Updated: Sep 21, 2018
One of the first steps after deciding to study abroad is choosing the right subjects, courses and colleges. I have a couple of parameters that should make it to your checklist when doing your homework about these colleges.
1. WHAT are you interested in pursuing and WHY?
I once had a student who said, "There is this exclusive car making company that I want to work for, to make customised cars. The course that gets me the skill-set and experience to work there will be at the top of my list."
This is the piercing clarity with which you need to be able to answer this question. Studying abroad is a huge investment to make; financially, emotionally and mentally. So, ensuring that you are pursuing something that adds to your portfolio is of utmost importance. Do you want to study abroad to make your parents happy? Or is it that you believe that it's the path to an exciting, glittering career ahead? By questioning yourself now, you can work out the exact path you want your course to take you on.
To summarise -
Think about your existing education, work experience and skill set.
Consider prospective careers and employment opportunities.
Think about what subjects interest you.
Talk to your teachers, employers, colleagues or peers about which courses are relevant and will benefit your career.
2. WHERE would you like to study?
After you have short-listed the kind of courses you want to study, make a decision about the country you want to study. There are two parts to making this decision.
The first is to ask yourself which place you want to make your home for the duration of your study. This would mean learning new languages, meeting new people and understanding new cultures. So, it is important for you to consider where you would be the happiest to study.
The second part to this decision is finding the best suited place to get the desired outcomes from your course. Do you want to study Automobiles in Germany, Computers in U.S, Food in Australia or Fashion in Paris? Do you want to study in the hustle-bustle of a city, where jobs are a-plenty or are you willing to take the risk of studying in an isolated campus with excellent facilities and feedback?
3. WHAT makes you eligible for the course?
Every college and every course has it's own unique selection criteria among it's applicants. Be sure to check this eligibility and find out if you fit the bill.
Here are a few common parameters that colleges look at in your application -
Educational Qualifications - Class X and XII marks, including the aggregate marks of your Undergrad Degree
Add-on Certifications and Skills - Learnt a language? Learnt a new skill? Got certified in something new and trending? This is a good time to showcase these!
GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS Score - Most colleges have a cut-off in mind when looking at your scores. Find out what this cut-off is for your dream colleges so that you can prepare accordingly.
Work Experience - For a Masters/PhD degree, colleges will most definitely be looking at candidates with work experience.
SoPs and LoRs - These are the most important parts of your application. They show the college your personality and help them make a connect with who you are. Ensure these are well-written, earthy, honest yet impressive.
Hope this helps you research and choose the right colleges and courses. If you have any more questions, leave us a comment to interact with our team.