Study abroad: When is the right time to plan foreign education?


The parents or students should ideally start planning about higher education from Class 9 onwards. Do a full research of the university/ course you are planning to pursue

While most state board examinations are over by now, students must be thinking about getting admissions in various colleges. However, keeping the high cut-offs in mind, students should think about their backup plans. Many must have given a thought to study abroad. However, Indian students often underestimate the amount of time it takes to apply to foreign universities, especially the United States. You can avoid common pitfalls and stress by having a plan in advance.

Students and families will need sufficient time to thoroughly research the institution and/or programme that will best serve your academic and professional goals. Then you must meet the application deadlines of the universities to which you apply, which may be up to 10-11 months before the beginning of the school year.

Remember schools with highly competitive admissions, the application process takes a significant amount of time and effort. You will need to write personal statements and request recommendations from teachers or others who know you well. Even if you are applying online via the common application, you will want to get started early.

University websites and other academic Internet sites may provide quick and convenient access to the required application forms, but you still need time to research your options, contact teachers and institutions to provide recommendations and transcripts, and sign up for required entrance exams in time to meet application deadlines.

Broadly speaking, we recommend the following based on what grade the student is.
Class 9: Time to get started. Get a general exposure to the college admissions process and what college admissions officers look for, goal-setting, assessment of strengths and interests, high school course selection, 10th-grade curricular planning, summer activity options, standardised testing.

Class 10: Halfway there. A deeper review of the college application process explores how colleges assess application components including grades, rigour, testing, activities, recommendation letters and essays. Begin an extracurricular resume. Check in on academic and extracurricular activities. Discuss summer activity options, 11th-grade curricular planning, standardised testing plans, college suggestions and the college research process. Also, review your family’s finances to determine affordability and potential scholarship opportunities.

Class 11: Almost there. Set academic and extracurricular goals for the year and create a standardised test strategy. Begin college research, visits and selection. Receive a personalised and balanced list of suggested schools created by a college counsellor. Discuss application strategy, pursue teacher recommendations, and keep tabs on academic and extracurricular performance and summer activities. Complete pre-essay writing self-assessment activities, begin college essays and select courses for the 12th grade.

Class 12: Homestretch. Finalise the individualised college selection list, review application deadlines and requirements, and develop a strategic plan and completion agenda. Continue standardised test strategy, finalise college applications, resume, essays and interview preparation. Finally — submit those applications.

While this article focuses primarily on the Undergraduate Admissions Process, if you are planning on doing an M.S or an M.B.A., it is advised to give yourself at least 18-24 months to prepare and apply for an M.S. program and 24-36 months for an M.B.A. program at a top global college.

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Study abroad has a beneficial impact on employability

Employee-Engagement.jpgIIE today announced a new study that demonstrates links between international educational experience and the critical skills needed for employment in today’s workforce. The study shows that studying abroad for longer periods of time has a high impact on subsequent job offers and career advancement as well as the development of foreign language and communication skills.

Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills & Career Prospects, released at the IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad in Washington, DC found that studying abroad has an overall positive impact on the development of a wide range of job skills, expands career possibilities, and has a long-term impact on career progression and promotion.

The study was based on a survey of more than 4,500 individuals who participated in short-term mobility since the 1999-2000 academic year. Among the participants, 30 individuals were selected for more in-depth interviews, which also contributed to the report.

More than half of survey respondents believe that study abroad helped them get a job, and longer-term study abroad experiences had a higher impact on subsequent job offers.
For those who were unsure whether study abroad helped them in employment, they still believed that study abroad was useful to their careers, particularly as they were promoted to management-level positions where communication, interpersonal skills, and the ability to understand and work with the difference were key criteria for promotion.

IIE identified 15 soft and hard skills rated as most desired by 21st-century employers. The top five skills, with more than 70% of respondents saying their study abroad experience contributed to a significant degree of improvement, were intercultural skills, curiosity, flexibility/adaptability, confidence, and self-awareness.

In addition, more than 50% noted significant gains in interpersonal and problem-solving skills. To a lesser degree, teamwork, leadership and work ethic were skills that were also reportedly improved through study abroad.

STEM graduates gained significant soft skills outside of their subject during study abroad, and it had a positive effect on their career. Among science majors that went on a program outside of the sciences, 47% reported their study abroad contributed to a job offer, whereas among those who went on a science-focused experience, only 28% reported it did so.

StudyAbroad: STEM students may have better alternative than Trump’s USA

where-to-study-abroad-800x500_cIndian science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students planning an overseas higher education are losing sleep over reports that US President Donald Trump may roll back the extension of optional practical training (OPT). During the OPT period, students can work on a student visa. Currently, in America, about 1.6 lakh STEM students are allowed to stay on for up to three years, after they graduate, to work or look for jobs.

When the period was extended for STEM graduates from one year to up to three, during former President Barack Obama’s administration, it became a bigger attraction; students often banked on it to gain experience and in the hope that US companies would sponsor them on the H-1B work visa thereafter.

Studies followed by OPT followed by H-1B followed by green card is the route taken by many international students, especially from India, to the promised land. Thousands of kilometers away, however, one country, Ireland, has slightly different plans from those of Trump. Recently Ireland announced a decision to double the “stay back option” for master’s and Ph.D. students from 12 months to 24. “By increasing the window, we are moving in the opposite direction to other overseas education destinations.

There are many attractive job opportunities in Ireland, and the Irish government is the view that many bright Indian students will now find a compelling option to gain post study work experience and join the diverse workforce in Ireland in sectors such as software, biopharma, engineering, ICT and finance,” Rory Power, director, India & South Asia of Enterprise Ireland, an economic development agency, told ET Magazine.

In 2015, over 2,000 Indian students went to Ireland for higher education; the figure would have gone up by at least 10 percent in 2016. Declan Coogan, an international student recruitment manager at Trinity College Dublin, felt that the announcement of the two-year stay back graduate visa will reinforce Ireland in the minds of Indian students as a welcome destination for world-class education and research along with career opportunities.

But clearly, it’s the US that has the maximum appeal. “The STEM OPT extension in the US is especially appealing to Indian students in master’s programs in engineering and computer science. Data from the Student Exchange & Visitor Program indicates that in 2016, 83 per cent of Indian students were enrolled in STEM programs,” says, a US-based provider of career services to international students.

Better Alternatives

That may result in advantage Ireland — now the only English-speaking education destination in the European Union — even as non-English speaking destinations are emerging as alternatives.

“The German federal foreign office grants students an 18-month extension of visa after studies for the purpose of seeking a job. Considering that most of the students would like to shift to the industry after studies, this extension gives us ample time to explore opportunities.

In terms of employment opportunities, especially in the field of IT andEngineeringg, Indian students certainly have an edge over others with a majority of them holding engineering degrees. “This combined with Germany’s constant demand for engineers is a win-win for both Germany and Indian students.

Read|Click Here: Steady growth in foreign enrollment in Germany 

Read|Click Here:  Why Germany Educates International Students for Free

Read|Click Here: Study in Germany: Courses, colleges, eligibility, how to apply and cost details

The German parliament has also implemented an EU Blue Card and an unlimited work and residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market. India ranks second in countries of origin of international students enrolled in Germany. Some 83 per cent of Indian students going to Germany opt for STEM programs and, in 2015-16, around 14,000 students were enrolled.

Likewise, Indian students who graduate from French business and engineering schools can extend their stay in the country for up to two years in order to acquire work experience. Every year, 4,000 Indian students go for higher studies in France, a number that the French government hopes will increase to 10,000 by 2020.

Procedures for Indian students wishing to study in France have been simplified. Furthermore, Indian alumni who hold a degree at the master’s or higher level from a French higher education institution are being granted tourist or business visas with a five-year validity period. Finally, the talent passport, a newly created long-term residence permit (four years), is designed for highly skilled foreigners (researchers, scientists, artists) wishing to settle in France,” says Anne-Laure. first counselor at the French embassy in India.

Australia too has emerged as an attractive destination. Current regulations allow all graduating students (bachelor’s and master’s), who have studied for a minimum of two years in Australia, to get what is referred to as a post-study work (PSW) visa for two years irrespective of the specialization. Research students are able to get a PSW for up to four years. Many Indian students in Australia opt for studies followed by PSW followed by work permit and then permanent residency (PR).

“Some students are able to apply and get the PR directly after the PSW without the need for the work permit. The minimum salary required for the work permit is A$54,000. Besides, Australia has just introduced additional points for permanent residency for STEM graduates in a bid to attract talent,” says Ravi Lochan Singh, MD of an educational consultancy firm.

Canada, which is the other huge draw for Indian students, offers a post-graduation work permit for up to three years. Postgraduate work experience in Canada may potentially make Indian students eligible for permanent resident status. In 2016, over 40,000 study permits, or student visas, were issued to Indian students.


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StudyAbroad: More students keen to do MBA abroad

studyabroad,aliffoverseas.jpgAmid the rising popularity of an international MBA tag, global changes are shaping the dynamics of where students are flying.

A survey reveals that the percentage of non-US citizens who say they are now less likely to study in the land of the free has grown to 43% in April 2017 from 35% in November 2016. Similarly, a country-level analysis has revealed that Indian candidates are negatively influenced by the Brexit vote, with 58% reporting that it has made them less likely to study in the UK.

Also Read: Why Indian students prefer MBA abroad?

Also Read: Australia sees 15% increase in number of international students

Also Read: Trinity rises in World Rankings

Coventry University ranked 12th in UK in Guardian guide for 2018

New Zealand sees university rankings strengthened

Countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany and New Zealand seem to be gaining from the waning sentiment towards the top two education destinations due to the closed climate.

Also Read: Top study abroad destinations for Indian students

Reasons to Study in Russia

A recent Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey states that nearly three of five prospective business school students (59%) intend to apply for programs outside their home country, up from 44% in 2009.

Most study abroad to receive a higher quality education (63% of the respondents), to increase their chances of securing international employment (58%), and to expand their international connections (51%).

Also Read: Dubai’s new part-time student work regulation

UAE: Destination of choice for education

“Since November 2016, a growing share of international candidates say the

y are now less likely to pursue a graduate business degree in the US due to the presidential election results,” states the survey.

A third (34%) of the candidates who prefer to study outside their country of citizenship intend to seek employment in the country where they prefer to attend school. Moreover, fresh research also shows that three out of four B-school aspirants are holding a prior master’s degree.

The survey reveals that MBA remains the final sign-off or the predominant program considered by candidates with both prior business master’s degrees (61%) and non-business master’s degrees (86%).

Also Read: Canada has become a destination of choice for international graduate students

Europe is the place to be in

“These findings demonstrate that a business master’s degree is not necessarily the end of graduates’ business education,” said the president, and CEO of GMAC. “For many, their business master’s degree is a stepping stone to continued professional development that may include an MBA down the road, in either a full-time or part-time format.”

The two most important financial aspects that candidates evaluate when deciding where to apply are total tuition costs and scholarship availability. “Compared with 2009, candidates, on average, expect to cover a greater share of the cost of their education with grants, fellowships, and scholarships and a smaller share with parental support, loans, and employer assistance,” the survey says.

Also Read: European scholarships: Indian students among greatest beneficiaries

Ireland announces 24-month “stay back option” for abroad postgraduates

Abroad Visa: Canada skilled worker visas made easier to obtain

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StudyAbroad: European scholarships: Indian students among greatest beneficiaries

Among 1,345 students awarded the European Union-funded Erasmus Mundus scholarships (The Erasmus program, the premier scheme for students throughout the EU who wish to study abroad, comes with a series of possible scholarships that are designed to aid the students in getting the placement they want. Students are split into categories for consideration as scholarship candidates.), Indians with 63 scholarships were the second largest beneficiaries after Brazil

studyabroadaliffoverseasSelected for 63 scholarships from among nearly 24,000 applicants, Indian students are the second largest beneficiaries, after Brazil, of the European Union-funded Erasmus Mundus Programme.
They will be studying for joint masters degrees in Europe and will have all costs of study covered for about two years. About 1,345 students from all over the world have been awarded the scholarships in 2017.

Erasmus Mundus started as a mobility scheme for higher education in 1987 with just 3,200 students in the first year. It now benefits 300,000 students per year.

An EU report released recently said the 2017 awardees were selected from nearly 24,000 applicants. EU students and others from five countries that have signed up and pay to take part in the Erasmus program will get 25% of the scholarship. The remaining 75% will go to students in partner countries. Scholars from over 120 countries will benefit from the EU-funded scholarships.

Also, read Europe is the place to be in 

Brazil leads the sending countries with 79 scholarships, followed by India (63), Iran (59), Bangladesh (58) and Mexico (49). The US, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Ukraine also figure prominently in the list.

Currently, there are 100 Erasmus Mundus joint masters degree programs on offer, involving 513 institutions. Each program is offered by a consortium of at least three higher education institutions.

The program provides opportunities for study periods and traineeships or apprenticeships for both higher education and vocational education and training, youth exchanges, volunteering and staff exchanges in all fields of education, training, youth, and sport.

studyabroad1,345 students from all over the world have been awarded the scholarships in 2017 (EC-DG EAC, European Commission)
Around 5,000 Indian students from all parts of India have been recipients of the Erasmus Mundus Masters scholarships between 2004 and 2016, making India the single largest beneficiary of the program.

About 40 new Masters programs will be added to the Erasmus Mundus program this summer. Existing offers include a wide range of subjects, including astrophysics, economics, nanotechnology, and business.

The application period for the next selection round will run from October 2017 to January 2018.

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Top study abroad destinations for Indian students

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As students become more aware of the overseas education opportunities, the top countries to study abroad have also undergone changes over the period of time. A decade back, the list of top destinations to study abroad for Indian students had only countries like the UK, the USA, and Australia. But today, with the changing trend, the students are experimenting with new countries and courses to get a degree.

Here are the top countries to study abroad:

United Kingdom:

The UK has been an all-time favorite for Indian and international students making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. The country boasts of having the oldest and best universities in the world such as Oxford and Cambridge and offers a range of courses- right from various undergraduate degrees to one-year postgraduate degrees across domains like engineering and management. Around 5,00,000 international students are, currently, enrolled in universities in the UK of which over 25,000 are Indian students. One of the major factors that draw students to study in the UK is its wide range of scholarships which provide partial to full study waiver to students. Commonwealth, GREAT, Rhodes are just a few of the fee paying scholarships available to international students in the UK.

Top 5 courses to study in the UK:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 138,335
2 Engineering 59,015
3 Social Sciences 45,620
4 Physical and Life Sciences 42,505
5 Fine and Applied Arts 41,095

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2013-14)
China 92,915
USA 26,975
India 21,000
Total students ( including all countries) 493,570


After the UK and the USA, the top destination to study for Indian students is Australia. The Australian education system has earned good reputation globally and a number of Australian Universities feature in the top 100 in global university rankings. The country has more than 12,000 higher educational institutions that offer vocational training courses, English Language Training to University courses like business, finance and sports management at undergraduate and graduate levels. What is Australia best known for is the group of 8 universities, which are research intensive universities along the lines of the famous Ivy leagues in the USA.

Top 5 courses to study in Australia:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 120,476
2 Engineering 26,845
3 Mathematics and Computer Sciences 21,271
4 Health Professions 19,380
5 Social Sciences 18,625

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2014)
China 91,089
India 26,433
Malaysia 14,446
Total students ( including all countries) 269,752

New Zealand

Another major emerging study abroad destination, New Zealand has witnessed 400 per cent increase in the number of Indian students in its universities and institutes in the last five years. Around eight universities from New Zealand are listed in the top 500 universities in the world by QS making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. Some of its popular universities are the University of Auckland, Auckland Territorial University among others. In addition, the country is also home to 20 institutes of technology and polytechnics and many private training establishments(PTE), where students can hone their vocational skills. That said, New Zealand’s popularity among international students has only multiplied in the recent years. Currently, India is one of the largest sources of international students in New Zealand with over 20,000 students enrolled in the country.

Top 5 courses to study in New Zealand:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 23,637
2 Engineering 4,919
3 Social Sciences 14,629
4 Physical and Life Sciences 7,499
5 Maths and Computer Sciences 6,975

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2014)
China 3,179
India 20,227
Korea 7910
Total students ( including all countries) 46,659


Another one fo the top countries to study abroad, Canada is an emerging study abroad destination as the country has witnessed a manifold increase in the number of international students in the recent years. The students flock to Canada for various courses such as Engineering, Business, Animation, Biotechnology, and Hospitality. In 2014 itself, nearly 30,000 Indian students were enrolled in universities across Canada which was a four-fold increase in the number of students traveling to the country to study. “This is primarily due to the advantages that Canada offers to international students in terms of quality education, cost advantages along with a safe and multicultural environment,” says Marie-Josee Charbonneau, Counsellor & Head, Advocacy Program, High Commission of Canada in India.

Top 5 courses to study in Canada:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Computer Sciences
3 Life Sciences
4 Hotel Management
5 Liberal arts

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2012-13)
China 87,329
India 37,399
France 17,693
Total students ( including all countries) 268,659


Germany is one of the top study abroad destinations in Europe. It provides quality education and with an increase of more than 70 percent Indian student population, the country proved to be a hotspot of higher education. Germany is touted as one of the top 5 destinations for international students by UNESCO. One reason why Germany is emerging as a favorite destination is that public universities in Germany charge low or no tuition fees, which automatically brings down the cost of studying in Germany. The country is most popular for its MS degrees. The best part is German degrees are internationally recognized, with many universities available in English. Over 9,000 Indian students are currently studying the country.

Top 5 courses to study in Germany:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Engineering 71,352
2 Business management 52,168
3 Humanities 37,619
4 Maths and Computer Sciences 29,748
5 Fine and Applied Arts 24,412

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2013-14)
Turkey 33,004
China 30,511
Russia 14,525
Total students ( including all countries) 301,350


With over 27,000 international students studying in its various universities, Ireland continues to steadily rise in the ranks among the top study destinations in the world. A network of research institutes with a focus on innovation is the major reason behind Ireland’s popularity among international students, including those from India. Around 1000 Indian students are enrolled in Irish universities making Indian students one of the top international student’s communities in Ireland. “The number of Indian students studying in Ireland has risen particularly in the last five years due to an increased awareness of Ireland, its culture, and the strong post-study employment opportunities,” says Barry O’Driscoll, Marketing Advisor, Education in Ireland.

Top courses to study in Ireland:

No. Top courses
1 Engineering
2 Computer Sciences
3 Data Science and Analytics
4 Physics
5 Information and Communication Technology


An unlikely contender among the top countries to study abroad, UAE still manages to attract a fair amount of international students, especially, from India. Needless to say, the country is most popular among Indians who want to explore work opportunities. However, in the past few years, UAE has witnessed a sudden spurt of Indian students willing to explore the education scenario of the country which offers many popular courses. Of course, it is Dubai which attracts the largest contingent of Indian as well international students. And why not? Dubai is not only known for some domestic highly ranked universities but is also home to branches of international universities like the University of Wollongong and Manchester Business School, among others. Currently, there are over 2000 Indian students studying in the UAE.

Top courses to study in UAE:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Banking and finance
3 Engineering
4 Medicine


Known for its diverse population, Singapore is abuzz with hyperactivity and enjoys its reputation as the financial center of Southeast Asia.  A rapidly growing economy, the island country is home to a slew of institutions which includes its own highly ranked universities in addition to subsidiaries of international universities.  In terms of studies, it is most known for its management programs which attract a sizable portion of international students. The fact that the country happens to be a center for businesses with MNCs like Unilever, DHL, IBM or General Motors, is enough to generate a buzz among management aspirants, hence, making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. Given a large number of exchange students from Europe, the country is the perfect place to experience global education. The country has over 1,00,000 international students currently.

Top 5 courses to study in Singapore:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Banking and finance
3 Engineering
4 Computer Sciences
5 Law


As the world’s largest country, it’s hardly surprising that Russia is home to so many universities — 950 of them, to be exact. What may come as a surprise? How many of its higher education institutions offer world-class, globally recognized educational opportunities. Russia now participates in the Bologna Process, and many of its premier universities are members of the European Universities Association. A whopping 22 Russian universities, meanwhile, earned spots on the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017.

Russia recently earned a plum spot on Bloomberg’s roundup of the world’s most innovative economies, but its innovative spirit is not limited to the financial sector. A Russian education uniquely fuses traditional academic rigors with a commitment to innovation in the form of competency-based education across a breadth and depth of areas of study. And while we’d be lying if we didn’t say that studying in Russia was demanding, a degree from a Russian institution is highly prized by the world’s employers — making it well worth the effort.

No. Top courses
1 Engineering
2 Law
3 Economics
4 Medicine
5 Information and Communication Technology

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