|Studying abroad is a good idea, but choosing the right host country and the right college is probably the most important decision you’ll ever make. This decision will affect the course of your personal and professional life for many years to come. To study abroad you will be leaving your country for a new culture, a new way of life, and new people. Thus, this has to be a well thought and well planned decision.
Studying abroad can be an enriching and eye-opening adventure, where learning extends to the world beyond the classroom walls.
Students who have studied abroad praise being exposed to new ways of thinking and living, which encourages growth and independence. For many students, going abroad to study is the first time they have really been away from home, as well as from friends and family. This is seldom an easy experience, but it is universally praised as worthwhile, often even life-transforming.
It is almost certain that you will end up being more informed and with a more accurate perspective on world affairs. You will also have first-hand knowledge of how another culture approaches the tasks and challenges of everyday life, a sense of how global the
international culture has become, and an appreciation of the importance of international cooperation.
You will probably also gain a broader understanding of your own country, its way of life, and its role in international affairs. Through your professors, other students in your course, and people you meet, you’ll learn how others view India and its world role. If you decide to study in a country where English is not the native language, or is spoken only by some, you will learn the practical importance of learning another language and using it.
Students who study abroad are also likely to have transnational competencies that
graduate and professional schools and employers value just as highly: cross-cultural communication skills, analytical skills, an understanding of and familiarity with local customs and cultural contexts, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances and deal constructively with
After considering the potential benefits, you must still ask yourself why you want to study abroad. Take some time to think about your reasons, for they will become your goals and your personal measures of success. Whatever your reasons are, write them down and share them with your teachers, family and friends.
Also, your reasons should be positive ones. Going to another country to study should not be seen as an escape route from problems at home. Adjusting to life and learning in a foreign environment will have its stressful moments, and the more you are able to focus on your goals, the more you’re likely to benefit from the experience.
Getting the most from studying abroad requires open-mindedness, flexibility, dedication, independence, and above all, a spirit of adventure. Some programmes, however, require more of these characteristics than
others. Challenge yourself, but be realistic.
Where is the best place for you to study? The answer obviously depends on many different personal, curricular, and institutional considerations. Think this through carefully, as no given place is likely to answer all your needs, and yet each place has something unique to offer. One of the reasons students head for Western European countries is because there are so many well-established educational institutes. Yet, good institutes now beckon from all over the globe.
But, in increasing numbers, students are deciding on language, cultural, or career interests. Excellent institutes are also available in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Australia, etc. In fact, almost everywhere! You can study volcanology in Costa Rica, political change in South Africa, Buddhism in Tibet, Engineering in Singapore, Hotel Management in Australia. Nothing can compare with learning a foreign language in a country where it’s spoken, whether that means learning Spanish in Spain or Mandarin in China.
Do you want to study in a big city? A small town? A rural area? A large city offers a wide array of social choices and many cultural opportunities, but it can also be expensive, impersonal, and more cosmopolitan than national in its identity.
Living in Dorms or Apartments. Most students live in dorms or apartments while studying abroad. Some single rooms may be available, but two or more students to a dorm or apartment are more common. Depending on the course you select, you may have a choice of the nationality of students you room with.
Living with other Indian students. Surrounded by experiences that are new, some students are most comfortable living with
students from their own country. However, if cultural immersion, cross-cultural learning, and/or an intensive experience of the host
culture are high on your list of goals, you may wish to live with students from the host
Home-stays. Home-stays usually provide the greatest immersion in the host language and culture, giving you the opportunity to experience how local people really live. This is especially true if you live with a family that treats you like one of the family, getting to know you and offering help if you need it.
If you are a vegetarian, or if you have
other special dietary needs, check to see if these can be accommodated. Vegetarian menus are not common outside India, especially in Europe. If you are living with a host family, it may be perceived as rude for you to refuse the meals they serve. In many cases, it may be a hardship for the family to provide separate meals for you. Please be clear about your needs before placing yourself in a home-stay situation.
Searching the Internet
In recent years access to information of all sorts has burgeoned. No longer are you limited to what your particular campus has on its library shelves or what you can write for to be sent to you. Volumes of valuable information on nearly every aspect of study abroad is now available from any personal computer or campus network. Using Internet, you can gather information on hundreds of courses and foreign universities; on financial aid: scholarships,
fellowships, and grants specifically geared to study abroad; on internships and volunteer opportunities; on international travel; on particular countries or specific fields; on getting your passport and visa requirements; on health and safety conditions; and on international currency exchange rates and banking. Information alone will not be sufficient, so it should be gathered, studied, and discussed.
Studying abroad can be a fun and safe experience but it is important to realise that you are subject to the laws and customs of another country. Here are some tips to help keep you prepared and safe.
Apply early for your passport and visas: Passports are required to enter and/or depart most countries around the world. Apply for a passport as soon as possible. Most countries require visitors who are planning to study or work abroad to obtain visas before entering. Check with the embassy of the foreign country that you are planning to visit for up-to-date visa and other entry requirements.
Although most trips abroad are trouble free, being prepared will go a long way to avoiding the possibility of serious trouble.
Become familiar with the basic laws and customs of the country you plan to visit before you travel.
Remember: Reckless behaviour while in another country can do more than ruin your trip; it can land you in a foreign jail or worse! To have a safe trip, avoid risky behaviour and plan ahead.
Learn about the countries that you plan to visit. Before departing, take the time to do some research about the people and their culture, and any problems that the country is experiencing that may affect your travel plans.
Finally, before committing yourself or your finances, find out about the institute or university and what it offers. The majority of institutes for studying abroad are reputable and financially sound. However, some charge exorbitant fees, use deliberately false “educational” claims, and provide working conditions far different from those advertised. Even programmes of legitimate organisations can be poorly administered.
Here is a quick overview of countries which attract most Indian students:
Study in the United States is a serious and expensive undertaking. To decide if it is the best option for you, consider carefully how it will fit into your long-term educational and professional plans.
Some US universities are very competitive, selecting only students with excellent grades and test scores as well as leadership skills. Many US universities are less selective, but almost all require some demonstration that you have succeeded in your previous schooling and that you have the potential to success at a more advanced level. Be realistic about your academic record and test scores. Apply to universities whose requirements match your academic background and interests. Be aware that graduate work in the United States involves a great deal of independent work and classroom discussion, forms of learning that may be
different from what you have experienced.
US Colleges and Universities place a great deal of emphasis on neat, organised and clearly written presentations. Almost nothing is accepted in handwriting; projects and term papers should be typed or produced on a computer. More and more research at campus libraries is conducted using computers to access on-line resources instead of books. Most universities will issue students a personal electronic mail account upon enrolment and expect them to use it for homework assignments.
Undergraduate and graduate students also need to prove their English Language ability as part of the admissions process by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The level of proficiency required varies from school to school and from department to department, but it is important to remember that the more prepared you are before you begin study, the more confident you will feel as a student in the United States.
Tuition varies widely from university to university, but it is usually the largest single cost an international student faces. Sources of financial aid available to international students at the undergraduate level are limited and highly competitive.
Your financial plans should cover your entire course. An undergraduate degree in the United States takes an average of four to five years to complete. Master’s programmes may last one to three years. Doctoral programmes may take anywhere from five to seven years, depending on your field of study and previous education.
Education has always been a key in the growth and development of Singapore society, particularly in the years following 1965 when it became an indepen-dent republic. Now in the 21st century, where the knowledge-based economy is the driver in the global community, education has become even more critical in shaping Singapore’s future.
By being in Singapore, you will get a chance to be plugged into an education system that promotes excellence and be part of a
progressive, cosmopolitan community.
Over the years, Singapore has evolved from its traditional British-based education system to one that endeavours to meet the needs of individuals and seeks to nurture
talents. The strength of Singapore’s Education system lies in its broad-based curriculum where innovation and entrepreneurship
command a premium. Individuals acquire the relevant skills and abilities to survive in competitive environments, equipped for a brighter future.
At the tertiary level, in addition to boasting three locally grown universities, Singapore has attracted ten world-class institutions with strong industry links to set up centres of excellence in education and research. Among them are respected names such as the leading French university—INSEAD, the renowned
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and leading US business schools such as University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Even after graduating into the workforce, there are numerous opportunities for further training. Professional and skills-based training are offered and popularly subscribed to. It is not uncommon to see the likes of seminars by management gurus like Michael Porter or
lectures by visiting dignitaries.
For undergraduate studies, all three leading universities accept CBSE Class XII results as basis for admission. For more information on studying in Singapore visit:
Australia has a world-class education and training system, which welcomes students from other countries. Students go to Australia from many countries because of the high standard of education offered and because Australia is an attractive, friendly, beautiful and safe place to live. The Australian government and Australian education and training providers have joined forces to establish the Australian International Education Foundation (AIEF) to promote internationally the high quality and
standard of education, training and research opportunities which Australia has to offer.
Australian education institutions offer a broad spectrum of courses, ranging from English language training at school to advanced areas of post-doctoral work. There are also opportunities for international students, teachers and university staff to undertake study or research in Australia through award and exchange arrangements. Flexible programmes of study, which can combine English language courses with study in other fields, are also available to cater to the diverse needs of international students.
Australia’s education system is of the highest international standard. Degrees, diplomas and other awards receive worldwide recognition. For students coming from Asia and the South Pacific there are frequent direct air connections to the east and west coast of Australia. Australia’s living conditions are among the highest in the world and the generally fine weather encourages a healthy, relaxed lifestyle with a strong emphasis on outdoor life and sport. Living and tuition costs compare favourably with other countries of a
Australian universities offer two levels of study: (a) undergraduate—including Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas and Bachelor Degrees; and (b) Postgraduate—including Graduate Diplomas and Certificates, Masters Degrees by either coursework or research, and Doctoral Degrees.
Many students consider enrolling in a Graduate Diploma course, which is a one-year graduate course in Australia that can enable students to qualify for a masters program. Masters Degrees are based upon research or coursework (or a combination). Increasingly, Australian universities are offering coursework Masters degrees of one year to 18 months.
Entry into Australian universities is determined by each institution’s own assessment of how a student’s existing qualifications compare with the content of the Australian institution’s courses.
Around 85% of the Indian students studying in Australia are undertaking higher education in the fields of Information Technology, Engineering, Management, Accounting, Applied Science and Hospitality. However, new fields of study, such as Biotechnology,
Communication Studies and Art and Design are emerging.
The costs of studying in Australia compare favourably with traditional destinations for
Indian students, such as the USA and Britain.
Hundreds of thousands of international students choose the UK every year. The British Council office or British Library are good places to visit to find information about courses and how to apply. Online you can visit www.educationuk-in.org.
The most popular subjects with Indian students are: Business and Management
Studies, Engineering, Information Technology, Medicine and subjects related to Medicine, Law, Science and Technology courses and Art and Design courses.
Comparing course fees between countries is by no means a clear-cut process. However, since courses in the UK are often shorter, the total cost of study can be lower. Shorter
courses also mean students can realise their earning potential sooner than their counterparts elsewhere. All of which makes UK
courses better value for money overall.
The cost of living is not the same throughout the country. Generally, it is more expensive to live in London and the South-East of England, and cheaper in the North of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
UK degrees are recognized and respected all over the world. It is the oldest established educational system and provides a solid foundation for all skills required to do well and
succeed in a global competition.
Educational Institutes are equipped with the best of infrastructure and resources.
Students will experience a totally modern approach in all the aspects of study. The institutes concentrate on producing a student who is ready for any future challenges.