Stressed about going abroad to study in your dream college? Take a deep breath and let all the negativity flow out. Next, formulate a plan to go about the whole process in the most systematic way possible. There are a few intrinsic steps involved in this journey. We have made a list right here which can help you set your goals right and achieve them one at a time.
1. A Basic Plan
Every journey begins with a basic course of action. Sometimes journeys appear more difficult than they are and this is often the case with education abroad. Charting out what you want to do demystifies the complications and offers you clarity on what you must do next and how much time you have to do it.
When global education is involved, usually the course of action starts with deciding which part of the world you want to study in. The following points can help you form a well-structured plan before you get started.
2. Looking Up Universities
Once you decide which places you are interested in, the next step is to make a list of universities and colleges. Make sure to put down the names of institutions that have crossed your mind.
In fact, you can prepare separate priority lists – one for your dream colleges and another for institutions that can offer your desired course or potential research supervisor. This way, through newer shortlists you can reach the final list as you do more research on each college.
3. Time Management
While noting down the names of the universities and colleges, make sure to also look up their application deadlines. Knowing the deadlines for submitting applications is what will give an ultimate edge to your course of action. Now you will have an idea about the approximate number of days you have in your hands to prep yourself.
Usually, the date for submission of applications comes under the same month. Not knowing the deadlines is what creates all the stress and confusion. But once you are aware of them, you can be confident and focus on making optimum use of it in gathering resources, money and developing your skills.
Going abroad is a costly affair. Knowing how much time you have on your hands also lets you calculate how much money you can save. The income-expenditure ratio also becomes important in deciding how much money you can put away as savings. Start saving as soon as you can.
Even if you are not sure about going abroad for your higher education, it is still advisable to put away money in general for education. On deciding to pursue a global education, make note of the tuition fee, cost of living, and other miscellaneous expenses that might be incurred during your stay there. This gives you clarity on much you will need to save.
Be it education or any other significant event in your life, investing is always an improvement upon saving money. Savings do not generate more wealth, investments do. You can look up different mutual fund schemes to know which one will be the best for you.
Fixed deposits have a certain rate of interest, but mutual fund schemes usually offer more than that. You are also advised to start investing in foreign exchange stocks like US stocks to make up for the depreciating value of the Indian currency and the subsequent rise in the cost of pursuing education abroad.
6. Building Credit
Another financial aspect that is quite understated is the importance of building credit. Building and maintaining a good credit score can go a long way in availing you of the best deals in loans with negotiable rates of interest.
It is also crucial to start young and early, for example, with education loans or simply with credit cards. When the time comes to go abroad, your impressive credit score will make you qualified for the student loan that can support your global education.
An important thing you are required to look up while checking out different institutions is the scholarships that apply to you. In a lot of cases, deserving candidates can avail themselves of different scholarships that pay their tuition fee or at least a considerable part of it.
In the case of research, you might enjoy deductions on the tuition fee from the institution itself, alongside receiving a stipend. Read up thoroughly about these international scholarships and the criteria or qualifications required to avail of them.
8. Building Contacts
The process of building contacts is something you should ideally get started with while you are in the stage of planning the basic course of action. Taking the advice of peers or seniors who have already been through this process can offer perspective and useful information to ease up the journey for you.
Later, you might have to build contacts with the faculty member(s) of certain institutions that you are aiming to get into. This is usually the case for research scholars and falls under the application procedure.
9. Skill Development
Skill Development takes into account prepping for the final application submission as well as becoming sharper at the subject you are going to pursue. Deciding to pursue global education is sometimes synonymous with entering the tough competition.
Make sure you are doing your best in presenting yourself to the world as a deserving candidate. Skill development also takes into account clearing the examinations that are often recommended or mandated by some institutions as proof of your worthiness. These include SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and so on.
10. Preparing for Applications & Interviews
Last comes the main procedure – that of submitting applications and attending interviews. As scary as it sounds, once you are done with all of the above, you will find yourself to be more at peace and confident to brave it all. Institutions might require you to submit essays or answer questions alongside submission of the SOP and the main application. There might be interviews on a group or individual basis. Find out about these things beforehand so that you can be well prepared when the time comes.
The correct way to simplify a complicated procedure is to break it down into small parts and set short-term goals that make it look doable. The thought of pursuing global education can make you anxious at first but with the right plan, you can ace it. EduFund is your partner through and through, whether it is guidance that you need or student loans, we’re here for you.