Restarting Mission Foreign Education? Here’s a Handy Checklist
It’s very important to find out about scholarships and grants you can avail of.
Indian students, who had aspired to go abroad for higher studies, had to abruptly put their plans on hold after the world went into lockdown. While the past few months have been marked by uncertainty, this period did witness some positive developments too.
For instance, Sweden witnessed increased interest from Indian and international students as an education destination, the current situation notwithstanding. India has established air bubbles with 13 countries, including the USA, UK, France, Germany, and Canada. For the uninitiated, an air bubble arrangement between the two countries enables passenger air travel between those places without any restrictions. This is particularly encouraging after months of a blanket air travel ban barring repatriation flights.
With countries now slowly opening and border restrictions gradually easing, it’s time for students to start working towards their dream once again with renewed optimism and hope.
So, if you’re a student planning to pursue studies abroad, here’s a checklist that will make things easier for you.
#1 Find out about scholarships
While applying to study abroad, it’s very important to find out about scholarships, waivers, and grants you can avail of. Canada, for instance, offers language skills scholarship based on your IELTS score and waives off certain ancillary charges. Universities in Australia and the UK have scholarships and bursaries for students coming from abroad. US universities support international students by way of scholarships and financial aid. There are plenty of such options you can explore.
With a scholarship, you won’t have to exhaust your savings. Your loan burden will go down, making subsequent repayment easier.
The right scholarship can go a long way in subsidizing your foreign education.
#2 Gather first-hand information
The best way to gather information about universities you’ve shortlisted is to get on a call with the current students or the alumni. Find out about the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities on the campus.
They will guide you on what student life in a new country will be like. Consequently, speaking to them will help you make a more informed decision.
#3 Learn to manage your finances
In a new country, your parents won’t be around to guide you on financial matters. You will have to manage things yourself. There will be several day-to-day expenses you will have to deal with on your own. So while you’re still here, read up about the currency of the country you will be going to and understand how it works. Consult your friends and family who stay abroad, research online, or consult a financial expert. Work out what your monthly expenditure will be like so you can learn the basics of budgeting before leaving home. This will also teach you to prioritize your expenses when you’re living alone.
While your parents can conveniently send money to you using Western Union, managing it prudently is up to you.
Western Union’s money transfer service is not only fast, but it is also secure and reliable.
Read more about how to make quick outbound money transfers from India to other countries here.
#4 Plan your post-academic future
While deciding on a country, make sure you thoroughly know the rules related to work and residence permits, so you can plan your post-academic future accordingly.
As compared to the US or UK, some of the places where it’s relatively easier to get work visas are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or The Netherlands.
You can always reach out to an education counselor to help you understand the rules better.
#5 Research about the food and culture
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it makes sense to do basic research about the food and culture of the countries you have shortlisted.
This is important because you will be staying by yourself and will have to depend on the locally available ingredients to cook your meals.
Understanding the new cuisines will also ensure that you’re not in for any shocks once you get there. There are plenty of videos available on the internet to guide you.
You can also look up places that sell desi foods for days when you’re missing home terribly. For example, the US has several supermarket chains that stock a lot of Indian snacks and eatables. You can find similar markets if you’re in Singapore as well.
As you get ready to pursue your foreign education dream that was thrown off-course by the pandemic, we’re sure these tips will come in handy.
If you’re a student preparing to study abroad, let us know how it’s going in the comments!
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