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Published on September 10th, 2015

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Fulfil your dream of studying abroad

Follow this 7 step guide that covers everything from researching your study options to getting accepted at a foreign university.
by Rohan Ganeriwala, Co- Founder, Collegify

1. Study Abroad programmes are becoming increasingly attractive as more and more college students seek meaningful ways to spend college breaks or explore true diversity of cultures. As a result, not only has a great international programme become more expensive, but also a lot more competitive to get accepted in to.

2. Research. Talk to parents, teachers, current students abroad as well as alumni to evaluate if you would be interested in studying abroad. Contact an education consultant who is looking into study abroad applications to understand what’s best for you, how you should plan your timeline of standardised tests and applications to colleges abroad. Remember to study hard for your standardised tests (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS etc.) and register well in advance. Plan your test dates well so you have time to retake if required.

3. Build your profile. It’s important to build your student profile with project work, summer internships, extra-curricular activities and volunteer work. If you know the industry you’re looking to get into, network with people in this industry to understand job trends and skill set required to enter the industry as it well help you in selecting programs and schools for applications. Shortlist universities with your education consultant and carefully evaluate the available options criteria such as offered programmes, rankings, location, campus life, eligibility, scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

4. Look for new horizons. Some destinations like the US and the UK are well known to international students but the picture is changing and new study abroad destinations are making head way. University World News recently featured India as an increasingly popular destination for study abroad. Given today’s global economies, it is imperative that all students acquire knowledge of and sensitivity to global issues. This knowledge and experience will enable students to participate fully in tomorrow’s workforce that will be even more ethnically and culturally diverse than it is today. Students are spending thrice the amount only for accommodation, away from families and home.

Research the university. Finalise universities after thorough research online, speaking to current students and alumni, and maybe attending a college education fair where you get to interact with faculty and staff members from the universities. Work on application documents such as worksheets, essays, short-question answers, statement of purpose, high school transcripts, predicted scores and mark sheets as per the requirements of the universities.

Contact admissions committees of colleges you are applying to with queries and doubts. They are always happy to help you out and their guidance may highlight points that an admission consultant or the college website may not provide. Including these insights in your documents may give you an edge over the other candidates.

5. Prepare your documents docket. Compile all the application documentation such as resumes, essays, worksheets, letters of recommendation, certificates and financial aid forms if required and forward the final packet to universities well before their deadlines to ensure timely receipt and consideration of your application.

6. Prepare for interviews. Some universities may schedule interviews with you before granting admission or if they consider you for scholarships. Prepare for the same and make sure you keep corresponding with the admissions office regularly. When you hear from colleges regarding your acceptances, select a college and enroll well before the deadline. This usually requires the payment of a fee.

7. Get your personal documents in order. Lastly, get your passport, visa and financial documentation in order along with health immunisations, health insurance, a credit card that works the world over, and your travel bookings. While loans are always an option, we encourage students to apply for scholarships or need-based financial aid first. To apply for scholarships, you will require an IELTS score of 6.5. India has only 27,000 foreign students and has no plans for any regulated increase because of controls in higher education. Also vocational education percentage in India is at meagre 5% of its total employed workforce of 459.10 million as against 95% of South Korea, 80% of Japan and 70% of Germany.

You’re now ready for a great experience abroad!

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