A Guide to Transferring Universities for International Students

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Most international students spend a lot of time researching the universities or institutions they would like to study at. But there are times when lived experiences matter more. Some students might want to change universities due to any reason, be it financial issues, changes in degrees, changes in career goals, or the institutions not living upto the expectations of a student.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to transfer universities, you’ll probably have a lot of questions – like how does one do this? Or, do different countries have different sets of rules?

We look at three global ed destinations here…

In the U.S.A

If one wishes to transfer universities in the U.S.A, the first thing to do is to approach their academic or international student advisor for guidance. These advisors are capable of providing the necessary information regarding how to transfer between programs or universities. Then, they will have to talk to their professors or their department heads about the transfer and get the necessary permissions as quickly as possible. Once this is complete, the process for transferring SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) needs to be initiated. However, the SEVIS transfer requires students to meet certain criteria. Post this, fee settlements have to be completed on time. Finally, the student must contact the international student advisor at the new institution and complete any procedures that are pending. Once this is done, the transfer is complete.

In the U.K

Although the process of transferring universities in the U.K is quite straightforward, there are a few competitive courses that do not allow students to transfer midway through the program. The only way out in such situations is to start afresh. Transferring universities in the U.K requires one to do a bit of research about why they would like to transfer, what makes the transfer work, and if they have the necessary grades, among others. If a transfer is requested in the first year, the student may have to reapply for a program as a freshman. Usually, the international student advisor of the university needs to be contacted if a person wants to transfer universities in their second year. Contacting the universities informally might help with the necessary information required for the transfer. Once this is done, the student will have to apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) formally. During this process, the students will have the option to choose which university they would like to transfer to, where they would like to start from (as a freshman or at the same point they left the previous program) and others.

In Canada

Transferring universities in Canada is a comparatively simple process but it does require one to be well prepared. For starters, the university one would like to transfer to would want the student to have completed a specific set of courses for a particular program. There is also a minimum overall average that all transfer students are expected to have. The minimum number of credits required for transfer varies from university to university. Students will not be required to share the results of an English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL when transferring to a new university. The process of transferring to a new university begins with the office of admissions assessing a student’s credit based on various factors such as transferable courses, number of courses, and the type of institution a student is transferring from/to. Once this is complete, the office assesses the courses that a student has completed. Then, the transfer credit statement is generated based on the assessments and this can be used for transferring from one university to another.

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