It can be easy to simply ask about the scholarship opportunities a university offers. However, institutions receive hundreds of such enquiries, so your message won’t stand out.
The more unique or personalized your question or enquiry, the more likely it will resonate with the university staff member who reads it; it will be something different from what they see normally.
There are a lot of other things you should be asking. Just think of everything which you would want to know about a university you might be studying at (especially one in a completely different country from your own).
So what should you ask?
‘Where can I live?’
Do you know what accommodation the institution offers? Is this accommodation on or off-campus? How expensive is this accommodation and what’s included? Are you guaranteed a place in on-campus accommodation in your first year? What support is there to find accommodation off-campus?
‘What’s the international student body like?’
What proportion of students currently enrolled are from overseas? What countries do these students come from? Are there many students from your own country? If so, are there any specific clubs or societies which are tailored to students from here?
‘How is the course taught?’
Is the course taught through lectures, lab work or seminars? How many students are in these classes? What is the structure of a normal lecture/seminar? Will you work independently, or with one or more students as part of group-work? How many hours can you expect to spend on campus each week? Does this include face-time with your professors in their office hours?
You can start speaking to overseas universities through Hotcourses Abroad. Simply search on the site for a university or course you’re interested in. When you see the ‘Contact Institution’ button, click it to send a question to a relevant staff member at that university.