Decide where to study, first

Studying abroad

Dear Madam,

I have completed my PUC. I want to take tests like SELT, TOEFL and IELTS. How can I apply for them? What is the basic qualification to take them?


Dear Sneha,

TOEFL/IELTS are the English proficiency tests which need to be done by students who want to qualify to study abroad in good universities. Only after deciding which course and in which country you would like to take up your studies, will you need to decide on the tests you require to qualify in.

Set a goal towards what career you want to take up in your life and then decide about the path you want to take. Identify your strengths (with the help of an aptitude test, if necessary) to avoid trial and error and to ensure to be in the field you are going to enjoy and be successful in.

Details of TOEFL  can IELTS can be had from the following websites and If you are planning to take up an under graduate course abroad soon after the plus two course in India,  SAT score  (Scholastic Aptitude Test- is for registration) along with either IELTS/TOEFL score are the basic requirements in most universities.

Dear Madam,

I am a PUC II student. I am thinking of getting admission to Nanfang Medical University or Nanchang Medical University. Could you enlighten me on the teaching quality and other aspects like, food, there? Also, would I be able to practice in India after my studies there?


Dear Anonymous,

There is very little knowledge about universities in China and it would be difficult to decide which university would be better. You could probably read up more about it on the website The available information about one of the universities that you have mentioned i.e. Southern Medical University, also known as Nanfang Medical University, is that it is a 60-year-old government university. The key features of the course (as published in their website) are: English medium, duration five years, internship can be done in India, Indian syllabus , Indian teachers, Indian mess. Package: 13.50 lakhs for five years.

Before you decide on the university, it is preferable that you explore the various alternatives available within India.  If getting admission in MBBS is difficult, you could explore fields of alternate medicine like homeopathy, ayurveda etc, or even think of the various paramedical fields like physiotherapy, speech and hearing, radiography etc. These courses are professional graduate courses that could act as a stepping stone for you to go abroad later and add to your qualification, or get good employment in India itself. Please do a  systematic and detailed exploration before you decide anything.

Dear Madam,

I recently completed a course in Animation and VFX in Bangalore. I would like to pursue higher studies in VFX. I have got admitted to a college in  Canada. But the course fee is Rs 16 lakh and any bank will ask for a security for the loan, which my parents cannot provide. My dad has a very good job and he can offer his pay slips as proof of income. How can I secure an education loan? 

Panambur Rao

Dear Panambur Rao,

Individual banks have different criteria for educational loans.  It would be best if you approach a bank where your family already has accounts, and have a word with the manager and explain your requirement and family financial position to them.  They would be able to tell you specifically what the requirement and procedure would be.

Dear Madam,

This is regarding my son who is 23 years old. He completed his civil engineering in 2010-11, and is working for L&T. He was recruited through a campus interview.
He had no interest in any engineering stream in particular, nor did he dream of any other professional field. But being an intelligent student he completed his course with 9.2 grade points.

Now his complaint is that he lacks interest in the civil field and in his present job. He is very passionate about music. He knows to read and write music and is an excellent keyboard performer. He wants to continue his music studies in Musicians Institute, Los Angeles, where the tuition fee itself may cost around Rs.35 lakhs. He is confident of securing a student loan and repaying it. Our financial position is only sufficient to cope with our future needs and to look after the education of our daughter who is in Class 10.
Being very concerned about my son’s future, I kindly request you to answer my following doubts.

- Is it advisable for my son to quit his present job at L&T
- Is it a wise decision for my son to join MI, Los Angeles
- How will the completion of the course, decide his future career
- Is the course worth its cost? Is there any other place where he can acquire the same skills at a lower fee

Iam very nervous about this matter. I feel my son is making some silly plans.


Dear Winnie,

I can very well understand the cause of your anxiety in this matter, but I would like you to celebrate the fact that your son is a bright and capable youngster who has proven himself through his academic and work progress.

Taking a very conservative approach it may be better if your son could initially pursue a course in music here while  doing his current job. Many good music institutes exist in Mumbai.  As he goes deeper into the field of music and gains a foothold in the industry and gets established as a musician, he could then explore foreign studies, and consider giving up his job. 

Kindly have a frank chat with your son and get to understand his need for moving into the field of music. Explain to him about the family constraints and tell him that you are willing to explore and stand by him in his final ambition, provided he takes a slightly slow but cautious approach.

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