Fall vs Spring Intake: Which Intake Is Best?
If you wish to pursue your higher education overseas, having a good knowledge of study abroad intakes are crucial. Most abroad universities offer three types of admission intakes, fall, spring, and summer. A student can choose between any of them based on academic factors such as the type of course programs available, etc. However, despite the three choices available, the number of enrolments of international students at abroad universities remains high in either the Fall intake or the Spring intake. So, the question here is, which intake is the best or preferred one when applying to leading universities abroad? If you are planning to conduct your admission process and are confused about the same, this blog shines a light on the differences between Fall and Spring intake to help you clear this confusion.
Everything You Need To Know About The Fall Intake
The Fall intake is one of the most preferred admission intakes by international students globally. If students apply for the Fall intake, they will start their academic classes between September to December. This admission intake is offered by most study-abroad destinations such as the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Australia and the Netherlands. While Fall intake continues to be a popular admission intake, the high competition amongst student enrolment applications can lead to a stringent acceptance rate.
- A whole summer to prepare
Going abroad during the spring semester means you’ll have to condense your preparations into a short winter break. Sure, you can get some things done during the fall semester, but between classes, midterms, and finals, that time you think you have can evaporate way faster than you expect. If you study abroad in the fall, though, you’ll have the summer downtime to tick things off your checklist as you prepare for the semester.
- It’s easier to study abroad as a senior
Did you keep putting off your plans for a semester abroad? If your senior year is your last chance, going during the fall semester often simplifies the experience. You’ll have enough time before graduation for your transcripts to come in, plus you’ll be back on campus to graduate alongside your friends.
- A shorter semester can equal savings
Take a close look at the academic calendar. If your heart is set on expensive destinations like London and you’re struggling to come up with a study abroad budget, choose the fall. In some cases, the fall semester is shorter than the spring, which can translate to savings on housing and other day-to-day expenses that add up over time.
Cons of studying abroad in the fall
- Missing on-campus activities and traditions
Spending the start of the academic year on your home campus does have its perks. Fall is often when you reconnect with friends and meet new members of your favorite student activities. If your college is big on fall sports, a fall semester abroad means you’ll miss those traditions, too.
- Holidays away from home
Many fall semesters abroad mean living far from home. Many semesters don’t quite align with the calendar you’re used to, and you may find yourself away for the “fall” into January or February.
Everything You Need To Know About The Spring Intake
The Spring intake is the second most preferred admission intake after the Fall intake. Students who opt for the Spring intake will attend an academic class between January to February. Students who require more time to pursue their higher education to research their academic interests can opt for the Spring intake.
- Spring weather
Imagine transitioning from chilly winter at the start of your semester abroad to blossoming flowers and balmy weather ripe for seeing the sights. Of course, you’ll want to check the climate where you’re headed before packing only T-shirts and sandals, but spring travel in many regions is popular with good reason. Just remember, if you’re studying south of the equator, the months that correspond with your “spring” semester will occur as autumn turns into winter.
- More travel opportunities
If you’re looking to up your travel game without compromising your studies, this semester may include a built-in spring break as well as ample time for post-semester travel in the summer. But don’t overlook your local surroundings just because you have more time to jet off on longer trips. Some of the most meaningful and authentic moments come from discovering what awaits around the corner.
- Starting the next academic year back home
Instead of returning in the middle of things, you’ll start the academic year alongside your at-home friends. Re-establishing a routine and reconnecting with friends are all part of coming home from study abroad. Having a fresh start with everyone else can ease some of the natural bumps in the road as you readjust.
Cons of studying abroad in spring
- No time for in-person goodbyes
You won’t have a chance to say goodbye in person to friends who are graduating that semester. If you go abroad as a senior, you won’t be on campus yourself for your last semester—so even if you jump through the logistical hoops of studying abroad during your final term, you’ll miss the festivities and traditions that come with graduation.
- A longer semester means higher costs
Some countries and calendars have longer spring semesters compared to the fall semesters at the same school. Though opting for a longer semester has its advantages, it can also mean shelling out more money overall to earn the same number of credits because you’ll have to pay for housing and other daily costs.
- Cutting into the summer break
Even if your spring semester is technically the same length of time as a fall semester in your chosen program, academic calendars can vary widely depending on your destination. It’s not unusual to find spring semesters that run from March or April through July or even August. That overlap with your typical summer break can mess with your plans for a summer job, summer classes, or just some necessary time to relax and recharge.
Choosing the right study abroad intake is important as it will impact your academic and professional journey accordingly. Once you make the decision to choose between Spring vs Fall intake, it’s time to apply to universities that offer the same. Furthermore, if you wish to speak to an expert who can guide you through the process of applying to universities that offer spring/fall admission, our experienced study abroad counsellors can help.