Study Abroad After 12th – 2024 Requirements for Indian Students

If you are about to finish high school soon, you’re likely thinking hard about your bachelor’s degree. And if you are hoping to study abroad after 12th standard, you’re at the right place!

Experts expect the number of Indian students abroad to hit as high as 2 million by 2025. In 2023 alone, the UK, USA, and Australia saw huge growth in the number of incoming Indian students. This upward trend reflects the huge attraction a bachelor’s degree abroad holds for Indian students. And if you are among that number, here’s what you need to know about 2024 requirements to study abroad.

Requirements to Study Abroad in 2024 for Indian Students

1. Academic Requirements to Study Abroad

One of the standard components of your application to study abroad is your academic history and qualifications. To study abroad after 12th standard, you will need to provide your full secondary school transcripts and awards.

The score boundaries and subject requirements universities ask for will depend on a few things. Different universities and programs will have different minimum eligibility criteria and subject requirements. Here’s a general look at the types of grade boundaries you can expect in top study abroad destinations like the UK and Australia:

DestinationGeneral Academic Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree
AustraliaAustralian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or equivalent
CanadaHigh school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum GPA of 3.0
The UKAt least two A Level subjects or equivalent with minimum GCSE grades in English and Math, typically
The USAMinimum GPA at high school completion between 2.50 and 3.50 or equivalent

It’s very important to remember that the above are estimates of academic entry requirements. For example, if you want to study Engineering in the UK, the University of Manchester asks for two A*s and one A for your A-Levels (or equivalent) for a Bachelor of Engineering degree. Coventry University, on the other hand, asks for three Bs.

Both programs ask for Math and Physics as subjects you completed at the high school level. As a result, the best place to understand the eligibility criteria of specific programs is through the university’s own resources, including its website.

“Or Equivalent”

You’ll also notice that universities sometimes list grade requirements with “or equivalent”. This means you don’t necessarily need to complete A levels or a Canadian high school diploma to qualify for higher education abroad. Universities typically accept many alternatives for academic qualifications, often sorting these by country. So, check what requirements your chosen university is looking for from Indian students keen to study abroad after 12th grade!

2. English Language Requirements

If you are looking to study abroad after 12th standard, you may have to prove your ability in the English language. Study abroad destinations like the USA and the UK are predominantly English-speaking. The bulk of your learning, if not all of it, will also be in the English language. As a result, admissions officers use your ability in the English language as an indicator of your success in their programs.

Some universities may waive the English language requirement or accept your current or prior education in English to meet this requirement. Others will ask you to provide English language test scores indicating your proficiency. Tests like the IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, and PTE Academic have widespread recognition among global universities.

Again, the test score requirements will vary depending on the university and even by programs. For example, more technical subjects like Law or Medicine may ask for higher English language scores than a program in Accounting. Below is a quick look at the average English language score requirements at Bachelor’s level:

Destination CountryGeneral Academic Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree
AustraliaAustralian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or equivalent
CanadaHigh school diploma or equivalent, with a minimum GPA of 3.0
The UKAt least two A Level subjects or equivalent with minimum GCSE grades in English and Math, typically
The USAMinimum GPA at high school completion between 2.50 and 3.50 or equivalent

3. Statements of Purpose, College Essays, or Personal Statements

Many universities or programs ask you to submit a piece of writing as part of your application. Typically, this write-up is an essay or statement outlining the motivations and goals driving your application. Statements of purpose or personal statements are a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on your submission. Universities may be receiving hundreds if not thousands of applications. With this essay or statement, you can stand out against these applications as an individual and a great potential candidate for admission.

The requirements will vary from university to university and program to program. If you are applying to study abroad after 12th standard in the UK, for example, you are likely applying through UCAS. Part of your application is the UCAS personal statement. This is a 4,000-character write-up you submit as part of your UCAS application. In this write-up, you will discuss

  • why you chose this program
  • the relevant study, work, and life experiences that tie into your motivations and goals for this program
  • why you’re the right fit for the course
  • etc.

Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to craft a brilliant statement of purpose for this write-up. A fantastic SOP can elevate your application, so make sure it’s an original, error-free, and honest essay that meets the university’s requirements.

4. Letters of Recommendation

Universities often also ask for referral letters or letters of recommendation (LOR) as part of your application. These are testimonials from professionals who are familiar with your potential and ability to recommend you for your chosen program. At the undergraduate entry level, your referee will typically be a professor or teacher.

As with all aspects of your application, pay close attention to the specific requirements for LORs. Will your referee need to send this write-up separately, after your application? Will the university be in touch with them directly? Stay on top of all the requirements for an error-free and strong application.

Some tips for securing a great letter of recommendation (LOR) are as follows:

  • Ask potential referee about their permission before you sign them up to write your LOR
  • Choose teachers or other qualified academic mentors who know you and your potential, ambition, and ability closely
  • Schedule an appointment with your referees to discuss your application, goals, ambitions, etc. The better they understand your motivations, the stronger an LOR they can craft for you
  • Approach your referees with plenty of time on hand instead of closer to the deadline. Rushing your referees may harm the quality of your LOR and set back your application
  • Gently remind your referees of any deadlines, but do not spam them
  • Communicate all requirements about the LOR submissions to your referee promptly

5. When to Start Your Degree

If you are planning to study abroad after 12th grade in 2024, you are likely targeting the fall or autumn intake in the UK, USA, and Canada. Alternatively, you might also be targeting the winter intake in Australia.

One thing to note right away is that “intakes” can mean different things depending on the country in question. In the UK, the Autumn intake refers to the country’s biggest intake session, usually between September and October. In Canada and the USA, this goes by “Fall” – effectively it is similar to the UK, as the year’s biggest intake falling between August and October.

On the other hand, in Australia the Winter intake is the year’s second major intake – the first intake is usually around February. It may confuse you at first to learn that the Winter intake falls around June and July in Australia. This is because the seasons in Australia are the opposite of what you know in India. As the country is in the Southern Hemisphere, summertime in India is wintertime in Australia!

Once again, intake dates – and application deadlines – for study abroad destinations vary depending on the university. Here is a rough estimate of what to expect for your study abroad timeline depending on the destination:

Destination CountryIntake/Month
AustraliaWinter/May-July 2024
CanadaFall/August-October 2024
UKAutumn/September-October 2024
USAFall/August-September 2024

Application Deadlines

Again, application deadlines will vary depending on destination, university, and intake. For example, the UCAS deadline for a majority of UK bachelor’s programs (barring programs in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary sciences) is in January 2024.

However, if you miss this deadline, you can still apply during the UCAS Clearing period, between 5th July and 17th October 2024. If you miss the fall/autumn intakes in Canada, the UK, or the USA, you can also target the winter intakes in these countries instead. Similarly, if you miss the winter intake in Australia, you can target the autumn intake (January-February 2025).

6. How to Apply

Depending on where you choose to study abroad after 12th grade, how you apply will vary. Here’s a quick breakdown of how you can expect to apply depending on the destination.

Apply to Study in the UK in 2024

For entry into a bachelor’s program, you will likely apply through UCAS. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a central platform through which you can apply to up to five programs at UK universities. You can choose up to three program areas for your application.

While some universities also accept applications directly, UCAS applications are the standard for undergraduate entrants. The perk of this is that you can apply to multiple programs with one base application.

Apply to Study in Australia in 2024

For Australian universities, you will typically apply to the university directly. Be sure to follow the instructions and check off the requirements of your university and program while applying.

Apply to Study in Canada in 2024

If you are applying to a university or universities in Ontario, you may apply through the OUAC 105 application. Similar to UCAS, the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) helps you build a central application through which you apply to multiple universities. The 105 application is specifically for undergraduate students.

Outside of Ontario, you will typically apply to universities directly. As with all applications, via centralized platforms or directly, be sure to carefully examine and meet all requirements.

Apply to Study in the USA in 2024

Many US universities accept applications directly. At the undergraduate level, you may also have the opportunity to apply through the centralized platform Common App. This platform connects you to a network of over 1,000 universities and colleges.

7. Costs of Studying

Costs are one of the biggest considerations for anyone planning to study abroad after 12th standard. Tuition fees can vary quite broadly, depending on the university, as well as your program. Some of the factors that determine tuition fees include:

  • Size of the university: The bigger the university, the higher the fees are likely to be
  • Ownership: Public or state universities may cost less than privately-run universities
  • Program: Programs that are more technical and resource intensive can include higher tuition fees (e.g., a bachelor’s degree in dentistry can cost significantly more than a bachelor’s degree in sociology)
  • Location of the university: The cost of living in the university’s location can impact tuition fees. Universities in cities with higher costs of living typically have higher tuition fees
  • Program Duration: Bachelor’s programs in Australia and the UK typically last three years. In Canada and the USA, this is typically four years. As a result, you may want to compare the total fees of the whole program instead of annual fees when weighing cross-destination options

Tuition Fee Ranges

Destination CountryUndergraduate Tuition Fee Ranges for International Students (USD)
Australia$22,750 - $62,000
The UK$14,500 - $48,000
The USA$10,000 - $35,000

Living Cost Requirements

The following are the minimum savings or proof of funds international students need to show to qualify for student visas at these destinations:

Destination CountryMinimum Proof of Funds
AustraliaAUD $24,505 (roughly USD $16,200)
CanadaCAD $20,635 (roughly USD $15,400)
The UKInside London: £1,334 per month (around USD $1,700/month)

Outside London: £1,023 per month (around USD $1,300/month)

8. Other Requirements and Steps

University applications and requirements differ depending on the program, university, and sometimes even the country. Alongside the components this blog covers, your application may ask for other items too. For example, some universities in the USA may ask you to provide SAT or ACT scores as part of your application. To study Law at certain universities in the UK, you may have to sit the LNAT. You might have to provide more than one write-up for certain programs.

Pay attention to all of these requirements and give yourself plenty of time before application deadlines. Mindfully checking off each requirement helps you work out a more complete application with a greater shot at success.

9. Student Visas

One of the reasons we urge students keen to study abroad in 2024 to start applying early is that getting your offer letter is just part of the process. Once you have your offer, you will also need time to apply for your student visa, which can be a lengthy process. Below are the student visas or documents you need to authorize your student status abroad:

Destination CountryStudent Visa/Authorization
AustraliaSubclass 500
CanadaStudy Permit
The UKStudent Visa
The USAF-1 Visa

Rounding Up

If you plan to study abroad after 12th grade in 2024, it’s the ideal time to start working on your applications. In these coming weeks before the upcoming major intakes in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA, there are plenty of steps to complete to create a perfect application. Collecting transcripts, practicing and sitting for language tests, preparing for your visa etc. all take time. So, keep calm and start your research. You can always seek the guidance of the Student Success Consultants at Gradstar Global for one-to-one support!

Date Published: Jan-24-2024

Our Dream Makers are expert listeners, educators, career consultants and student supporters. They co-design your study abroad experience with you to empower you to reach for the stars. Because dreams deserve a helping hand.

About the author

This blog was written by Gradstar Global Education.