Posted on Monday, June 11, 2018
A lot of students from India are increasingly opting to go to foreign institutes after Class XII and looking at a broad swathe of courses over and beyond engineering – design, humanities, psychology and business are some of the popular streams these days. There is extensive misinformation in the market which impacts the quality of your decision making.
Q. Should I start preparing for colleges outside India right after Class X?
There is a common misconception that getting into a great college outside India is easy. On the contrary, top colleges have extremely low acceptance rates. As a common rule, getting into a good IIT is easier than getting into Caltech or MIT. Often times, students start their preparation as early as class ninth.
Q. What kind of preparation is required to get into a great college?
In India, the path is exam-driven and deterministic; USA and other international study destinations offer a multi-pronged approach to admission. You could be excellent in academics or be great in co-curricular pursuits. Some others choose to showcase their leadership and organisational abilities through the positions of responsibility that they have held. Many showcase the depth of their experience and focus on their internships.
The only constant is ‘demonstrated commitment.’ – Picking out a profile that is unique to you and demonstrating excellence through years of hard work and progressive improvement is one sure shot method of crafting a successful application. Copy-paste or just doing an activity for the sake of it usually does not work. That is why it is extremely important for you to start early.
Q. Is it too expensive to study outside India?
Yes, studying abroad could be very expensive. The total cost for four years of study could rack up close to Rs 1.3 crore. This is the highest that you might pay for four years of education. However, if you are able to secure scholarships, you can cut down these expenses by almost 90%. MIT, Stanford and other top IVYs offer need-blind scholarships and there have been students with just Rs 10 lakhs as total expense for the four year of education abroad.
Q. What kind of universities should I target for my studies abroad?
Understand that getting into a tier-2 university outside India is not worth your time and effort. If you want to study abroad, then nothing short of the best should do. You will be spending a lot of money and it is your future (or that of your child) that is at stake.
Q. Do I need an education consultant?
May be not! As already noted, getting into top schools is extremely difficult. You need to be well prepared. Having a consultant is not a must. However, if you find someone who himself has been to a top school and can advise you with your best interests at heart, then you will certainly benefit. Choose for yourself!
Q. Does it make sense to go to the US while Trump is the president?
American Universities are sites of exploration and innovation due to their kaleidoscopic diversity. And to maintain diversity in their programmes, these universities need international students. But for them, the universities shall see an undesirable loss - culturally and financially (wherein the fee structure for an international student is about 2.5 times that of local students), which is clearly hard to ignore. With or without Trump, US universities would continue to be attractive destinations for international students. And the economic merit of these students, from the point of the university and the labor market, would ensure that they continue to be in demand.
The author is co-founder of univadmithelp.com
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