Career projects abroad

Understanding the terms related to educational institutions

written by
Natasha Machado
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5 min
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When applying to a university abroad, it is common to encounter several specific terms that may raise doubts. We explored popular terms such as “College” that refer to what we call “college” in Brazil, while “University” is an institution that offers undergraduate and graduate programs, with a greater focus on academic research, among others.

Main components of the application

  • Academic Major: main course that a student studies at a college or university.
  • Academic Minor: secondary or additional courses that a student can take in conjunction with the major.
  • Application: set of documents, forms, test results, and essays that make up the application.
  • Admissions Office: sector dedicated to evaluating candidates for graduation.
  • Counselor: professional who helps students prepare their applications and provides official school documents.
  • Essays: written essays and responses that the candidate must produce as part of the application, including the Personal Statement.
  • Transcript: high school transcript.
  • Extracurricular Activity: activities carried out outside the classroom, such as sports, volunteering, and participation in scientific Olympics.
  • Recommendation letter: letter written by a teacher, school representative, or other professional, describing the candidate's qualities and competencies.

Standardized exams: SAT, ACT, TOEFL, and IELTS

If you wish Learn a language abroad or take a University abroad, standardized exams are tests that universities can request to complement the analysis of the application. In the US, the most common are:

1. SAT: assesses critical reasoning knowledge and skills in Reading and Writing, and Mathematics.

2. ACT: comprised of English, Mathematics, Text Interpretation, and Science sections, plus an optional essay.

3. TOEFL: measures the ability to use and understand English in an academic context, with Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections.

4. IELTS: assesses the candidate's level of English, with academic and general training versions, and Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections.

Types of financial aid

1. Financial Aid: financial aid received from the university or other institutions to cover training and expenses.

2. Need-based Aid: assistance offered according to the student's family income.

3. Merit-based Aid: scholarship awarded based on merit, recognizing specific student talents or achievements.

4. Need-aware College or University: institution that considers the candidate's financial need in the admission process.

5. Need-blind College or University: university that reviews the application without considering the student's financial need.

Unified application platforms

The Common Application (Common App) and UCAS are online platforms that allow students to apply to several universities at the same time, submitting their documents through a unified system. The Common App is aimed at universities in the United States, while the UCAS is used for institutions in the United Kingdom. Other countries also adopt similar systems, such as in Sweden.

Be Easy

Understanding the terms related to applying to universities abroad is critical to navigating the selection process safely. If you want to study outside Brazil, Be Easy Exchange is ready to assist you at every stage of your journey. Our team of specialists offers personalized guidance, from choosing the university and course to preparing the necessary documentation and following up on your application. Contact us today and discover how to make your dream of studying abroad a reality!

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Natasha D`Angelo
Founder e CEO, Be Easy
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