“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

How to Choose a University Abroad

Seed Educational Consulting’s guide to the key factors for African Students.

First things first

Seed does not choose an institution for you.​

We will review your academic profile, your future career goals, and your budget.

We will make tailored suggestions for you to choose the institution.

We will assist you through the admission and visa processes so that you can pursue your dream!

To do all this, we will consider the following aspects with you:

Your academic grades at high school and/or university​

Every college or university has its own academic requirements – individual programs may even have higher requirements at certain institutions. In North America, you will see lots of references to GPA (Grade Point Average) – see the infobox for more info.*



Yes, there are many scholarships available to international students, especially in the USA. We will advise you of any scholarships that we believe you may be eligible for based on your previous academic performance. But remember:

University Ranking

We regularly meet students (and especially parents) who are obsessed with finding an institution that is highly ranked. While we may all aspire to Harvard or MIT, such institutions are beyond most of us and there should be no shame in applying to other institutions. The higher the ranking, the more rigorous the admission requirements and the earlier you need to apply. Remember as well that most rankings focus heavily on quality and quantity of research – research begins from Master’s level.
So, for those students looking for a Bachelor’s, we would recommend considering a good teaching institution and, if you perform well, you could always apply for the Ivy League for your Master’s!


Class size

Do you really want to sit in an amphitheater with 200+ other students for the majority of your classes? We think not but at many of the big name universities, this is the reality.

Proposing institutions that offer small class sizes is a key part of the Seed ethos – we believe that you will thank us for this later!



Do you want to study in a big city or in a small college town? Do you want a small university (5000 students, say) or a large one (which could be 40,000+ students). Are you ready for the colder climates of the north or would you prefer to be in a climate more like your home country?

Only you can answer these questions but generally, we do believe that students have fewer distractions that impact on study if they opt for college towns. College towns also tend to be cheaper than large cities for the cost of living.



And finally, the cost of your studies is perhaps the biggest determining factor. In the USA especially, there are large differences in tuition fees and indeed in living costs depending on the institution and the region where that institution is located.

To help you to our best abilities, we want to understand how much your sponsor can afford to spend on your studies so we will ask you for an approximate budget of one year’s expenses – to include not only tuition but also housing, food, medical insurance, personal expenses and similar.

If you have family in your chosen country of study, we can certainly look to see if there are ways to find an institution nearby that allows you to economise on housing costs – however, we do generally feel that you will get the best experience overall by living on campus during the first year of studies at least.


Steps to Study Abroad

Send us your academic documents and explain to us your future career plans. We will have lots of questions for you, especially financial questions relating to your sponsor and his/her budget, so try to prepare as much documentation as possible.

We will review your dossier and then propose colleges or universities to you based on your past academic grades, intended major of study, budget and any personal preferences, such as geographical preferences. In doing so, we will send you links of programs that we feel will be of interest to you.

We invite you to carefully review the university links that we send you and to make a choice - it is YOU that will choose the university. Seed Educational Consulting makes recommendations and no more.

Seed Educational Consulting will work with you to submit an application to the university or college of your choice.

Upon receiving a letter of admission from the chosen institution, we will then work with you on the student visa process. For a destination such as the USA, where a personal interview is required, we will help prepare you for that interview.

Once you have your visa we will guide you on the next steps, including reserving accommodation, flights, etc.

In this guide:

GPA – an explanation

In North America students are generally given a grade out of 4.0 – this is known as the Grade Point Average, or GPA – and it is an important factor.

Some institutions may only require a GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0); Ivy League institutions such as Harvard are really looking for 4.0 (out of 4.0).

Each country has its own scoring system and we will help you to calculate your approximate GPA so that we can guide you to institutions where we are confident that you will be admitted.


Start your study abroad journey today

Our team of expert counselors is on-hand to help you to choose the right path for you.


Seven countries, one exciting future for you!

Working with Seed Educational Consulting gives you access to 100s of degree programs across seven different countries. 


Time to speak about your options?

Get in touch with the Seed Educational counseling team to arrange a chat.