The dream of many students in Goa these days is to study abroad. There was a time when students did this due to the quality of education or the choice of courses available there (rather lack of courses in India). Nowadays though, students choose to study abroad for exposure, the lifestyle and just to experience a new culture. Regardless of what the reasons are, it is important to research the courses that you are interested in and apply to colleges with the proper requirements. Where the legalities of visas and student permits are concerned, there are agents that can help, but finding the legitimate ones can be difficult. The four main countries that students are looking to move to for further education are Australia, Canada, the UK, and America; here are a few resources that may be helpful if you or someone you know is looking to study abroad.
- Finance: One of the most basic requirements is finance, and most countries require that you have substantial financial backing before applying for a visa. Though student loans are an option, you could also apply for a scholarship that could take care of partial or full tuition.
- English proficiency: All foreign students are required to pass a minimum standard of English proficiency before applying for a visa, or being admitted into college. The major testing systems include IELTS, TOFEL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test. The score you need depends on whether you are starting a full degree, doing a foundation course, or enrolling in a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
- Health and character assessments: In light of recent epidemics and other social concerns, many countries insist on obtaining a medical and/or a radiological check-up to show that the student is in good health. These health and character assessments need to be carried out at approved medical establishments before one can apply to study abroad.
Finding the right university
- It’s important you consider your own priorities, interests, and abilities first, instead of choosing a country or college that your friends may be applying to.
- Start researching countries, universities and courses on offer. Though there is no all-inclusive list of universities, there are a few places you can start – including international and regional rankings. If you know what subject you want to study, the QS World University Rankings by ‘subject’ may also be useful.
- Fundamental to studying abroad must be the desire to spend time in another country. If you can shortlist or identify your country, then you have a starting point for identifying possible universities to apply to.
- When searching worldwide for a university that is right for you, there is no substitute for coming face-to-face with people from that university. Each university has an alumni association, often with an international network, so try to identify alumni who may be willing and able to meet you closer to home and give you that all-important feel of what it’s like to actually study at their university.
- Always keep an open mind. Identify your priorities, research your options and talk to people – but always stay open to new suggestions, just in case there’s something you missed.
The right resources
The following resources are a starting point for helping you go abroad.
- The British Council – www.britishcouncil.in
- The British Council has collaborated with the Goa Education Trust to give Goan students the opportunity to study abroad in the UK on a scholarship.
- Study in Australia – www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
- This is the official Australian Government website for international students. The site can be used to search for courses, institutions, and scholarships, read about studying and living in Australia, and much more.
- Canada International – www.canadainternational.gc.ca
- The Canada International website lists a number of resources that help Indian students study, live and work in Canada. Canada has always been a popular choice by students because of its friendly visa policies and several initiatives taken by the Canadian government to attract Indian students to its universities.
- Indian Student Guide – www.indianstudentguide.in
- The Indian Student guide is an all in one resource for students looking to study in the USA. It is constantly updated with changes and amendments to laws and also categorizes information by college and courses.