International education agents are helpful for finding the right university and helping to successfully apply for that university. They can:
- Provide valuable information about studying in the UK
- Assist with your visa application
- Help you submit university applications
- Discuss and describe your course options
- Give advice about travel and living arrangements
Your studies will play a massive part in building your career, so you will want to choose the best possible education agent for international students. Taking time to properly review your options is essential.
There are multiple factors to consider when comparing education agents in the UK. Here are some tips that can help you find the right international student agency for you.
Compare multiple agents
It is best to compare as many international student recruitment agencies as you can before you agree with one. Don’t trust that the one that appears to be at the top of the search engine results thinking it’s the best fit for you.
Shop around a little, starting with the British Council’s global database (you can filter by country and educational sector). You might discover an agent who specializes in your region or academic field or a consultant who seems more passionate than the others.
Most international students’ recruitment consultants offer a similar service. If one agent seems friendlier, or more proactive, or more experienced than the others, this could be the determining factor. But follow the tips below before relying on your intuition.
Ask about the agent’s affiliations
Some education agents have relationships with universities. This is handy if you’re interested in a particular school, and this will also help you choose an agency.
But if you’re looking for an unbiased opinion on all the courses available to you, you’ll be better off with an international student consulting agency that has no university affiliations.
Check the agency’s website or ask them during your inquiry if they have a working relationship with a university – especially if they immediately recommend a specific school.
Check their credentials and experience
You need an international study agency that knows what they’re doing and has the documents to prove it. For example, you may ask to see their letter of appointment from the university you’re applying to. You can also enquire if the agent is accredited with an organization such as Quality International Study Abroad Network (QISAN), which monitors the standards and ethical practices of education agents in the UK and around the world.
For experience, find out how long the individual agent has been working for. Check if they have experience in the area relevant to you and ask to see any testimonials or case studies from previous students they have successfully placed.
This is one of those circumstances where you really do need to read the terms and conditions. This will ensure you understand all the costs you can expect to pay your international education agent, and you’ll know about any obligations you need to meet.
International student recruitment contracts can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to get a trusted family member or friend to review it with you.
Keep a copy of your contract and any other forms you sign so you can refer to them in the future if necessary.
If your shortlisted agents seem to be equal in every other way, compare their costs. Make sure you understand all the fees they will charge you, then choose the agency that will provide you the best value for money.
Selecting the right international education agent will help you find a suitable course, get into your desired university, get your visa approved, and make the trip to the UK smoothly. So, it’s worth taking the time to compare and review your agents using the above criteria.
9 deadly mistakes students make when applying by themselves to study abroad
Wanting to study abroad is a huge commitment that involves money, time and above all your future. For genuine students a degree from a world-class university abroad could make a huge difference and you well deserve it. But regardless of being qualified and having the financial ability, many students fail to secure admission and student visa due to mistakes in processing. They –
- Do not collect enough information by researching courses, institutions, process of applications
- Do not prepare in advance and allow enough time for admission and visa application
- Lack knowledge in English language requirements or take incorrect English test
- Make several errors in admission and visa applications or submit wrong application to wrong person or place
- Fail to justify study gaps (if any), and how to communicate this with information and evidence (if available)
- Fail to submit enough or correct documents when applying for admission and lodging file for student visa
- Fail to prepare properly for admission or visa interviews and prove their credibility as genuine student
- Do not maintain enough funds or have proper evidence or documents in specified format to prove genuine funds
- Do not disclose material information or give true information on applications
Great benefits of using an education agent
By taking on the services of a good education agent, students and their families can get a range of benefits that are crucial when going to study abroad. It could be daunting tasks or even impossible for students and their families to try and achieve these on their own. A good education agent can:
- Provide accurate, relevant, and up to date information regarding destination country, universities, locations
- Give information about academic & English entry requirements, tuition fees, deposit requirements, living costs
- Advise you on the appropriate English test you need to take to be eligible for a course abroad
- Show you a range of options for courses, locations, fees, living costs & other pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision
- Help you choosing the course that best suits your interest, skills and career goals
- Guide you for writing personal statements, research proposal and preparing for admission interview
- Inform you about potential scholarship and help you with scholarship application
- Tell you what documents you require to submit when applying for admission
- Make error free applications for admission at your preferred university
- Follow up with the university for updates and decision on your application
- Guide you on paying the tuition fees to the university
12.Collect all necessary documents, letters required for your student visa application on time
13.Prepare you well in advance for student visa application with precise information regarding documents and steps you will require
14.Help you through the visa application process and lodging the application
15.Provide guidance on visa interview as applicable & appropriate for your situation
16.Provide you pre-departure briefing so that you have clear idea about what to do after you arrive in the destination country
17.Make travel arrangements from your home country to the place you will be staying abroad
18.Advise and arrange suitable accommodation for you to live while studying overseas
19.Follow up with the overseas educational institution to help you with timely enrolment
20.Request international office of educational institution for any extra help & support you may require
21.Offer you post-arrival advice, help and supports while you are studying overseas
22.Connect you with other students who went to the same country through their help
23.Help you with further admission or finding jobs once you complete your current course of study
How to choose a good education agent
The education agent’s industry is starting to grow rapidly as more and more students, families, and universities are becoming dependent on them due to their importance in the sector. It is a well-recognised profession and plays a crucial role between students and educational institutions. However, like most other professions there are good agents and bad agents. When pursuing your higher education dream via the help of an agent, a good agent can ‘make it’ while a bad agent can ‘break it’. When selecting an education agent, check the following for reliability and trustworthiness: