There’s nothing like bold clarity when it comes to understanding complex systems and industry language. This is certainly true of international education. Helping an aspiring student to apply to study overseas is very rewarding but with more than a dozen steps from when your student is ready to make an application through to when they’ll accept an offer, it can get complicated.
But there’s one person who’s best placed to help navigate it all: you.
Our Insider’s Guide to Making an Application with Sofiri
It’s up to you to expertly guide your student through each application stage.
We’ve prepared some tips that will help you understand each step when guiding your student to study overseas. We’ve also put together a nifty infographic.
From the ‘new’ application stage through to the ‘accepted’ stage, this guide will help you navigate the basics.
So let’s get started…
- Number one is to support your student to decide on the best course. It’s important here to navigate courses based on the students’ nationality to understand the appropriate level of study required for that nationality (the Provider function in Sofiri does this for you). Refer to the Secrets of Student Counselling module in Sofiri Training. It’s also important to be clear on budget, based on the amount your student has advised, to find a course that meets what they can afford. You can advise them on the budget requirements of the destination country. For Australia, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs Document Checklist. For New Zealand please refer to the New Zealand Immigration Checklist. Provider Scholarship information can also be provided at this point. If unsure on a suitable course option for your student always check with the Sofiri National Manager.
- Prepare a Quote per provider for your student that includes the course fee, health insurance, visa cost, homestay, airport pick up (optional) etc … so they understand the full costs associated with studying overseas. Send to your student for review/acceptance. You may need to send more than one quote – remember students can submit up to 3 applications.
- Once your student has agreed to the course, create the application (if not created already); request your student to submit their application documents into the Sofiri Platform (passport, academics, English Test etc…) and to complete their Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Form and Statement of Purpose (SoP). This is also covered in Sofiri’s training module ‘What makes a prospective international student a genuine temporary entrant‘.
- Packaging courses – if your student is going to package together more than one course you need to create an application for each in Sofiri. For example, your students want to study 10 weeks of English + Diploma of Business + Bachelor of Business. These would be three separate applications.
- Assess the documents as per ‘An Experts Guide to Assessing Applications in Sofiri‘ paying close attention to the GTE Guidelines. Documents must be notarised (Justice of the Peace certified) and in some cases, Sofiri certified (please check with the Sofiri National Manager).
- Apply for the chosen course with Education Provider (EP) – check on the Sofiri Platform whether you submit this direct with the EP or via the Sofiri National Manager. Many EP applications are submitted online via the providers portal, via StudyLink etc…Be sure to also check the application requirements of the provider in the Sofiri Platform – e.g additional forms might be required such as an EP GTE Form or a portfolio.
- The application is assessed by the EP – timeframes will vary here. On average anticipate 2 – 4 weeks for an application to be assessed. Sometimes it may be longer depending on if it’s peak season. There may be additional questions asked by the EP which need to be addressed quickly.
- If successful, your student will receive a Conditional Letter of Offer or a Full Letter of Offer.
- If a Conditional Letter of Offer (LoO) check what the conditions are – e.g they may be missing an English Test Result (e.g IELTS), academics etc…The EP may ask for financial evidence to be provided.
- Once your student receives an official confirmation from the EP – e.g a Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) they will need to accept the Offer and pay at least the first-semester fee.
- Health Insurance- which is mandatory – will be included in the invoice from the provider. However, Sofiri has a partnership with Cohort Go to provide health insurance (for Australia and New Zealand) so check with your student if they would like a quote from Sofiri. This is generally more competitive and Sofiri Experts will receive a commission.
- Apply for the Student Visa – the student will also need to demonstrate they have funds to support their study and living costs. Please speak to Sofiri if your student requires a qualified Migration Agent to submit their Visa Application (this is highly recommended). Experts will not submit visa applications for their students.
- Student Visa Application times vary but the average to advise students is 4-8 weeks. Sometimes it can be longer so always allow enough time between application and course commencement date.
- Homestay – at this point you can provide your student with a quote for Homestay accommodation through our partnership with the Homestay Network (this is optional).
- Once your students’ visa is granted they can travel overseas for their study – based on the dates specified on their Visa.
Here, we detail the steps you’ll need to manually record in Sofiri.
Successfully and expertly counselling an aspiring student to understand what and where they’d like to make an application to study through to accepting their offer, is an enormous achievement. Ensuring that you have the knowledge and skills to do so is essential.
Any questions? Connect with the Sofiri National Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org