Beyond India for Education

Source: Education Directory – 02-03 (Mumbai Edition) USA

Greener Pastures Beyond India for Education

If you are someone who dreams big and who has a vision to receive the best quality education, which would shape your career in the finest possible way than, I am sure the following pages will make your task much simpler.

Now, lets discuss the various options available to you outside India or what people call ‘phoren’.

Firstly the all time favourite of Indian students the US of A The entry level for US is shown in the table given below

Degree Completed in India


F.Y. / S.Y. / B.A. / B.Sc. /

B.E. / B.Tech. / B.Arch. / B.Pharm / B.F.A. / MBBS/ Masters Part I/II / Post Graduate Diploma



Subjects / Papers


Studying for Graduation

Studying for post graduation

Studying for PhD/Doctorate


First year of Undergraduates

Second year of Undergraduates

Third year of Undergraduates

Fourth year of Undergraduates

Eligibility for courses in US

First year undergraduate / Freshman

Transfer Undergraduate – year will depend on credits offered by university applied.

Masters / Ph.D.





Undergraduate studies

Graduate Studies

Post Graduate Studies







Comparison of educational terms in India and U.S.A.

Undergraduate Studies (leading to a Bachelors degree) – It can be started after plus 2 (i.e.10+2 / 12th). There are lot of scholarships available for undergraduate students and these scholarships are mostly based on your SAT I scores.

Graduate Studies (leading to a Masters degree) – Students with 16 years of education can apply for a Masters degree in USA. A student with B.A., B.Sc. or is advised to do one year of M.A., M.Sc., or to fulfill the 16 years of education requirement. Though there are very few universities, which do accept you with your 15 years education for limited programs. You need to check individual college website or consult your counselor for more details.

There are more than 3500 accredited universities in US. There are lots of specializations (majors) to choose from the traditional subject areas like engineering, business management, computers, etc; to courses in public health, biotechnology, bioinformatics, advertising, design, graphics and animation. Any attempt to make choice without proper guidance can be time consuming, expensive and may cost you your admission. Remember the application is "You" in the eyes of the admissions officer. Hence, it is always better to take a counsellor advice during admission procedures. Counsellor are expert in one’s field and will give you advice which will not only help you to get into good universities but also save few thousand dollars through financial aid, scholarship or assistantship.

The admission procedures to universities abroad take 10 to 12 months. Remember your 1st standard lesson that "The early bird catches the worm". This is true, even when you are applying for studies abroad. So, start early enough for your application and plan in advance to avoid rushing and pushing (It is not the Mumbai local train you know, yai lagaya dhakka aur gus gaye).

Now, lets get familiar with the stations your train (oops plane!) to stop before it reaches US.

Station I – Selection of Universities:

It depends upon a number of factors such a universities ranking, availability of the desired program, location, placements, scholarships, cost, climate, infrastructure facilities, presence of international student community and a thousand more. The student may give importance to one or more of the above factors depending on his personal choice and preferences. In selecting the universities, it is better applying from 6 to 8 universities in order to get the best possible deal.

Station II – Documentation:

  • Transcripts: In simpler terms these are nothing but apna marksheet yaar! but in a slightly different format. Transcripts of last 4 years of study are required.
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose): SOP is one of the most important parts of your application packet. It is a personal essay written in approximately 250-500 words, which highlights your personality besides other achievement, which may be useful for your selected course.
  • LOR (Letter of Recommendations): Obtain 2 to 3 letters of recommendation as required by the university. These should generally be written by professors who can comment on "different" aspects of your academic as well as non academic performance, projects, capabilities and potential. Someone who has supervised you if you have relevant work experience can also write the recommendation.
  • Standardized Test: I know what are your feelings but yeh test se khabi kisise ka phecha choot saka hai? So, guys start burning the midnight oil.
  • i. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • It is a must for all international students who are not from a country with native language as English.
  • ii. SAT-I (Scholastic Aptitude Test - I)
    • All students who want to pursue undergraduate studies take this test. A good score in this test would enable you to get a scholarship.
  • iii. SAT-II (Scholastic Aptitude Test - II)
  • Top universities offering undergraduate studies recommend this test.
  • iv. GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • Students pursuing Masters OR PhD program take this test.
  • v. GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test)
  • Students pursuing Management Program (MBA) take this test.
  • Sponsor Statement: The sponsor statement has to be prepared by the students in a particular format similar to that of an affidavit. There can be more than one sponsor. I would personally prefer to have a sponsor from India rather than from abroad since it increases your chances of getting a visa in future.
  • Financial certificate form or bank statement or solvency statement. :
  • The statement should at least cover the total cost of study for at least one year.
  • Application Fee: Most of the universities charge an application fee of about 30-80 USD, which is a must for your application to be processed. It may be send in the form of a dollar draft in the name of that particular university.

Station III- Delivery of Application Packet:

Send the application packets containing all the documents to the admission office address of each university mentioned on the application OR on the website whichever is applicable before the “DEADLINE”.

Remember the words I told you before, approach the counselor for better advise because it is his job to see that the application reaches before deadline. There are various deadlines.

  • Financial Aid/ Scholarship Deadline
  • Early decision deadline
  • Priority deadline.
  • Regular deadline
  • Rolling deadline.
  • It is always advisable to send your packets early to improve your chance of getting admitted to a university with aid. Most of the universities today have online application facilities so that your application can reach ‘just in time’, if you are a late starter. Your documents in such cases can reach later and your application will still be valid and would be consider by the admission committee. However you need to have an international credit card though some university may allow you to send a Dollar Draft later with your documents.
  • Station IV- Waiting Room:

    Aap katar me ho krupaya thodi der bad dial kare. So often you must have heard this. But you just can’t help. Similarly now you are in a waiting room and the most you can do is keep trying through email, netcall and other services asking for application status of the concern department. Some university also offers online application status facility.

    Final Station V- Acceptance:

    Congrats! You have received an I-20 (Admission letter) so cheer up. Now you want to work on your visa documentation. There is a separate article on visa that will give you all the necessary information.

    So you have got your visa also. That’s great!

    Now nothing can stop you from going to US
    Phew! Finally you have reached US. (Thanks to us, don’t you think so?)
    I wish you all the very best and good luck.

    UNICEF rates Canada as the number 1 destination. Students prefer Canada because of its close proximity to the US and also because the cost of education is half of that’s in US. Hence it is hot favourite with students who does not want to go to US.

    Canada follows pro-American system and as such the procedure for admission is same as that of US of A. (Refer to the US article for more details)

    However, in general one does not have to apply for SAT for undergraduate studies and GMAT & GRE for Graduate studies. There may be few universities, which may still be demanding these.

    Canada has 92 universities and 175 community colleges. An international student must enroll for full time study. It also, like US, allows for international work experience and most of which is done through on campus recruitment.

    The scholarships are limited for an international student as the government subsidizes Canadian education. Canadian degree is recognized world wide for employment opportunities.





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