IT helps to have an honest chat with yourself to know which universities best match your academic potential rather than applying to those you fancy, just because everyone likes to go there.
A quick ‘reality check’ will not only set you on the right track but also make sure you don’t fall prey to unethical consulting. Here’s a ten-step guide to help you select universities that will offer you the best of academic and cultural experiences:
Step 1: Based on your potential and career goals identify an area of interest which you want to explore further as each application can cost up to $300. If you don’t know your interest yet, postpone the decision until you are sure.
Step 2: Research your programme as programmes with the same name can have different specialties. Scour websites, brochures, literature on your desired programmes for a fair analysis.
Step 3: Find out university rankings from reliable sources like THE, Financial Times, Newsweek (for more details refer to the adjecent box on univeristy ranking sources).
Step 4: From the rankings, find universities that do good research in your area of interest and offer grants. Visit respective consulates for unbiased and accurate information on universities (refer to Box on Consulates).
|Reliable source of university rankings
Academic Ranking of World Universities
Global University Ranking
HEEACT – Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities
Human Resources & Labor Review
Research Performance Index SCImago
institutions rankings: 2009 World Report
THE-QS World University Rankings
Professional Ranking of World
Step 5: Email the admission officer for any query you may have about the programme. Engage with alumni and faculty to know more about the programme.
Step 6: Consider universities where your seniors have secured admission and financial aid. If those universities are satisfied with their experience, the chances are they will consider your application favourably.
Step 7: Geographic factors. Industries concentrated in particular States tend to hire heavily from the universities around them. Hardware firm, Dell, based in Austin, Texas, hires a lot of engineers and MBAs from Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. If you are interested in automotive engineering or management, consider applying close to Detroit where the Big Three (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) are based.
Step 8: Now identify one or two ‘dream schools’, three or four ‘good-match’ schools and two safe schools. Dream schools would be the top 10 colleges where admissions are tough, a good-match is good academic life and a good chance of admission; safe ones would be universities among the top 50 universities but with good facilities. Remember to pay equal attention to each college in the three categories as admission selection is subjective.
Step 9: If confusion persists, draw a comparative chart that reflects the strengths and weaknesses of each university in terms of:
- Minimum GMAT/ GRE/ SAT/ IELTS/ TOEFL score accepted in previous years
- Your potential and programme’s offerings
- The rank of the programme
- Faculty and department’s area of specialisations
- Strength of Indian students
- Accreditation with local and international bodies
- Cost of study
- Accommodation, facilities and location of the institute
Step 10: Now that you have almost made up your mind, roll up your sleeves and aim for:
- A good GPA/CGPA,
- A good GMAT/ GRE/ SAT/ IELTS TOEFLiBT scores
- A strong personal statement or Statement of Purpose
- Solid work experience
- Extracurricular Experience
- A short and crisp resume
"STUDY HARD AND PLAY HARD": Shan Chopra studies at Knox Grammar School, Sydney
My education in Australia the past two and a half years has been a great experience and quite an enriching one. International students in Australia have a lot to learn and discover in fields of their academics, sports, culture, traditions and its lifestyle.
Its relaxed and completely chilled environment is one that will make you fall in love with the place straight away. However, Australian society has many aspects which you may or may not adapt to straight away.
My experience in Australia has taught me a lot of lessons that I may not have learnt in India. Its highly competitive environment motivates me to improve my ability in everything I do in every day of my life.
Even though Aussies really respect you for your physical and sporting ability and the amount of effort you put in, however your main focus must be your own goal as a student and to be competitive in what your main goal is, whether that be your academics or your sport, ultimately you must be competitive and must put your best in everything you do.
The key is to be the best in whatever you do or certainly try to be up there. This will not only give you a good reputation and respect from others but you will be satisfied with yourself too. Furthermore, your participation in all the opportunities available is quite well acknowledged too.
The approach to academics is quite practical and hands on which ultimately requires thorough research and use of external sources more than anything else. Comparatively, India’s approach is very theory based requiring the student to really speaking, mug up everything rather than learning and understanding the concepts being studied.
Moreover, Australia’s approach to academics is application based meaning that it teaches you concepts that you can put to practice in future life. Whereas my experience of India’s approach to academics suggests that in order to pass an exam, you have to mug the concepts up instead of being able to apply it or understand it.
Now, since the racism issue in Australia has been highly publicised in the Indian “media”, I would just like to state that racism is prevalent in all parts of the world in some form or the other so that’s quite not the problem. The problem is the way you react in that kind of situation. You would often come across people who may tend to make jokes about particular races, in that kind of situation, don’t necessarily take it seriously and get all defensive, however instead of ignoring the situation, you must stand up for yourself . In that way, those people will realize that you are not fearful and would not back off.
Make an effort to know some facts about your own country’s history, especially facts that everyone can see as being strong in order to shut them up.. For instance, in 17th and 18th century India contributed 24% of the world GDP but most importantly India invented Mathematics via the invention of the digit zero and Maths is the very foundation of science.
Remember you are also responsible for the outcome of any situation. If you are able to humorously convey your message, you will never face a problem. On the other hand, if you take everything seriously you may face a problem. Integrate in the Australian society along with maintaining your own culture and traditions and you may have an influence on your peers.
Australians are generally very nice people and good to talk with. Taking an initiative to integrate with the Aussies and their society and culture will be highly beneficial and you will be surprised, but they will be the first ones to talk to you. So enjoy yourself in Australia, study hard, play hard and make sure you’re participating in everything with a competitive spirit because the society will respect you for your overall ability. Be open minded, but if someone does say something to you, stand up for yourself and be an individual.
Look forward to your time in Australia because it is going to be a great experience and a very enriching one. Hope you have a good time in Australia!The student studies at Knox Grammar school, Sydney
The author is chief mentor, consulting, World Education Consulting
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