Its been a while since people around me have travelled abroad and have come back with a plethora of dos and don’ts about the same. With the kind of money, time and effort involved in travelling abroad, one just CANNOT make these mistakes.
And if you’ve decided that you want to study abroad or have an inclination towards the same, here are 5 criminal mistakes you better avoid.
- Selecting the wrong Course
Consider this : You apply, get selected, pay up and fly; only to realise this was NOT the course you wanted to do.
It could be because of anything - you didn't pay enough attention, you were too busy in all the excitement to check up properly, peer pressure or parents insisting you. Trust me, this feeling will make all the fun sour. And this is not very uncommon. As much as I hate breaking this out to you, a study ascertained that one out of every three students feel that they chose the wrong course.
(Arnab Goswami yelling at you) Never ever and I repeat, never ever ever apply to a particular course without doing a detailed study about its contents, structure and its compatibility with your profile. This is how you make sure you don't select the wrong course.
Attend as many sessions you come across. Do anything and everything to be extremely sure about what you are going to invest so much into. Talk to university representatives repeatedly and shamelessly ask them questions that are bothering you.
- Applying to the wrong University
Huge problem. Not because it is a bigger problem than selecting the wrong course but because both problems often happen together. And that results in mayhem.
Just because that city has the best clubs or the most happening social life or closer to your relatives home, if you trap yourself in an average University- sooner or later you will suffer. Similarly, if you take up a fancy University over the next best University offering you a decent scholarship, make sure your decision is well thought out. You don't want to regret later.
Universities, their location, reputation, course structure, placements, scholarships awarded and diversity - all of these play an important role in deciding where you will be headed to after completing your masters.
A wrong decision wrt the University will haunt you today or tomorrow - and it is something you don't want to get yourself to. Again, the best way you can start the process of University selection is by first talking to Universities directly, writing them mails, talking to their representatives. Make sure you ask them every doubt that is even remotely going to make any difference to your concerns.
- Not talking to enough people
The internet is good but never good enough. Students end up relying heavily on the internet for information while applying abroad. What problem does this create? Confusion, misconceptions, unrealistic expectations and surest disappointment. DON’T.
Talk to people- seniors, teachers and the University. Talk to everyone you think can add value to your application and take the best out of everybody you talk to.
- Not talking to the right people
I will agree that there are too many people out there wanting to ‘help you’ and you never know who the right person is. This is what creates the problem of misleading information overload. You know things but they may not be factually correct. And if they are not correct, your application and its future will be thrown into jeopardy.
Talking to the University is the most underrated thing ever. Students do not feel it is important and appropriate to ask questions to the University. But believe me, university representatives abroad are more than happy to clear your doubts and not using this to your advantage is a silly thing to do.
Attend sessions that have the right people around, shun quacks and counsellors.
- Too early or Too late?
Lastly, do not rush into or delay things. Students make the common mistake of rushing into their dream of studying abroad or sometimes just procrastinate enough to be too old to go for a masters. In the process they take the wrong courses, settle for average Universities and do far less than that their potential warrants.
Take your time, build that profile and go when you are confident about taking the plunge. Start early, attend sessions and be ready - but do not hurry, your dream college will not vanish!