UAE: Get a Head Start on your Study Abroad Plans

By Rema Menon 

Dubai, Sep 28:A seminar this weekend aims to bring students face to face with representatives of various countries.

'Head Start for Studies Abroad' - an annual seminar highlighting international educational options - will be held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, this Friday and at the Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi, on Saturday. The timings are from 6.30 to 9.30pm.

The seminar, organised by Counselling Point Educational and Social Services, commemorates the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21. It is being supported this year by Counselling Point  and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

From a small audience of 150 in 2006 - the year it was first held - the seminar has grown in reputation, attracting more than 400 high school students and parents last year.

During the seminar, representatives of the consulates and embassies of the US, Canada, Australia and the British Council present overviews of higher education in their respective countries. Students can seek information and clarify doubts regarding where they want to study.

As September marks the beginning of the school term for most international schools, the seminar serves as a launch pad for high school finalists to consider choices, prepare early and make informed decisions. Students who await their final year results (due in June/July) to apply may not meet the application deadlines.

Applications to universities overseas can be competitive and tend to have earlier deadlines; some could be as early as November 30 or January 1. Furthermore, students may need to take exams such as the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) I and II to meet the entry level pre-requisites.

Anusha Ramesh, a class 12 student at Dubai Modern High School, attended last year's seminar. "Not only did I get to know about various study destinations, I also met students from various schools with similar goals and career aspirations and this was truly motivating."

Tanya Grover, a grade 11 student from St Mary's Catholic High School, Dubai, hopes to pursue a higher education in the UK. "Going for the seminar will give me a head start and I'll be able to equip myself with the tools necessary to realise my goal."

"Sitting in the UAE you can learn about higher education options in other countries," said Manish Raje, a grade 12 student from Delhi Private School, Sharjah, who is looking at universities in North America.
"All major embassies and consulates collaborate to give us students the information needed to make the right choice. The resource materials provided are very useful," said Mathew Antony, who is in his second year of A-Levels at St Mary's Catholic High School, Dubai, and has been volunteering for the seminar since its inception.

Where: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, and Beach Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi

When: October 2, Friday, in Dubai; and October 3, Saturday, in Abu Dhabi

Timings: 6.30 to 9.30pm

To register for the seminar, call Counselling Point Educational and Social Services on 04 397 8846.

The writer is the director of Counselling Point Educational and Social Services.


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