Five ma­noeu­vres ev­ery stu­dent aspiring to study out­side In­dia must con­sider


While ap­ply­ing to prom­i­nent global in­sti­tu­tions for stud­ies, it is very im­por­tant to not get over­whelmed by the vo­lu­mi­nous in­for­ma­tion, of­ten vary­ing in scope and con­tent. Re­mem­ber a few ba­sic, holis­tic facets, which if taken care of, can en­sure that you don’t do a shabby job at your ap­pli­ca­tions and learn along the way.

1 Start early

Ap­pli­ca­tions open up al­most a year be­fore the com­mence­ment of a pro­gramme. Don’t get con­fused by the spring/fall co­nun­drum; hardly 10 per cent of the world’s top 100 pro­grammes accept spring (Jan-March) in­take and thus, fall (Aug-Oct) in­take is the right sea­son to tar­get the ad­mis­sions. Gen­er­ally, most in­ter­na­tional pro­grammes have three to four ad­mis­sion cy­cles; the first cy­cle is where one has the best chance as all the seats are avail­able and the schol­ar­ships yet to be bagged. Ideally, start your prepa­ra­tion for the rel­e­vant ex­am­i­na­tion (GMAT/GRE/SAT) 18 to 20 months be­fore and start work­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tions around 13 months be­fore the same.

2 Me­thod­i­cally short­list the in­sti­tu­tions

Ad­mis­sions to Ivy League in­sti­tu­tions are com­pet­i­tive. Do not ap­ply to schools just be­cause you know their names and do not un­der­es­ti­mate in­sti­tu­tions be­cause you have not heard of them. Re­fer to au­then­tic rank­ings; look at the cur­rent class pro­files, av­er­age scores, and the aca­demic con­cen­tra­tions to eval­u­ate your chances of se­lec­tion. Find out the place­ment records, weigh the in­tel­lec­tual cap­i­tal, and ex­plore the aca­demic and ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties to eval­u­ate the strength of a pro­gramme. Fur­ther, speak to a few In­dian stu­dents who may be cur­rently study­ing there or have re­cently passed out and gain clar­ity about the ground re­al­ity as the prospects are of­ten dif­fer­ent for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. Seg­re­gate your port­fo­lio of schools into three parts— dream, prac­ti­cal, and safe.

3 Cre­ate a story

In­sti­tu­tions al­ways want to know the reasons why you wish to fly across the ocean to study with them. Avoid clichéd re­sponses avail­able on the In­ter­net; rather tell a story that links your past with the need for a de­gree in the con­cerned dis­ci­pline, from the spe­cific in­sti­tu­tion, and link all of it with your short-term ca­reer goal and the long-term vi­sion. Don’t worry about “how an ap­pli­ca­tion essay must look?” be­cause the more dif­fer­ent your es­says look, the bet­ter it is.

4 Don’t be over­whelmed

For rec­om­men­da­tions, en­sure that the per­son rec­om­mend­ing you has di­rectly su­per­vised you and gives ad­e­quate num­ber of rel­e­vant ex­am­ples. For re­sume, get your hands on a good tem­plate for the na­ture of de­gree you are ap­ply­ing for and per­son­alise this tem­plate with clear, con­cise point­ers. For on­line ap­pli­ca­tion forms, try to have someone go through your en­tire ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore you press the sub­mit but­ton. Do not let any one part of the process over­whelm you and re­mem­ber, ev­ery part of the ap­pli­ca­tion mat­ters.

5 Shirk the shortcuts

In your quest for pre­mium global ed­u­ca­tion, you will find sev­eral easy op­tions ap­proach­ing you; some so­phis­ti­cated com­pany, act­ing as an agent to a Tier IV global in­sti­tu­tion will be will­ing to have you ad­mit­ted with­out any test scores (or into MBA/MS pro­grammes on the ba­sis of TOEFL/IELTS) or a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of some global in­sti­tu­tion may di­rectly in­vite you for an in­ter­view; th­ese op­tions are, with­out any ex­cep­tions, mis­lead­ing.

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