What Documents Must Be Translated to Obtain an Education Abroad

Studying abroad is one of the most crucial experiences you’ll have in life. It goes without saying that you should start getting your paperwork ready early on to avoid any obstacles.

It’s unfortunate that many students spend countless hours crafting a brilliant academic essay yet fall short of meeting all the formal requirements requested by a university.

Be careful to check all application deadlines and follow the guidelines set forth by the selection committee since they take into account even the minutest of details.


As part of your application, the foreign institution will undoubtedly request you to have the necessary documentation translated by a certified translator if you don’t have it in the required language.

This is an extremely important step, so make sure to read till the end as we dissect everything you need to know about translating documents properly to nail your application for studying abroad!

Let’s dive right in!

When Should I Start Preparation?

It’s ideal to give your application some thought as soon as possible, even if it’s a year in advance. After all, you’ll have more time to plan your other options if you hear from colleges quickly after applying.

To visualize your goals better, craft a calendar with the important application deadlines and important preparation steps.

Remember the saying, “Better be safe than sorry”? It does not relate to anything as well as your study abroad ambitions. This is not the place to procrastinate, so make sure to start preparing NOW.

Plus, many universities encourage students to apply as early as possible, even offering “early bird scholarships” to the most organized and prompt.


This is especially true if you’re planning to study internationally, as you must prepare ahead and have everything in order. There are several perks to studying abroad, especially later when you’re applying for a job. Studying in another country allows you to develop your language skills, enhance your character, and give insight into a market your employer would want to venture into.

Each country has its own Visa application and requirements regarding international students studying under its jurisdiction. You should research the country you’re planning to study in because most people often look to study in Europe.

This is a shame because other countries also have excellent educational systems and student exchange programs. One of these countries is Israel, which has the best universities in the world. You will have to translate official documents from certified Hebrew translation services, which we will discuss later why it’s important to seek out professionals.

So, If you wish to appear as such from the very beginning, more so if you’re applying to the hardest colleges to get into, prepare as soon as possible!

What Documents Do I Need To Apply? 

One of the reasons why you should begin planning early is that most applications involve a large number of elements that can be difficult to prepare in a short period of time. The following are the most significant documents you’ll need to prepare for your international application:

  • Form for Applying to College or University
  • Passport
  • Identification Card
  • Transcripts and other evidence of academic performance
  • Diploma
  • The possession of any and all appropriate credentials
  • Financial records
  • Certification of English Language Proficiency (In some form, usually by submitting IELTS test results)
  • Birth certificate

Some universities may require reference letters as well, but not all. If any of the above-mentioned documents were not originally issued in the required language, make sure you have them translated and validated before submission.

There are a plethora of professional translation companies who can help you do just that. Otherwise, you could run into some major problems with the application process, and some of the more demanding universities might even reject you outright. Negligence is not something everyone pardons!

Furthermore, you’ll not only need to translate documents for the university you’re applying to but also for your visa application.

We can assure you that the reviewers of your visa application can be much more demanding! Find experts that have dealt with a variety of formats, who are familiar with the requirements of both university and visa applications, and who can guide you through the entire process.

Why Do I Need to Translate Documents? 

To determine whether or not a foreign document and all the qualifications stated in it are legitimate, many institutions require certified translations as part of the application process. Most often, you’re asked to submit the document in two languages.

Applicants to universities in the United States, for instance, must provide both the original document (issued in, say, Spanish) and a certified English translation in order to be considered.

Can I Translate Documents Myself? 

If you choose to translate the documents on your own, you will still need to have them certified by a professional translating service. Certificates attesting to the translator’s proficiency and other credentials are often required along with the initial document. 

Many required papers can be overly technical and subject-specific, requiring the knowledge of specialized vocabulary without which misinterpretation can occur. This is why all your translation needs to be handled by a professional translation service.

What’s more, even a minor error in translation can result in costly processing delays and even cancellation of your application. So, why risk this when you can opt for a professional translating service? The translation must be done impeccably with no errors, so unless you are a translator yourself, entrust this crucial step to real pros.

Why You Should Be Cautious 

Due to the need for certified translations rising with the speed of light, there is a flood of companies popping up who promise the moon yet fail to deliver. To navigate the hustle, you should research very, very well.

Don’t just take the company’s beautiful words for it; ask them to provide examples of previous work or credentials to make sure they know what they’re doing. You must not take any chances with this vital stage in your application for studying abroad.

Make sure the translation service not only includes real wordsmiths proficient in both languages but also ensures they adhere to all the necessary requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, the translated document must be signed and sealed on each page if the translation is long. Each university has its own way of going about this, so you should work with your trusted translation firm to understand all the peculiarities.

Figuring out what the university requires is just as important as researching a professional translation service, so be sure to take care of this step early on in your preparation process.

What Should Certified Translators Ensure?

In most countries, certified translations must be prepared according to the strictest guidelines. For instance, a translation’s authenticity must be confirmed by a third party before it can be considered trustworthy.

This is why working with certified translators who can complete the job for you legally is crucial. Make sure they have the appropriate level of experience and knowledge gained through formal education in the field.

True professionals should ensure accurate and rapid translation, having extensive experience adapting translated materials and accompanying documents (if requested) for international study applications.

What’s more, any certified translator must ensure all the necessary revisions are made in case such a need arises. Make sure the firm has earned the trust of other clients and check out their work before entrusting your translation needs to them.

The translated version should be true to the original, reflecting its most important information as well as the layout and format. True professionals should have an eagle eye for the minutest of details, not missing a single signature or date.

If you need to translate your transcripts, for instance, which have a complicated layout, a lot of information should be packed into a single page. Therefore, authorized translators often need substantial, meticulous formatting labor.

Here are some of the general competencies of a trustworthy translation agency that you should keep in mind:

  • An agency should consist of a reliable team of translators who have proven knowledge in the field.
  • They must ensure the accuracy of all translated materials which should be proofread several times before submission.
  • All translations must be certified by qualified notaries to ensure they’re recognized by colleges worldwide.
  • Translators must adhere to all the formatting and layout requirements.
  • Quick turnaround is extremely vital, which should not exceed several business days unless the material is not too long.
  • It’s best to partner with translation agencies that ensure utmost accuracy by offering free correction services in case any mistake occurs.
  • Last but not least, professionals should eagerly show you proof of their expertise and have a sea of happy clients content with their service!

If you manage to research well to entrust your translating needs to real professionals, you’ll have impeccable documents ready on time to support your overall application.

The Way Forward

You’re on the verge of one of the most defining experiences in your life. Studying abroad will let you embrace a new culture, maximize your academic potential and make lifelong friends.

Be sure to make the most of the experience and don’t risk ruining it by failing to follow all the necessary requirements, including entrusting your translation to certified professionals. 

True experts should oversee the whole translating process with an unrelenting passion for their craft, whether it be mastery of both languages to come up with errorless text, adapting the document’s layout and formatting to specific needs, or meticulous editing to ensure the resulting document is perfect.

When you meet such pros and check out their work, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place. In this quest, your secret weapon is research! Best of luck!