Study abroad
Students who are planning to study abroad should start their preparation early. Source: Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Are you planning to study at a university abroad?

Countries such as the US, Australia, Canada and the UK are among the globe’s education strongholds.

But regardless of your ideal study location, if you already have your sights set on heading abroad for university, study abroad preparation shouldn’t begin once you’re about to complete secondary or high school, but earlier than that.

There are several things students can start doing in school to improve their chances of attending a good university abroad. Here are some suggestions:


It helps to have good grades to help you enjoy a wider selection of universities. Source: Shutterstock

If your grades have been anything but impressive, don’t wait until the last year of high school to get them up. This creates unnecessary stress and pressure on you to catch up.

Poor high school grades can make it tricky for you to get into the university programme of your choice. Thus, it helps to consistently work hard to ensure you end high school with stellar grades so you can cast your net wide when it comes to university. 

If you haven’t already decided on what you plan to do in university, ensuring you have the grades to be admitted into a wider selection of universities helps keep your options open.

Co-curricular activities

Finishing high school strong isn’t just about your academic endeavours. Ensuring you’re actively involved in co-curricular activities can also help with your future success – especially if you plan to apply for scholarships to fund your tertiary education. 

Getting involved in social causes, such as volunteering for soup kitchens, doing work with children or animals can also demonstrate your social awareness and help you develop new skills.

Such activities build your skills outside the classroom, such as your communication and organisational skills, and demonstrate your motivation to develop your interests.


Being fluent in multiple languages is one thing that can help you stand out from the crowd. Source: Headway/Unsplash

If you’re monolingual, take advantage of language classes in school (if any) and learn a second or third language – especially if they offer classes spoken in your preferred study abroad destination. 

It’s important to not only think about how it can benefit you in the present, but also the future. Grasping new languages helps you communicate with the locals or other international students abroad, make travelling easier and potentially opening the door to wider career opportunities upon graduation, especially for companies that conduct business or have partnerships abroad.

Start narrowing down your options

It doesn’t hurt to start narrowing down your university options while you’re still in high school. This helps you understand what’s needed to get into the university of your choice and gives you time to practice required tests (e.g. SAT) and ensure you’re well-prepared for your next academic journey.  

There’s no doubt that high schoolers face a different set of challenges at different steps of their academic journey. However, by focusing on making incremental improvements in high school, you’ll be sure to end this chapter of your life with a bang!

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