Courses and countries


If you have set your sights on studying overseas, careful and timely planning is your best ally. Don't underestimate how much organisation an international move will take. Rally your family around you, and start planning now.

Chances are you’ve been thinking long-term for a while now. Throughout your senior education, you will have been encouraged by your teachers, family and friends to study subjects you are good at and that you enjoy. These decisions will form the basis of your career choices.

To take the first step towards studying overseas, have a look at the websites of the universities you are interested in, and make sure you understand their admissions requirements for international students.

A good starting point is www.intstudy.com — a website for students in all parts of the world who want information on studying aboard. Most international universities will provide you with a list of the grades/SAT scores needed for admission to specific undergraduate degree courses.  

Universities in English-speaking countries will also want to see proof of competence in the English language. Many will expect at least an IGCSE English qualification. Don’t be put off by the paperwork and the bureaucracy though.

International universities actively look for and support the applications of international students, as they want and need your skills and talent; their very reputations depend on it.

You don’t have to leave the country to get a good university education. Graduates from Indian universities are highly sought-after all over the world by employers across every industry. And India’s booming economy continues to attract graduates from overseas keen to be part of this burgeoning super-power, so don’t be pressured into leaving the country to get a good university education. Every educational opportunity you could hope for is right on your doorstep.

Why abroad?

If you decide an overseas university qualification is for you, discuss the reasons with your family. Do you have friends and family members studying overseas? Are you attracted to the international university’s reputation, history, prestige in the community and wider world? Are you looking for adventure, and the chance to see the world, but not really that interested in the academic side? Answering these questions will focus your mind on your reasons for moving overseas to study.

If you decide you do want to study overseas, make sure you understand the burden this could place on yourself and your family back home. Scholarships can ease the financial strain here, but again you will need to plan well ahead to apply for scholarships, so start making at least a two-year plan to avoid frustration and disappointment.

The benefits of studying at a university abroad usually outweigh the negatives though.  Leaving behind loved ones and familiar places is difficult for anyone, regardless of age or experience. Luckily, international universities recognise this and have many strategies in place to help students from other countries settle in well to their new academic life in a foreign country. Once you’ve decided international study is definitely for you, it’s time to make some hard decisions and drill down deeper into your research. Countries such as the UK and Australia have central university admissions websites. This means that you don’t apply directly to the university itself, rather through a central electronic portal.
UCAS is the UK’s central universities admissions portal www.ucas.ac.uk. It has pages dedicated to international students in a variety of languages that will guide you through the process. Application to Australian universities is by state. Each state has its own central admissions portal. Have a look at www.goingtouni.gov.au for information on applying to universities in each Australian state.

American universities actively welcome and seek out Indian students with good grades. Admission to university in the US is by application to each university individually, and there is no limit on the amount of applications a student can submit, however you will need to pay a processing fee each time you apply.

The American Embassy in your nearest city will be able to advise you further on the admissions procedure. Or you can visit http://www.educationusa. state.gov for comprehensive advice on how to navigate the US universities admission process. There’s also plenty of information on the USA Study Guide website www.usastudyguide. com
Knowledge is power

Leaving school for good and going on to university might seem a long way off yet, but if you’ve got your eye on studying at an international university, there will be a seemingly endless list of things you will need to research, plan and carry out before your first day as an undergraduate, so make that ‘to do’ list and get started.

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