Why go for international undergraduate education, and how

Due to a plethora of reasons like lack of awareness, financial constraints, differences in culture and lifestyle, worry and anxiety, parents were earlier hesitant to send their kids abroad. However, the necessity of high-quality education coupled with an improving economic condition has managed to make many families overcome the hesitation.
Students these days are increasingly opting for higher education in a foreign destination. According to UNESCO, there has been an increase of 163% in international applications for higher education from India and, since 2014, India has outpaced China in international student mobility.
So why is Indian students’ international mobility on the rise? When you look at the kind of course combinations that are provided by international universities today, they will definitely attract any student who is willing to explore possibilities through various courses or by interacting with international peer groups. Imagine studying Arts and Business together at the University of Waterloo under a course called “Honors Arts and Business” or studying Psychology with Linguistics at University College London.
But a student aiming to go abroad for education should consider factors that include languages known, budget, aptitude, suitable country, and future plans. Many students due to incomplete research end up getting admission in a university of less credibility.
As far as financing the education is concerned, today most students look at affordable universities with part-time work opportunities in order to be able to fund their living cost. The bigger question however remains that what exactly are the top universities looking for in their students? To understand this, students require expert guidance and assistance.
What to know when applying for an international UG course?
Holistic guidance is required on the choice of universities, profile building, deadlines, university application, visa processing, and even financial planning to study and get into the world’s best universities. The Pratham test prep has so far in its 11 years of expertise achieved 100% application and visa success and has successfully placed students in world’s top universities as well as secured for students many scholarships. It is important for a student to understand the importance of building a profile. If one studies the student profiles accepted in top universities across the world, there are a few common traits among the students:
1. Concern for community: If you do not bother for people or conditions around you and do not have an urge to improve situations, probably an expensive education in a top university is of no good to you.
2. Interest towards the course: Prove it to the university that you are keenly interested in the subject that you are applying to. Only exceptional academic scores in the subject might not be enough in this regard. Your participation in subject-based Olympiads, quizzes or taking higher-level courses may be more worthwhile.
3. Leadership and Risk-Taking capacities: A common skill in sophomores of top-notch universities across the world. If you have the capacity of taking the initiative and leading others towards a positive movement, it means a lot to the universities as they can see a change maker in you.
4. Research Capacity: Universities are under pressure today for external research funding and therefore they require more and more of people who have the capability of taking up extensive research projects. Those students who have exhibited this quality at school or college level would definitely reap the benefits.
Proper guidance helps in bringing out the best in students. The aim is to ensure that students choose the best courses as per their potential and based on information of a wide range of courses and options available across the world. Overall, one must understand that top universities today are looking for nothing less than a unique individual.
Thus, the importance lies in balancing academics with a proper set of planned activities which enhance the profile of the applicant. The process for this can begin as early as Class 9.

—The writer is Managing Director, PRATHAM International Education Desk

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