Nov 28, 2009
Every year nearly 2, 00,000 Indians make their way to US, UK Australia, and other places to study. Out of these 75% go for their postgraduate studies (It’s my own assumption) and the remaining for undergraduate courses. Well most of us go for MBA or MS .There are numerous courses like International Transport,Intl Journalism, Political communication, Geology ,Anthropology etc which we are scared to explore. Now lets see how exactly students can go about.
Information and an early start
Well, a student must start of his procedures early, so that he has ample time for Plan B or Plan C.I always think Studies abroad must be PLAN A. But sometimes you never know. Things happen. One of my friends, who had booked a slot for US VISA interview, could not actually attend it because of his financial papers. It’s always a safe bet to start early. Hence the earlier you start the better.
How easy it is for people residing in cities to apply and how difficult it is for small town students to apply for an overseas educational institute? Well there is a huge difference between these two. Differences may not be based on financial status, but mainly in information. Yes .The information to which the city students have access is much much larger than what small town students have. Information plays a major part in planning studies especially overseas. I remember I used to go to offices on some weekends just to find out about good colleges for MBA on the internet. The best way to search is of course go to the official websites of the colleges. There will be an email id for enquiries. Just drop a mail about your requirements and people concerned respond at the earliest. Find out about the fee structure and the intake time of colleges. Most of the colleges in the UK have late September intake. If you miss it, then you have to either apply for January intake (only a few colleges) or for the next years September intake
Orkut and Face book help a lot. It is always good to talk to former students of the university. There are lots of communities in orkut and FB.Join them and clear your doubts.
The entry requirement is different for different courses and countries. If you are looking for a technical degree in USA, then GRE, TOEFL or IELTS is mandatory.
In the UK as of now most of the colleges consider only IELTS and some ask for GMAT ( for management courses).
Booking dates and answering is pretty simple. Online bookings can be made .For your application, the score sheet is very important. This will take a bit of time as per the exam you have given.IELTS test report will come after 12 to 13 days after the exam.
College Shortlist and application
There are thousands of colleges in UK, USA and selecting the best is your sole responsibility. Colleges basically can be shortlisted based on quality of education, placements and cost.
Once you have selected the colleges you are going to apply, the next part is application.
There are numerous educational consultancies which help in handling procedures.(I wont name any here) But it’s the responsibility of the student to select the best consultants, since many are money making and don’t even bother about the career of the student. Ask me, I will let you know how exactly people dupe. I have first hand experience .
Once this is sorted out, the next step is the wait for the offer letter. This may take at least three to four weeks depending on how you apply. Normally it is done online but courier of your documents is also sent. It’s advisable to apply to at least 5 colleges.
Most students take loans. Banks are always willing to give an education loan. Bank procedures are really a pain .Some requirements are so silly that after fulfilling the needs, it strikes you in the head “Oh my God, What a rule? Did I actually do this? Why”.Even after keeping a building worth Rs. One crore as security, the bank officials will find that the adjacent road to your bungalow belonging to Mr. XYZ might cause problems for the bank in future. These nationalized banks always are hypothetical. They believe in future problems and end up causing quite a lot of problems at present. Bank official’s say Indian banks are the best. Even when banks in America were biting the dust, our banks stood tall. BULLSHIT. I would like to ask the officials how many education loans they pass in one year. One, two? Beware of the procedures, because they are in fact very complicated. If you have all your documents ready then this is less complicated.
In India, it is easy for the rich to get loan and it’s impossible for a poor, deserving student to get a loan. As my dad says Beurocratic hurdles are strangling our development. So true. It can further be justified by a sentence said by our village accountant “In India, if a poor peasant wants to convert his 10 cents land to his name, he will have to sell the land and pay the conversion fees”. Sad but true.
If you clear this major Bank loan hurlde, you are almost done. After accepting your offer, which the consultants will help you, all you have to do is keep in touch with your consultant and college. I can recall my advisor calling me every week and updating me. Thanks to her J . Then you will get a visa letter from the college and the final hurdle will be applying for the visa. There are many documents to be shown to the consulate and if you are lucky like me, you will end up getting the visa in 3 days. I have come across many people whose visas were rejected for silly reasons like French beard, color print out of the documents etc etc. If the financial papers and other documents like Acceptance letter, Passport etc are in order, then this procedure is a cakewalk. All this is easier said than done though.
I would advise future students applying to foreign universities from small towns in India to start their procedures well in advance (maybe 6 months before the start date of the college) because you never know what kind of brick walls are ahead of you. In the midst of all these I had a fracture too and was never out of bed for a month. There is an old saying “Brick walls are there for a reason”. You can either back off or stop or you can jump over it. Brick walls will let us know how badly we want things. I read this amazing book called LAST LECTURE in the train, on my last trip back to Mangalore from Chennai. It s full of advice especially for students.
Well hopefully this article is useful for students who want to study abroad. You can contact me if you need more information. My email id is email@example.com