In the third phase of dna`s Global Education Seminar students and parents got first hand information on overseas education from the experts. Prachi Rege reports.
The third phase of dna`s Global Education seminar, sponsored by Bank of India concluded at the SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS), Nerul and VG Vaze College of Arts,Science and Commerce, Mulund recently. The aim of the workshop was to guide overseas education aspirants in making informed decisions about applying to foreign universities, information on bank loans and visa application process. A team of overseas education counsellors gave information on universities, courses, scholarships and job opportunities in foreign countries.
In her detailed presentation to the young audience, Ritu Kalwani, executive director, Score Plus Academy Pvt Ltd, The Princeton Review, Western India, highlighted the various points of studying in the US. “Universities in the US give equal weightage to test scores, previous academic record and extracurricular activities of the student. So aspirants must concentrate on all aspects, to avoid presenting a skewed profile in their application,” she informed. Kalwani also pointed out that students should learn to be interactive in class. “Your participatory nature in the class will reflect in your grades,” she advised.
Speaking on job opportunities after earning a degree in the UK, Falguni Laheru, senior solicitor, SmartMove2UK said, “Students who consider staying in the UK have three employment options to consider. One can become a graduate entrepreneur – which requires endorsement by a UK higher education institution or UK Trade and Investment, those considering entrepreneurship can start of with a capital of £ 200,000 or can secure employment with a minimum salary of £20,300 under the Work Visa Scheme. Laheru also gave information on the credit transfer system developed for qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Qualifications Framework (NQF), is a framework of nine levels covering levels of learning in secondary, further and vocational higher education. “International students can go for a study at minimum level 3,” she pointed out.
Officers from the US Consulate told the students about the do`s and don`ts of a visa interview. “Do not attend the interview with a rehearsed speech, it sounds fake,” said Lydia Hall, a second tour public diplomacy-coned officer. “If you have a cousin living in the US then don`t deny it. You won`t be denied a visa if you tell the truth,” she added. Jeff Ellis, public diplomacy-coned foreign service officer explained that just because your relatives didn`t get a visa doesn`t mean you won`t get one either.
Preeti Prabhu, trade commissioner, Consulate General of Canada said that usually an interview is not compulsory in the Canadian visa process. “A student is invited for an interview only if the officer thinks it is necessary for him to meet the student,” she said.
An international education is not possible without appearing for the required entrance tests. Vanita Sanjay from IMS guided students through various exams like GRE, GMAT and TOEFL and SAT. She highlighted the costs, score scales, exam facts and test formats of these exams.
Finances play a vital role in securing an education abroad. NU Goswami, assistant general manager, Bank of India, Mumbai advised students on the education loan prodecures. “A list of top 3,000 universities from across the world for which we provide loans is available on the website www.webometrics.info,” he mentioned. Kshitij Sharma, marketing manager, Bank of India, highlighted the 0.5 per cent concession that girl students can avail on their overseas education loan of Rs 50,000 and 1 per cent for a loan upto Rs 1 lakh.
The workshops concluded with a lively question and answer session where in all the speakers cleared specific question posed by students and parents present.
“Education is a serious investment. Overseas education is an expensive investment of both time and money. Hence it needs to be treated more seriously and students must consider and choose the right options smartly,”
— PN Parbekar, vice principal, VG Vaze College of Arts ,Science and Commerce
Some of questions that were asked were:
1. Is there any crietria for applying for student loans?
Need to have a consistent first class throughout his/her academic life. Officers also need to know what kind of job prospects the student will have after completing the course. Will he/she have the capacity to pay off the loan.
2. How does one fulfill the 16 year education criteria for US universities?
You can take up one year post graduate course in India either through distance/ full time modules. While doing this course you can also take up part-time job in the field you want to get your Masters in from the foreign country. The job will help to fullfil the work experience criteria needed in the university application.
3. On what basis does one get a scholarship in US and UK and does it cover the tuition fees?
Each university has scholarship details on their websites. These are either need-based or merit-based. In US and UK education is expensive so scholarships won`t cover tuition fees.