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Looking to the Future – the desire to study abroad

Looking to the Future – the desire to study abroad

Flying out to a foreign land for further education is no longer a possibility limited to a few. Thanks to a globally connected society, students from any part of the world are able to gain experience in another part, via exciting student exchange programs, innovative diploma courses or in depth, full time degrees before deciding on a particular job profile or career line. There is no time better than the present to begin planning for a future that ensures success and happiness, anywhere in the world.

As soon as one decides to study abroad, other details such as which course, duration of course, best university, suitable country, application process, visa requirements, expenditure etc. naturally follow. When finalizing on these aspects, there are a few things one must keep in mind...

Shailesh Gupta was one such keen aspirant who had been planning to go abroad for his MBA course ever since he passed his 10th board exams with flying colours. He was told at that time, by his rather protective Indian parents, that he needed to continue staying and studying in his home town at least till he graduates, after which he is free to go where he pleases. At first Shailesh was discouraged with this thought and the wait seemed so long! But soon he realised he had no choice in the matter so he opted for the Commerce stream, put his head down and studied hard till the time came. Meanwhile, he continued his research on the top universities offering MBA courses and made a note of these.

Now the time had come. Shailesh had acquired his Bachelor in Commerce (BCom) degree and was ready to apply to the university of his dreams. He approached his parents and expressed his desire. They were impressed with his persistence and dedication to his goals, and together the family sat down to discuss every important matter linked to Shailesh's future.

Goals and Aspirations

There were certain goals and aspirations that the Gupta family jotted down as being the basis of their planning.

If you too are aspiring to go to another country for your higher education, it's worth knowing what your goals ought to be.

Here are a few important ones:

a) Are your current educational qualifications the best fit for the course you're applying for?

Most universities abroad work on a credit system. Credits simply mean the number of points you have gathered. Each year of education gives you certain credits, as do other achievements such as project work, work experience and recommendations. Added to which, the duration of courses vary in each country. e.g.: Shailesh has a Bachelors of Commerce degree which is a three year course in India. This degree enables him to apply for an MBA course in Australia, as they accept the 3 year graduation system. However, if Shailesh wishes to study in a Canadian university, he would need one more year of education to be able to apply for an MBA as Canada requires 4 years of education after the 12th for a Masters program. In a case such as this, one could do a one or two year part time diploma course along with the BCom to be able to qualify.


b) Is the course you're aspiring to get into designed to bring out your strengths? Is it current?

You may be unaware of all the courses that are available for the picking these days. That's understandable since there are so many! Traditional graduate and post graduate degrees include full time classroom based courses in areas such as Accounting, History, Psychology etc. are solid well tested programs. However, there are many new areas and specialisations to choose from today. It's preferable to make informed decisions after researching about the comprehensive list of courses available at all the targeted universities. With reference to Shailesh, though he had been vying for the an MBA since years, it is vital for him to update his knowledge about other modern yet suitable courses such as Master of Enterprise, Master of Business Analytics or Master of Actuarial Science, being taught by most top B schools in the world. Added to which, some of the newer courses could lead to better employment opportunities and subsequent career development.

c) Does the course you're applying for suit your needs financially?

International universities are designed to cater to students and their needs. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US have been promoting their educational institutes for years in order to attract foreign students. Therefore, every university has a sound financial system or program to assist students in finding the simplest way to pay their fees. Once you have identified a course and university in the country of your choice, the next step is to contact the college directly and communicate with their advisory cell about the financials. Some programs extend scholarships while others can be paid in instalments.

d) Will the location of your chosen university offer you opportunities to develop your personal interests?

An aspect to be considered quite seriously regarding the country and location of the course you choose is your area of interests. These interests may not have anything to do with your course or career preferences. They include your talents, likes, passion or hobbies. Shailesh has always been keen on sports and outdoor activities. Most places in Europe, US, Canada or Australia offer an after school/weekend life with multiple recreation options but Shailesh had to narrow down his selection to either the US or Australia due to the weather conditions. The idea of outdoor camping, river fishing, going to the beach and hiking scenic trails excited him and so he decided to check out the warmer areas in the US and most parts of Australia for the right university.

Hence, there are a number of vital points that lead to accurate selection of course, university and country for further studies. For guidance on these and other application matters, contact the professionals at STORM who will counsel students and their families in their future planning.