Students with aspirations to study abroad are often seen compromising on their choice of course or subject, only in the haste of getting out of the country. While many of these students manage to reach their choice of destination to study, many don’t realise that they only partially fulfill their educational aspirations.
Hence, it is important to know where your passion lies and plan your studies accordingly.
This is because the secret to a successful career lies in doing what you enjoy doing the most, and all of these depend on picking the right course and university in the right country. So, here are some guidelines that you can follow while choosing the right course for you.
What’s your interest?
One of the first questions that you will have to ask yourself is why you want to pursue the course you want to enrol in. The reasons could vary from wanting to further your career by honing your skills to wanting to diversify your knowledge base and changing careers. If you want to grow in your career, choose a course that will help you do that.
And if you are going to study for the latter reason, study subjects which can provide you opportunities in a variety of fields. While considering your options, do a thorough research on all the possible careers that the field will offer, as studying abroad can be expensive.
Next, find out what your interests are. Find out more about the courses that are directly linked to your interests. So, take out some time and introspect what excites you. Questioning yourself and finding answers to those questions would help visualise your path ahead clearly and take a decision.
Once you have found out what your real calling is, consider taking a reality check. A realistic approach to your aspirations breaks down the entire process of choosing the right course and university, step-wise. Aspects that need to be considered while making a decision include affordability and cost of living. Apart from these, prerequisites such as English language proficiency and GMAT scores need to be considered.
There are various programmes that prepare students to meet these requirements. These reality checks are not meant to discourage you, but to make you aware of the possible hurdles you can expect. This is also the point where you realistically think about how long you want to study for.
Once you have decided upon the right course, finding the right university is the next step. Deciding upon a university of your choice could depend on a combination of many variables such as research facilities, practical experience and cost of tuition. So, to begin with, make a list of the top three features you are looking for. These features vary from person to person, so it is important to identify the features that are most important
However, remember that it is okay to reconsider your plans if you are having second thoughts about your studies abroad. As this is one of the most important decisions for your future, it is absolutely fine to not go ahead with your goal of studying abroad because it’s never too late. Talk to a student counsellor and see what they have to offer. And if you are still unsure, it is recommended that you do not spend the next five to six years forcing yourself to study the subjects that do not interest you at all. Always remember that your career is about your aspirations and ambitions. Therefore, keep the zeal alive in you to succeed.
(The author is chairman, ESS Global, Chandigarh)