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Education agents for study abroad

If you are planning to study abroad in the future, you may wish to enlist the help of an educational agent to help you secure your place at university.

What do educational agents do?

Education agents work for both students and for universities. They offer guidance to help international students through the process of applying for a place at university, and likewise they help universities by finding suitable students to take up positions in courses. Some agents earn commission from the university for placing a student on a course, whilst others may charge the student for their services.

What are the benefits of using an education agent?

As an international student applying to a university abroad, there are a lot of steps to consider, and we have written about several of these on Goingto.University, such as securing a student visa, finding the right course and university for you, finding accommodation and going through the course application process.

Education agents are highly experienced and able to provide personalised assistance in all of the steps that an international student has to go through. They can assist you with your application form, help you find your accommodation at university, advise you on your visa application, and more.

Furthermore, education agents often operate in partnership, or have a good relationship with particular universities, and are therefore very familiar with the processes at that university, making the application process more seamless for you.

How to choose an education agent

Where to look

If you have already decided upon which university you would like to apply to, the first place you should look for when choosing an agent is with the university itself. Many universities publish lists of education agents that they work with, or preferred agents, often by country. This will help you to choose an agent located near you, that your chosen university is endorsing.

Alternatively, you can look for an agent from a trusted list, such as the British Council’s Database of certified agents and counsellors.


When considering education agents, ask what credentials, accreditation or training they can reference. Check if they are members of any professional bodies, as all of these can help show that the agent you choose will have the correct experience and expertise to guide you through your university application process.

Discuss fees and contract details

You should discuss fee structures with your agent before signing any contract, and make sure you understand what services are going to be provided as part of your contact. Check also if there are any cancellation fees or policies to consider should you decide to go a different way.

Ask for references

If possible, ask your agent to provide you with references from some of their previous clients, so you can gauge how effective your agent has been placing other students at university.

Post acceptance support

Ask your education agent what level of support they offer for you once they have secured a place at university for you. Further services they could offer to you include help with:

  • securing accommodation
  • arranging travel to university
  • help renewing your student visa
  • help with your orientation upon your arrival at university

Considerations when using an application agent

You should take your time when picking an education agent for your studies abroad to make sure you are comfortable and trust the agent that you pick.

Be aware that agents often operate in partnership with certain universities, so make sure that you are happy with any recommendations that your agent comes up with, and that you are not going along with the easiest option for the sake of it.

Alternatives to using an education agent

You may decide after performing some research that using an education agent isn’t for you after all. The following options are available to you if you don’t want to use an education agent:

  • Direct application to your chosen university through the university admission process
  • Application to university using an application service, such as UCAS in the UK
  • Using online resources for information to support your application


If you aren’t confident with the process of applying to study abroad, education agents have the expertise and experience to help you through every stage of applying to university, making the whole process much more straightforward for you.

Do what you can to ensure that the agent that you pick is correct for your circumstances and that you trust them with your application.