It has been a year now since I started my journey as an abroad education aspirant. One year ago, I decided to persue my masters from an international and renowned university. Although, my plans took a setback due to the pendamic but s a silver lining I got plenty of time to research about various other countries and so I am eligible to write this article. If you are planning to study abroad then this blog is for you. Specifically, this blog is for people who are looking out for post-graduate study options in one of the developed countries. Through my article you will be ready to launch your preparation for application into any one of the mentioned countries you prefer.
How it All Started
My planning started in late November 2019 when I decided to appear for IELTS and then apply in Canadian universities . Back then, all I knew was that I will score good in ielts and I will get good college in Canada.
But why only Canada?!
Because this was the only country which I saw in social media and during peer talks as a dream country for immigrants with pocket friendly education options and welcoming PR policies.
Little did I know that there is more than half a globe waiting for me to explore in this section. Ofcourse, I knew about the United States of America as a very popular study destination for Indians but other than these two countries I was completly unaware of what the rest of world has in store for international students. It was pretty much figured out for me and I moved forward with my preparation for IELTS. It all seemed very easy and a two step process at that time.
I prepared with self study materials available online and managed to score 7.5 in IELTS with one month of preparation. I even got a 9 band in reading section. I will share my reading tricks and strategy with you in the upcoming blogs for sure.
Now, as I was ready and confident to apply, so like every newbee I approached a famous/known overseas eduction consultant to help me apply in a canadian college. Meanwhile a lot of other consultancies contacted me once I got my IELTS score, I guess they got my number while I was researching for couseling online. My IELTS score and professional experience made my profile stronger to get an admission in prospective insitutes.
Things just started to open up in front of me, when I came to know that I couldnt apply in more than half of the canadian univerisities due to my low acedemic scores. This information was provided to me very bluntly by my education agent. She told me that I can only apply in colleges and some private but expensive universities with low rankings.
This news made me upset and I felt short of choices nonetheless I was adament to accomplish my study abroad dream. So, I started researching about Canadian univerisities that accepted low acedemic scores, I was still not looking into other coutries as eligible options.
By end of January I attended an education fairs which were organised by IDP Pune. I registered specifically for Canada with a hope to interact directly with the college/university representative and get my profile accepted by one of them. Attending education fairs is a great strategy to educate oneself about the possible study abroad options and meeting like minded people who could help us make an informed desicion.
This was pre-pendemic era and everything was so normal, I saw a plethora of international student representatives from UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia sitting in a row and counseling hundreds of students with their profiles. This is when I decided to broaden up my perspective towards choosing my study destination. I took advantage of this opportunity and talked to 7 different universities to gather up all the information I could.
Over the period of 8 months I researched about various countries, applied in different universities and got placed in some of them. If I knew before what I know now, things would have been in a very different scenario. This thought comes in mind for lot of people and this should not happen, provided you have the right knowledge even before you plan for study abroad.
Henceforth, here is a country wise list of research that I have done so far, I hope this will help you in your endeavours.
Types of Institutes
There are two broad categories of international universities: Private universities and Public universities. Private institues mostly charge high tuition fees and as per my research there are a few of these around the world that comes with a combination of being pocket friendly and ranking globally. Definitely I am excluding the ivy league institutes like Harvard and Princeton for the sole purpose of keeping our subject to rest of the lesser known ones.
Also, there is another category of institutes popularly referred to as Diploma Mills or in common language as fake universities. So, make sure that you choose public universities over a private one and definitely not a diploma mill.
But how will you make out the difference if the universities is legit in the first place or not, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- A diploma mill only exists online, there is no geographical location or a fixed address for this kind of university.
- The fees will be less and they will provide degree without study options as well.
Another important preparation is to keep your documents ready
- University Transcript
- Degree certificate
- All semester pass and fail marksheets
- Backlog clearance certificate (if you have any backlogs during graduation)
- Recommendation letter from college (atleast 1)
- Recommendation letter from current employer
Arranging the above documents before hand will save a lot of stressed times especially for working professionals.
Country 1: United States of America
USA universities are ranked higher in QS world ranking of universities on the basis of quality of education and return on investment job opportunities post graduation. Be it Masters of Science program, computer science, an MBA or a post graduation in analytics, american universities offers the best deal for students with good planning.
One needs to be prepared with their GRE/GMAT scores along with IELTS if they aspire to study in american university. GMAT is mostly taken for MBA programs but GRE scores are commonly preferred. Once you have the scores ready then you can apply upto 5 universities for free. GRE takes around 6 months of continous preparation and by the time you appear for it at the same time your apply for universities.
Once your exam score and documents are ready then comes time to get into the best suited university as per your citeria. Here are two online communities that you can join to get the best outcome while applying in american Universities : Yocket and US news.
Once you are done with your GRE and IELTS then you can join Yocket and get honest reviews along with legit rankings of different univerisities all over USA. Yocket maintains a university wise group of aspirants and allows them to hold discussions on the portal. This clears many queries for new comers. Yocket also manages the application process to universities as well.
Public universities are not that expensive actually, this is not me but my friends saying who have already have studied in the US. Tuition fees for a two year program can easily come under 15 lacs, however one has to consider the living expense as well while applying for studies over here.
Application process ususally starts in November and open till mid of January for the September intake, so plan accordingly. Later the application response takes about 2 months for the final verdict. Remember, you are not spending money anywhere but for your exams untill you get admissions, so do not go ahead with hiring paid consultants and getting a premium membership. You can always apply to universities yourself.
Part time work options
An international student cannot work in a part time job in US unless it is stem related job which has got approval from university professors. If you are caught doing a job outside your university which is not related to your field of study then you will withheld by american police and later deported. I have often observed it in many student vlogs and personal opinions of few of my friends that they find paid internship program within university which pays for their expenses during the study period.
As far as concerned with migration, USA provides 3 years of post study work visa for students who take STEM based masters program but there is condition here as well. An international student is required to get a job before 3 months from the date of completion of his/her post graduation. Failing to do so can lead to cancellation of post-study stay in USA and the student will be deported to home country.
Country 2: Canada
Canada has a lengthy application process for university admissions, application response can take upto 3 months in order to give response to students. Other than this there are not much negative points regarding studies in Canada. Oh yes, how can I forget the chilling winters that can stretch upto more than two quarters in a year. Some really good colleges like George Brown can also take upto 2 months to reply to an overseas application.
You can apply on your own or through an education agent, both ways it will work fine as canadian universities charge application fees regardless of the mode of application. Each application can cost you upto 6k INR and it is non-refundable. However, if you will apply through an agent then you can get to apply for free in some colleges as the colleges waive off their application fees for their own registered agents. To know the valid agent’s name you can always visit the institute site and get all the information.
Every intenational student gets upto 3 years of post study work permit in Canada which is equivalent to the duration of course. Just keep in mind that your course duration has to be more than 8 months otherwise you will not get any post study work time in Canada.
Another thing worth remembering while applying in a canadian college or university is to look out only for institutes that have designated learning program. You can check the list on this link.
Universitiy tuition fees can range from 14 lacs INR – 23 Lacs INR for a two years masters degree. Along with this you will also be required to open a GIC account with minimum funds of 6 lacs INR in order to show your financial capacity to sustain for over an year in Canada as a student.
No doubt you can work upto 40 hours a fortnight in Canada as an intenational student but it can be pretty hard to find a job during harsh winters specially in the northern regions of the country.
Once you are accepted then you get a deadline to pay your fees and get a confirmation of enrollment to apply for visa. Canadian universities accept backlogs as well so do not be fooled by anyone who is trying to stop you from applying in your choice of university. The admissions team actually assess your entire profile whie considering you fit for their student body. So make sure you show all your certificates and voluteering experience.
It is easy to apply for a permanent residency after you have studied in canada and got canadian work experience. So if your sole purpose for study abroad is to migrate to a new country with less obstacles then Canada is the country for you.
Country 3: UK and Ireland
Admission porcess and study duration is same for both these countries. Even the study expense is somewhat similar, only the difference can be in terms of currencies. Both countries offer two years post study work permit. However, the pathway to permanenet residency is quite tricky in UK these days. In Ireland, you have to fulfil certain conditions in order to get permanent residency visa like getting a job after your post-graduation that pays off an annual salary of 28000 EUR or more, staying in the country for continous five years and have paid your taxes fairly.
There is also a skilled employment list and if your job comes under those highly in demand skills in Ireland then you will get added advantage of becoming eligible for a PR earlier. Both UK and Ireland are beautiful study destinations but there is a definite proliferation of data analysts in Ireland.
Business analytics graduates often struggle to find a job after their post graduation. This can be due to the reason that about 80 percent of Ireland’s population and job market resides in Dublin. This is a small city that can only accomodate a certain number of jobs for a limited number of people.
So, if you want to go for UK or Ireland then make sure you are best in what you do or get back home right after your course is done. Personally I believe that you cannot gain the study experience in a limited time period of one year. As you need more time to grasp the culture of the place where you are visiting and also learn new skills.
Country 4: Australia and New-Zealand
The land down under and…the land further down under are rising as a popular desitnation for international students. Due to the government policy reforms for international students, comparitively easy application process and possibilities of getting a PR makes these two countries more likely to migrate.
Australian universities rank among the top universities in the world when it comes to courses in IT, analytics, engineering and Medical sciences. The tuition fees can be as high as 33 lacs INR for a two year program but several scholarship programs do provide financial aids to international students.
International students can work 40 hours a fortnight and if one is determined to work hard then success is certain in Australia. You will get two year post study visa if you study in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. If you are studying anywhere else in Australia then there is a 3 post study work visa provided, along with this you can also get one additional year of stay if you studying from a regional area and maintaining your stay over there only.
Adelaide is a popular city for international students as it comes under regional area, situated in the southern end of the continent so stays cool most of the year, comes with PR opportunities, has abundant job opportunities and diverse people unlike rest of the regional places with small population.
Country 5: Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Sweden
So I have kept all the european countries in one section, not just because they all come under Europe but due to the similar application process of each of these countries.
One will find various exciting options in European countries. There can be benefits like 100% scholarship and getting to live in the most beautful cities in the world. Infact, Germany is home to one of the best technical masters programs and offer post study work opportunities as well. If you write blogs or have published some papers then Germany will be easy to get admission in.
In order to apply you need to create a profile in the international student portal for each european country and so an agent is usually not requierd here.
Here is a list of international student application portals for each country:
I came across these sites while researching about applying in the european countries. At the end, do visit the university/college website and get thorough knowledge on course structure, intakes available, student communities, internship opportunities and institute’s research contribution in your related field of study
I hope my blog helped you in clearing your mind towards deciding a study destination. I will try to provide more information in the same subject in my future blog.
Untill then, Keep Smiling 🙂