Study abroad market trends show that most of the prospective applicants prefer applying through a study abroad consultant and only a few students apply abroad completely on their own. Since the demand for the consultants is so high, the competition among consultants is also tight. They try their best to lure students into taking admission to universities which makes more profit for them rather than providing good education to the student. It becomes essential on the part of the student to make sure the consultant is not taking them for a ride and fooling them into making a stupid decision.

How much will the course cost ?

The overall cost will ultimately depend on a variety of factors including your destination city, cost of living, personal expenses, the fees charged by your university, additional costs like insurance etc. There are many state universities which offer quality education at marginal costs compared to private universities. Many of these courses may be within your budget; make sure to ask the consultant about price comparison between various universities.

Am I eligible to apply for the course of my choice ?

Many universities don’t recognize degrees conferred by Indian institutes. One should always make sure that the college accepts your educational degrees and you are not required to take any bridge course to be able to eligible for the course. Also the universities abroad change marks to GPA. The minimum GPA usually varies between 2.50 to 3.0, while more competitive programs and premier colleges require GPA between 3.0 to 4.0. Make sure you are aware how is this conversion being done.

Is the university accredited ?

Many consultants refer students to universities which aren’t accredited or are considered ‘Bogus’ by the visa authorities because they offer the consultants a hefty commission amount for referring students. You need to research a bit on your own and look for reviews of universities and colleges by current students to understand how the college ranks. A few honest reviews will help you get an independent opinion of the college instead of the biased picture the consultant is offering.

What requirements do I need to fulfill ?

Abroad, all the colleges have different requirements that prospective students need to fulfil. You will have to submit letters of recommendation, statement of purpose or some on-job work experience might also be required. Since the requirement of all the courses are different, you will have to customize your application accordingly. Be clear from the beginning about what documents need to be submitted.

Are there any scholarships available ?

There are many scholarships funded by the college and independent corporates for international students to enable them to study without worrying about the costs incurred. If you are eligible for such scholarships you should ask the consultant beforehand. Many scholarships require you to sit for an entrance test and for some scholarships your application is automatically considered. So in case any additional preparation is required, you should know the details and complete information.

How long can I stay abroad ?

Many times the students are not clear about what their student visa will permit them to do once the course is over; can they stay back for a few more months or do they need to take flight back home immediately. At the research stage, your consultant should give you a clear idea about your student visa and its regulations. If you are allowed to work for a particular hours then the consultant should mention it to you and tell you about the legal consequences if you don’t follow those. The idea is to have clear expectations about job opportunities before starting the course.