Planning for a study abroad program is a brave decision. I expect aspirants to face
a lot of tough situations. Searching a university is one such challenging task. Nobody
finds a tailor made university but candidates have to find out the most suitable
option. Check these points to search your destiny.To garner the greatest results
from the experience, though, it’s important to select a university with strong academic
credentials and a competitive course of study.
Study Abroad Programs have distinctive characteristics, like students, and thus it
is important to find the right “match” between the student and the program. Your
friend, or sister, or teacher may have participated in a program that was “absolutely
great” for them, but may not be a good fit for you. Thus, a glowing recommendation
from someone who went on a program is not necessarily the most appropriate approach
to choosing a program.
• Understand your needs and characteristics before choosing
a study abroad program • Explore several options and compare program characteristics •
Choose a study abroad program that fits your needs and characteristics
ADMISSIONS What are the admission requirements for the school? For the department?
Deadline dates? Are there any prerequisites or undergraduate courses required for
admission to your program? Is a graduate admission examination (i.e., GRE, GMAT, LSAT,
MCAT) required? What is the latest possible date to report scores for admission consideration?
What was the average or mean exam score of your entering class in previous admission
cycles? Is there a cut-off or minimum score that has been set by the department?
How do you consider scores if an exam is taken several times? What is the application
fee? Do you have application Fee Waivers? How many applications were received last
year? What was the acceptance rate? What is the number of open spaces per application
Is your program accredited? By whom? What is the academic reputation
of your graduate program? School? Faculty? What is the number, diversity, and reputation
of the faculty members? What have faculty published recently? What specific research
areas are focused on by the faculty in the program/department? How available are
the faculty to students? Does your program offer or require an internship experience?
Is there a variety of viewpoints and theoretical approaches, or does the program
have a particular emphasis? How long does it generally take to complete the advanced
degree? Does the degree require a comprehensive examination, project, or thesis?
A combination? Is there a demand for people with graduate degrees in this field? What
is the placement rate for graduates from this program? In what areas? What are the
growth prospects for this field in the future? What major changes, now or in the future,
do you see affecting this field?
FINANCIAL AID What types of financial aid or scholarships,
if any, does your program offer? Application deadlines? Do you have any fellowships
or teaching/research assistantships available?
Is there a contact person who
can address my questions before and/or after arriving on campus? Is it possible to
visit the campus and meet with a graduate program representative (i.e., chair, faculty,
advisor) to learn more about the program and school? Is it possible to speak with
current students and recent alumni to learn more from a student perspective? Now that
you have decided on the universities you would like to apply, you need to get into
the real business of actually filling out the application forms. At this stage, I
feel one of the things that is absolutely necessary to have is access to a computer
with Internet. Browsing starts with the process of choosing the right university.
are basically two main ways one can apply: Lot of universities will allow you to
fill out your application online; or at least provide you with an online form to
request application materials. In the regular case, you can send an email to a university
admission office to send you application materials. You will get all these information
by browsing through that university website. Send a lot more requests for application
materials than you are actually going to apply. The papers you receive will also
help you in deciding the universities you are finally going to send your applications
to. Draft a simple email and use it with different email addresses of different universities
just to establish a rapport with the university. Once you have got the application
materials, you need to sit down and complete the application process. This can be
quite time consuming and needs a lot of planning.