Study Abroad Without IELTS or TOEFL | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

 Study Abroad Without IELTS or TOEFL


Have you planned to study abroad? Then without a doubt, you must be working on completing your IELTS or TOEFL. What if we told you that you can study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL?

Many international students who are from non-English speaking countries find these exams to be one of the biggest struggles facing them in their study abroad quest. This is because they aren’t acquainted with this language and find these English proficiency tests really tough to pass. Also, these tests are pretty costly and are just another expense over the piling costs a student has to pay for quality education. To understand more about this subject, let EDUopinions first explain TOEFL and IELTS to you.

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What are the TOEFL and IELTS Exams?

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are some of the world’s most popular language proficiency tests. These tests are designed to determine the reading, speaking, and listening skills of the student in the English language. TOEFL is actually used by most American schools while IELTS is accepted by schools in the United Kingdom.

A good score in these tests is actually required as a minimum entry requirement for admission into most universities in the world. But, many universities don’t ask for an IELTS or TOEFL. Universities in various countries such as the USA, Germany, and Italy don’t require an IELTS exam for admission into their universities.

These courses are usually called pathway courses. These courses are developed for students who want to pursue their desired academic course but don’t meet the course requirements to prepare for various subjects from English to academic subjects. These courses usually have a duration of 9 – 15 months.

Whereas, other courses or universities also ask candidates to undertake other kinds of English proficiency tests such as the Intensive English Language Program. Some universities in China, Singapore, and Korea also offer candidates an optional foundation programme after admission. This gives the students an opportunity to become fluent in the language after admission.

Below is a list of countries and universities that allow students to study abroad without IELTS or TOEFL:


This dazzling country known for its tourism, culture and art is also one of the most prestigious destinations to study in Europe. They also have a great range of courses that are taught in English where students are not needed to appear for the IELTS or other English language tests. Here are some of the Universities in which you can study in France without IELTS:

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EBS Paris

The European Business School or EBS was established in 1967. EBS was the first international business school founded in France. They focus on business studies and management programmes and it is known for having over 7,600 alumni in 64 countries. EBS has also been ranking as one of the top 100 universities in the world since 2011. This school is known to train good future business leaders with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, accustomed to working in an international environment.

This school does not require that students complete an English proficiency test.

American Business School, Paris

Located in Paris, the American Business School is an institution that welcomes students who want to study through American educational methods while experiencing the French way of life at the same time. The school offers BBA, MBA, DBA and many more degrees. The courses are taught in English and they don’t require an IELTS. This campus is pretty multicultural and offers students training in a cross-cultural environment which is one of the many advantages of studying at the American Business School in Paris. Living in Paris also makes the student a very worldly person and the university also aims to provide the best education that future professionals in a global company need.

Other universities that don’t take TOEFL or IELTS are  EPITA Graduate School of Computer Science, ESAIP School of Engineers and ESC Rennes School of Business, France.


One of the most amazing countries for any student to study, Germany not only offers a lot of free education but also doesn’t require any TOEFL or IELTS. It is one of the most affordable places to study because of its public universities. There are some Universities in Germany where students do not require any IELTS scores if he or she has completed their previous education in the English language. In that case, candidates require an MOI (medium of Instruction) to prove their language proficiency.

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University of Koblenz and Landau

Located in Mainz, Germany, the University of Koblenz and Landau was founded in 1990 and is one of the youngest universities in German that was transformed from teachers’ training college. There are more than 15,000 students studying at this amazing university. The university’s increasing number of students shows that both campuses of Koblenz and Landau are popular places to study. They have various teachers and bachelor degree programmes.

Braunschweig University of Technology (TU Braunschweig)

This university of technology is pretty well-known and is actually one of the oldest universities in Germany. In fact, when it comes to technology-focused schools, this school is considered as a pioneer. Founded in the year 1745, Braunschweig University of Technology has an estimated 20,000 students and around 2000 academic staff. They offer a wide range of courses and they have 6 different departments. Faculties include life sciences, architecture, mechanical engineering, humanities etc.


Steps to Studying in the United States


Surprisingly, few schools in the USA expect students from certain counties to pass the IELTS or TOEFL. Also, international students whose national language isn’t English most often don’t need to pass the English proficiency test. However, it is always important on the student’s part to actually understand and check websites and do research before applying. There are also some courses in the US that don’t need an IELTS or TOEFL under some special circumstances.

California State University

One wouldn’t expect a university, such as the California State University to do away with an English proficiency test. This is a public university in California and the student need not produce an IELTS test passing certificate if they have attended primary or middle school in the English language. There are also a few countries who don’t need to pass the English proficiency test in order to gain admission to California State University.

University of Colorado

Located in Denver, the University of Colorado doesn’t require an IELTS exam. This university usually requires students to meet a minimum standard of English proficiency except in cases like when the student’s native language is English and when the student has completed at least a one-year full-time academic study at any US university. Students from countries like Botswana, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria are completed exempt from this and do not require an IELTS or TOEFL test.

Drexel University

Located in Philadelphia, Drexel University was founded in 1891 as Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry by Anthony J. Drexel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drexel is a private research university that has the purpose of providing educational opportunities in the “practical arts and sciences” for women and men of all backgrounds.

Drexel University offers many programmes covering many areas of studies like Media, Art & Design, Business, Economy, Engineering, Medicine, Computing & Informatics etc. They also have different communities. They have three main communities which are the Undergraduate Student Government Association of Drexel University, the Graduate Student Association, and the Campus Activities Board.  You need to complete two programmes; the University Preparation Summer Program (UPREP) and the Bridge Program for international students if you don’t meet the language requirement.

There are also a few universities in the US that admit international students if one passes the Intensive English Language Program (IELP):

  • State University of New York: This is a public school located in Albany, New York. This is actually the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. They have 64 institutions across the globe including research universities, academic medical centres, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, colleges of technology and an online learning network. The State University of New York was created out of a commitment to opportunity and access, and designed to meet diverse needs across a vast geographic landscape. The university grants admission to students if they take the Intensive English Language Program (IELP)
  • University of Arkansas: the University of Arkansas is a public, co-educational, land-grant, space-grant, research university in Fayetteville, in the U.S. state of Arkansas. More than 26,000 students are enrolled in over 188 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programmes. It is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with very high research activity. They have 5% international students and around 27,000 students. Eligible international students don’t need to produce TOEFL or IELTS exam scores and instead must take the IELP.


If you are looking to study abroad and aren’t keen to apply for TOEFL or IELTS then Canada could be the right place for you. A number of universities in Canada do not require TOEFL/IELTS for admission. Essentially, if you have attended school for at least four years, where English was the primary language then you are not required to submit a proof of language proficiency. International students usually require above average academic records and also good SAT or GRE scores as well as other university-wide requirements. Canadian universities realise that students who have graduated from a good university and a recognised educational institute often display a good sense of English language proficiency.

So, you just need the valid documents, and you’re done! Below are the universities that don’t require proof of language:

Brock University

Brock University is a public research university in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Applicants who have completed the required years of post-secondary work in English, at an institution where English was the only language of instruction, may request a waiver of the English Proficiency Test submission requirements. Applicants requesting an English Language Proficiency waiver must also additionally upload an English Language Proficiency Waiver Letter.

The university bears the name of Maj. General Sir Isaac Brock, who was responsible for defending Upper Canada against the United States during the War of 1812.

Carleton University

Located in Ottawa, Canada Carleton University was founded in 1952. It is a public university that offers more than 65 academic programmes across a wide range of disciplines. It is also known for its strength in a variety of fields, such as engineering, industrial design, humanities, international business and much more. They admit 18% of international students and also have more than 28,000 students studying there.

There are many other universities in Canada that don’t require an IELTS exam like University of Winnipeg, Memorial University, and Concordia University to name a few.


Many countries in Asia such as Malaysia and India are also known to offer some very good education. India is becoming a popular destination to study because of the low costs of education, food, accommodation, etc. There are many universities in India to choose from, some are private while others are government or state-run. The University of Delhi, University of Mumbai are some of the most prestigious universities at which to study. Each of these universities has many colleges within them, ranking differently according to the faculty, students, campus, etc. These universities do not require any English exam to pass, even though all the programmes are taught in English except the local language ones. They usually teach technical, arts management or scientific subjects. Many international students don’t need to take any entrance tests and receive preferential treatment as well. However, the fees for international students are much higher as compared to the Indian students’ fees.

Interested in studying in Poland without IELTS? Check out this article.

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These are some of the countries and universities that do not require any IELTS or TOEFL exam. Other countries include Australia, Italy, Malaysia, Holland, Norway, and even Belize!

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Nikita is one of the main authors at EDUopinions, specialised in Higher Education and focused on business studies analysis. She is a digital nomad who works while travelling.

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