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Parents’ Corner

Parents Corner - facing some difficult decisions

Studying abroad can be seen as an exciting adventure – normally the student’s view – or as an educational investment in the future – a parent’s perspective. Of course, both statements are true!

By the year 2021, the World Bank estimates that seven million young people will be attending universities outside their home country, and there are a number of good reasons for the growing tide of students applying to higher education institutions abroad.

Let us look at them, in brief:

Young people who study abroad for a month will earn 18 per cent more than their peers in their first job, and this differential only rises the longer they spend studying abroad. A recent study found that Polish students enjoy the  highest wage premium from attending university abroad of all the European Union countries, and Goldman Recruitment estimates that their salaries eventually rise to 77 per cent more than those of their friends who chose to go to a Polish university.

Studying abroad significantly improves employment opportunities with both local and foreign companies. In addition, graduates from foreign universities get on the career ladder at a higher level than others in their age group.
The international friendships and networks formed at university  will open doors for your child and significantly increase their employment options in a rapidly globalising world economy.
Employers look for cultural competence, good communication skills  and rich life experiences. These abilities come from living abroad and studying with people from different backgrounds and traditions, developing flexibility and an international perspective.

Your son or daughter will learn how to manage their own life, how to organise their time and daily responsibilities, how to deal with money, new ideas and meeting people from many backgrounds. Their confidence will grow as they become truly independent and  discover how to cope with stress, shopping, deadlines and moments of self-doubt. In short, they will bloom. Their confidence will grow and expand – along with their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Communication and language skills will be greatly improved by studying abroad and, over four years, your son or daughter will gain a linguistic fluency which cannot be learned through self-help textbooks and tutors.

The UK, USA, The Netherlands and Denmark – among others – focus on practical learning, not theoretical cramming for examinations. Your child will put academic theory into practice and have the opportunity to take up industry-supported work placements, a range of internships, exchange programs or even spend a year in another country – for example, working on international engineering or research projects, or polishing their language skills in a native setting. Of course, these types of experiences will also greatly improve their CV’s and make them sought-after employees in a highly competitive job market.

Researchers tend to see young people as “human capital”, something to invest in, while we as parents want our children to be happy, healthy and have an amazing, fulfilling  future. Studying abroad ticks both boxes, since it will enrich our children’s lives and develop their abilities, while also giving them all the advantages they need to do well in a  testing world.  


Study overseas Parents info < img src='data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=%22' data-src=”Studiare-nel-Regno-Unito.jpg” alt=”handsome young male graduate hugging his parents at graduation">

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Frequently Asked Questions

See below for Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the application process for studying in the USA?
  • Do you have to pass the SAT/Act exams in order to study in the USA?
  • If necessary what SAT result do I need to get, in order to be accepted to study in the USA?
  • Which English language examination do I need to pass when applying to study in the USA?
  • How much will it cost me to study in the USA?
  • Can I easily get a grant or scholarship when studying in the USA?


  • How do I apply to study in the UK?
  • How many courses and universities can I apply to through UCAS?
  • How long do studies last in the UK?
  • How many extended subjects must I pass at Matura?
  • Is the application process for the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge very different?
  • Which courses and universities require entry examinations?
  • Are there any British universities which do not require applicants to sit the UCAT?
  • Which British universities require applicants to sit the LNAT?
  • What are the requirements to study Art and Design?
  • What is the best language test to take and where?
  • What is a sandwich year, a placement year, a foundation year and a year abroad?
  • What is the ideal word count for a personal statement or a reference?
  • How much does it cost to submit an application to UCAS?
  • How many years of tuition fees are covered by UK student loans?
  • As a non-UK resident can I apply for a grant to cover tuition costs in the UK?
  • Is there another way for EU students to finance their studies in the UK?
  • Is it possible to get a scholarship while studying in the UK?
  • What terms apply to repaying tuition fees and grants?
  • How does the cost of living vary between London and the rest of the UK?
  • How much does it cost to gain a Master’s degree in the UK? 


  • What is the OPTAGELSE system?
  • What documents will I need to apply through the system?
  • Do I need to have permission to stay in Denmark?
  • What is SU or a CPR number?
  • What is the application deadline for studying in Denmark?
  • How does the Danish education system work?
  • How many courses and universities can I apply to through the OPTAGELSE system?
  • Do I need to pass a language test?
  • How much does it cost to study in Denmark?
  • Is the cost of living high or low in Denmark?
  • What accommodation options will I find in Denmark?


  • For how many courses can I apply for in Holland?
  • What are the Universities of Applied Sciences?
  • How long do courses last in Holland?
  • Which subjects do I need to have taken at High School to get into a University of Applied Science?
  • Do Dutch universities require applicants to have passed an English language test?
  • What is the cost of tuition in Holland?
  • Is it possible to apply for financial help and how do I go about it?
  • Do I need to have permission to study in Holland?
  • How do I repay the tuition fee loan?
  • How will I repay the Studiefinanciering?
  • Is the cost of living high in Holland?

Glossary - some useful terms and definitions

Parents naturally want to help and support their children when they are applying to study abroad , and this short glossary provides the most commonly used terminology and acronyms involved in the application process and studying at university abroad. 

The glossary is organised alphabetically, so you can follow the process from Personal Statement to Freshman’s Week hand in hand with your son or daughter!

American university entrance test accepted as an alternative to SAT

A system run by UCAS, which matches available  university places with applicants who have either turned down all the offers they received or failed to achieve the right grades. Clearing opens at the beginning of July and runs until mid-October.

The offer of a university place which depends on getting the exam results the university requires.

Someone who has just begun their undergraduate studies.

 Usually held at the end of September, Freshers’ Week  is a great opportunity to find out what the university offers and make lots of new friends. New arrivals can attend a freshers’ fair and  sign up for clubs and societies,  go to social events, welcome talks, tours of the campus and registration meetings. Recommended by Elab!

The official accommodation run by the university, made up of rooms or flats which can be rented during term time, typically for freshers/first years only.

A widely-accepted test of English language proficiency. Applicants should aim to score 6.5 or above .

Internships are a form of work experience, and can last from a month to a year. Most students take up intern positions during their holidays, not term time. Useful for work experience and applications to the best universities in the world.


The eight most prestigious and highly academic US universities, known for their outstanding teaching and groundbreaking research.

The multiple mini-interview , which consists of a circuit made up of short, eight minute ,tasks or interviews. MMIs are particularly common in applications for law, nursing, teaching  and medicine.

The  Danish central admissions system.

A commonly used term to describe Oxford and Cambridge Universities.


A 4000 character statement, explaining why you are applying for a particular course, your experience and interests and what you can offer.

Work experience which forms part of a degree course, and is carried out in term time.

A collection of academic work which illustrates the applicant’s skills and interests, and is often required by Art and Design departments. Portfolios should contain a wide variety of materials and a range of media.

Receive And Give week. A time when undergraduates collect money for charities, by organising events and asking passerby for contributions – often in fancy dress. Great fun for students!

Universities in Denmark and the Netherlands , which offer three-year degree courses, and have a traditional approach to learning and research.

A grouping  of 24 top UK public research universities , which offer excellent teaching and have close links with business and industry.

A four-year degree course, which gives students  a year’s practical experience in their field of study partway through  the course.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, an entrance exam which is required by the majority of US universities. Marks required depend on the particular university.

A small university class, which meets regularly to cover and discuss specific subjects.

The central admissions system of the Netherlands.

TOEFL is a widely-accepted qualification which  demonstrates levels of English language proficiency. The majority of universities expect applicants to score 100 and upwards in the test.

UCAS’ online tracking system, which  acts as a link between the universities and the applicant. Track lets you know how your applications are progressing, conveys offers and replies and passes on messages.

Tutorials consist of 1-1 or small group meetings with a tutor, to discuss progress , lectures and course content. At Cambridge University tutorials are known as supervisions. Both Cambridge and Oxford have a tutorial-based teaching model.

The University and College Admission Service. The UK central university admissions system.

Applicants who do not receive any offers from their five chosen universities can apply through Extra from the end of February to the beginning of July, adding one additional university at a time.

Located in the Netherlands and Denmark, these universities offer highly practical four-year degree courses  shaped by the needs of industry and business. 

Unconditional offer…An unconditional university offer means that  the applicant has a guaranteed place,  which is not dependent on examination results.

An unconditional university offer means that  the applicant has a guaranteed place,  which is not dependent on examination results.

Study overseas Parents info

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ELAB clients have accepted places at universities such as: Oxford University, Cambridge University, Harvard, Bocconi, UCL, King’s College, La Sapienza University of Rome, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Boston University, Sciences Po, London Business School, LSE, Delft University, St. Andrews, Melbourne University, Rotterdam Business School and at many, many others.

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