Making up for the gap

Different System

Making up for the gap

Degree students in the City who intend to pursue their higher education in the United States generally find themselves facing a serious problem — unlike our system, the American degree is a four-year-long course, which means that prospective Indian students require an extra year of educational experience before applying to colleges there. Engineering and medical students avoid this problem thanks to the length of their course, but BSc, BA and BCom students aren’t as lucky. Most of them allow themselves time to compensate for the dreaded 16-year educational experience quota. Metrolife speaks to a few to find out how.

Spoorthi, a student of Mount Carmel College who has experienced the process of applying to an American university, explains that thanks to the extra year required, very few degree students opt for a postgraduate course in the States. But those who do generally fill in the gap by pursuing an additional course either here or abroad. “Some of them take up a diploma course in the US, which fills in the requirement of the additional year of educational experience. They have no option but to do this, since the credit system is different there,” she explains.

There are, of course, some students who fulfill the requirement in different ways. Many degree students opt to work immediately after graduating — both for financial reasons as well as to gain some much-needed exposure — and those who intent to apply to the States do sometimes opt for a simultaneous part-time course or a correspondence course to bring their educational stint to the grand total of 16 years. But this, adds Spoorthi, isn’t always the best of options — especially if one is aiming for one of the premier institutions in the States. “The top institutions there pay a lot of attention to the previous colleges you’ve studied in. A correspondence course isn’t much of a highlight — they tend to prefer students with classroom knowledge,” says Spoorthi.

Jayant, who is currently studying economics in a university in Texas, points out that degree students have other avenues if they’re unwilling to spend another year studying. “There are some universities that waive the additional year,” he explains. “Of course, the number of colleges that do offer this are limited. Generally, not having that additional year is deterrent. But if a particular student is found to excel in other fields, like extracurricular activities and in some cases, work experience, then some colleges will still consider them. Of course, it’s an option that requires a lot of looking into,” he adds.

Another option open to students is much simpler. Ameen, a career counsellor, points out that there are some colleges in the City that actually have tie-ups with foreign universities, giving students the option to study in both environments. “This is something that many BBM, BCom and BA students opt for. Colleges that provide this opportunity allows them to do an integrate programme — it’s a five-year BBM and MBA course combined, which includes a year abroad. This year could be spend either studying or interning. It’s an option worth looking into,” he concludes.

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