study abroad

World is getting closer and that has broaden the horizon of knowledge. Hence Most of the Students want to migrate leaving their nests behind to catch their dreams. The number of Indian students going abroad to study is growing at a faster pace than ever before. In the US alone, nearly 45% of international students are either Chinese or Indians. Studying abroad is  a huge life changing decision.  So are we ready to take the decision? Being ready doesn’t mean about getting visa or just knowing names of few famous universities or dreaming about the life in foreign country or  being old enough to leave alone. It is much more than that. You need to ask yourselves few questions before taking decision.

What is my career aspiration?

Before flying to the idea of going abroad first step is to know about your career goal. Are you aware of  your aspiration towards your career? Don’t consider your short term goal of studying abroad at prime importance. Fix your career goal and then move ahead for respective universities and countries. Most of the students do the mistake of changing career path as per the subject available in that country. But there is no meaning in walking on a path which leads to wrong destination. So identifying the right course should be of prime importance.

Is studying abroad is worth for reaching towards my goal?

Ask yourself that are you really looking for something which is not much aware in India? The course you are looking for is really better than India. Or you are just escaping from the situation that you won’t be able to clear the entrance exam for renowned institute in India. But you must know that there is no value to any course unless you perform well.  Make sure you are enrolling yourself for the course which is worth to do. Also ask yourself that, is the foreign university better than what I could get in India for the course I am looking for?

Am I well informed about the course and eligibility criteria?

Before taking crucial decision of studying abroad much of the groundwork is required. You shouldn’t overlook the minute details about eligibility criteria like age, subject and experience. You should be aware about course curriculum. The process to apply for a course in different countries may vary a lot. You need to make planning about clearing entrance exam as per the requirements.

How much can I afford to spend for my education in abroad? What will be the total cost?

When it comes to studying abroad this is the crucial part to consider for most of the Indian student. Generally we take into consideration only major expenditures like Tuition fees, Visa fees and insurance etc. But have you done the calculations about the living cost, transportation, Leisurely activities etc. Once you decided to give it shot to study abroad you must calculate the overall cost but however budget shouldn’t be the only criteria to decide the course. Get the information about the scholarship if one happens to get a scholarship, nothing like it as it helps in reducing the tuition fees considerably. Some scholarships cover a part of the total tuition fees, while others may cover the entire amount. The remaining funding will have to come from parents and an education loan.

Do I have knowledge of the country and university I am looking for?

Once you’ve chosen the course, you need to take a call on the country you wish to study in. Sometimes just for the sake of studying abroad many student get admission to any country available to them, without giving thought to reputation of the university and job prospect after passing out. This kind of hasty decision may lead to biggest career mistake.  Apart from geographical differences you must be knowledgeable about the cultural and political activities, religious belief in that country. Likewise get the information about the university .How this is different from other universities. You shouldn’t be only fascinated by the misconception of teaching and learning culture of foreign universities. If you are considering Partying and tripping is the only culture in foreign universities then you are misleading yourself.

Am I in the right Mindset for this life changing experience?

Ask yourself how open you are to experience the new environment and culture? Are you to accept the new people with their cultural background? When you’re thousands of miles away from home, your new friends become your family. So it is vital to put yourself out there during your study abroad and connect with anyone and everyone you can. Are you ready adjusting with your eating habits? Make up your mind for the culinary differences of various countries. As Indians, we live with parents and so much attached to family hence ask yourself will you be able to stay away from parent for long period.

What are the job prospects after getting degree? Can I get a good job if I come back to India?

Ask yourself that will I be able to get my dream job in same country or in other countries. After completion of degree, many Indian students take hefty education loans to finance their studies abroad but after returning to India they don’t get their dream job. While many would find decent jobs back in India but that would not help much, as these students need dollar salaries to fulfill their desire. Sometimes most of the universities are not recognized by Indian employers. Hence make sure you are well verse with the facts of getting job over that degree. Ex: Indian medical students who are getting their MBBS degrees from foreign universities like from China, Russia, Nepal, Southeast Asian and Eastern European countries have to write the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination, and if they pass they can register and practice in India. Don’t just focus on getting abroad degree be sure about job prospects also.

Would I be able to make through it?

If you have make up your mind to study abroad you should also consider your past academic result. Merely getting admission to any course won’t help you to cope up with curriculum there. If your performance here in India was average then will you be able to raise your academic standards? Will you be able to go through new learning methods? Be confident about your abilities and ready to upgrade it. You have to be smart cookie to adjust to this new life.

How focused I am about study abroad? Is better education is the only motto to go abroad?

This question may sound invalid to fewer determined people but most of the time student wants to study abroad because curiosity and fascination they have towards foreign culture. Many students have desire for the freedom but you must not forget that freedom comes with its share of responsibility. Be responsible enough to enjoy the freedom you have got.  A recent report finds that 88% of Indian parents are keen on sending their children abroad for postgraduate studies. Sometimes studying abroad is thing of pride for some Indian parents. But if could not make it big it can affect to family image and your self-esteem too.  Make sure you are not just trend follower. Don’t risk your career for short term pride and adventurous experience.

Evaluate the career opportunities realistically, both abroad and within India, before planning for international studies. These questions will clear your mind; move you in the right direction to make the best decision about your future and career.

Education is an important stepping-stone for your future career so make sure you have clear vision and proper planning. Guidance from Career Counsellor can help you to identify your vision.  Before spending huge money and investing your valuable time make sure you have set your career goal because money can be earned but not time. Lastly, don’t consider studying abroad as sure shot ticket to success, make sure you have fuel of hardwork and determination in right direction. Best of luck for your bright future!

Pallavi Bodkhe

Center Navigator Pune

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