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convince parents to study abroad

Convince Parents To Study Abroad: Here Are 7 Tips To Lay The Groundwork

How To Convince Your Parents To Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a dream for many Indian students. And every year, the number of students applying and going abroad is continuing to rise. With students finding more and better opportunities abroad, it adds for one more reason as to why studying abroad is a great option. However, this doesn’t imply it is easy to convince parents to study abroad in all cases.

Studying abroad is a costly affair and hence, affordability becomes one of the top reasons why parents think twice about this. In fact, a recent Instagram survey on our official handle revealed more than 70% of students citing financial situation as the number 1 blocker for them.

Additionally, parents are sceptical about finding the right resources that can help their child(ren) in their higher education journey. Added to that is the pandemic situation and thus, safety becomes a huge question in the minds of the parents.

But, worry not because we will help you address all these problems in this blog so you can convince your parents to study abroad.

Disclaimer:

Your parents’ decision is not in your control but can you win them over? 
Definitely possible.

Here’s how you can lay the groundwork:

1. Let Research Be Your Best Friend

  • When you introduce the idea of studying abroad, there will definitely be some questions popping up. 
  • Think beyond the normal. 
  • Make a list of all the different questions that you could think of that you think your parents would raise. And stay prepared with all the answers. 
  • You might not know answers to a few like, “How do you think we’re going to fund your education?” Instead of saying, “we’ll figure it out”, rather provide an option like, “I could take an education loan” for example or even “I will work hard for a scholarship that covers my tuition fees entirely.”
  • Show seriousness through strong research and provide all possible solutions to problems you might face.

What will this do?

  • It will show your parents you are serious about studying abroad because you have taken ownership, have gotten your research done and presented them with a well laid out plan.
  • Although it’s not a perfect one it’s much better than “I want to study abroad and I need your support.”

2. Educate Your Parents

  • To convince your parents to study abroad, you’d need to give them reasons to help and support your decision to study abroad. 
  • And for that, you’d have to show the difference in education for the same program in your home country and the place you’re wanting to go to.
  • Avoid generic cliche phrases such as, “I will get better networking opportunities and/or I will get a better job”, although they’re not wrong. 
  • Educate them (if possible, with data) about career and academic benefits through country and program comparisons.

If you’re finding difficulty getting the right pool of data together, here’s where our SelectRight platform can help you.

SelectRight can help you shortlist, select and apply to the right program and university based on your profile, and with each recommendation, you can get to see important details about the program like cost of education, return on investment, focus on learning, the overall brand outlook among other factors.

Try out our SelectRight platform right now. It’s free of cost!

3. Budget Your Plan

  • This is an extension to the first point on how you can show more seriousness. 
  • But this needs to be a separate discussion because financial pressures/affordability is the most common problem for many Indian students wanting to study abroad.
  • What you need to do is again a comparison; Calculate a budget and highlight the different layers involved ranging from tuition fees to currency conversions:
    Country – Tuition Fees – Living Expenses – Travel Costs – Application Fees – Currency Conversion – Visa Interview and so on.
  • Facts and figures, although overwhelming, display your immense interest and connects all the dots.

TIP:

Seeing this, your parents might immediately turn away, but don’t push. Although they say no, they will give it a thought and you can move on to your next move.

4. Have Your Parents Talk To Relevant People

Who?

  • The best people would be your college professors with whom you share a great rapport.
  • Also, other students in your network, probably your friends or your seniors from college who are currently studying in your preferred university or country would be a great choice. 
  • Let them share their experience with your parents and share their understanding of the space, clarify doubts and even offer advice to make your process smooth and easy.

TIP:

Word of mouth helps not only in marketing but even while trying to convince your parents to study abroad!

5. Assure Your Parents Of Your Safety

  • Your parents will probably be concerned about your safety.
  • Show them you’re taking their worries seriously by researching emergency numbers, insurances, etc. 
  • If possible, remind them of all the measures the school takes (for example, airport transfers or guided tours) to ensure everyone’s safety. 
  • You could even ask the students you’re going to connect with your parents to, to talk about how safe it is there for Indian students and even talk about the huge Indian community there. (Indians are everywhere)

6. Include Your Parents In The Decision-Making Process

  • Before taking a discussion, make it a point to discuss with your parents.
  • This way, parents feel they’re involved and it makes them happy too as they get to see how you are going with your application process, interviews, your preparations etc and offer timely inputs. 

TIP:

However, don’t get overly dependent on your parents to make decisions because as much as you need their inputs you need to show them you can live on your own and make independent and wise decisions.

7. Stay In Touch

Assure and reassure your parents you’ll stay in touch with them! That’s the least you could do!

How Can GradRight Help?

The tagline of GradRight is

Right Education at the Right Cost.

And that’s exactly how we can help you.

  • As mentioned already, our SelectRight platform can help you shortlist, select and apply to the right program and in turn, the right university based on your preferences.
  • The platform also helps you be a part of an exclusive study abroad Discord community.
  • Additionally, SelectRight helps you get mentor assistance from students and alums of your chosen university; individuals who have already been through your journey.
  • But, that’s not all, affordability and financial pressures are some of the top reasons why students don’t end up fulfilling their dreams of studying abroad.
  • And that’s where we step in with the world’s 1st free education loan bidding platform, FundRight.
  • FundRight gives you the best and the cheapest personalized education loan offers from a variety of financial institutions (again, based on your preferences), you can compare, contrast and choose from.
  • Our dedicated financial advisory team complements the platform by providing assistance to the student (& the parents) at every step of the journey.

Get started today by clicking on the “Try Now!” button below!

India's First Loan Bidding Platform

Get online lenders to bid on your profile to get the best student loans.

10 college interview mistakes

10 College Interview Mistakes Students Should Be Aware Of

10 Common College Interview Mistakes

A college interview can definitely help you make a good impression and avoiding these common college interview mistakes can help you ace your interview. The college interview is a great place to put a face and personality to your application. 

An interview is beneficial to both parties involved. Students can use the interview to gather valuable information about prospective schools, ask questions and show their personalities. Universities use the interview process to find out more about a student, especially the kind of information that isn’t easily found in transcripts and applications.

With these points in mind, let’s look at the 10 common college interview mistakes to keep in mind

1. Showing up late

  • Be it any interview, showing up late is not good etiquette.
  • One, because it disrespects the interviewer because he/she is taking their time out to do this interview.
  • Second, it has a high probability of affecting your chances because showing up late creates a bad first impression.
  • Instead, plan your time out, arrive a good 20 minutes earlier, settle down, get adjusted to the conditions, and take the interview with a calm and relaxed mindset. 
  • Or if it’s a virtual interview, put away your distractions, set the ambience as per your comfort and give yourself a good pep talk before the interview starts.

2. Underdressing

Underdressing for a college interview

Here’s a truth to start this point: there’s no universal/default “interview outfit”. But dressing well and appropriately can help you stay on top of these three reasons:

  • Sloppy dressers have a high chance of immediate rejection.
  • A bad visual first impression deeply influences a person’s decision-making and in the case of underdressing, things won’t be in your favour.
    Read this Forbes article to know how to dress for interview success.
  • Inappropriate dressing projects a person with low attention to detail and less self-worth. And as per this article, how we dress influences how we perform.

3. Being Rude to the Interviewer

Being rude to the interviewer

What can be considered rude behaviour in an interview? Here are a few examples:

  • Chewing gum while attending the interview
  • Bringing your mobile to the interview
  • Using swear words

Instead, treat the interviewer the way you would like to be treated; with respect, politeness and professionalism.

4. Lying Or Being Disingenuous

Lying to the interviewer

These are two important things to keep in mind:

  • Never lie
    A lie today might get you the job but it will surely come back to haunt you in the future.

  • Never be someone else
    This is a golden rule applicable to any interview. Never try being someone you are not. The interviewer can see right through it.
Instead, be truthful and be authentic.

5. Not researching the college

  • Here’s a popular college interview question: “Why do you want to attend this college/school?”
  • If you have done your research right, you would be able to talk about the school and answer this question quite easily. The problem arises when you haven’t put in the time to research the school.
  • Research the school not just from its website but also from its social media platforms to get an even better understanding of what’s happening within the system. This definitely gives you a certain edge over other applicants.

6. Not researching the Interviewer

Not just the school but researching the interviewer too is essential. It’s one way to really make an impact during your interview.

What to keep in mind while researching your interviewer?

  • Their interview style
    You can get this information if they or someone else has written about the same on the internet.
  • LinkedIn
    LinkedIn would be a good place to start your research. Look at their academic background as well as their experience so far. This can help you come up with potential questions to ask.
  • Mutual connections/friends
    Friends in common can be a good way to start the conversation and potentially make the interviewer remember you better.

7. Preparing a Canned Speech

  • Do not memorize a speech before coming to the interview.
  • Prepare a pitch that defines who you are and what you want to do, understand the flow and weave a story out of it. This way, you wouldn’t have to memorize in the first place, because when asked about it, you can think of the story, the elements, the flow and be your genuine self.

8. Not Practicing enough

  • You should never overlook practice, regardless of how confident you are in your abilities.
  • Great thought leaders, speakers are who they are today because of the amount of hard work they put in behind the scenes (and experience plays a part too).
  • Make sure you practice with someone and in front of a mirror to nail down the answers, be convincing enough in your responses.
  • Maintain a good posture with a genuine smile on your face. Body language is as important as your verbal communication.
  • This will give you confidence and make you sound more natural.

9. Too many filler words

Avoid using Filler words in a college interview
  • This could be seen as an extension of the previous point but this deserves a special mention because this is quite common among students. Filler words come naturally to many of us and a few examples could be, “like”, “basically”, “you know” etc.
  • Check out this article to reduce the usage of filler words.
  • Here’s a bonus tip:
    While practising, practice consciously. What this means is you are aware of every word you speak and every action you take. This self-awareness can help you not just in interviews but also in many other important aspects of your life.

10. Failing to send thank you

Not sending a thank you note
  • Don’t forget to send an email thanking the interviewer for their time.
  • Adding to the thank you note, you can quote something the interviewer said that was memorable and instructive which shows that you paid attention to what they were speaking.
  • An example of the same:
    “I really loved how you have emphasized the university’s top-notch facilities and it has made me want to study at the place even more. Thank you for that!”
  • All these tiny details do matter and could end up giving you that certain edge over others.

Final words about the college interview:

Prepare yourself for the frequently asked interview questions before attending the interview. Do your research well and have a clear goal in place. During the interview, take your time and find ways to relax and calm your butterflies. Keep these college interview mistakes in mind, follow these 9 tips to nail your next college interview.

How Can GradRight Help?

While getting into college isn’t easy, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.

To tackle this problem, GradRight is has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

SelectRight comes with unique features and to top that, there are alumni you can connect with, mentors and experts to guide you with your college admissions including your college interviews!

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

How To Shortlist Universities For Masters Abroad!

The decision to study abroad is a very important and defining step in your higher education journey. During this process, you might come across many admission myths, so beware! One of the most important steps is to select and shortlist universities. College applications take a lot of time and that’s why it is very important for students to carefully plan and choose the right university(s), course and even the country. The most common way of shortlisting universities is to look at rankings.

But it’s important to look beyond rankings. That’s why, in this blog, we tell you how to do exactly that so you make the right decision while you shortlist universities.

1. Location Of The University

  • The country you choose to study in is an important factor to consider and to be researched on thoroughly. Consider factors like safety, GDP growth, the overall environment of the country, etc.
  • Keep this in mind and take a serious note before selecting the location.

2. Course Of Your Choice & Interest

  • One of the most crucial decisions while shortlisting a university would be to select and research the course of your choice and interest. 
  • You need to consider your own interests, your previous educational background and previous performance so that you can compare the ranking of your chosen universities with your chosen stream.

3. Tuition Fees & Living Expenses

  • When you shortlist universities, you need to consider the school’s tuition fees and living expenses. 
  • Paying fees to your educational institution is the first expense you must plan ahead of time. If you plan and save for them, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. 
  • Paying extra money for tuition and accommodation costs is very expensive. But it is one of the things you need to bear in mind when shortlisting universities for your studies abroad. 
  • The tuition fees for most courses in Europe and America are affordable. This is because these places are competitive and you might have to pay extra for better amenities and facilities.

4. Return On Investment On The Course

  • Universities make money by producing graduates who can earn the highest incomes. 
  • Hence, that’s why it’s crucial to understand the return on investment for the course you are looking at, and the country you are going to study in. 
  • In our opinion, you have to pay more attention to the return on investment and not the name and reputation of the university. 
  • Before you choose the universities, do ensure that the courses will help you with the objective of your higher studies.
  • The course you choose must offer your more than what you require.

5. Alumni Success

  • A big indicator of whether or not you should apply to a university is what their alumni have gone on to achieve. 
  • A few good indicators to look out for:
    High employment rate.
    If the alumni have gone on to working for or starting a Fortune 500.
    The alumni were accepted for graduate or doctoral study at a truly prestigious college or university.
    They went on to do great work in their community or region 
  • All these are great indicators that that college can help you achieve success well after your classroom days are over.

6. On-Campus Placements & Career Opportunities

  • The career opportunities in the universities chosen are also important to consider. If a student chooses the right course of study, a career is almost guaranteed. 
  • Moreover, a student must not only pick the university where the relevant courses of study are offered, but also must look at the respective careers offered in that particular university.

7. Financial Aid & Scholarships For International Students

  • Several studies have shown that a student’s decision to study abroad is influenced greatly by financial aid and scholarships for students. 
  • Students often have to think of financial aid while choosing a Masters degree outside the country. Your potential university might offer financial assistance to your tuition fees but most importantly, the amount is important. 
  • A good research method will be to simply visit the university’s website and do your own research.

8. Weather Conditions & Campus Environment

  • One of the biggest misconceptions that people have when it comes to shortlisting the right university is that it has to be in a certain geographical region or it has to be near home. This is one of the reasons why students end up choosing the wrong universities.
  • A campus tour can be a game-changer The campus tour should not be taken lightly. It’s the only way to get a realistic idea of how it feels to be in that environment.

Shortlisting the right university(s), keeping all these factors in mind, might seem a bit daunting but it’s also the important step that has the potential to determine your future life. Thankfully, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.

To tackle this problem, GradRight has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

Fall 2022 Admissions Timeline for International Students

Fall 22 Timeline For International Students

Fall 22 Timeline For International Students

The Fall intake, also known as the September intake, is the primary intake in most of the countries around the world including the US. The intake usually lasts from September till December. It is the most preferred intake among Indian students, followed by Spring and Summer intakes. Fall and Spring timelines have many similarities but the time at which each action is performed would vary. If you are planning for admission for the upcoming Fall season, your Fall 2022 Admissions Timeline for International Students would involve different action items ranging from research to finances and the entire process would take around 12-14 months. 

How Should The Fall 2022 Admissions Timeline for International Students Look Like?

Fall 22 Timeline For International Students​

July - September 2021: Research

The first step to your Fall 2022 admissions timeline should begin at least 12-14 months prior. Start by shortlisting universities that fit your criteria. Make note of these universities’ tuition fees, curriculum, location, availability of scholarships and most importantly, their application deadlines.

Research should not just be limited to just universities but also accommodations and the available education loan options to fund your higher education.

September - November 2021: Tests

Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the admission process, prepare for the required admission tests like GRE/GMAT and language tests like IELTS and TOEFL. Ensure your write these tests in time for the Fall 2022 intake. 

November 2021 - April 2022: Apply

Think hard about what makes you unique as an applicant and highlight your strengths. Apply to your shortlisted universities and have all the necessary items and documents while applying like your resume, test scores, Statement Of Purpose (SOP), Letter(s) Of Recommendation (LOR), application fees etc.

Have 2-3 LORs at least a month before your application due date.

Give a month’s time to structure your SOPs and essays.

January - June 2022: Admission Decision

Once you get a reply from the college or university you have applied to, revert them as soon as you can.

And inform your college about your decision if you get an acceptance letter.

Keep track of deadlines for the same.

Also, do keep in mind you will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit to confirm the admission.

April - July 2022: Finances & Visa

Look for US Scholarships for international students and also apply for education loans (if needed).

Apply for the student VISA and make sure you fulfil all the requirements of a US Study VISA.

July - Aug 2022: Book your tickets

While booking your flight, look for student discounts and connect with other international or Indian students travelling to the US.

Organize an International Debit/Credit card.

Gather all the documents and their photocopies, to take along.

How Can We Help Streamline The Fall 2022 Admissions Timeline for International Students?

While we were all about loans, we are expanding into universities too; shortlisting & admissions!

You might be at any stage; giving our exams, shortlisting your universities, exploring loan options, applying actively or even lost in the shuffle. And that’s OKAY!

We want to help you at every stage of your journey so you choose right and select right!

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

7 Steps To Complete After Receiving Your College Offer Letter

7 Steps To Complete After Receiving Your College Offer Letter

Congratulations! Your hard work is finally paying off. The college offer letter is in your hands now. But, that’s just half of the job done. However, the good news is that you’ve cleared the difficult half and you are now in a strong position to finally study in the college of your dreams.

This will happen, provided you know what to do next. Oh! Yes. That’s what you are here for. And that’s what we’ll take you through.

Here are 7 steps you need to do next after receiving your college offer letter to ensure a streamlined, structured and organized second half.

1. Read the college offer letter and attached materials thoroughly

This is the first and one of the most important steps you would be doing once you get your offer letter. Go through the letter as it may contain valuable and vital information like financial aids (if any), steps regarding registration and any other important next steps. 

Make sure you don’t skim through the pages and read them with proper attention.

2. Wait for more college offer letters

If you have applied to multiple colleges/universities and you are waiting for their responses, it’s recommended you wait a bit longer before submitting the acceptance letter of the first college you have been presented an opportunity in. Compare and weigh the pros and cons of different colleges before proceeding to the next step.

However, if you have applied to only one college, then you can skip this step.

3. Level up your research

Get more information about the college, its culture, graduation rates per year, location and placement records

Talk to student alumni, current students, follow the college on social media to stay up to date with them, take a virtual tour of the campus, understand how you would feel if you were there at that time, and if the virtual tour is not available, call them up and get your doubts clarified.

4. Talk to your family and friends

In matters like these, it’s always a good thing to take another’s opinion, especially if that other person is your family member or a close friend. Sometimes, they would be able to assess the situation and the options better and help you attain better clarity.

5. Plan your finances

As of now, you know how much it is going to cost you with regards to the tuition fees. As a next step, you’d have done some research and calculated your cost of living and checked whether your family finances, loans, scholarships and grants would cover the entire cost or not. If not, look for alternate funding options.

If you cannot self-fund yourself to study abroad, then the next option you would look for is an education loan. And that’s where we step in.

GradRight’s own proprietary platform, FundRight is your go-to tool in this case. Why? Because, FundRight, being India’s 1st Loan Bidding Platform, helps you find the best education loan based on your profile, background and other details so that you can get to save a lot of money which you probably would not if you take the traditional route.

Interested? Sign up at the end of the blog and we’ll guide you through.

6. Keep track of deadlines

While reading the admit letter and the other materials, make it a rule of thumb to note down all the important dates and deadlines.

Deadlines may include: The last date to sign up for orientation, the last date to send in the acceptance letter, or the last date to submit your financial aid documents if any and many other deadlines too.

7. Respond to colleges

While it is extremely important to respond to the college with your acceptance letter and other required documents, it is an equally important gesture to respond to the colleges you’ve declined as it opens up a place for other students.

When it comes to starting a new journey in your life, it is crucial to not take any decisions in haste without considering all the options at hand. This new educational journey starts with the college offer letter but the continuation is based on your patience, research and decision-making.

Leaving you with a very short quote that talks about how important decisions are:

“Decisions determine destiny.”

Spring Intake in USA

The US Spring Intake Timeline For International Students

The US Spring Intake Timeline

Being one among the three large admission cycles, the spring intake in USA, along with Fall intake, also sees a huge number of applications from across the world. The Spring entry programs start in January every year and hence it is also known as the January Intake.
Starting in January would mean you would be joining in the middle of an academic year, which implies graduation at a later date. However, what makes a spring intake in USA better is the smooth transition it offers due to less competition.

The timeline for the US Spring Intake would involve different action items ranging from research to finances and the entire process would take around 12-14 months, ideally.

How Should Your Timeline Look Like For The Spring Intake in USA?

Spring Intake in USA

14-12 months: Research

Your research should include finding the suitable course and the university(s) that fit your criteria, understanding their fee structure and admission requirements.

Research should not just be limited to just universities but also scholarships as well as available education loan options to fund your higher education. Also look for institutes that have a spring intake in USA in addition to a fall intake. 

12-10 months: Tests

Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the admission process, prepare for the required admission tests like GRE/GMAT and language tests like IELTS and TOEFL.

11-8 months: Apply

Apply to your shortlisted universities and have all the necessary items and documents while applying like your resume, test scores, Statement Of Purpose (SOP), Letter(s) Of Recommendation (LOR), application fees etc.

While researching, look for when the application process begins for the spring intake in USA. 

8-5 months: Acceptance letters and interviews

Once you get a reply from the college or university you have applied to, revert them as soon as you can. The spring intake in USA typically has a small class size. So timely response is crucial.

And inform your college about your decision if you get an acceptance letter.

Keep track of deadlines for the same.

Also, do keep in mind you will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit to confirm the admission.

4-2 months: Finances and VISA

After you are accepted by a university, you would need to plan your finances.

Look for US Scholarships for international students and also apply for education loans (if needed).

Apply for the student VISA and make sure you fulfil all the requirements of a US Study VISA.

2-1 months: Book your tickets

While booking your flight, look for student discounts and connect with other international or Indian students travelling to the US.

How Can We Help?

While we were all about loans, we are expanding into universities too; shortlisting & admissions!

You might be at any stage; giving our exams, shortlisting your universities, exploring loan options, applying actively or even lost in the shuffle. And that’s OKAY!

We want to help you at every stage of your journey so you choose right and select right!

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

top college interview tips

9 Tips to nail your College Interview

9 Tips to nail your College Interview

Many overlook the role of college interviews in the entire admission process and while some believe it to be very important, the best way for you to think about it would be to recognize it as one of the factors that is going to decide your admission into the college. With this mindset, you will ensure that you don’t take a light approach towards it. 

With that being said, let us look at a few top college interview tips you need to keep in mind to nail your next interview.

Infographic showing the different steps to nail your next college interview

Research the college

Research the college not just from their website but also from their news articles and social media accounts. Believe it, many forget this top college interview tip.

This will help you get accustomed to the workings of the college and also help you obtain important information regarding the college in terms of its placement records and its year-on-year enrollment numbers which could come in handy to build an overall perspective about the college.

Go through past college interview questions

Look online to see if anyone has posted questions from that college. You could use online Q&A forums like Quora and Reddit, and you could also leverage groups on Facebook and LinkedIn for the same. Go through these questions as many times. Such commonly asked questions can make an appearance in your interview as well.

If not, make sure you are up to date about hot topics about the college that the interviewer might ask you about. This top college interview tip is bound to give you a head start.

Connect with current students and student alumni

Connect with current and/or students to get much more insider knowledge, which you could leverage and refer during the interview. Make sure you mention the names of the students as that would add a more authentic feel to what you’re saying. This could end up being one of the most valuable top college interview tips you come across.

Here are the different platforms on which you could connect with them:

  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Social Media

Review your college application materials

Make sure you read all your application materials in case the interviewer asks you a question about them. This, in turn, helps you remember your flow, narrative and your pitch as to why you’re the best fit.

Have some questions for the interviewer

The interviewer is not just there to ask questions about the college. So make use of the opportunity to get some insights about the college from the interviewer itself. Ofcourse, questions about the college can give you better insights about the college but to nail the interview, one of those clever things you can do is to make sure you research the interviewer himself and incorporate that information into your interview. Employing this top college interview tip shows initiative on your part.

Dress for the occasion

Interviews are a two-way street. This is something we can all agree on. But, it’s not just a two-way street in terms of how you speak and interact. The way you show up; your dressing sense is also a two-way street. And even if the interviewer is not dressed up, it is your responsibility to appear well-dressed suiting the occasion, which in this case is the interview.

Be genuine and be yourself

An interview is not just about being fluent in your communication or showing off your accolades. The most important aspect of an interview is how well you can present your true self, stick to your values and beliefs. The trick is to just be your authentic self and not try to be someone you are not just to land the interview.

Practice the interview beforehand

Make sure you practice with someone and/or in front of a mirror. These mock interviews need not only include how you put forward your answers but can also be about how you respond to certain remarks, your posture and body language. This will make you feel confident and ensure that you’re not memorising the answers but owning them.

Rest before the interview

A very undervalued and overlooked interview tip is to make sure you rest well before the interview. Do not stay up too late and most importantly, make sure you arrive before time if it’s an in-person interview or try to get in the zone if it’s an online interview. Starting an interview when you’re anxious and/or tired can drive things south very quickly. Hence, rest well so that you can give your best in a calm state of mind.

College interviews not only demonstrate your interest in a college, which can boost your acceptance odds but also, in some cases, can make up for lacklustre GPA and test scores. 
A face-to-face interview gives admissions the best insight into you as a person: why you want to attend the college, what you want to do while you’re there, and other such insightful information about you.

Be your authentic self and keep the above-mentioned top college interview tips in mind to ace your next college interview.

How Can GradRight Help?

While getting into college isn’t easy, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria. You need not only top college interview tips but also expert guidance.

To tackle this problem, GradRight is has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

SelectRight comes with unique features and to top that, there are alumni you can connect with, mentors and experts to guide you with your college admissions including your college interviews!

Click on SelectRight below to get started!

Study in the USA

The College Application Document Checklist for the USA

The Ultimate College Document Checklist for USA bound students

Study in the USA

Applying for study in the USA is one of the most important milestone in a student’s journey. There are several key stages and steps in each stage that one needs to take care of. If studying the states is your aspiration, this college application document checklist will give you a snapshot into the process and the documents needed. Regardless of where you are in your journey of studying in the USA, you will need to complete most of these documents as part of your process at some point in your journey.

1. The Pre Admission Pre Test stage of the College Application Document Checklist

The pre-admission pre-test stage of the college application document checklist will cover all the basics of planning for study in the USA. Here’s what you need to do to start right.

1. Do a basic research on all the universities/shortlist universities to send test scores for the 4 universities to apply from the test portal.

2. Decide your course of study based on parameters such as interest, academic background, time you have in hand among others.

3. Get a Passport  if you don’t have it already.

4. For most STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses you will need either a valid GRE or a GMAT score.

5. You will also need to give an English proficiency exam TOEFL Duolingo (US)

 

6. Use these score ranges to evaluate your score :

IELTS – 6.5 and above to be eligible for admission Max: 9, Average: 6.5 – 7, Good: 7.5 +

TOEFL – 85 above to be eligible for admission  Max: 120, Average: Above 85 Good: 100 or above

GRE – Average score is 290 however 300+ is recommended. 315+ is considered a good score with a maximum of 340,AWA(Analytical) out of 6, average score is 3.5 however 4+ is recommended Max: 6, Good: 4.5. Do remember, certain universities have sectional cutoffs for GRE.

GMAT – The average score is 630 however a score of 670+ is recommended. 700+ is considered a good score with a maximum score of 800.

Here’s a tip you could use, at the time of completing GRE and GMAT, you can submit your scores to 4 universities for free.

 

2. The Application Stage of the College Application Document Checklist

The next stage of the college application document checklist you need to tick off if post your tests. After you’re done with taking the tests, it’s time to apply to colleges.

1. Begin by categorising the university into Safe, Moderate and Ambitious based on the past admits’ average test scores and GPAs.

2. Make sure to take finances for study in the USA into consideration from this stage itself.

3. Apply online to the shortlisted universities through the university specific links

4. Make a checklist of documents for each university.

Here’s a list of basic documents you will need for study in the USA:

1. Marksheets – 10th, 12th 

2. Resume detailing out your college projects

3. Transcripts from your college of all your semester marks. Some universities require semester wise transcripts.

4. Get your Statement of Purpose(SOP) ready customised to the university and course you are applying to.

5. Request your Professors and Colleagues(If you have work experience) for Letters of Recommendation(LOR). Typically, you would need two LORs/ three(with work experience, 1 – manager, 2 – college profs).

6. Experience Letter from your company

7. Test Score Cards – GRE, GMAT, IELTS and TOEFL

8. Application Confirmation Copy

Be mindful of deadlines as each university and course has a separate deadline and include this in the lists as well.

If you need funding assistance, then keep these documents ready:

1. Aadhaar Card – One card which has all your identity details including biometrics

2. PAN Card – Essential for doing finances

3. Passport size photos

4. Academic Documents like 10th, 12th and Undergraduate transcripts(semester wise)

5. Resume/Work Experience Letter(s)

6. Passport

7. Financial Certificates of your co-signer including past income tax statements, salary slips and bank statements

8. Co-Applicants Financial Documents like ITRs, Salary Slips and Bank Statements 

3. Post Admission

If you’re at this stage and have received admits , well,  Congratulations!

Now we come to the final stage of the college application checklist. Your dream to study in the USA is just a flight away.

 

It’s time now to choose the university you want to go to and get your US Visa done.

 

To apply for a US Visa, here’s what you will need:

1. DS – 160 Form – This is basically the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application form which is needed for every applicant

2. Recent Passport Size Photographs

3. Interview Appointment Confirmation Letter

4. Financial Documents

Prepared with these documents, you can now focus on getting the VISA interview slot, preparing for it and acing it.

And once you’re done

This college application document checklist will give you a fair idea about the kind of documents you will need to study in the USA. Do ensure to check individual university pages for last minute additional document requirements and other respective organisation pages for a final check.

Stay assured, you will get that dream admit.

Study Abroad

A Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

A Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad: The Ultimate Guide for International Students

A comprehensive study abroad guide which tells you all you need to know.

Study Abroad

Approximately 750,000 Indian students are currently enrolled in a degree-granting program overseas. Tens of thousands more join them each year to seek a global education. Unfortunately, because of a lack of proper guidance or study abroad guides, many end up choosing a sub-standard program of study.    

We’ve put together this short and comprehensive study abroad guide to help students make informed choices about pursuing a degree overseas.

Step 1: Plan Your Study

Many students have different reasons to move abroad to pursue higher education. These may include experiencing a different culture, pursuing cutting-edge research or seeking better employment and immigration opportunities. 

When you’re considering studying abroad, it helps to start by identifying your goals early on. The easiest way to get your train of thought started is to consider what subjects you’re looking to pursue. Naturally, you’ll want to study in a country and at a university where your subject of choice is a specialization. For instance, it makes sense to pursue a degree in Renewable Energy in Sweden, since the research and employment opportunities for this sector are abundant there. 

As you pick study destinations, don’t rule out your favourites. When picking a place to study, consider if the language, culture and living environment of your destination is something you’re excited to explore and possibly integrate into.

Ideally you should begin planning 15 months prior to the beginning of a program. This allows you to keep track of and stay ahead of application/scholarship deadlines.

 

Step 2: Budget Your Expenses

Students often make the mistake of choosing a program first and look up financing options later. Once you’ve defined your goals, your next step should always be to define your budget.  

Your dream school might not be the best place to attend, especially if you can attend another similarly reputed institution for a fraction of the cost. Therefore, it’s advisable that you define a range within which you’re comfortable and then start looking for options that fall within that range. That way, you reduce the likelihood of choosing programs that may not offer a high rate of return.

There are multiple ways you can fund your education abroad. These include education loans, scholarships and other study grants. Be sure to check all your funding options and pick one which accounts for all your anticipated expenses.

 

Step 3: Shortlist Programs

After having outlined your interests and your budget, you should now come up with a shortlist of programs that tick all the right boxes for you. By planning your study (see Step 1), you would have identified and prepared a list of certain programs you find attractive. 

Now, your job is to shortlist programs you plan to apply to, from the initial list. To do this, you should collect as much information as you possibly can about these programs and the Universities that offer them. To start with, compare these options based on multiple relevant metrics (like reputation, research output, outcomes, ROI). Also, do incorporate other factors like student body profile which you feel are relevant.

Overall, this step requires you to put in a lot of effort sifting through data. There are multiple resources for information which you can seek help from in your search. Here’s a list of resources and people you should consult on in-depth guidance for study abroad (link to top 4 places to get expert study abroad guidance) 

 

Step 4: Look Up Application Requirements

It’s important to understand what universities require you to provide during the admissions process. Most universities tend to ask for standardised test scores, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. 

However, requirements usually vary for universities located in different locations. For instance, most European universities don’t require a GRE score, but almost all North American ones do. Furthermore, most universities don’t have uniform graduate school programs. They tend to have a lot of variation in curriculum. 

Therefore, you should plan ahead and ensure you have everything you need in order to apply.

 

Step 5: Write Your SOP

The Statement of Purpose is one of the most critical parts of your application to a foreign university. This is because it’s your only opportunity to connect with the admissions team on a personal level and explain your motivations for applying to their graduate program.

Your SOP should highlight your familiarity with the program and understanding of the university’s student body. Moreover, your SOP should emphasize on the outcomes you’re looking for and how the program will enable you to reach them; your ultimate goal is to convince the admissions team that you’re a great fit for their institution. 

While writing your SOP, you should be careful not to sound arrogant and boastful. Moreover, you should not undermine any other program or educational institution. You should also not sound boastful. Avoid using any templates to write your SOP. Stick to using personal anecdotes, experiences and facts to tell your story.

 

Step 6: Apply Apply Apply!

Once you’ve found enough information, decided on a program and prepared all application materials, it’s time to apply!

It’s suggested that you keep a checklist of application materials, so that you don’t lose track of any important documents to be sent.

 

Step 7: Get Your Visa

After sending out your applications, you arrive at one of the most important steps of the study abroad journey: getting a visa. As an international student, you will almost always need a student visa if you’re travelling overseas for studies. A student visa gives you the right to reside in the foreign country for the duration of your study. Additionally, it may also give you the right to residency for some extra period of time after your study period has ended.

The requirements and conditions of student visas differ by country. However, a student visa application to any country will require you to provide a proof of enrollment (for example, the I20 for US, Immatrikulationsbescheinigung for Germany). Additionally, some student visa requirements may require you to open a blocked account for your personal expenses. This is to ensure that you are able to live comfortably on your own, during your time as a student.

Studying abroad can be an extremely rewarding experience and you might often end up getting more than you asked for. The trick is to plan ahead and make calculated choices so that you don’t end up with a sub-par experience!

Guidance for Abroad Studies

Top 4 Places to Get Expert Guidance for Abroad Studies

Top 4 Places to Get Expert Guidance for Abroad Studies

Guidance for Abroad Studies

Researching your options is essential to choose Master’s programs which fit your expectations. But it can be very time-consuming. Particularly when guidance for abroad studies comes dime a dozen.

Fortunately, you can rely on multiple, legitimate organizations and credible people to help you choose Master’s programs and advise you throughout the process. These include:

Study Abroad Guidance from International Cultural Centres

Foreign nations set up International Cultural Centres in different countries to promote bilateral/cultural relations and international education opportunities in their home countries. Like conglomerates, most of these organizations have a global presence and a huge budget. However, they aren’t run with the aim of turning a profit. They genuinely wish to help students who are serious about studying abroad. For this, they conduct various events and workshops where in you can benefit from insightful guidance for abroad studies. Some examples include:

  • Alliance Francaise (France)
  • Max Mueller Bhavan/Goethe Zentrum (Germany)
  • British Council (United Kingdom)
  • The Japan Foundation (Japan)
  • United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF)
  • Confucius Institute (China)

International Education Fairs Offering Guidance for Abroad Studies

International Education Fairs are one of the best platforms to gather information on universities and studying abroad. Many international organisations collaborate with universities to organize fairs across the globe. At such fairs, you get a chance to interact directly with admissions officers and representatives from multiple universities and have all your questions answered thoroughly. In India, these fairs often stay for a month or longer. Examples include fairs conducted by the USIEF, Linden Educational Fairs, QS World Grad School Tour etc.

 

Study Abroad Advice from Online Discussion Forums

Online discussion forums on social media websites or dedicated apps are often filled with students of different age groups. That is to say, most participants are at different stages of their journey as a grad student or working professional. As a result, this makes such groups great sources of information, updates and helpful advice for aspiring Master’s students. Such groups are also great platforms to build connections and cultivate friendships with like-minded people. Examples include Reddit, Facebook Groups etc.

GradRight is currently running an online discussion and updates forum on Facebook. Check it out here!

 

Seniors and Alumni offering In-depth Guidance For Abroad Studies

Seniors and Alumni have first-hand learning experience of the program. As a result, they are often the best source of information on Universities and specific Master’s programs. Despite being highly credible sources of information, Cultural Centres and University representatives may sugarcoat the experience of studying in their country and/or university to promote their objectives (whether motivated by profit or not). However, you can rely on alumni to give you truly honest perspectives and genuine advice. You can get in touch with alumni through online networking platforms such as LinkedIn, Slack and Xing.

 

SelectRight is a data-driven platform which matches you to universities and helps you analyze each university for match, admission chance and value for money. Check it out for free! Plus, once you sign up, you’ll always have a team of experts to rely on, for free and unbiased guidance for abroad studies. 

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