To attract more Indian students, New Zealand has taken several steps such as introducing three-year, post-study work visa for international students, its envoy Joanna Kempkers said today.
The New Zealand High Commissioner to India said her country attracts about 20,000 Indian students every year.
“We are trying to get more Indian students in New Zealand universities. New Zealand has eight universities and there are also government-supported institutions,” she told PTI on the sidelines of ‘New Zealand – India Academic Conclave’ here.
Kempkers also said that New Zealand focuses on more quality education that thousands of students are pursuing in the country.
Asked about the steps being taken to encourage Indian students to study in New Zealand, Kempkers said that the government has just announced new three-year open post-study work visa for all international students studying undergraduate degrees, masters degrees and Ph.D study.
Also, New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in world, she said.
According to a statement, the academic conclave builds upon a range of initiatives that are pushing New Zealand to the fore as the preferred international education destination for students, with a 15 per cent increase in Indian students choosing to study in New Zealand universities.
At the conclave, New Zealand’s Regional Director of Education (South, South East Asia and Middle East) said, “We are delighted that Indian students are future-proofing their careers by choosing to study in New Zealand, particularly given the recent introduction of a three-year open post-study work visa for bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D degree international students…”
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also participated in the conclave, sought collaborations with international academics to understand the dynamics of higher education and know about what needs to be done.
Home Office to extend scheme which streamlines process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK.
A pilot which is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK has been extended to an additional 23 universities, the Immigration Minister announced today.
Currently in its 2nd year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the pilot will streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK.
It also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.
Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.
Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.
The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include 2 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 1 in Northern Ireland as well as universities from across England.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:
I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.
The UK continues to be the 2nd most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.
This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.
The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.
The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.
The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are:
- Cardiff University
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Harper Adams University
- Newcastle University
- Queen’s University Belfast
- The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- University of Bristol
- Durham University
- University of East Anglia
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Essex
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- University of Manchester
- University of Nottingham
- University of Reading
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
- University of Warwick
- University of York
Your Visa Interviewer is going to judge your merit on your preparedness, ability to respond to their questions and your body language.
Congratulations! You have secured interview calls from the Universities you have applied to and are now in the final stages of your application process.
College interviews can be conducted by either the admissions board or an alumnus of the school, depending on the interview process of each school.
Furthermore, they can take place on over the phone, via Skype, on campus or in select cities and last between 30 minutes to an hour.
Regardless of the format, these simple tips will help you crack your next study abroad interview:
1] Do your homework
It’s imperative that you go through your whole application a few times prior to the interview, so that you are aware of what to say in the interview.
Your answers to interview questions need to support the rest of your application and convey why you are the best fit.
2] Practice! Practice! Practice!
Meticulous preparation is the foundation of an effective interview.
Review a comprehensive list of questions and write down answers or bullet points for each of the answers.
Practice answering questions in front of a mirror, so that you can see what you look like, and be mindful of your body language and facial expressions.
3] Be on time for the interview
You do not, under any circumstances, want to be late to your interview.
Showing up on time is a clear indicator of your ability to manage your time, and tardiness will be viewed negatively.
4] Reach your interview site at least 15 minutes early.
Showing up early to the interview also gives you time to relax, compose and take stock on how you are visually presenting yourself.
5] Dress well
The general rule of thumb is that over dressing is better than under dressing. So when deciding on what to wear your default dress code should be formal business attire, unless you were specifically provided a more casual dress code option.
Essentially, you would want to dress in the same way that you would for a job interview at a large company.
6] Exercise basic etiquette
You need to build a positive and engaged conversation throughout your interview process.
When you enter the premises please be polite towards any administrative staff who you encounter before (and even after) your interview, without being overly friendly.
Casual remarks have a way of making it to the admissions committee, which is something we want to clearly avoid.
Make sure to greet the interviewer at the start of the interview, and to thank them at the end of it.
Take copies of your resume with you in case the interviewer needs on and of course keep your cell phone switched off, or at least in airplane mode, during your time there.
7] Strike the right tone
During the interview, maintain a friendly, engaged tone with your interviewer. Do not respond negatively to any comments or questions.
If at any point you feel thrown off by a question, it’s okay to ask for a minute to recompose yourself, think about the question and then communicate your best response.
Showcase your genuine enthusiasm for the school and program through insightful and honest answers that best reflect your experiences and personality, rather than by speaking aggressively or too quickly.
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence and build trust.
Use your resume as a reference tool, only if you need to, otherwise you should be well prepared so that you do not feel the need to look at it at all.
8] Be yourself
Be the best version of yourself — authentic and confident.
Share stories that have genuinely had an impact on your life, and make a list of these experiences in advance.
The admission committee has significant experience conducting interviews and can sense even the tiniest inkling of phoniness. Put forward the best version of your true self!
9] Pay attention to your body language
The way that you present yourself is of critical importance.
Your interviewer is going to be judging on the entirety of his or her interaction with you, including your background and experiences, your ability to articulate yourself, as well as the way in which you communicate with your body language.
Sit upright and at the edge of your seat to convey that you are both engaged and passionate throughout the interaction.
10] Have your own set of questions for the interviewer
The questions from your interviewer will be centered on determining whether you are a good fit for their specific programme.
Usually, at the end of the interview, you will be given a chance to share any specific questions that you may have for them. Although this is optional, by asking appropriate, well thought-out questions, you have an opportunity to make a strong impression.
11] Don’t forget your Thank You!
Ensure to write a formal Thank You letter/e-mail to your interviewer/s.
To demonstrate courtesy and develop a rapport with the interviewer, it is imperative that you send a thank you message within 24 hours of the interview. Most interviewers do expect this.
The Thank You note should be written separately to each interviewer, and reiterate the critical components of your conversation.
Make sure to reflect your sincere appreciation and reconfirm your passion for and commitment to the program and school.
If you do your homework well and come in prepared you can make a great first impression! Good Luck!
Are you thinking about studying abroad, but are not sure if it’s worth your time? Or are you ready to participate in a study abroad program, but need some extra talking points to convince your parents that you’ve made a smart decision?
The number of American students who go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades (304,467 students in the 2013-2014 academic year), and this increase is likely to continue. International education is on the rise, and for good reason: research has shown that students who study abroad have better career prospects and are more socially aware. Read on to discover more study abroad statistics, facts, and figures that reflect the latest trends in international education
Benefits of studying abroad
For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.
The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore thelong-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:
- 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
- More than 50% of the respondents are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad.
One of the goals of study abroad programs is to train future global leaders who will respect other cultures and political and economic systems and care about the world’s welfare. The survey reveals that study abroad is succeeding in this mission:
- 98% of the students stated that study abroad helped them better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% said that it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.
- 94% stated that their study abroad experience continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.
- 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.
- Three-quarters of the respondents said that they acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths.
The survey results proved that studying abroad can greatly influence a student’s life. The results of the survey show that study abroad had a positive influence on the personal development, academic commitment, and career paths of the students who took part in IES study abroad programs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show that the longer students study abroad, the more significant the academic, cultural, and personal development benefits are. But the survey also suggests that study abroad programs lasting at least six weeks can also produce good academic, personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.
The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.
Here are some key findings.
- More than 85% of Erasmus students study abroad to enhance their employability abroad.
- More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills.
- 64% of employers think that an international experience is important for recruitment.
- Young people who study abroad are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as those who do not study abroad. The unemployment rate of Erasmus students five years after graduation is 23% lower.
- More than 1 in 3 Erasmus students who completed a job placement abroad were hired or offered a position by their host company.
- Almost 1 in 10 former mobile students who completed a job placement abroad has started a company.
- 64% of surveyed employers said that graduates with an international background are more often given greater professional responsibility.
Global trends in international student mobility
The world is becoming increasingly globalized, and international experience is one of the most essential components of higher education in the 21st century. Just take a look at these facts:
- The global number of students who study abroad continues to rise with an annual increase of 10%. There were almost 5 million international students in 2014. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected that, with demographic changes, the international student population is likely to reach 8 million by 2025.
- The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Australia are the most popular host countries for international students. Half of all international students study in these five countries.
- Regions that hosted the largest number of mobile students in 2013 were North America and Western Europe (57% of total mobile students), East Asia and the Pacific (19%), and Eastern Europe (10%).
- The countries with the most students studying abroad are China and India. According to UNESCO, there were 712,157 Chinese students studying abroad in 2013. Several small countries including Andorra, Anguilla, Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Montserrat, the Seychelles, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have more students studying abroad than at home.
- International students who study social sciences, business and law primarily go to English-speaking countries to study (more than 30% of the total number). Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States together host 36% of all foreign students worldwide.
- New players have emerged on the international education market in the past few years, such as Canada (5% of foreign students), Japan (4%), Russia (4%), and Spain (2%). At the same time, the market share of the most popular countries is declining: the share of international students in the United States decreased from 23% to 17 % between 2000 and 2011.
- Several traditional source countries are working hard to increase their attractiveness to international students. China hosted nearly 380,000 foreign students in 2014 but has a target to attract 500,000 students by 2020; Japan is aiming for a target of 300,000 international students in 2020; and Malaysia wants to attract 250,000 foreign students by 2025.
International students in the USA
A lot of foreign students choose the United States as their study abroad destination. Here are some specific figures about international students in the USA:
- There were nearly 1.2 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status in the United States, according to the latest quarterly report on international student trends released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). According to data from a March 2016 SEVIS report, the number of international students at U.S. schools increased 6.2% compared to March 2015.
- 40% of international students in the USA study science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
- New York University (13,851), the University of Southern California (13,080), Northeastern University (11,381), Columbia University (10,810) and the University of Illinois (10,690) have the highest number of international students. More than 10,000 foreign students were enrolled at each school in March 2016.
- 77% of all international students in the USA are from Asia.
- The top 10 countries where international students come from include China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, and Mexico.
- NAFSA’s latest analysis finds that the 974,926 international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $30 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 373,000 jobs during the 2014-2015 academic year.
U.S. students studying abroad
The problem is…
American college students are not as globally minded as theirs peer from other countries.
But the situation is improving, and the number of U.S. students going abroad keeps increasing every year, a growth pattern that is likely to continue.
- The number of U.S. students studying abroad for credit in the 2013-2014 academic year grew 5.2% from 289,408 students to 304,467 students.
- The most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad in the 2014-2015 academic year were the United Kingdom (38,250 U.S. students), Italy (31,166), Spain (26,949), France (17,597), China (13,763), Germany (10,377), Ireland (8,823), Australia (8,369), Japan (5,978), and South Africa (4,968).
- Europe is the most popular region for U.S. students studying abroad. There were 162,282 American students studying in Europe in the 2014-2015 academic year. Latin America and the Caribbean hosted 49,312 students from the United States, while Asia hosted 36,290.
- 68,798 American students were studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in different countries around the world in the 2013-2014 academic year. Another 59,687 American students were studying business, while 57,067 studied foreign languages and international studies.
- The majority of U.S. students (62%) studied abroad for just 8 weeks or less. 35% of the students stayed for one semester, and only 3% of American students stayed long term for a year.
- 3,638 disabled students studied abroad in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Open Door Report on International Educational Exchange.
- 100% of first-year Harvard Business School students are required to complete an international field project with a partner company in an emerging market country.
- 65% of American college students who study abroad are women. Only 5% of Americans who study abroad are black, according to the Institute of International Education.
- The Institute of International Education has launched a new five-year program called “Generation Study abroad” to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad from the present number of 295,000 (10% of all American students) to 600,000 by 2019.
- 90% of American college students do not study abroad at all.
Why is study abroad essential?
We live in an increasingly globalized world. New technologies have led to the international integration of national markets and businesses. To successfully compete in the global marketplace, multinational and small businesses need employees with cross-cultural competence and knowledge of foreign languages.
- More than 100 Chinese companies were included on the 2016 Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks the world’s largest companies based on revenue. In fact, China takes three of the top five places on the list.
- Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that by 2025, 45% of the world’s largest companies will probably be based in emerging markets.
- A recent survey found that almost 40% of U.S. companies missed international business opportunities due to a lack of internationally competent personnel.
- 95% of consumers live outside of the United States.
- International trade creates and supports jobs in the United States. More than one in five American jobs are tied to international trade (38 million jobs in 2013).
- According to research conducted by Professor James Foreman-Peck for the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS), deficient language skills as well as the assumption that “everyone speaks English” are costing the UK economy about 3.5% of its GDP.
- A British Chamber of Commerce survey (2013) reveals that 62% of non-exporting British companies regarded languages as a barrier to looking for international opportunities, and 70% of exporters had no foreign-language ability in countries where they operate.
- 70% of UK businesses value foreign language skills in their employees, and 38% of businesses consider language skills particularly helpful in building relationships with clients, customers, and suppliers.
- Language barriers increase the difficulty and cost of doing business on the international market. According to a report by the University of Wales, 25% of export companies in England and Wales had lost businesses because of language and cultural deficiencies.
It is clear that employers are seeking candidates with study abroad experiences on their resumes. Students who want to work in our deeply interconnected world must study abroad.
There is no doubt that studying abroad will change your life. It offers you a chance to experience other cultures, make international friends, learn new languages, improve your job prospects, contribute to your personal development…and maybe even find the partner of your dreams!
We hope that these study abroad statistics that reflect modern realities have helped you get a clearer picture of this unique, life-changing experience and understand the benefits of studying abroad. Of course, study abroad is a serious undertaking. It will challenge you on a personal level. It will have an impact on your college career. And it costs money. But it is also an investment in your future, both academically and professionally, because the study abroad experience is now more valuable than ever.
According to official figures, 25,000 students get visas to the US from the city alone every academic year. But many of them consider getting vaccinated as a trivial issue and keep the matter in abeyance till the end, say officials of IPM.
“Over 50 per cent of students who apply for courses abroad are not punctual about vaccination. Speaking from a medical perspective, the students have to take their vaccines at least one month in advance. But that is not the case,“ Dr G Sampath, deputy chief surgeon, IPM, told TOI, adding that there have been cases where students come to IPM a few hours before their flight asking to be vaccinated. Experts say it takes at least a month for any vaccine to kick in and provide immunity, but since students here delay the process, they are forced to take the vaccine once again at international airports at exorbitant prices coughing up as much as $200 (which may cost as less as Rs 150 at IPM). “Whenever students take these vaccines on short-notice they are bound to feel weak, with cases of nausea or fever, as with any vaccine. But when they reach the immigra tion check at their destination, they are stopped as the vaccines have still not begun to function,“ Sampath said. A few of the mandated vac cines include those for Mumps, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis (A,B and C), Rotavirus, Rubella and Varicella, which take a month’s time to build immunity in the human body .
Officials also say that there have been a few cases where students have tried to take vaccines from private practitioners, clinics or hospitals. “But that will not help because, we (IPM) are the only institute to be recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which gives us with the power to administer and authenticate the entire vaccination process,“ said K Amarender Reddy, director, IPM.
Source: Times Of India
The US Department of Homeland Security has been undertaking a review of the current Optional Practical Training (OPT) time frame which enables students to obtain an additional 17-month extension (the standard OPT duration is 12 months) upon completion of their studies. Recently, a ruling was made which has not only allowed the extension to remain in place, but has actually extended it from 17 to 24 months. This means, students who pursue STEM related degrees can now remain in the USA for up to 3 years upon completion of their studies.
For more details, please refer to the following useful links:
English is an important language especially if one is a prospective student wishing to pursue education abroad. One of the requirements of studying abroad is an excellent score in the standardized test specific for the country and course of study. These tests form an important part of the International admissions and acing them is not very hard with enough time and preparation. The universities in these countries require high test scores because a certain knowledge of English is required to study and excel, no matter what the field of study!
- International admissions in most countries require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for engineering, technology and science related courses and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for Business and management related courses.
- English Language proficiency tests include high scores in the TOEFL for admissions in USA and Canada whereas the IELTS is required for the European countries.
- All of these tests analyses a student’s verbal skills and his command over the English language. But the GRE and GMAT also have quantitative sections which tests students on their problem solving skills and analytical thinking. The verbal sections in these tests are usually harder to ace and require more preparation (when compared to the TOEFL and IELTS).
GRE,GMAT & TOEFL, IELTS
The verbal sections of the GRE and GMAT are much more harder than those from the IELTS and TOEFL. This is because the TOEFL and IELTS test only for basic understanding of the language. On the other hand the GRE and GMAT test for advanced understanding of English (this includes vocabulary, analytical thinking, and other skills required in a graduate environment to succeed).
ACING THE VERBAL SECTIONS IN STANDARDIZED TESTS:
The verbal sections in all these exams test the student’s vocabulary skills and the ability to comprehend and understand English as a language. A student can easily score in these verbal sections by following the techniques outlined below.
- The easiest way to improve a language is through reading and newspapers are a good place to start. They not only acquaint you with the current news but also with a good choice of vocabulary helping him to begin his journey through a language. Many complex words can be learned through the editorial sections in the newspapers. The best way to remember them is to write them down, find out their meanings and associating them with examples or scenarios that one is never likely to forget. But not just any newspaper, read good papers such as the Economic Times, and The Hindu, these papers use high quality English in their articles. Additionally papers have articles on a number of topics, by reading them you will improve your ability to solve comprehension related questions (even if the topic of the passage is not known to you).
- Books form an important part of the reading process. Many novels and classics written by excellent authors like Ruskin Bond and Jeffery Archer open up a whole new world of words that are of a high level (Best part is that captivating stories and an author’s wordplay helps committing words to memory).
- Mnemonics is another key to improving memory power to help retain words in your mind. Associating catchy phrases and acronyms with specific words and usage of flash cards are all different mnemonic techniques that help improve vocabulary at any place and time according to one’s convenience.
- Word lists that include uncommon and hi-fi words are available in various preparatory materials. One must make use of them adding to those lists his own set of words that he discovers through everyday reading. Going over them again and again till they become a familiar territory is the key to gaining an excellent vocabulary.
- Familiarity is the trick to acing a language. Use these words everyday be it in conversations to word games to crosswords to writing diaries. Make the words which you learn a part of your day to day activities.
Language skills never go unused and developing them forms an important part of every education. The Verbal sections in all these tests are easy to ace provided one has prior knowledge about the type of questions and excellent vocabulary skills through good preparation.
No two applicants have the same reason(s) for studying abroad. For one it could be as simple as not getting into the right college/university in India and for the other it can be because there are not very many job opportunities in his/her field of study and for many, an easy way of a secured future.
Whatever your reason for deciding to study abroad you will find that higher education abroad adds considerable value to your professional development. A good degree is a stamp of excellence that marks you for life. It can enhance your career and prepare you for leadership in your country or anywhere in the world. It can broaden your horizons and expose you to a variety of perspectives, the latest technology, and state-of-the-art research and training. You can make contacts with colleagues abroad which may lead to collaborations with leading international researchers after you return to your home country. With the large number and variety of colleges and universities outside India, you are certain to find one that matches your needs and interests, no matter what your criteria.
And what’s more, with the right kind of planning and guidance, you can study abroad at very low costs and even free on a scholarship. Application process makes the vital difference and is the most important criteria.
The application process for studying abroad is time consuming and requires applicants to start preparing well in advance of their anticipated start date. It is very important to begin the admission process early because in many cases application deadlines are far in advance of the start of the semester (sometimes as many as ten months). You also need to allow time for scheduling any standardized tests needed for admission and then having the results of these tests sent to schools. There is no uniform world-wide application system. Each college or university establishes its own unique policies.
The 6 basic steps for applying abroad are:
Identifying country, universities and the course of your interest
Request universities for Application forms
Taking various required tests
Arranging and preparing Essays and recommendation letters
Completing and Sending Application forms along with required documents
Reporting various test scores to the universities
For a detailed and printer friendly format calendar and checklist of applying abroad process to help you with your college admissions planning, Click here
Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive by Indian standards. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.
The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you. The range of academic options as well as available universities are so wide that it is not possible to select the best in one go and it may take some time.
The basic steps involved in the process of selecting universities are :
|Level||Criteria for short-listing||Number of colleges shortlisted|
|III||Application Stage (After receiving prospectus & forms)||6-8|
For more details, check out Selecting Universities
This is the first stage of your application process. At this stage, you can write to the selected 25-30 universities. You can directly request application materials from the universities.
There are two ways to get application forms:
Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.
Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.
Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.
Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :
- Schools that seem to match your requirements
- Schools that are not suited to your needs
- Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories
Eliminate schools in Group 2 and check out in detail again the universities in Group 3. You can try and focus on departments that you would most like to attend and the school rankings in that field. And any special facilities that the school may offer you in that field. Try and make a list of schools on basis of fresh and more specific criteria like :
- Objectives of the program and kind of methodology as well as approach
- Admission / Entrance requirements
- Availability of assistantships and funds in the field of your choice
- Research facilities
- Location Profile of students enrolled
Narrow down your list to about 6-8 universities to whom you intend to apply.
Infozee can help you select universities that are best suited for your requirements. Click here to find out more
Once you have decided on the universities to apply to, you have to start filling up the application forms. The forms will ask for your personal details, academic record, official transcripts, various essays, personal achievements, extra curricular activities and recommendation letters. We discuss here the three most important criteria for admissions – Essays, Academic School Records / Transcripts and Recommendation Letters
Letter of reference or recommendation letter plays a very important role in the admission process especially for Master’s and Doctoral courses. A recommendation letter is a signed statement from a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the course you are applying to. It should list your positive and negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses, your character and integrity and other such information.
The author or teacher must indicate his position, how long he/she has known the applicant and in what capacity. He/she should briefly discuss the need, importance and usefulness of the study the applicant proposes to undertake. Authors are usually asked to rank applicants in their letters of recommendation, which helps admission officers to interpret the academic credentials of foreign students. Students should obtain letters of recommendation (often on the prescribed forms sent by the institutions) from teachers who know them as a person as well as a student. You may like to request your author to give concrete examples that may show your qualities and help your case.
Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.
For more details on letter of recommendations, formats and tips, check out Letter of Recommendation
The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.
Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.
Since there is a variation between the styles of scoring used abroad and the ones used in India, ask your school to include a guide to the grading standards used in your educational system and your school. If your school ranks students by their level of academic achievement, make certain that the ranking is included with the other details. Also send the school / junior college leaving certificate as and when it is available.
Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.
If the transcripts are in a language other than English, then it must be translated into English only by the issuing authority or university otherwise it may not be acceptable.
The personal essays, and/or statement of purpose, also play a very important role in the process of evaluating your application for both admission as well as financial aid because it gives the faculty assessing your application their most significant impression of you as an individual.
For MBA candidates this is probably the most important criteria. Check our special section on MBA applicants
In the statement of purpose, which must be concise, the student must define his or her academic goals, and/or research plans, It should include justification for choosing the academic program and specialization, and for selecting the particular college as well as the advantages and benefit of studying that particular course.
For more details on various essay topics, tips, sample essays, check out our Essays section
Universities usually inform students of their admission decisions well in advance of the beginning term. If you have received admission in more than one university, you will have to decide which one you want to attend. At this stage, you should compare a few objective and mostly more subjective criteria. The points you should focus on :
- Best program curriculum, length of program, choice of courses
- Best funding offer or best program with respect to costs
- Cost of living
- Strength of related departments/program
- Overall reputation of university/department/program
- Location-region, safety of neighborhood
- Social life
- Facilities available
- Accommodation & housing
Basically the decision factors at this stage would be mainly three points :
- Best program
- Best funding offer
- Best for your personal goals and needs
It is essential to do a lot of research on the universities and their offerings. Colleges and universities offer varied educational packages. You will have to find out which of these are likely to meet your goals by spending time in the reference library. The more time and effort you put in and the better you utilize your researching skills, the greater are your chances of achieving your goals.
What to do once you have been accepted :
Each college will tell you exactly what steps to follow to confirm your acceptance of their offer of admission and how to prepare for your first term. This information will be included with the letter of admission or in materials that will be sent to you shortly thereafter. You must respond with a “yes” or “No” for each offer of admission. You may also be required to submit a financial deposit to the institution that you plan to attend. This is to guarantee your place in the class. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines.
If you are in the waiting list :
You may receive a letter that informs you that you are on a ‘waiting list’. This generally means that the admission office determined that you were qualified for admission but there was not enough room to admit all qualified applicants. If you are placed in the waiting list of a college you wish to attend, you will be asked whether you are interested or not. If you say yes, you may be offered admission if space becomes available.
If you are placed in the waiting list of your first choice college and confirmed in the second choice college, you may do the following steps to remain on the safer side :
- Accept the offer of the second choice school and pay the deposit
- Accept the offer of remaining in the waiting list of the first choice school
If you get admission later in your first choice school, you can join that but you will have to forfeit your deposit (usually around US $50-$500) otherwise you can decide to study in the second choice school.
Applying for student visa
Each country has its own procedure for visas.
For more details, check out the requirements and formalities of each country :
Visa – Canada
Visa – New Zealand
Visa – U.K.
Visa – U.S.A.
Visa – Australia
They make us stay up late at night, poring over thick, unwieldy books. They make us struggle with OMR sheets, graphing calculators and mind-boggling words. And before test day, they make us toss and turn in our beds all night, wondering, “What if I don’t ace this one? Where does my future lie?”
These are the multiple exams that one takes to study abroad, known collectively as standardized testing.
Gone are the days when the boy or girl next door who went to ‘Amreeka’ or ‘Lundun’ for higher education became a local celebrity. Today, applying abroad for undergraduate studies has become a norm for many young people in Indian cities. Globalization, liberal mindsets towards the ‘West’ and the competitiveness of our own system of higher education have made many students consider colleges abroad as their first option. With an increasing number of students choosing to study abroad, standardized tests like the SAT, the TOEFL and the GRE have become as commonplace as engineering or medicine entrances. A whole industry has spawned around standardized tests, ranging from a plethora of ominous looking guides, coaching centres, counsellors, consultants and the list goes on.
So what are these tests that are needed for applying abroad? The SAT Reasoning test is the first and most basic test that is required by ALL universities for undergraduate programs in the United States of America, and by some universities in other countries such as Singapore and Australia. The SAT consists of three sections: reading, writing and mathematics. The reading and mathematics sections are entirely multiple-choice questions while the writing section requires you to write an essay on a given topic. A perfect score on SAT is 2400 and most students applying to top colleges will aim for a minimum of 2200 or even 2300. Most universities in the US will also require a minimum of two SAT Subject Tests as well, which test aptitude for a particular subject such as Mathematics, World History, English Literature, Chemistry or Physics. TOEFL and IELTS are English proficiency exams for the US and UK respectively.
At the graduate level, the testing requirements are different. Graduate programs in management require the GMAT while GRE is required for all other graduate programs. The tests for English proficiency at the graduate level remain the same: TOEFL or IELTS.
When applying abroad, the multitude of tests one has to give can be daunting and overwhelming. For those students whose hearts are set on going abroad, the pressure to perform well can be intense and the fear of failure can be paralyzing and counterproductive.
So all of you who get psyched out by these tests: sit back, calm down and take a deep breath. Standardized tests are not difficult; in fact, most of them are easier than the school exams you take. Moreover, they do not really matter that much in the scheme of things.
Several common misconceptions exist about standardized tests; let’s look at a few:
1. Excellent Score = Dream College: While a good score on the SAT is essential if you are planning to apply to top colleges, it is not the only thing that matters on your application. Colleges look at an application from a very holistic point of view; school grades, extra-curricular activities, letters of recommendation and essays matter as much as SAT scores, if not more. Even for students scoring between 2300 and 2400 on SAT, the acceptance rate in top colleges is only about 15-18%. An excellent score may enhance your application, but it does not guarantee a place in any college. So work hard and do your best, but don’t sweat too much if the result is not in line with your expectations.
2. Coaching Centres Help Improve Your Score: A good proportion of students taking these tests enrol with a coaching program for preparation. Most of these carry a steep price tag. The truth is that coaching really doesn’t help much in preparing for the SAT, except for the fact that it builds a routine for you and provides you with vast amounts of study material. It is entirely possible for students to buy this material themselves and study on their own steam, with the same or even better results. Think about it: have you ever gone to a coaching centre to learn how to walk? The skills tested on standardized tests such as TOEFL or SAT are developed throughout your schooling years. If you haven’t acquired these skills in twelve years of schooling, it is quite unlikely that you will acquire them in three or six months. No coaching centre can teach you how to analyze passages or write effective essays. Moreover, the essays are meant to evaluate how effectively and cohesively you can organize and present your thoughts, they don’t test your knowledge about a particular topic.
3. The More, The Merrier: Advanced Placement courses are offered by American schools to their students and help to build extra credits before applying to colleges. They are an established part of the American education system. Many Indian schools following the IB program offer these courses in school itself, but students studying in CBSE or ICSE schools need to prepare for these on their own. Often students feel that if they take the Advanced Placement courses, it will put them into favour with colleges by showcasing their ‘academic rigor’. They couldn’t be more wrong. Colleges abroad do not expect Indian students to take these courses. So if you plan to take an AP exam, only expect extra credit from a college, nothing more. And don’t fall into ‘The More the Merrier’ trap. You might consider using the time to work on more crucial parts of your application.
These are a few things to keep in mind while preparing for a standardized test. Don’t overburden yourself, keep a cool head and give it your best shot! And remember, you can always take a standardized test again if something goes terribly wrong. Unlike board exams, they are not a one-time gamble!
The Test Prep Center provides you with all the information you need to help you through your test. Whether you plan on taking the SAT, GRE or TOEFL – Impeloverseas.com has information on what to expect, how to prepare, and sample examples. All of these resources can be found in just one place! To learn more about the different assessments what they test, and which one is right for you, click on a test below.
English Proficiency Tests
Whether you are looking to demonstrate proficiency to a potential employer or to a school, there are several widely recognized tests and examinations you can choose from. Each has unique benefits, so do your research to determine which one best suits your needs.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English exam assessing your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. The IELTS recognizes both British and American English offering both an Academic and General Training test depending on whether you need it for school or work.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) evaluates your ability to listen, read, speak and write English at the university level. Accepted by over 8,500 colleges and universities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, over 27 million people have sat for the TOEFL test in over 130 countries.
The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) measures English proficiency, specifically as it is used in real-life situations in the workplace. This exam evaluates your ability to listen, read, speak and write English. The TOEIC is used by employers to hire, place and promote employees.
Undergraduate College Admission Tests
Most U.S. Colleges and Universities require either the SAT or ACT test as a requirement for consideration as an undergraduate applicant. Each requires careful preparation, so review the basics for each and learn how to walk into the examination with confidence.
The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) is a globally recognized exam used for college admissions – your exam scores are used as a predictor of your success in college. This exam is typically taken in your junior or senior year of high school and will test your abilities in reading, writing and math.
The American College Test, or ACT, is a national standardized test used for college admissions. It is used as a measurement of aptitude and critical thinking. Subjects tested on the ACT include English, Math, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing section. Students generally take the ACT during their junior or senior years of high school.
Graduate School Admissions Tests
There are a variety of graduate level entrance examinations which can be taken, depending on the program of study and the school to which you are applying. Carefully review the requirements for each and learn how to prepare effectively for the tests.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) measures your ability to handle graduate-level work through verbal, quantitative, and analytical reasoning questions. Used in admissions at graduate and business schools worldwide, applicants from over 160 countries take this computer-based or paper-based exam.
The Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, was designed to measure reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical thinking skills necessary for success in law school. Most law schools require this exam and your success will determine the likelihood of acceptance during the admission process.
If you plan on applying to a medical school, you will need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The MCAT exam is designed to measure your problem solving, critical thinking and knowledge of science. This multiple choice exam has been an important admissions component for over 80 years.
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is used to measure analytical writing, integrated reasoning, and quantitative and verbal skills. The GMAT exam is accepted by more than 5,800 business and management programs around the world and has been used in the admission process for over 60 years.
The Dental Admission Test, or DAT, is a test administered to students seeking admission into dental school. The exam is conducted by the American Dental Association, or ADA. The exam consists of an optional tutorial, survey of natural sciences, perceptual ability test, reading comprehension test, quantitative reading test, and an optional post-test survey.
The OAT exam, or the Optometry Admissions Test, is a standardized test used by optometry schools and admissions committees to test the knowledge of potential applicants. The test is administered by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.