The first phase of DNA`s Global Education Seminar was a huge success. Students and parents got first hand information on overseas education from the correct authorities on the topic. Patricia Mascarenhas reports.
The DNA Global Education seminar, sponsored by Bank of India concluded its first phase across the city. ML Dahanukar College, SVKM group of institutions and Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Management were some of the colleges covered in the seminar series held between November 26 to 29. The aim of the workshop was to guide global education aspirants in making informed decisions about applying to overseas universities, bank loans and visa application process.
Alisha Mashruwala, overseas education counsellor gave information on universities, courses, scholarships and job opportunities. Giving a brief idea on application requirements she said, “Undergraduate and postgraduate students have a different application process for different countries and courses.”
Apart from good grades in school and college, SAT and TOEFL scores a students can make an attempt to impress the admissions office by having a good record in extracurricular activities as well. Impressive common application essays, recommendation letters, statements of purpose, a good work experience and a successful interview can add value to your application.
“Admission officers want to know what you are interested in so make sure your goals are legitimate,” Mashruwala advised, adding that students should take up internships to get an idea to spot their interests.
An international education is not possible if you have not appeared for the required tests. Neha Sarwal, academic head, verbal, IMS guided students through various exams like GRE, GMAT and TOEFL. She highlighted the costs, score scales, exam facts and test formats of these exams. “When it comes to test preparations, make the commitment by booking the date, 250 to 300 USD is a big amount and you will ensure that you are well prepared as you don`t want to lose such a big amount,” she said.
Along with exams, finances play a big role in overseas education. MV Shah, chief manager, Bank of India, Vile Parle (East) branch, provided information on the various educational loans, schemes, facilities and procedures that need to be followed.
“Banks do take a risk by giving out education loans since it is not sure if the student will be able to repay the loan but we take this risk as our CSR,” he said. NU Goswami, assistant general manager, Bank of India, Mumbai, said, “There are certain requirements which all banks follow, but we are eager to play a role in helping students achieve their dream.”
Speaking about the visas, a team from US Consulate—Jessica Kania, foreign service officer, Ajay Rao, second-tour public diplomacy-coned consular officer and Jeff Ellis, public diplomacy-coned, foreign service officer assured students and parents that US visa application is a hassle free process. “Show us that you have secured admission, that you will succeed as a student, that you have enough finances to pay for tuition fees and living expenses. Finally, you need to show us that you will use the visa legitimately,” they advised. “The visa process happens once you get admission, it is literally three pages,” said Preeti Prabhu, trade commissioner, Consulate General of Canada. After you`ve secured admission, make sure you apply for your visa six weeks before your departure.
Finally the workshops concluded with a lively question and answer session where in all the speakers cleared specific question posed by students and parents present.
There are many who are interested in studying abroad however, only a few land up in the universities of their choice, students are fortunate to get their doubts cleared by the right authorities.
— Madhavi Pethe, principal, ML Dahanukar College of Commerce,
It is the institution`s responsibility to guide and facilitate a forum where in students have the opportunity to seek knowledge and a chance to study at an international university that they desire.
— VD Angadi, director, Lala Rai Institute of Management
Some of questions that were asked were:
1. Does an engineering course abroad require Tofel and GRE?
A. It depends on where you are applying. Programmes in UK will not require a GRE, however, for masters in US, you will have to take both.
2. How long does it take to get confirmation on visa approval?
A. In almost all cases the applicant finds out if the visa is issued or not at end of the interview. For some countries however, the visa issuance may take a couple of days.
3. Is it mandatory to have a work experience for a masters or MBA course in Australia?
A. For a masters course you will be eligible right after your graduate degree but, for an MBA in Australia would require a couple of years of experience
4. Will being a student advisor or doing on-campus jobs help? How will it cut cost?
A. Being a resident advisor you could cut it by 30 per cent, a part time job it would cut costs by about 20 per cent, however, worksing as a research assistant with professors or fellowships could cut socts by 40 per cent.
5. How long does it take to process a loan?
A. Not more than a week if correct and all documents are submitted.