::SEAMEO RETRAC > Services > Oversea Study::


Some common questions about SEAMEO RETRAC Overseas Study

1. What services are offered at SEAMEO Overseas Study?

You will be guided step by step until you get the visa to study at your chosen destination. We serve you with:

  • Counseling
  • Admission Application
  • Visa Application, Accommodation & Flight Booking
  • Pre-departure Preparation
  • Departure
  • Post-arrival Services (a bridge between the institution and your family)

2. What if I don’t have the required English proficiency?

There are two ways for you to choose.

  • You can choose to apply for ESL course in a foreign country and then apply for an academic course when you meet the required English score.
  • You can choose to study English in Vietnam (preferably at SEAMEO RETRAC as it has successful English preparation programs for government scholarship recipients) and receive the TOEFL/IELTS score before applying for academic programs. Please bear in mind the English requirement is a strong factor in visa processing.

3. Which countries does OSD have the services?

Canada, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

4. When can I study abroad?

It is up to your decision and your family. When you are mature enough and your desire is big enough to study abroad. Following are some useful tips for your consideration:  

  • If your family’s finance is good, you could study abroad after finishing grade 10.
  • You should finish high school and apply for an undergraduate program at the target country.  
  • If you wish to further your MA study overseas, you need to graduate from one Vietnamese university, and, in some cases, may need to have 2-year working experience.

5. What do students need to prepare before studying abroad?

  • Firstly, you need to study English as well as possible. If you can meet the English requirement of one school in a foreign country, you can save both money and time. If not, you have to apply for an ESL course.
  • Secondly, your high school and/or university records also affect your application. 
  • Next, you should consider what major/institution/country you would choose.
  • Finally and perhaps most important, it is the financial issue.

6. How to choose the right education program and destination?

What to study and where to study are perhaps the most difficult questions to answer. You need to evaluate your studying ability, your fundamental aptitude/interest for the program, your finance and your desire in order to reach an appropriate decision.

7. Where can I obtain additional information about study abroad?

Information is always available on the website of the institution you wish to apply or other related agencies for promoting education. SEAMEO RETRAC can help you, too, at no cost. 

8. When should be the suitable time for me to apply?

Most programs require students to apply at least one semester ahead of time. In addition, for competitive or more popular programs, you should apply sooner. See program brochures or school websites for exact application deadlines.

9. How long would a program take?

The length of each program depends on what you choose (certificate, diploma or degree...) and how many credits/units that you would like to study a year. It will be longer if you need to take an ESL course.

10. How long is usually the visa application?

  • Visa application procedures vary depending on the country you are applying. Usually, going to Australia and Singapore would take 8 weeks, to Canada 12 weeks, and to the US 2 days.
  • By all means, you need to prepare your personal documents carefully. SEAMEO RETRAC can assist you in this.

11. Can ESL students get visa?

Yes, if all the questions raised by the visa officer are answered satisfactorily in which you would prove, besides others, a right intention to go to study and a strong reason to return upon completion of your study. Usually, an ESL course followed by the acceptance of an academic program from the foreign institution should be a good choice.

12. What is an I-20? What is an F-1 (student) visa?

An I-20 is an official document issued by an educational institution. It certifies that the student has been accepted into a full-time program at that school and that the student has submitted documented proof of having sufficient funds to pay for his/her educational program. The school does not issue visas. The student takes the I-20 to the US Consulate General or Embassy in his/her country to apply for a student visa (F-1).

13. Can I apply for a part-time study?

No, it is compulsory for international students to apply for a full-time study.

14. Can I do a part-time job during my study overseas?

Doing part-time jobs is the best way to support your finance when studying abroad. Besides that, you also get real-life experience. However, the time permitted for you to work is different from country to country. It is usually from 15 hours to 20 hour a week. You are not allowed to do part-time if you are studying an ESL course. But you can find different types of part-time jobs in condition that this kind of job does not badly affect your studying results.

15. What is a 2 +2 program in the US?

A 2 + 2 program in the US means you study the first two years at a community college and the last two at a 4-year university to complete the Bachelors degree program. The reason to have the first two years in a community college is mainly the cost as a community college charges much lower tuition than a 4-year university. Community colleges are colleges that provide two year associate degree programs as well as excellent technical and vocational programs. Community colleges usually have strong ties with their state’s universities and their region’s business sectors.

16. Where can I find information about financial aids?

You can find the information on websites of relevant colleges/universities/Ministries of Education/Embassies/Consulates/Education Promotion Agencies.