November 30, 2020

5 tips for international students applying to university

1. Do your research

What school is best for your interests and goals? What programs are the school’s most prestigious? Find out about university fairs and events, or book a 1:1 appointment with an international admissions officer.

As you narrow down your list of schools, make sure you know the qualifications and prerequisites you need. What’s the admissions process? What are the deadlines?

What kind of support services are available to students, and international students in particular? Does the school help you get work experience in your area of study?

What are the advantages of living in your potential new city, and the cost of living?

What scholarships do international students have access to?

And try to have fun exploring all the possibilities!

2. Give yourself plenty of time

To avoid potential disappointment, start the process as early as possible.

Leave plenty of room to ensure you get your study permit on time.

Take note of deadlines in advance. Maybe you have stellar grades and would be admitted no problem, but if you miss the deadline to apply, or don’t submit all your documents—by the time you get yourself organized, the program might be full. This is especially true for very niche programs that are popular and have limited enrolment.

Also leave yourself plenty of time to get any prerequisites you may be missing. For example, if you have your heart set on aerospace engineering, and you haven’t taken chemistry—you want to make sure you have time to get that chemistry prerequisite!

3. Talk to current international students

As you narrow down the schools that seem right for you, it might help to hear what current international students have to say.

Universities usually have testimonials from students, and you can often ask to get in touch with a student from your country, or a student in the program you’re interested in. They have great advice, and probably understand your perspective better than anyone.

And when you become an international university student, consider sharing your experiences too!

4. Take advantage of online events and engage

This is a great way to get to know a school.

Carleton University has regular events and live chats throughout the year.  We also have a virtual tour so you can start to explore Carleton wherever you are!

Be sure to follow the schools you want to apply to on social media, and sign up for email updates—you can do this at Carleton by creating an account in Carleton360, our personalized student portal. This will ensure that you get notifications that we’re coming to your city or country, deadline reminders, and invitations to events.

5. Ask questions!

After you have done your research, you will probably have questions.

Don’t hesitate to contact the school: At Carleton you can send an email to, ask questions in the daily chat (Monday to Friday) or via social media (see links in the footer) So put your mind at ease by getting the answers you need to make the decisions that are right for you.

An exciting future awaits!