Choose from short-term cour­ses that help build a new skill or a long-term pro­gramme that gives you an added ad­van­tage.

India Today - - FINAL CUT - VIBHA KAGZI, Founder and CEO, ReachIvy, Study Abroad Con­sul­tancy Firm, Mum­bai

Are you look­ing for in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and di­ver­sity or do you want to try out a dif­fer­ent aca­demic par­a­digm? Here are five tips to help you short­list your course.

IDEN­TIFY YOUR CA­REER GOALS If you need a full-time im­mer­sive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to gain knowl­edge and ac­quire cre­den­tials for ca­reer prospects, a short-time course abroad will not be equally val­ued as a long-term course in many ed­u­ca­tional and pro­fes­sional sec­tors per­tain­ing to medicine, en­gi­neer­ing, sci­ence, and fi­nance.

SUIT YOUR ACA­DEMIC NEEDS Short-term cour­ses are best lever­aged to strengthen your ar­eas of in­ter­est be­fore you pur­sue them in your un­der­grad­u­ate. If you have al­ready de­cided on your area of study, head for a long-term course. It is ori­ented to­wards pro­vid­ing you a com­pre­hen­sive ed­u­ca­tional scaf­fold­ing and per­sonal growth.

PER­SON­ALISE THE EX­PE­RI­ENCE Study­ing abroad is a per­sonal jour­ney and you must be fully aware of your ex­pec­ta­tions. If you want to spend a sum­mer con­struc­tively, ex­plore a dif­fer­ent ge­og­ra­phy and en­joy a new cul­ture, a short sum­mer course fits the bill. For a more in­ten­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence of aca­demic feats, cam­pus life, cul­ture and life­style, con­sider a long-term course.

RE­VIEW YOUR BUD­GET Study your fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions well as they play a cru­cial role in your study plans. Test the wa­ters with a short-term course on your pre­ferred sub­ject in your tar­get col­lege first. If you can pool funds through schol­ar­ships and loans then eval­u­ate the impact of your aca­demic en­deav­ours abroad to your in­vest­ment.

FAC­TOR IN THE TIME You might have time con­straints per­tain­ing to fam­ily or don’t want to stay away from home for a longer pe­riod, yet you want to savour the ex­pe­ri­ence of study abroad. A short-term course will pro­vide you with the need­ful.

WHAT’S IN DE­MAND A longer course will add value to your CV, be­sides giv­ing you a dis­tin­guished brand. If you are a grad­u­ate from a top-tier school, you’ll be an as­set to any em­ployer across the globe. How­ever, with the emer­gence of a skill-driven job mar­ket, short-term cour­ses are gain­ing im­por­tance.

WHERE TO STUDY Do your home­work and scour univer­sity web­sites, speak to stu­dents and alumni, and if pos­si­ble, visit your tar­get col­leges. More than rank­ings, go for schools which of­fer cour­ses that meet your needs.

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