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10 Things To Consider Before Studying Abroad

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4 Min Read

Have you seen the Bollywood movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham where one of the lead characters is studying in a nice, foreign university? He goes there in a sports car, and cheerleaders are just waiting for his arrival on the campus. I hope you got what I’m talking about. I hope you understand – this is nothing close to reality.

This is just to show that when we think about foreign universities, we start forming our own judgments. These judgments are based on our inherent biases, stories we heard from friends & family, or simply from Bollywood. A lot of people will give you free gyaan without having had any experience in the area themselves.

There is nothing wrong with these myths, as far as you know they are myths. Besides, there are times when people make some mistakes that don’t land them to foreign universities.

The point is –  preparation for getting into a foreign university goes way beyond just preparing for the entrance test. You can work on it and ace it. But, if you forget about these particular things, no matter how well you score on the test, you will not get in.

Things You Need To Know Before Studying Abroad

Merit Is More Important Than Financial Capability

If you want to study at a foreign university, you have to be one of the two – meritorious or rich. Most of the Indian students come from middle-class families but they are very disciplined and focused. Eventually, merits will trump any challenges you are facing in the form of financial constraints.

Once you have an admission letter in your hand, there will be banks, private lenders, scholarship programs, fellowships, employers, and even the university itself ready to sponsor you. Hence, focus on the merit, and the rest will follow!

Applying For Admissions On Time

No matter how good your scores are on the test, but if you apply just before the deadline, it could be a risky affair altogether as there are possibilities of factual and grammatical errors. And these small mistakes could ruin your hard work of several months or a year. When you know that something is so important to you, then you must be proactive about it.

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Applying at the last moment is risky as the application may ask for more documents, you might have a family emergency, or the internet may die – any number of things can come up at the last minute. If you submit the application in time, you are immune from all these probable issues.

It is usually recommended that Indian students should submit their application by the end of the second window if the program has multiple windows for the same period of intake.

Never Forge Documents

While applying for a foreign university or an international student card, never provide your forged documents. It can get your application rejected in the blink of an eye. Always be proactive and produce genuine documents.

things to know before studying abroad

Prepare a Career Map

Before writing your application, consider having a  well-organized career map ready. It can take up some weeks to create a career map but post this, it will be easy to fill the application. This could be helpful in impressing your interviewers on the career front.

A career map will help you show the admissions team that you are prepared to be in the program. It will also put some pressure on you to be proactive with networking.

The Usa Is Great But It’s Not The Only Option

This would’ve been true if the year was 1950. The calendar year is different, and hence this is no longer true. Each country, no matter how big or small, has at least a handful of great educational institutions in fields such as STEM, liberal arts, business administration, design, and others. Yes, the USA has the Ivy League schools and some of the finest universities globally, but that is only one part of the picture.

There are countries like Canada, the Scandinavian Countries, Australia and even parts of Europe – which can give American universities a run for their money. Instead of looking at ad hoc rankings, check out the parameters that are actually relevant to you and your career goals.

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Harvard Will Not Call You Just Because You Aced Your GMAT

No. This does not work anymore, especially if you are an Indian student. Indian students have raised the bar so high, that even scores in the 90th percentiles are not enough to put you in a reasonably confident zone. There is no formulaic way to crack the admissions.

Avoid Herd Mentality

Just because your friends are taking up a certain course or moving to certain countries doesn’t mean you should do the same. It could ruin your whole career. Rather than choose the colleges or countries that provide courses you wish to pursue. This will definitely help you in making a successful career.

Scholarships Are Not Only For The Creme De La Creme.

Here is the idea – this one is partially true. A ton of universities has scholarships based on needs, diversity, and minority quotas. You should make a list of all possible scholarships available to your aimed college from India.

If You Are Visiting The Usa – Get Insurance

Ask any international student in the USA, and the first thing they would recommend you buy is student insurance. Whether it comes to your health or luggage in general, you would be doing yourself a very big favor by buying the right insurance cover.

Your relative abroad will help you only for a while.

Do you have a relative living in your intended country? Great, you are in a convenient spot. But if you don’t have a relative – it really does not make all that difference. No university application will ask you about your relatives in the country.

These days, there are a ton of shared accommodation options available to students as per their requirements, both on and off-campus. You can ask your university to help you find appropriate accommodation. More often than not, you will easily be able to rent an affordable place with other university students.

In Conclusion

There are a ton of myths propagated by people who either have outdated information at hand or simply don’t know much about the subject matter. But instead of settling with the myth or being careless, it is better to be proactive. Conduct your own research and chase your dreams! Cheers!

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