Every year, some 11 lakh candidates vie for the 16,000 seats in the IITs. The cut-off percentage for some of the coveted courses in top colleges has hit 99%. “The acceptance rate in Indian colleges offering quality education, is below 2% .
In a few months time, this annual cycle will repeat itself – and many of school students may find themselves in a dilemma!
In our experience of over 15 years, this problem – of very-few , good-quality institutions – forces many students look at overseas education as an alternative to pursue their higher studies. However, due to lack of clear & accurate knowledge & the myths surrounding overseas education, students and parents, at times, make wrong decisions.
As a company which guides students about overseas education opportunities, we come across many of these myths. Our aim is to help educate students & parents about the benefits of studying outside India and understanding the correct picture.
8 things to keep in mind while planning for your child’s studies abroad
As a parent, you always want the best for your kids. And if it means sending them abroad for higher studies, then you better start preparing for it as early as possible.
If your kids are small, then you have enough time to start investing for their educational needs. But if you’re about to send your child abroad in the next 1-2 years, getting a grasp of the various aspects of international studies can come in quite handy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you and your children contemplate offshore study.
1. When to begin planning
To start with, studying abroad needs meticulous planning to put things in the right place. As far as possible every move should be planned. The decision to go abroad for studies should be made at an early age. Generally, class XI and XII students start talking about it and then realise that they’re already hard-pressed for time. So, the ideal time to start planning – Class 10 (though we suggest starting in class 9)
2. Counselling session
Search for a mentor. Someone who has experience & can share their experience with you and your kid. One may even go for a counselling session and discuss important things like aptitude, courses, colleges, application process, working out the best option if a college accepts the application, visa formalities, pre-departure workshops and then the final departure.
All this may take time – maybe a couple of months, but look at it as an investment. It helps the student prepare well in advance.
Although preferences could vary, choosing the course, then country and finally the university, in that order, should benefit the child in the long run. Some may want to pursue the chosen course in the best university(ies) so wherever these are located, automatically becomes the destination country.
3. Choosing a course
Newer courses keep coming up and not every university may offer courses, especially specialised ones, that your child wishes to pursue. Therefore, one should keep the course as the starting point and search accordingly.
4. Choosing a country
Once you’ve chosen the course, you need to take a call on the country you wish to study in. The process to apply for a course in different countries may vary a lot. In some countries, only one application needs to be submitted for more than one college, while in case of other countries you may have to apply separately.
Social and cultural fit may come in the way, especially if you have chosen a country, but your family doesn’t want you to go there. Also, remember that all countries may not give you a permit to work post-studies.
5. Choosing a university
Finally, choose a university based on your budget and the university’s reputation. You should ideally also look at the university’s faculty and job placement record. Create a list of 5-10 colleges and pick one after carefully evaluation.
One would not like to fall short of funds at the last minute, especially when your child is all pumped up to go abroad for studies. So try and get the break-up and be realistic while estimating costs. Sending your kid to study in the US could cost you anywhere between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 40 lakh annually. In Canada, UK & Australis, it could be a shade lower. In Europe, similar level of education will set you back by approx 12-1 5 lakhs rupees (almost 50% less than the US !)
Then there is the cost of the service – offered by a qualified consultant. A counselling session, the starting point for internationals studies, could cost you about Rs 5,000 per session, while an all-inclusive hand-handling package could cost Rs 20,000-Rs 2.5 lakh.
The application fee for each college could be about $75 on an average and you may have to apply to about 5-10 of them. In addition, there will be expense on accommodation, food and travel.
If one happens to get a scholarship, nothing like it as it helps in reducing the tuition fees considerably. Some scholarships cover a part of the total tuition fees, while others may cover the entire amount. The remaining funding will have to come from parents and an education loan. Many universities break-up the scholarship into (a) actual reduction in fees (b) low-interest loan (c) preference for work opportunities in the university.
8. Currency fluctuations
A major portion of the international studies, including the tuition fees, will be denominated in dollar / euro. As and when rupee weakens against these currencies, the education abroad will become costly. In 2018, a dollar was about Rs 65, today it stands at Rs 76 – that’s an increase ( in fees for you) of almost 5% every year !.
From here, if rupee depreciates further, then on a four-year course, you may need more rupees to fund the dollar cost of your education abroad. Therefore, do not consider annual costs and instead take into account the total budget, keeping currency fluctuations in mind. One may open a bank account in the name of the child abroad and deposit certain funds to hedge against such fluctuations.
Evaluate the career opportunities realistically, both abroad and within India, before planning for international studies. The potential of getting a job immediately after studies will be different for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Also, the geopolitical developments play a role in impacting the same. International education comes at a high price, but can be highly rewarding if planned well.
If you’re thinking about applying to the best universities in the world, we’ll be happy to partner you on this journey. Connect with us today !