Study Abroad Intakes

Study abroad intakes are a great opportunity for students to gain a new perspective on the world. Each year, thousands of students from around the world take advantage of this opportunity to explore different cultures, learn new languages, and gain invaluable experience. Whether it’s for a semester, a year, or a short-term visit, studying abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience that will change your life for the better. Not only will you gain valuable knowledge and understanding of different cultures and people, but you’ll also gain the skills and confidence to succeed in a global environment. With a variety of study abroad programs and destinations, there’s sure to be something that fit your interests and goals.

Studying abroad entails a great deal of planning that involves researching your preferred universities or enhancing your application and a long list of several more steps. One essential step to lay the groundwork is to familiarise yourself with the intakes of your chosen university in the respective country. Every year there are a large number of students applying to universities abroad, so the institutions offer more than one intake every year. This article will provide you with the necessary information regarding the parameters you should consider to choose your preferred study abroad intakes and make your decision!

Top Study Abroad Intakes

Most universities around the world offer 2 intakes i.e, spring and fall. Certain universities also offer minor summer intakes. The following table contains the brief overview of study abroad intakes and their time period:

Intakes Commencement period
Spring Starts: January

Ends: early May

Fall Starts: late August

Ends: late December

Summer May 

Types of Study Abroad Intakes

Every year, there is a massive influx of students in universities situated abroad. Thus, universities offer more than one intakes to accommodate the number of students who join each semester. Another reason why universities have multiple intakes is to provide students with more flexibility in terms of deciding when they wish to take admission and begin their studies.

Fall Intake

The fall intake commences in late August or September and concludes around late December. Almost all universities, including the top ones like MIT, Harvard, Stanford,etc. offer fall intakes.

  • It receives the highest number of applications because the academic year of many high-school or undergraduate students is completed in April, which makes the fall intake, preferred choice of many students.  
  • More students apply in the fall intake, thus, there is higher competition and the chances of getting in are minimal. The acceptance rate is comparatively lesser than the spring intake.
  • Institutional scholarships are mostly on a first come first serve basis. More scholarship funds are available with the university for the students applying in the fall intake.

Spring Intake

The spring intake starts in January and ends by the beginning of May. There are a few universities that may not offer the Spring intake, so you might need to inquire with your preferred university.

  • The competition in the spring intake is less as not many students prefer to opt for it. Less students apply in spring and therefore the acceptance rate tends to be higher than the fall intake.
  • Mostly, students who go for the spring intake are the ones who have an internship or a job to pursue after their graduation,and require more time to gain relevant experience and settle down nicely. 
  • Universities might have lesser funds available to administer scholarships in Spring. Also, as the students will be beginning with their studies in the middle of the academic year, less on-campus opportunities are available for the spring/winter students.

Summer Intake

The summer intake is a special case scenario, offered by a handful of universities to limited students for selected courses, mainly diplomas or other summer courses.

  • Fewer students apply to universities offering admission during the Summer intake, which means that there are greater chances of getting an offer.
  • Given the ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19, students from across the world wishing to pursue higher education in the world have been affected and are also more likely to face even more competition in admission, which makes applying for the Summer intake 2021 considerably beneficial.

Comparison Between Fall and Spring Intake

Though there may not be significant differences between fall or spring intake in terms of curriculum, universities offer different intakes to suit the needs of the students. Confused about which intake is ideal for you? The following table contains a brief comparison between the most popular intakes i.e, Fall and Spring intake:

Factors Fall intake Spring intake
Universities Almost all universities offer fall intake. There are a few universities that might not offer spring intake.
Acceptance rate More students apply in fall thus, the acceptance rate is lower. Acceptance rate is comparatively higher.
Job opportunities More summer internship opportunities. Less on-campus job opportunities.
Scholarships More scholarship funds available. Less funds to administer scholarships.
Preparation Indian students graduate around May, which gives them less time to prepare. It gives more time to Indian students for the preparations to get into the university of their choice.

Also Read: Fall vs Spring Semester Intakes

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the various study abroad intakes offered by universities throughout the academic year and what they entail, let us now look at different universities offering various intakes in some of the most sought after study abroad destinations.

1. USA

The USA caters to the highest number of international students all around the world. The United States is the number one and largest destination for international students seeking higher education. The most popular intakes in US universities are either Fall or Spring.

Key Dates

Usually Indian students aim for fall intake in the USA but the Covid-19 restrictions have disrupted the entire academic year. Top universities normally set their deadlines 8-12 months before the commencement of the program.

Fall Intake

Top Universities (A, A+): November/December of the previous year
A-, B, B+, C grade universities: February/March of the same year
C-, D grade universities: June/July of the same year

Spring Intake

Top Universities (A, A+): March/ April of the same year
A-, B, B+, C grade universities: July/ August of the same year
C-, D grade universities: October/ November


Fall intake in the USA
Harvard University
Stanford University
UC Berkeley
Yale University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Princeton University
Duke University
Columbia University
Spring intake in the USA
University of Colorado
 Pace University 
San Francisco State University 
Temple University 
Rutgers University 
George Mason University 
University of Arkansas
University of Connecticut 

2. UK

The colleges and universities in the UK offer two study abroad intakes every year. The first session begins in January/ February and the second intake begins in September/ October. The major intake for the UK is the Fall intake which offers the highest degree of competition but also features a wide array of internship opportunities.

Key Dates

Autumn Intake: September to October
Spring Intake: January to February
Summer intake (June to August) (available for specific programs only.)

  • 15 October 2023 – All the courses at Cambridge and Oxford and most medicine, and dentistry veterinary medicine courses at all other institutions.
  • 30 June 2024 – It is for all other undergraduate courses for international students.


Birmingham City University
Bucks New University
University of Central Lancashire
University of Reading
University of Hertfordshire
University of Surrey
University of Derby
University of Westminster
Kingston University
London Metropolitan University
University of Bradford
Swansea University
Bangor University
Brunel University
Edge Hill University
Kingston University
Northumbria University
University of Chester
University of Greenwich
University of Sunderland
Anglia Ruskin University
Birkbeck University of London
City University of London
Oxford Brookes University
University of South Wales

3. Canada 

Studying in Canada creates an amazing and solid foundation for you to not only gain a world-class education but will also open the doors to a plethora of job opportunities. There are certain admission intakes in Canada distributed in short periods of the academic year and open for a period anywhere between two to four months. 

Key Dates

Fall intake:  starts in September and it is the primary intake.
Winter Intake: starts in January and it is the Secondary Intake. Many universities offer a large number of courses in January/Winter Intake in Canada.
Summer Intake: start in May, and the courses offered there are few.


Winter intake
Fanshawe College
Cape Breton University
Douglas College
Lambton College
Mount Saint Vincent University
Carleton University
Centennial College 
Spring intake
Mount Saint Vincent University
Brock University
University of the Fraser Valley
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Capilano University
New York Institute of Technology
Lakehead University
  • January Intake in Canada
  • September Intake In Canada 
  • Winter Intake in Canada
  • February Intake in Canada

4. Germany

Germany is the fourth most popular destination among international students because of its research community. The universities in Germany have two intakes: the Winter intake and the Summer intake. Although there is no difference in the curriculum of both the intakes in Germany, winter is the primary one and the summer intake is comparatively less popular among international students. 

Key Dates

Winter intake: It is the primary intake in Germany. It starts in September / October and ends in February / March. All the Universities in Germany offer a large number of courses for Winter Intake. For most Universities, the application deadline will fall in mid-July for Winter (September Intake).

Students who miss out on Winter Intake can apply for Summer intake in April. It ends in July/August. Summer Intake will have fewer courses on offer by the Universities. The deadline for Application for most Universities will fall in mid-January for Summer Intakes.


Technical University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Heidelberg University
Humboldt University of Berlin
Free University of Berlin
KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
RWTH Aachen University
TU Berlin
Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen
University of Freiburg
  • September Intake in Germany

5. New Zealand

New Zealand is emerging as a highly ranked destination for studying abroad.  With an excellent education system, internationally accredited qualifications, ample research opportunities, New Zealand is a preferred option for many international students looking for opportunities to study overseas. New Zealand generally has two study abroad intakes i.e. January and July, with few Universities offering multiple intakes in September and November. 

Key Dates

January intake:  The application deadlines fall before at least three months of the beginning. If you want to apply for January intake in New Zealand, do it before November at the Universities that offer the January semester cycle.

July Intake: July semester starts in the middle of the year, in July. The application should be submitted latest by May. 


University of Auckland
University of Otago
University of Canterbury
Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT)
University of Waikato
Lincoln University
  • July Intake In New Zealand

This was all the relevant information regarding study abroad intakes and the timelines of most sought-after study abroad destinations. Still confused about which intake suits you the best. Get in touch with our experts at Leverage Edu to clarify all your doubts!