Study Abroad: How To Change the Direction of Study and Enroll in a Foreign University?


Many students begin to consider a change of major and education abroad when they are already studying at a university in their home country. Perhaps their academic interests have changed, or the direction once chosen turned out to be unsuitable. Or they want to test their strength, change their environment and gain quality knowledge in a new direction.

There can be many plots. And it is quite realistic. We’ll share the tips to help you decide on the next steps and come closer to the dream of entering a foreign university.

How do people look at changing majors abroad?

The practice of transferring from one academic field to another has long been uncommon. Few students hit the bull’s-eye the first time, choosing a profession to their liking. And the desire to change country in the process of training also comes to many.

The possibility of transfer to a foreign university depends on the country in which you want to study. And, of course, on the particular educational institution.

Chances of transferring to a U.S. university are quite high. Since the American educational system is close to the Europe one in terms of the number of years of study. Because of this the students who studied in Europe have a chance to enter immediately the second or third year of the U.S. university. And if you are prepared to enter without changing your major, you can get up to 90% of your academic hours credit.

But transferring to a British university will be more difficult, partly because of the difference in length of study. English students study two more years before entering university. This means that you can enter a university in Britain in two ways: get at least one missing year in college or university of their native country, or take a preparatory course in England. The second option psychologically eases the transition to another language and a new learning system.

But higher education institutions in Germany in most cases allow transfer to the same or a related specialty. Otherwise, the German universities will not be able to count your passed subjects and grades.

How to enter university and change your major

Before taking action, you need to figure out what type of transfer you are interested in:

Undergraduate admission directly

In this case, you will most likely have to study another 3-4 years after transferring from your bachelor’s degree in your home country. This way is probably the easiest. It will be easier to explain the motivation for the transition, since you are only a “fresh” student, and the process of entering a new specialty will be easier.

Apply on the basis of your high school diploma and bachelor’s degree. Previous education may be an advantage, since some credits (hours of study completed) can count toward your degree.

In addition, all the certificates, courses, and all the experience related to the new major you’re applying for will give you a head start on admission.

Examples of programs:

  1. American University of Paris requires at least one semester passed and strong motivation.
  2. When transferring to the Private University of Segovia in Spain, you need to go through the credit transfer process, which is detailed on the university website along with other requirements.

Getting into a Master’s Degree

Getting a master’s degree in another country is a popular choice among many graduates. You have already studied and received your degree in your home country, so you are more or less familiar with the system. The vision of your professional and academic development becomes more precise.

The most important thing here is the motivation letter, which should be strong enough to justify your choice of a new, non-baccalaureate field.

You must make clear to the committee why this is important to you, what you can give and take from your chosen field: to share the knowledge you have gained, to do research in some related area of science about which little is still known, to go deeper into an unfamiliar area of study yourself. You can use to help you with the writing of your motivation letter and provide samples that could illustrate your enthusiasm for the subject.

Transferring at the master’s level (from the first or second year of study) is more difficult, as foreign programs last 1-2 years. That’s why it’s better to enroll right from the beginning of the master’s program. Even if you lose a year, you can study the subject more thoroughly and in depth. Your previous experience and knowledge, which should be mentioned in your motivation letter, will be a big plus.

Hungary, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other countries allocate places for international students every year, so feel free to apply.

Applying for a master’s degree is a great opportunity to try your hand and apply for university grants and quite possibly win your golden ticket to study in another country with coverage and a scholarship.

The right steps to transfer to another university

If you have decided to transfer from your university to another one abroad, we recommend you to proceed as follows:

1. Make a list

You need to make a list of the countries and majors you are interested in.

Put them in order of priority, e.g. Hungary is the right country for you in terms of quality of life, climate, living expenses, and travel opportunities.

2. Start your search

Devote a few days to searching for suitable universities and programs. It is important to know the following:

  • Transfer (transfer, admission) policies. Find out if the university and program you wish to apply to has a transfer policy.
  • List of required documents.
  • Deadlines for application.
  • Tuition fees and availability of scholarships in the chosen program.

3. Start preparations

At this stage, you need to gather all the necessary documents. Most often these are:

  • A certificate of proficiency in the language of instruction.
  • Academic transcript – a transcript given by the university, with the content of the completed program, hours and grades. The transcript pays particular attention to your academic performance.
  • Letter of Motivation – One of the most important documents you’ll need to explain your interest in transferring to another major.
  • Recommendation letters from professors and faculty who have taught you.
  • A resume, which should include your academic experience, work experience, volunteerism, skills, and accomplishments.

The exact list depends on the university and major you choose.

Leave a Comment