Here’s a List of Important Documents Required to Study Abroad in 2023

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Documents Required to Study Abroad

More than 1 Million Indian students moved abroad to study in early 2023. Applying to a university abroad is a hassle in itself from selecting the best course and university to sorting out the application, accommodation, visa, etc. There are various documents required to study abroad which you will need at different stages of the process. Here is your go-to guide for documents required to study abroad.

The documents required to study abroad are crucial for a seamless international education journey. These documents, including passports, visas, academic transcripts, and language proficiency certificates, ensure legal entry into the host country, enrollment in the chosen institution, and eligibility for scholarships or financial aid. Failing to prepare these documents accurately and in advance can lead to visa denials, enrollment issues, or missed opportunities. It also helps students to plan and budget effectively, reducing last-minute hassles and potential disruptions to their academic pursuits. In essence, thorough document verification is a fundamental step in ensuring a successful and stress-free study abroad experience.

Top Documents Required to Study Abroad

The list of documents required to study abroad differs based on the country and university you select. But there are some important documents that are essentially needed everywhere: 

  1. Official Academic Transcripts
  2. Application Form
  3. CV
  4. Resume
  5. Letter of Recommendation
  6. English Language Proficiency Test Scores
  7. Statement of Purpose
  8. Test Scores

Academic Transcripts

The academic transcript(s) are issued by your current/previous academic institution(s) to verify the course(s) you undertook. All students must ensure that the documents are stamped and certified by the authority. Some institutions will charge you for requesting academic transcripts. You will receive academic transcripts within 7-174 business days. Your academic transcripts will contain the following information.

  • Accreditation of the academic institution
  • Name of the student
  • Roll number/identity of the student
  • Name of the degree obtained
  • List of courses undertaken
  • Marks/grades obtained in all the courses
  • The total aggregate of the marks/grades obtained

Also Read: Bonafide Certificate: Application Process & Documents

Application Form

This is the most crucial document, as it contains all of your personal and professional information. An application form must be carefully filled out with accurate information. Always double-check your work before submitting it.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

CV is a document that showcases your professional and academic details. CV is derived from a Latin word which means ’course of life’. CV is required by recruiters and universities abroad. Your CV should cover the following:

  • Contact information
  • Academic history
  • Professional experience
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Awards and honours
  • Publications
  • Professional associations
  • Grants and fellowships
  • Licenses and certificates
  • Volunteer work
  • Personal information (optional)
  • Hobbies and interests (optional)

Click Here to Download the CV Format Sample PDF

Also Read: Backlog Certificate


Students are often confused between CV and resume and their differences. A resume is a formal document that exhibits your professional and academic qualifications with work experience. It also covers your skills and major accomplishments. Your resume should contain the following elements:

  1. Name
  2. About
  3. Objective
  4. Professional Skills
  5. Educational Qualifications
  6. Work Experience
  7. Language Proficiency
  8. Achievements
Documents Required to Study Abroad
Documents Required to Study Abroad: Resume

A declaration is another important factor associated with Resume Formats. Read our blog on Declaration in Resume for freshers to find out how can you add it to your Resume!

Letter of Recommendation

While planning to study abroad, universities require you to submit LORs. LORs are majorly divided into two types: Academic and Professional LOR. An Academic LOR is written by a school or university teacher or principal and a Professional LOR is written by a previous employer. Regardless of the study level, course and field of study, students usually require 2 LORs belonging to academic as well as professional backgrounds. 

LOR Template

To Whom This May Concern

My name is _____ (Recommender Name) and I am obliged to offer my recommendation of ______ (student’s full name) to whom I have personally known for _____ (number of years or months) at _____ (location). 

During the course of my relationship with ____ (student’s name), I have observed that she/he shows up earlier than asked, is a team player, works hard and carries her/his work in a humble and polite manner. Being a diligent employee, _____ (student’s name) best quality is to get the most out of others while maintaining the decorum of the workplace. Hence, without any reservation, I recommend _______ (student’s full name) for this program at _____ (university’s name). 

For any queries, you can contact me at the details below.

Mobile Number

LOR Sample for UG Program
LOR Sample for MS Program
LOR Sample for Professional

Also Read: Samples for LORs

Statement of Purpose

A Statement of Purpose is an informative document and is one of the most important documents required to study abroad. It contains your personal statement, professional and personal interests, and academic highlights. SOP is an essential document as the admission committee gets an idea of your personality and achievements through SOP. You have to include the purpose of choosing the country, university and course you are planning to pursue in your SOP.  Here is your format for the statement of purpose.

Documents Required to Study Abroad
Documents Required to Study Abroad: SOP

Sample SOP on PG Diploma in Fashion Designing 
SOP Sample on PG Diploma 

Also Read: How to Write a SOP?

English Language Proficiency Test Scores

Almost every university abroad requires English proficiency test scores. If your native language is not English, you must prove English proficiency. Some of the popular exams students appear for are Duolingo, IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE. These exams evaluate students’ language in key areas which are required for academic study and communication in a foreign country. These exams will evaluate you in the following areas:

Want to score 8.8 IELTS band? Leverage Live will help you put your best foot forward under secured guidance with interactive online classes and one-on-one personalised sessions.

Documents Required to Study Abroad

Test Scores

As previously said, your grades will influence your prospects of admission to your selected university or college. As a result, you must include your test results with your application. Depending on your location and institution of choice, you may also be required to take more general standardised tests such as the SAT or GRE.


Some colleges may need you to submit a study abroad essay to demonstrate that you are serious about studying abroad. This essay is an excellent opportunity to make an excellent first impression and demonstrate to the university administration that you are prepared and determined to pursue the stated course in their organisation.


What are the essential documents needed to study abroad?

The essential documents typically include a valid passport, an acceptance letter from your chosen institution, financial documents to demonstrate your ability to cover expenses, academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, and a student visa for the host country. However, specific requirements can vary by country and institution.

How far in advance should I start gathering these documents?

It’s advisable to start the document preparation process at least 9-12 months before your intended start date. This allows ample time for completing standardized tests, securing financial documentation, and processing visa applications, ensuring a smooth transition.

What should I do if I encounter difficulties in obtaining certain documents?

If you face challenges in obtaining specific documents, such as transcripts or financial proofs, reach out to your chosen institution’s admissions office or a study abroad consultant for guidance. They can provide valuable assistance and suggest alternatives to help you meet the requirements.

These are all the important documents required for studying abroad. Want to know what documents you will need to study in USA or UK? Get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu who will help you draft your personalised SOPs for the visa process. 

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