Admissions timelines in some countries, such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom, are relatively similar. But other popular destination countries for international students, such as Australia, New Zealand operate on a completely different schedule because the academic year begins months later.


The key to get admitted to global universities in more than one country is early planning and organization.

Admissions timelines in some countries, such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom, are relatively similar. But other popular destination countries for international students, such as AustraliaNew Zealand operate on a completely different schedule because the academic year begins months later.

The summer between 11th and 12th standard of higher secondary board year is a good time for students to sit down with their calendars and map out application deadlines for each country they're interested in for the Bachelor’s degree. The students need to "look at the entire year ahead until graduation, so that applications, essays, recommendations, testing, visas can all be organized well ahead of each deadline."

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It is utmost important for the prospective students to reflect on why they want to study in each country they're considering, especially the course they would like to pursue.

“Students who apply to lots of universities in various countries without thinking through why they're interested in certain places might have a more difficult time making a final school decision”, says Ian Sutherland, head of admissions at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He recommends students try to narrow their focus before they start applying. The students might end up spending additional amount for the application fee, international courier charges, reporting additional official scores, etc.

Once the students begin receiving acceptances, prospective international students who applied to universities in multiple countries may face a deposit deadline for one school before they even hear back from another. In such cases, it's not out of the norm for students to ask schools for deposit deadline extensions.

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The student may request the respective universities to extend the deadline but if a school isn't willing to extend a deposit deadline, students will have to consider whether they can afford to put down a potentially nonrefundable deposit to hold their spot at a particular school while they wait to hear back from others.

Let’s look at the timeline below which begins in the academic year prior to a student's intended college enrollment date. It shows the general application deadlines for institutions in Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. The exact deadlines vary by school/courses. 

FALL/WINTER (Apply To Canadian Schools)

Canadian universities do not follow a standard application period and rolling admissions are common. However, interested students should research the application deadlines at each Canadian college/university.

Experts recommend that students must apply in the fall or winter prior to the year which they want to enroll. Early deserving applicants always have a greater chance of enrollment than the other.

OCTOBER (UK Deadline I)

Most medical, dental and veterinarian programs in UK have deadlines in October. October 15th is the deadline to for applying to University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. However, for the other undergraduate programs the deadline is January 15. The deadlines of the other programs may vary with program and university.

NOVEMBER (US Early Decision Deadline)

Applying for early decision (this means the student must attend the school if admitted) to US colleges/universities has many advantages. Most US universities have early decision deadline in November. Early action deadlines are also usually fall around the same time. Early applicants get notified by the schools much earlier than their peers who apply for regular decision.

JANUARY (US Regular Decision Deadline)

Most US colleges and universities have regular decision deadlines in this month. However, it is recommended that the students must check the exact deadlines, since these dates vary among schools. For example, the regular decision deadline for all campuses of University of California is due by end of November. Schools usually publish admission notifications between mid-March and early April for regular decision deadlines.

Many US schools have deadlines in May to accept the admission offer.


January 15th is the deadline for the majority of undergraduate courses in UK. Deadlines for some art and design courses may go up to end of March. The postgraduate courses may have official deadlines till June but most subjects accept applications continuously. For this reason, the international students should aim to apply early as offers usually made on a first come, first served basis. Applying early is also important to secure funding and accommodation.

MAY – JULY (Application Period for German Universities)

Many degree programs start in the winter semester in German Universities and the application period for winter semester enrolment begins in May and runs through July. They normally send acceptance notifications in August or September.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER (Academic Year Begins in Many Countries)

The academic year starts in September at many UK schools. US schools generally begin their academic year in late August or September. As per National Association for College Admission Counselling’s guide, many Canadian schools’ start their academic year in September, though there are rolling admissions.

OCTOBER (Application Period for Australia And New Zealand)

Though there are two major intakes in Australia but the first semester at Australian universities begins in the month of February and the second starts in July. Few programs allow international students to start their semesters in any one of them. For the first semester, the applications are due in the month of October.


The academic year in New Zealand begins from February to November and each university operates on different deadlines. However, ITPs and private institutes may have multiple intakes for different courses. It is recommended to make applications at least 6 months prior to the start date avoid last moment hassles.


Each institution has its own guidelines on timeframes, and these are often published on their websites, so you can check when you should start your preparation.

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