I have overheard this statement from many of students in Indonesia. I mean, who doesn’t? Meeting new friends from all over the world, speaking in English but hearing various version of accents, having diploma from international university, and experiencing beautiful beach during hot summer and going for ski during cold winter are indeed very amazing experiences that everyone wants to have, including me.
The next questions is, “how do we get there?” I’ve heard many friends have the same dreams, yet don’t know how to begin with. Guess what, I was there too! After experiencing many trials and errors of applying to some scholarship programs, now I have a clearer insight on how to set the path to realize the dream of studying overseas.
There are several steps to get there, but, in this occasion, I would elaborate the very first step to prepare if you want to study abroad.
The first step
Your first stepping stone when you want to study overseas is preparing your foreign language proficiency, especially English. No matter in which part of the globe you want to study in, having good command of English is a must.
English is like US Dollar; it is acceptable in most part of this universe. “What if I want to study in German? What if a want to study in Turkey or French?” Their mother tongue is not English.
Yes you’re right, their first language is not English, yet English is still needed. Most of overseas universities require English proficiency score in their admission because most of their international classes are offered in English. USA, Australia, German, French, Turkey, and other countries are all the same.
Prove your English proficiency
For your English proficiency to be recognized, you need a proof, which, in this case, is certificate of Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). You may take any of them, since both are acceptable in most universities in the world.
I am, personally more familiar with TOEFL. I have taken the test for few times, both ITP, TOEFL and IBT TOEFL. “What is IBT?” these two are the kinds of TOEFL and each of them has its own nature. However the certificates of both tests are issued by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the official TOEFL issuer institution.
ITP stands for Institutional Test Program or some also call it as Paper Based Test. As depicted in the definition, ITP TOEFL is used mostly for Institutional purposes. The certificate is acceptable if you want to apply to some selection.
If you have passed the selection, you will need another certificate, which is Internationally accepted. For one time test of ITP, you will need to pay for about $30. It may be more or less, depending on where you take the test. The score ranges from 310 to 677.
The other kind of TOEFL is Internet Based Test (IBT) TOEFL. This type of TOEFL is accepted in most of Universities around the world. In ITP, you will have three sessions; listening comprehension, structure and written expression, and reading, IBT will have more than that.
In IBT you will have four sessions: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. All the sections in IBT are to be done through computer. For IBT test you might have to dig your wallet a little bit deeper, compared to ITP. This test will cost you $175 per test and the score is valid for two years.
Now you have a glance at what to begin the preparation to pursue an international degree. The only way to score well on these test is by practicing. Practice makes perfect, doesn’t it? The point is you have to start now, and do it consistently. If you think your English is still so so, PUSH YOUR SELF HARDER. Now it is time to begin your first step! 😉