Every year, thousands of students fly across the globe to pursue education in countries like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Universities in these countries often promise higher-quality education, which expands the career prospects of those who get into them. For aspiring international students, one of the most important things to keep in mind is intake dates. These are the time when schools start accepting applications for the next term. For 2024, it’s as follows: January to May for Spring Intake, May to August for Summer Intake and September to December (or up to early January) for Autumn Intake.
Study abroad intake dates
Intake dates vary between universities and programs. Generally, they’re divided into three key periods: Autumn Intake, Spring Intake and Summer Intake. Here’s some useful information about each one:
Autumn Intake is the primary intake for almost all universities. It’s usually from September to December (though some universities accept applicants as early as August). During this time, students can take advantage of a large number of available courses. There’s also an abundance of scholarships and internship opportunities. That said, this intake also sees the most number of applicants, which overall lowers the general acceptance rate.
It’s recommended that students prepare at least 10 months to a year before the beginning of Autumn Intake to ensure they have everything they need when the admissions period rolls in.
Spring Intake is the secondary intake season and may even be seen as an extension of the Autumn Intake. It begins in January and ends in May, and it gives students another chance to secure admission to an international institution of their choice. In some places, particularly Canada and the UK, courses begin in January. Spring Intake is also sometimes referred to as Winter Intake.
Not all universities offer Spring Intake, especially for popular courses, so choices at this period are often less. However, since there are typically fewer applications, acceptance rates are higher and class sizes are smaller. Those who apply during Spring Intake also have more time to prepare for their applications and other pre-requisite exams.
Summer Intake is usually from May to August. It’s a unique situation where universities allow a select group of students to apply to certain courses, like short courses, diploma programs and language courses. This is the best time to apply for students who are interested in programs only available in the summer or who missed the Autumn and Spring Intake seasons.
Summer Intake doesn’t usually apply to international students, and it’s the least preferred intake period due to the lack of available courses and the limit of universities offering enrolments during this time. But competition is low, so those applying have greater chances of getting accepted to the university and course they want.
Intake dates in key study abroad destinations
Now that we’ve broken down the different key intake periods, here’s a guide on the important admissions dates to remember in key study-abroad destinations:
Intakes in the USA fall from September to December (Autumn Intake) and January to August (Spring Intake), with Summer Intake occurring between May and August. Many top universities, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Arizona and Yeshiva University, accept Autumn Intake applications. It’s best to check the individual requirements of each school for exact dates.
The primary intake period for Canadian universities is September, with deadlines falling in January (Autumn Intake). Spring Intake is from January to May, while Summer Intake is from May to August. Popular universities offering Autumn Intake applications include the University of Ottawa, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria.
Australia and New Zealand
The main intake in Australia is in February, with application deadlines falling in October of the previous year. The same is true for New Zealand. Some top choices for this region include the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University.
September is the main intake period for universities in the United Kingdom. Deadlines for Autumn Intake are usually in January. Spring Intake runs from January to April, while Summer Intake is from May to August. The University of Bristol, the University of Aberdeen and City, University of London are some of the top choices for international students wishing to study in the UK.
Preparing for intake dates
Knowing the intake dates in key study-abroad destinations allows us to help our students get into their dream institutions and programs. Check out the Global Study Partners platform to find what you need to support the new generation of learners going into university!