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The whys and hows of studying abroad!

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, but starting the process can be a tad bit confusing. It has its own advantages, like offering a broader perspective of the world. And when you start applying to companies later for employment opportunities, studying abroad stands out on your CV. Yes, initially you'll have many questions on which country to go, the university to study in and on the process to secure an admission into them. Let me assure you, the end result is worth the effort. In this week's article, let us look at the reasons why one should opt for studying abroad and the process to follow.
Why should you study abroad?

There are many reasons why study abroad programs are so popular. For most students, the appeal is likely to be a combination of gaining a high-quality education, experiencing immersion in to a new culture, gaining a global mindset and expanding future employment prospects. For some, the prospect of leaving home and heading off into the unknown is daunting but studying abroad is also an exciting challenge that often leads to improved career opportunities and a broader understanding of the way the world works.

Major universities abroad boast of large grants and huge research labs thus providing you opportunities in to research in theoretical as well as applied sciences. With their vast catalog of courses, you also have a chance to pursue programs which are not available in India. Flexible education systems allow you to pursue multiple courses at a time thus giving you exposure to varied disciplines. And of course, based on your background, you would also be eligible for fee waivers as well as work-as-you-study opportunities that would reduce the financial burden of pursuing these courses. Many banks in India also provide you loans to pursue under-graduation and graduation programs abroad.

Things to keep in mind while planning to study abroad:
The first step is choosing the country that you wish to study and it is not an easy task. Consider your personal interests and think about practicalities such as the costs of studying in that country, your graduate prospects, and your overall safety. Wherever your interests lie, be sure to match them up with your study destination. The most popular destinations of international students include - Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and of course, the US. After finalizing the country, go for a university based on its rankings particularly in your desired course. Also, make sure your credits are accepted by the selected university.

Undergraduate Studies:
All the undergraduate students wanting to study abroad should carefully go through the application procedure of the specific university. Usually, for admissions in September/October, the applications will open in January or February. In some cases, there is a two-step application process for international students. This means you must submit two applications: one for a place in the university and the other for the course itself. Usually, this is clearly stated on the university's website. In most cases, you would be needed to furnish your SAT / PTE along with IELTS scores during the admission process.

Post Graduate studies:
If you've completed your graduation in your home country and planning to go abroad for masters, there are some common entrance exams that you have to give. The scores of these exams are considered in giving you admission for the desired course in the university.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)
The students planning to do Business administration should attend this exam. This three-hour test assesses a student's suitability for business school, by assessing verbal, mathematical and analytical skills. Most GMAT candidates achieve a score between 400 and 600; extremely high and low scores are rare. There are no straightforward passes or fails, and the score you need will depend on the school to which you are applying. The test score is valid for Five years.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
GRE scores are used to assess the suitability of applicants for graduate-level study across many different subject areas. Some departments may ask applicants to take one of the GRE Subject Tests, while others require the General Test. The Subject Tests assess knowledge in a particular field, while the General Test assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. This test is also varied up to five years.

LSAT (Law School Admission Test) The LSAT is designed to measure skills considered necessary for success at law school, including compr
ehending and analyzing complex texts, organizing information and evaluating arguments. The LSAT is delivered in five sections lasting 35 minutes each, with three different types of multiple choice question.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
Institutions offering programs in English (including English-taught degrees in non-Anglophone countries). IELTS results are also accepted as proof of English language proficiency in countries where this is required to obtain a visa. There are two versions of the test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both are divided into four sections, with the same content for the Listening and Speaking sections, but different Reading and Writing sections. The Academic version focuses more on English in a higher education context, while General Training focuses more on workplace and social situations. IELTS is valid for a period of two years.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
TOEFL results are also accepted as proof of English language proficiency in countries where this is required to obtain a visa. This test is very similar to IELTS in case of the test pattern and period of validation. This test is mandatory to study in a few English speaking countries.

We see a number of students driving towards studying abroad in the current scenario. From university applications to finding a place to stay and identifying the social norms, it all seems quite intimidating. But only when you push through the challenges, you will reach new heights.
Published date : 03 Dec 2018 03:34PM

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