Study Abroad Intakes: Fall Intake vs. Spring Intake:


The question of fall vs. spring intake always puzzles international students who wish to migrate abroad for studies. If you are one of those who are planning to study abroad, then you must be aware of the intake system of different countries. Usually, universities accept applications from international students either in the fall intake or in the spring intake. The fall intake means admissions for courses that run from September to December, i.e., the fall semester. On the other hand, the spring intake means admission for courses that begins in January and ends in May.

Why are there two intakes?

After analyzing the number of applications to a university for different programs in a year, the universities concluded to opt for two intakes. Certain challenges were hard to deal with because of the multiple applications of international students. The major task was to accommodate students in a particular semester. It’s quite impossible for universities to admit thousands of students in a semester in a university. Also, to introduce flexibility in the system and ease the students, the approach of two different intakes is adopted by universities globally.

Why fall intake is better?

Fall intake runs from September to December, almost all the courses are available for this intake. Here are the reasons, why students should apply for fall intake:

  • Select your favorite course: Almost all the university extends multiple courses for this season. Most of the students who wish to pursue a particular course can find it easily. In spring intake these courses get limited to a few creating barriers for students.
  • Financial assistance: The foreign university and governments of different countries offer scholarships to international students every year. Multiple scholarships are offered to international students in fall intake as compared to spring intake.
  • Easy admission: Higher chances to get admission to your dream university since all universities offer admission in the fall semester. In spring intake the student tends to limit themselves, as there are high chances that their favorite university is not accepting admissions.
  • High chances to get internship and job offers: The student can apply for an internship if they have completed two semesters. This is possible only if they take admission in the fall intake.
  • Research assistant: International universities do not hire research assistants or any researcher until the mid-fall semester. The students admitted in the fall semester will have an opportunity to work as a research assistants.

Why spring intake is better?

Spring intake runs from January to May, in this intake chances of admission are high. Below are mentioned the reason for same:

  • Higher chances of getting admission: Since most of the students wish to enroll themselves for fall intake, this increases the chance for the admission of international students.
  • Low competition: Few students wish to take admission in the spring intake. So, the competition level is low. This low competition allows students to get better exposure and the classroom size will also be going to be small.
  • More time to prepare for IELTS: Indian students who get graduated in May or June, have more time to study for IELTS. There is a high chance that these students will clear IELTS on the first attempt.

Comparison between spring and fall intake:

There are multiple aspects on the basis of which, a comparison can be laid out between spring and fall intake. Let’s discuss these points one by one:

Courses: The courses offered in different universities vary as per the season. In the fall intake, multiple courses are available for international students however limited courses are open for students in the spring intake.

Scholarships: Multiple scholarships are made available by the government for international students. Even, scholarships for studying abroad by the Indian government have an immense effect on the admission rate. These scholarships are provided more for fall intake as compared to spring intake.

Universities: There are certain universities that accept applications once a year only, which is usually in the fall semester. Mainly top universities do not open admission in spring intake, so you need to look after that. Even, Indian students who to study in the USA should apply for the fall semester, since fall is best.

Acceptance rate: In fall intake there are higher chances for international students to get accepted by the universities, due to high competition. On the other hand, there is limited admission in spring intake which also increases the chances of getting accepted by the university. Certain universities might not accept admission in spring intake, so beware of it and choose wisely.

Jobs and Internships opportunities: the internships and jobs are provided to students who have completed two semesters. So, the student who will get admitted into the university in the fall intake has a chance to get an internship the next fall. On the contrary, the students from the spring intake will lack experience since they would have completed only one semester.

Competition: The level of competition differs according to different intakes. For the fall intake, most of the students aspire to submit applications leading to high competition among students in acceptance rate. On the other hand, fewer students apply for spring intake thus, low competition among students.

Co-curricular Activities: Getting admission in the fall intake assures you ample opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities and become a part of different clubs. In case, you take admission in the spring intake then the chances of enjoying and becoming a part of co-curricular clubs are limited.

Research Assistant: The academic year begins in the fall semester in most countries. Usually, in the initial segment, the universities do not hire any researchers. If you have started studying in the fall semester, then you have an add-on opportunity to work as a research assistant in the fall semester.


Most universities from around the world accept international students in the fall and spring intakes. It is preferable to take admission in the fall intake due to the excess opportunities available for the students. However, it is also dependent on the course and university you are applying for. If the university you aiming to study at offers the desired course in spring intake then go for spring intake. Lastly, applying for fall or spring intake totally depends on the student and what are your future plans.