There are many reasons to study at a university abroad. It might be your ticket to working in a different country or give you access to better opportunities upon returning home.
Either way, a certain level of English to handle school work and daily life in your new country is a must.
But how good does your English actually need to be to get into a university abroad? And how good should it be for you to succeed?
Most schools set minimum score requirements for IELTS, TOEFL, and other standardized tests of English. To get a general idea, check out the English language requirements for universities in the US and the UK.
You’ll notice that most top-tier schools in English-speaking countries require an IELTS score of at least 7.0 or a TOEFL iBT score of at least 100. But the requirement varies widely from school to school, so make sure to check the score for each school you’re interested in by looking at their admissions website for international students.
If you’re applying to graduate programs abroad, make sure to also check the score requirement for each program or department you’re interested in, as many of these set their own requirements.
Alternatively, take some practice tests to figure out how high you can realistically score. Then make a list of schools you can apply to (e.g. search “top schools that accept TOEFL iBT score of 79”).
Make sure you don’t limit yourself to schools in the US and UK.
You can consider other countries in the English-speaking world, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, or Hong Kong. These parts of the world still offer excellent higher education programs, but demand slightly lower levels of English proficiency.
And don’t forget about non-English-speaking countries. For example, Germany has become a popular study abroad option in recent years. And countries like the Netherlands, Austria, France, Spain, Japan, and Thailand all host tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of international students each year, so you might want to consider them.
Programs in these countries tend to have lower minimum score requirements. Some, like the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering, don’t have minimum score requirements at all, but still highly encourage applicants to learn English.
However, this is not true of all programs. For example, HEC Paris requires a TOEFL iBT score of 100 and an IELTS of 7.0. So make sure you check carefully!
If you’re pressed for time, remember that you have options:
The third point is true of many programs in the UK and Europe, including top schools. For example:
And if you don’t get the required score, you can still attend the university, but you must take language courses (called “pre-sessional courses” in the UK) and pass some language tests before enrolling.
Finally, some schools don’t have strict score requirements. For example:
So if you want to go abroad and don’t have enough time to improve your English significantly before leaving your country, look into these options.
However, it’s best to already have good English skills before arriving on campus.
For starters, most schools will require you to apply in English. This means you’ll need to prepare application essays and résumés in English and sometimes even have interviews in English.
Depending on the school, you may also have to take difficult admissions exams in English, such as the GRE or GMAT.
Plus, you’ll need English skills after getting to campus.
And ultimately, you’ll need more than English to succeed during your studies and beyond. You’ll need:
And you’ll need to be able to do all this in English!
So it’s better to arrive at a university with decent English skills. To this end, we recommend you check out online tutoring platforms … like Engoo!
In addition to having tutors from around the world, we also have curricula designed to help you get admitted by schools abroad, but also succeed in your studies there. Check out our:
So give us a try! Plus, the first lesson is on us, so there’s nothing to lose.