As students make a beeline for universities abroad,experts emphasise the need to decide the exact course they want to pursue.
When 25-year-old Lubaina Maimoon sat down to start work on her applications for higher studies in the US,it wasnt exactly what she would describe as fun. Right from scouting the US News site for the best colleges in America for an MBA,to shortlisting them based on her score and applying it was a long process. Picking from the various courses offered took her most time.
It is very important if you wish to study abroad to decide on the right course and then the right university based on the ranking. It got very difficult for me because I didnt go to any counselling centre for the applications. Also,since I wanted to pursue an MBA,there were a lot of choices and sub-choices that I needed to make depending on the universities I wanted to go to, she says.
The summer months leading up to autumn are generally a busy time for students who wish to study abroad in the coming year. Admission process for colleges in the US,the UK,Europe and other destinations such as New Zealand and Canada usually have their deadlines around this time. Dilip Oak,Founder of Dilip Oaks Academy,says the timing for selection of the course is very important. The students first need to decide which course they wish to pursue and then they need to work accordingly. We provide coaching for GRE,TOEFL,IELTS and GMAT exams,which are essential if one wishes to study abroad. In addition,we help students with the counselling process for applications. Based on their scores we suggest universities,the financial structure of the colleges and also whether he or she would be able to make it to the college they wish to apply to, says Oak.
The academy sends around 1,200 students every year to the US. He mentions that another important factor is staying informed about changes in the courses across the world. We stay in touch with students who have already gone abroad and they usually keep us posted about the new trends there. This helps students who are preparing themselves for a course abroad get a fair idea about the process there, he adds.
What has also changed is the high involvement of governments of these countries in helping students secure a college and education of their choice. Sunit Koli,Senior Project Manager,West India,Services for International Education Marketing British Council Division,British Deputy High Commission,says,Thirty thousand Indian students are currently studying in the UK. To tap the high potential of students here,as well as provide quality colleges,we conduct education fares and exhibitions in various cities. Colleges visit these cities to provide information about their courses,eligibility criteria and for officials to interact directly with the students. Given that there is a database of over 4.5 lakh courses,it is understandable that students need to understand the course they wish to study, he says.
Primarily,the application process first involves shortlisting the college,then applying to their enrollment programme and submitting the required documents,which include transcripts,statement of purpose,educational qualification in India and recommendations from college professors. Different colleges have different requirements. For instance even low-ranked universities do not accept students who have less than two years of work experience for an MBA. So when students are actually sitting down to apply they need to compile,collate and send their documents according to the profile of the college and their course itself, says Maimoon.