We started this website, Dreams of Canada, because we wanted to help people come to Canada to live their dreams, whatever they may be.
When we heard about Applyboard, we were very excited to see that someone was taking matters into their own hands and directly assisting international students with coming to study in Canada.
It didn’t take us long to get in touch with the folks at Applyboard to find out more about their business, and learn exactly how it is they are helping international students today.
Please enjoy our Q&A with Applyboard, and don’t forget to visit their website if you or someone you know is in need of this kind of assistance.
What exactly is ApplyBoard and what function does it serve?
ApplyBoard is an online marketplace uniquely designed to help international students study at the best institutions of higher education globally.
The company revolutionizes the way students experience the application process.
ApplyBoard recognizes education is a human right for all and has set its mission to make the best possible education accessible to students worldwide, regardless of their nationality or location.
The platform also acts as a secure space for students to keep the required documents to make the process as seamless as possible.
ApplyBoard is a powerful solution for the industry, and provides students with everything they need to successfully study abroad.
How did ApplyBoard come about?
The company began with founders, Martin, and his twin brothers, Meti and Massi Basiri, who left Iran in 2010 to pursue international education in Canada.
Martin, CEO of ApplyBoard, had a pre-existing engineering degree when he decided he wanted to further explore his masters.
Despite receiving a scholarship offer, Martin faced a range of obstacles from paperwork to securing a student visa. By the time his application was approved and he was enrolled into courses, it had been roughly one year.
When it came time for Meti and Massi to apply for their education abroad, Martin was well-versed in the process and reduced their application process to just a couple of months.
Through this process, Basiri brothers recognized the various difficulties that come with international students wanting to pursue studying abroad.
Many individuals found out about their experiences and seeked their expertise to help them study abroad.
What first began as a hobby, helping other students apply for their study permit, turned into a business as Basiri brothers recognized there is a massively underserved market for international study.
Is ApplyBoard based out of KW or does it have other offices elsewhere?
ApplyBoard’s head office is located in the Waterloo Region, however the company has offices across various countries including China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Nepal.
To date, ApplyBoard has employed over 70 individuals.
Is the sign up process for ApplyBoard the same for anyone who signs up on the website, regardless of what level of education they are pursuing?
Students, regardless of level, are required to enter in their previous education and their personal details (contact info, address, nationality, first language, visa history, etc.).
It is also worth mentioning that there is a different sign up process for recruiters than there is for students.
Profiles/accounts vary slightly since students and recruiters have different needs.
Would you consider ApplyBoard simple to use?
ApplyBoard is very simple to use – that’s the point of it. It provides a full stack solution for students looking to pursue international education.
Millions of international students struggle to find their ideal programs and base everything off internet searches and chance.
The information is incredibly fragmented. ApplyBoard consolidates all information into one place to help students with their search.
What Expedia does for individuals looking to find a hotel and flight, ApplyBoard does for students looking to find an education destination in North America.
What are the limits to what ApplyBoard offers students? For instance, does it offer help getting jobs or is it mainly focused on immigration and education?
ApplyBoard focuses entirely on education, which then involves obtaining a visa.
ApplyBoard assists with every step involved in applying and being enrolled, including the immigration process, but ApplyBoard is not a job finder service.
Students may decide to work while they study if their program permits it, but this is their decision and not a part of our services.
Is it true that ApplyBoard runs mainly off AI?
This is entirely true. The company’s proprietary platform streamlines the application process by curating a student’s profile based upon a number of factors including academic background, desired major and financial situation, and through its AI, matches the student with a list of highly correlated schools and programs.
By pre-vetting these applications and assisting in the visa process, ApplyBoard achieves a 95 percent acceptance rate for its students.
ApplyBoard uses a combination of various data including all historical admission data from 750+ partner schools, visa data, and much more.
Recently, ApplyBoard was listed as one of the top ten artificial intelligence startups in Canada by Nanalyze.
What does the basic free ApplyBoard website offer a student?
All services through ApplyBoard’s website are free.
With the help of our in-house team, services include program search and selection, document management and submission, immigration consultancy and visa application, medical insurance, living and travel arrangements, pre-departure orientation, and whatever else needed to get each student from point A (their current country of residence) to B (enrolled in their program and attending classes).
What does ApplyBoard have to offer schools and recruiters?
Schools – We save schools time and money when we review each student’s application, and ensure each is fully qualified and complete.
When we submit each application, we adhere to their admission requirements and structure.
Our global outreach is extensive, having already recruited students from over 90 countries, so we can offer our partner schools a diverse range of applicants.
Additionally, through landing pages on our website, we assist our partner schools with brand awareness.
Recruiters – Our Recruiter Dashboard facilitates simplified management of all their students and their information, while staying organised and up-to-date with their application status.
The process is streamlined through our platform. Once a student’s application is complete, we submit it to the school, and in return, a recruiter’s commission is distributed to them automatically once the student is enrolled.
Does ApplyBoard offer premium services and how do they differ from the free services?
Premium services at ApplyBoard include visa consultation.
Is there someone that students can chat with live to get questions answered?
Students can leave notes on their profile or application, and our team responds to each within 24 hours.
This response time is especially impressive when you consider that we receive thousands of applications and there is also a difference in time zones, meaning notes are left every hour.
Students also have the option to call our office, and since our team collectively speaks over 20 languages, there is most likely someone who can assist with their question in their native tongue.
If a student has not yet created a profile on our website, they also have our phone and email contact information.
How does ApplyBoard tackle the language issue when it comes to providing information to those who don’t speak english?
ApplyBoard’s team is very diverse with employees coming from various countries of the world including China, Brazil, India and many more.
In addition to having 20+ languages available in the global office, ApplyBoard has representatives in its most popular countries to better accommodate those students travelling from there.
How does ApplyBoard promote itself?
The services in many ways, promote themselves. Since we reach the majority of our audience online, word travels fast.
ApplyBoard does also attend educational fairs and events frequently throughout the year. Such events include EduCanada and ICEF, along with local tech functions.
Does Applyboard have an app?
ApplyBoard does not currently have an app, but it is in the works and will be available in the near future.
What are the most popular countries for students finding out about and using ApplyBoard?
Many students come from Iran, Vietnam, South Korea, Nepal, Brazil, China and India.
While these are the most popular, we have enrolled students from 41 different countries since January 2018.
What is the end goal between Applyboard and an applicant?
The end goal is to find the best possible education for each student applying to study abroad through ApplyBoard.
What is the hardest part for most students who are trying to go to school in Canada?
The two most common obstacles for international students are their budget and their study visa. Our team does a lot to assist with both.
First and foremost, it is a significant benefit to students that we do not charge any fees for our services.
Secondly, we make students aware of schools with scholarships and/or lower tuition fees.
For the study visa, we have an ICCRC certified member on our team to assist with the immigration, and we submit the visa application ourselves.
What are the upcoming goals for ApplyBoard for the near future?
Just recently, ApplyBoard shared a press release on their US $13 million Series A funding.
The funds will boost the company’s mission to make education accessible to students everywhere by continuing the growth of the company and further developing its platform.