FAQ’s

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about the various stages of locating, applying for and dealing with the logistics of doing a degree abroad. If your question is not answered below or you would like clarification about any of the questions, do not hesitate to contact us

Application Process

1. What is the deadline for submitting applications?

Follow this link for information about application deadlines:
application process (will open in a new browser)

2. Do I need to take the GRE, SAT, ACT, GMAT etc. in order to apply and be accepted?

undergraduate students
Generally, students wishing to apply to schools in Australia will find that the universities will prefer a SAT score of 1800 or higher and it will be slightly higher in New Zealand. Anytime an applicant has scored a grade of 3 or above on an AP exam, the student should submit the score, though it is not required for Australian and New Zealand universities.

Students applying for undergraduate programs in the England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland will need to submit along with their high school diploma, either SAT scores with a minimum of 550 on each part or grades of 3 and above in at least two Advanced Placement Tests (AP).

Graduate students

Unless you are applying for an MBA program, you will not need to take any exams to gain acceptance into our partners programs. You will need to submit your GMAT scores for application to almost all MBA programs overseas.

3. The application asks for a copy of my passport and I don’t have it yet. Should I wait until I get my passport before submitting my application?

No, go ahead and send us your application. The school can still evaluate your application and grant you conditional acceptance and then full acceptance once it has received a copy of your passport.

4. The application asks for a copy of my passport, but mine is expired and I’m in the process of getting a new one. Do I need to wait until my new passport arrives to submit my application?

No, go ahead and send us your application. The school can still evaluate your application and grant you conditional acceptance and then full acceptance once it has received a copy of your passport.

5. Do I really need a copy of my diploma?

Some universities require this and some do not. However, CIS recommends sending this in either case. A simple black and white photocopy is all that you will need to submit.

6. How long will it take to hear back from the universities as to whether or not I have been accepted?

Allow 6 to 8 weeks for the school to process and evaluate your application before you receive notification of acceptance.

7. Who will notify me as to whether or not I have been accepted?

In some cases the university will notify you and in other cases, CIS will notify you. In either case, you will be notified as soon as we have been sent a response or as soon as the host university’s international office receives a response.

Financial Aid

1. Can I use U.S. federal loans (Stafford loans) for education abroad?

Yes. All of the schools we work with are Title IV approved, which means you can use federal aid towards your degrees at any of our partner universities. Find out more in the financial aid section of our Web site.

2. When do I begin applying for US federal loans? / When do I begin filling out the FAFSA form?

You can begin by simply filling out the FAFSA form online during the application process. Click here to begin. Once you have applied, CIS will provide you with information to help you get started on the financial aid process.

3. Are there any private lenders who can provide loans for a degree abroad?

Yes. There are loans available for students whose cost of schooling exceeds the amount of loans they are able to receive from the U.S. government. Find out more in the financial aid section of our Web site.

4. Are teaching assistantships available?

These are available, but rarely to those coming into a program. They are usually awarded once you have been studying at the university for a time.

5. Are there any scholarships available for those seeking a full degree abroad?

There are scholarships for those wishing to do a degree abroad, but they are limited in number at this time. Find out more in the scholarship section of this Web site.

Transcripts

1. Can I send in photocopies of my transcript, or do they have to be official transcripts sent from my school?

Please request an official transcript for each of the schools to which you are applying. These can be sent directly to us or you can receive them and send them along with the rest of your application materials.

You will need an official transcript from each college/university you have attended, for each of the universities to which you apply. (eg. If you apply to both Bond University and London Metropolitan, you will need to submit an official copy of your transcript(s) to each university).

In some cases, conditional acceptance can be given based on a photocopy of the original transcript, but an official copy will be needed for unconditional acceptance. It is, therefore, best to get official copies from the outset of the application process.

2. If I have transcripts from several different colleges, do I need to submit a transcript from each of those schools?

Yes, you will need transcripts from each of the schools you attended as an undergraduate. You will also need individual copies of each transcript to submit to each of the universities to which you are applying. (see question 1 above)

3. The application asks for my complete transcript but I won’t graduate until the end of this semester. What should I do in this case?

Send in the most recent copy of your transcript. The university(ies) to which you are applying can grant you conditional acceptance, and then unconditional acceptance upon review of your full transcript once that has been received.

Personal Statement

1. How long should my personal statement be and what should it include?

Your personal statement should be anywhere from 500 – 1000 words or one and a half to two and a half pages in length. Click here to find helpful resources for writing your personal statement.

Letters of Reference

1. Do my referees have to use the referee forms provided by the university, or can they type them on their own letterhead?

Your referees can either use the form provided in the university’s application, or they can type a letter of reference on their own letterhead. If you choose to do the latter, simply write in “see attached” or “see letter of reference included” on the referee form provided by the university.

2. Where should I have my referees send their letters, to the university to which I am applying or to CIS?

Please have your references sent directly to CIS or, alternatively, you can have them sent to you and then send them to CIS with the rest of your application materials.

Supporting Materials

1. Should I submit writing samples and if so, what is the best way to include these?

If you are applying to a writing program (creative writing, journalism, etc.) and certain fine arts programs, then yes, you will need to submit writing samples. Simply send these in with your application. Some applications have a section that asks you to list your supporting documents and you should list the titles of your writing samples in this space.

2. How should I send samples of my art work and how many samples should I include?

You should send samples of your work in with your application. Slides of your work are usually the best, although a CD Rom with digital photos of your work is acceptable as well. Most schools will ask for 12 pictures/images of your work, but please check with the school to which you are applying to confirm this number.

Accommodation

1. Will I be able to find university housing?

Yes, you will be given the option of university housing.

2. When do I begin applying/looking for accommodation?

Once you have been accepted. At that point, you will receive an accommodation packet with details about applying for university housing.

Miscellaneous Questions

1. What exactly does CIS do?

CIS acts as a liaison between you and our partner university(ies) to which you are applying. We also assist you through the application process, give advice about financial aid, and provide information about housing, budgeting, working abroad and more.

2. Does CIS charge a fee for its services?

No, CIS does not charge a fee to students for its services. We are compensated by our overseas partner universities for the service we provide on their behalf. Also, most of the universities we work with do not charge an application fee.

3. Why should I apply through CIS?

Any time you deal with foreign institutions there are many complex details that need to be attended to and we are experts in this area; think of us as a member of the university based in the U.S. for your convenience. This means that you don’t need to call or e-mail overseas every time you have a question or concern, and your application materials can be sent directly to us. We then forward those materials onto the university electronically the same day and send a hard copy of the application to follow. After we receive your application, we will act as the liaison between you and the foreign university for issues related to acceptance, visas, housing, travel, and health insurance.

Furthermore, the service does not cost you anything and so there is nothing to lose by taking advantage of our services. Please contact us if you have further questions about what we do and how we may be able to assist you.

4. What is the deadline for submitting applications?

Follow this link for information about application deadlines:

5. How long will it take to hear back from the universities as to whether or not I have been accepted?

Allow 6 to 8 weeks for the school to process and evaluate your application before you receive notification of acceptance.

6. Will my degree from a non-U.S. university be recognized in the U.S. ?

Yes, your degree from overseas will be recognized in the U.S. with a few caveats. In general, most degrees – bachelor, master’s, PhD, are recognized as the equivalent of a degree obtained in the U.S. However, if you earn a professional degree overseas (education, social work , physical therapy, law, psychology, etc.) the degree would be recognized but any licensure, or certification you earn would most likely not be recognized. Please read the information provided in our professional degrees section to find out more. Secondly, if you are using the degree as a stepping-stone to a higher degree, career advancement or career change in the U.S. you should do some investigation. You should contact the institution or someone in your career field (or future career field) to see how your overseas degree might be viewed or might help you. Find out more on the Professional Degrees page.

7. I’ve already taken college/university courses in the U.S. Will I be able to receive credit transfer for these classes from the overseas university?

This will depend on the nature of the classes you have taken and the overseas university to which you are applying. This is something, however, that CIS cannot determine, and the only way to know for certain what will and will not transfer is to apply. If the university chooses to offer you acceptance, they will also indicate which courses will and will not transfer, or possibly ask for further documentation in order to do so.

8. Will I be able to work while abroad?

Yes. You should, however, understand all of the requirements for international students working in the different countries we deal with. You can find out about these requirements here. (will open in a new window)

9. Will I be able to bring my pet with me?

CIS does not recommend bringing a pet with you. While we recognize that many students are attached to their pets, they will most likely have to be quarantined. Sometimes your pet can be quarantined for up to 6 months. We recommend finding a friend or family member to take care of your pet while you are abroad.

10. I would like to bring my children with me. What can I do about finding childcare or schooling for them?

Many of our partner universities provide childcare services on campus. Information about these services is provided on their Web sites and may be referred to as the crèche.

The international student offices at our partner universities can provide you with information about enrolling your children in school while you are abroad as well.