Studying abroad is an exciting and adventurous prospect for most people (Indians specially). Whether you are in school or college, there are many adventures and possibilities that await you if you decide to take on this journey! But what baffles most of us is the prospect of preparing to study abroad. THE most common question I get asked is 'When to start preparing to study abroad?'
So, here are 3 Simple Tips to remember that might help you...
1. Wrap your head around the Semester Options and put the deadlines on your Calendar
Most colleges abroad usually break up their course intake into 4 semesters - Fall, Spring, Winter and Summer. Each semester has it's own deadlines and recommended timeline.
So a breakdown of this looks like...
Fall Semester starts in April
Spring Semester starts in January
Winter Semester starts in October
Summer Semester starts in April
2. Understand how college applications work
A simple way to start is to plan around two major milestones of college applications.
Milestone 1 - Reasearch, Planning and Documentation
Work on this milestone should start 6-8 months before the application dates
Research: Deep dive into the courses you want to pursue and the colleges that offer them. Make a list of the colleges you want to apply to.
Planning: Plan your dream list in a way that you are considering all the parameters that will be important in the decision making process (country, eligibility etc.)
Documentation: Prepare your application documents and pre-requisite travel documents to have a smooth sailing later on
Milestone 2 - Test Preparation
Work on this milestone should start within 2-3 months of Milestone 1
Test Preparation: Research the tests that you need to give (GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL etc.) and start preparing for these. For those of you who are not unsure of doing well the first time, factor in enough buffer time to re-do the test at least once. This milestone will also change from country-country. So for example, those who wish to study in US, have to give GRE and GMAT and should start preparation a year ahead. However, to study in places like Dubai and Singapore, even a two month preparation process works if you have your paperwork in place.
3. Dedicate at least 12-18 months for your Study Abroad preparation
While the thought of studying abroad is something most of us are prepared for, a lot of people find it difficult to cope with the preparation and meet the deadlines they are working towards. Hence, it has always been our recommendation that you dedicate time aside for your Study Abroad preparation. Anything between 12-18 months allows you enough time to give the multiple tests (at least twice, in case of a poor score) and get your documentation ready to go.
Stay tuned to this space for more blogs on Studying Abroad! You can stay updated with our work by following our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/peacareereducation