‘Location and budget are the most important criteria’
Updated on Sep 8, 2014 - 2:45 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das

If you have decided to study abroad then these questions must have definitely crossed your mind:

Which country should you choose?
Which university should you apply?
How to choose the university?
Will a degree from a foreign university give you an edge in the job market?

Here we have Mansie Dewan, Admissions Coach, who answers the most common queries regarding studying abroad. Ms. Dewan also discusses the ways to select a university and enlists the importance of getting a foreign degree.

Below are the edited excerpts:

Careers360: What are the most common queries from students wanting to study abroad?
Mansie Dewan: Many! The entire process is laced with anxiety and confusion. Some of the most common questions assailing an aspirant’s minds are related to the brand of university, post study placement opportunities, return on investment, brand value of course, ways to arrange finances and adapting to the new surroundings. The biggest dilemma, however, is getting started with the whole process.


Careers360: How do I choose a university?
Mansie Dewan: A lot of factors go into selecting a university. Location and budget are the single most important criteria.  Course structure and curriculum, percentage of international student body, post study work opportunities and relevance of course in the industry of choice are also very important deciding factors.


Careers360: What kind of skills, other than academic do universities abroad expect from an applicant?
Mansie Dewan: The ability to mould into the multi-cultural environment, collaborate and work in teams, excellent interpersonal and communication skills and to be on top of everything are mandatory.


Careers360: Do I have an edge in the job sector in India if I get a degree from a foreign university?
Mansie Dewan: That really depends on your own skills set, networking abilities and aptitude. However, studying from a well known university which is popularly known in India can definitely prove advantageous.


Careers360: How do I get in touch with Indian students studying abroad?
Mansie Dewan: You can connect to the admissions office of the school you are applying to and ask them to connect you with other Indian students. Many schools after accepting students put them in touch with others students from their communities to help them with their questions,  move into the new country and adapt to the university environment and culture.


Careers360: Can I work while I study? How feasible is that?
Mansie Dewan: Depends on the country. Many study permits allow you to work part time either on/off campus for up to 20 hours. However, you must ensure that your academics do not suffer because of working. Some academic courses are demanding and it might not be possible for you to work while studying and best that you concentrate on your academic work, rather than compromise on your grades. Even when it is possible to work part time, you should take up jobs which complement your education and post study goals.


Careers360: Is my three-year bachelor’s degree enough to pursue master’s from a foreign university?
Mansie Dewan: Some universities require a minimum of four years of study at the UG level to qualify for Masters programmes while others do accept a three-year degree. So it varies university to university.


Careers360: What is the maximum I should spend in getting a degree from a foreign University?
Mansie Dewan: The range of fees is so vast that it is difficult to comment on it. For example, the tuition fees for a Post Graduate programme can vary from Rs.10-15 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crore.  What part of the world you will be studying in and how much you will be spending on your living expenses is also taken into account while calculating the total spend money.


Careers360: When should I start applying?
Mansie Dewan: Some schools have multiple intakes every year so it is possible to apply almost throughout the year. These are called rolling deadlines. Some others have 2-3 rounds and accept applications during those deadlines only. For European and American schools, its best to start the process at least a year before the course is scheduled to start.


Careers360: How important is an SOP in the selection process?
Mansie Dewan: An impressive SOP is extremely important. An effective personal statement complements the data that you have already provided the school through your online application which are your academic records, test scores and academic and professional background. In an extremely competitive applicant pool, where almost all candidates have similar profiles, academics and test scores, these personal statements are the distinguishing agents which can either land your application folder in the rejection pile or get you invited for interview.


Careers360: Where do I guidance to write an SOP?
Mansie Dewan: There are plenty of professional admissions coaches who can guide you through the process.


Careers360: Is it true that foreign universities provide more flexibility than their Indian counterparts? How so?
Mansie Dewan
: Many international universities allow students the flexibility to charter their own study plan and also offer multiple choices of courses suiting personal interests and career goals. Generally, students are required to opt for specializations after completing a certain duration of the programme and this time period is sufficient to research on all available options and decide accordingly.

Stay tunes to www.studyabroad.careers360.com for more stories on admission.

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