If you have already chosen your program, searched the best universities, has been studying hard to improve you knowledge of a foreign language and has been saving money, it’s time you think about another important factor:
Your documents will allow you to get a student visa, enroll in the university, go through immigration, make an internship, and have access to the country’s public services.
The documents you will need to submit when you want to study abroad are much more complex than those you have in hands when you travel as a tourist. You will have to sort out and translate different documents before you can set out to anywhere and start your studies.
Your documents should be ready in advance, especially if you still don’t have them with you.
This is your most important document. Your passport will allow you to leave the country and passports are used as identity documents abroad – just like the Brazilian identity card in Brazil.
In Brazil, passports are issued by the Federal Police Department, and applicants have to schedule a visit to one of the stations and pay a BRL 257.25 fee.
Applicants can also pay an emergency fee to have their passports issued sooner if they don’t have enough time to wait.
If you have a passport, check whether it will be valid until the end of your trip.
Your diploma and other school and academic documents, such as transcripts and statements, are an important part of the university application process.
School transcript, academic history, program certificates, extracurricular activities, proof of internship and other academic experiences have to be translated to valid abroad.
These documents may not be easily obtained as they refer to different parts of your life, so get them ready in advance.
Avoid submitting them to the translation agency in the last minute because you can miss your deadlines if you don’t submit your translations in time.
Some educational institutions require proficiency in the language of the country, or at least in English, to accept students.
Before determining which exam is right for you, check with the university if they accept this exam and what is the minimum necessary score and the level of knowledge required.
Take your exams in advance because sometimes they are not offered at regular intervals, they are expensive and results can take a long time to be available.
Also, some proficiency exams are valid only for a certain period of time. Make your plans in advance!
Universities want to make sure you can afford your education and basic expenses – including food, housing and transportation – while you are in the country.
Universities can request documents – bank letters, payment slips, income tax return, and financial aid statements – even before your admission.
You will also need a student visa and you will have to go through immigration.
If you have been awarded a scholarship or a grant, you will also have to show proof of your financial status.
Once you have passed all steps in the selection process, your university will send you a letter of admission to inform you that you have been accepted.
This letter will be required by the consulate, in case you need a visa, by immigration, to explain the reason of your trip, and by the university, so that you can register and begin your studies.
Some countries, like the USA, Australia and Canada, require a student visa in addition to the university admission letter.
Each country has its own student visa application procedures and you should visit the consulate or embassy website of the country you intend to study to check your visa type, cost and effective term.
Your visa is generally glued or stapled to your passport. If that not your case, keep it with you at all times during your trip.
Most of the countries require an international travel insurance that is valid for the period of your trip.
You can buy your travel insurance over the internet and it is usually not expensive. It also protects you during the time you are away, as medical expenses are extremely high abroad.
If you have international health insurance, notify the insurance company about your trip and don’t forget to take your credentials.
Check whether vaccines are recommended or required in your destination. If you don’t have a vaccination card, get one right away.
Travelers younger than 18 years old will require authorization from their parents to leave Brazil. This is to avoid kidnapping and human traffic.
Fill in the form available at the Federal Police Department website and ask a Notary to authenticate the signature.
If you are applying for a new passport, your authorization will be printed on it and you won’t need a Notary.
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