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10 preconditions before pursuing education abroad

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Start early: Ideally, you should start the process at least 3-4 years before applying to college. This provides you ample time to better plan, thoroughly do your homework, build the appropriate profile, and collate all the relevant information prior to application deadlines.

Build a holistic profile: Universities don’t ONLY look at your grades or test scores when making admission decisions; instead they look at a variety of different attributes when evaluating you that extends to your professional experience, personal traits, extra-curricular activities and academic interests.

Find the right fit colleges: Don’t base your college selection on rankings alone; this is only one point of reference. Thoroughly research the locations and schools that you are targeting, as each country, university and department has it’s own ethos, curriculum and admission requirements. Based on the homework conducted and your own profile, identify colleges that are the best match. Remember to ask do you have the standardized test scores, academic background, work history and profile to get into this school and does the college meet your criteria.

Speak to your family: Seriously consider their views into where they think you will excel. Have a clear discussion regarding the financial implications of applying and enrolling in a college abroad. But remember that although they know you best, they cannot solely determine what is best for you. You have to analyze yourself and narrow down on your options honestly and independently.

Connect with current students and alumni: Reach out to students and alumni of your target schools to get a deeper understanding of not only the various academic programs, but also life outside of the classroom. How much faculty support would you get on expanding your project? What career opportunities do you have as an international student abroad? The best insights you are going to get into answering such questions that matter the most is through the college’s student body.

Tour your selected colleges: Even though it’s not necessary to visit the universities before you apply, it does help with your decision process. Visiting the campus will give you a real sense of the atmosphere, the academic programs, fellow students, faculty, student life, local area, and much more.

Factor in all the costs: Even before flying off to university, you will face costs associated with the application process including application costs and standardized tests. Once at college you will have:

  • Tuition fees - which vary depending on the location, field of study, and duration of the program.
  • Living Costs – including rent, food, transportation,insurance. You may initially need to buy a number of things to help you settle in including winter wear, bedding, kitchen utensils, toiletries and a new laptop.

Remember to take all these things into account when compiling your numbers.

Know how to handle your money: Get an understanding of the credit system in the country in which you will be studying, and make sure to build and maintain a good credit history.

Research the best student bank account option before you open a local account.

Deal only with verified and accredited sources when exchanging money.

Embrace social diversity: Not only will you have classmates from over 100 countries across the globe, but also students from a broad range of backgrounds. The diversity provides for great learning, as each discussion, exercise or activity on campus exposes you to multiple viewpoints and teaches you to respect an alternate point of view.

(This article is written by Ms Grishma Nanavaty, Partner and Lead Counselor, ReachIvy.com)


 

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