AM I ABLE TO WORK DURING STUDIES ?
This will depend on whether your student visa allows you to work or not. Most countries allow students to work for a limited number of hours while studying and some information could be found in following link;
12. CAN MY SPOUSE/FAMILY JOIN WITH ME DURING STUDIES?
This depends on the immigration rules and regulations of the country you are applying to for your higher studies. Please refer the immigration website of your selected country for further information.