In pursuit of higher studies abroad

So young Padwan, all set to fly toward greener pastures? The lands of opportunity where the streets are paved with gold and rivers overflowing with milk and honey welcome you, eh, my starry-eyed lad? The foreign lands will be laying out red carpets and eagerly be awaiting your landing and comely damsels waiting to throw flowers along your path and and escort you to the waiting Rolls Royce which will drive you to your palatial quarters. Alas! My friend. If but wishes were horses…. Yes, some foreign countries do have better courses in certain specializations and general standard of living is better if one manages to migrate there. But getting the right university, then a job and finally settling down in a foreign land is no cakewalk. As they say there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Did I just bring your hopes crashing to the ground? Well, old technique of the masters you know. First bring the pupil to the ground and then slowly raise him up again. You must have seen all those Karate Kid movies, Kill Bill and all that. So, am I calling myself a master? Well, I at least helped one student though this ardent journey and got him to his Valhalla. And I have seen cousins go through this process though I myself never have. As they say if you can’t do, teach.

So, here’s where you start – decide which universities you want to apply and which countries. Don’t even imagine for a moment that you can just shoot in the dark. Each of these application forms cost upward of one grand and you can easily end up losing a fortune in the application process itself. So, choose wisely. First zero in on target countries. Primary criteria would be countries which have colleges with medium of instruction as English. If you think you are going to do a 2-week French or German or Swedish crash course and be able to sit through technical lectures in these languages, you are kidding yourself. Play it safe and pick English unless you are already master of some foreign language. Then decide why you want to go abroad. Is it for some specialization that does not exist or for dollar dreams? If it is for specialization, choices are straightforward. If it is for migration, you need to think through a lot of things. First of all, how is the country’s immigration policy? Lot of countries are tightening screws on immigrants. So last thing you want is to come back home with a useless foreign degree from an unknown foreign university to take up the same BPO job you would have got even without the said degree.

Once you have chosen the countries, you can start looking at which universities. If you are a topper, the choices are obvious. If you are not, you have to start optimizing between value of a degree from an university and your chances of getting in. For both these you have to research on the net, read the university websites and talk to students and alumni. On the value front, you must look at professors, courses, profile of fellow students and internship and final placement opportunities. For chances of getting in, look at the various criteria the college uses and profiles of past students and how much your own matches up. One you have done that you would have narrowed your choices.

The next thing you look at is costs. There is the basic tuition fee, the local housing, food and other costs. If the college provides cheaper accommodation within campus, considerable costs are saved. One must also look at scholarship options, part time jobs and loan opportunities. And most importantly how much funds you can mobilize by yourself. This will help narrow down further.

By now you will hopefully have a list of 10-12 universities. You now have to go about applying to them. Most universities require something called a Statement of Purpose. This is a whole topic in itself and is one of the most critical aspects of the application that make or break the deal. The next most important thing is recommendations from college professors and other eminent persons. Even this has lot of nuances. It is best to seek personalized guidance on how to go about these two steps as well as preparation for interview if there is one.

The other critical element is aptitude tests. Some test logical and reasoning abilities. Some test technical aptitude. Some test language aptitude. Language aptitude is where #DefinitelyPTE comes in. It is one of the newly introduced English Language Tests. The other popular tests are IELTS and TOEFL. Often universities specify which test they will consider. But often universities also offer a choice of tests. In that case #DefinitelyPTE offered by Pearson has certain distinct advantages as against the other options. Following are key advantages:-

1. Tests are conducted all 365 days a year as against the others which are available only on specific days

2. Test is entirely computer based taking away any subjectivity that comes with human involvement and makes the process also much more faster. Results are expected to be available in 5 days.

3. Pearson has a wide network of centers – so it would be easier to find a center in one’s own town probably even closer to one’s own home.

4. Scores can be sent to unlimited number of universities at no extra cost

5. A large number of universities all over the world have begun to use these scores. Almost all universities in UK, Australia and New Zealand are covered. In US and Canada as well, some top universities such as Harvard, Wharton, Purdue, Texas Agriculture and Medical, Stanford, Princeton accept these scores

6. There is also lot of options to understand the test and prepare for the same. This is the official site for prep material. There are other online and classroom courses available as well.

So that’s the part up to the application solved. Once all the applications are out, it is time to keep your fingers crossed and wait. Once an admission comes through, that is the beginning of a whole new story. There are so many more things to take care with respect to visa applications, booking tickets and accommodation and other formalities. Well if you finally managing to get to the country of your dreams after going through all the hassles, you have probably arrived literally as well as figuratively. #DefinitelyPTE simplifies one step of the whole rigmarole which is the English aptitude test if all universities you are applying to accept these scores. Rest you still have to do yourself.

There you go. Now sit back and enjoy lovely ad on #DefinitelyPTE before you get started on realizing your dreams of migrating abroad.

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