Monthly Archives

July 2018

International students flock to the United States to study at the universities for their high standards in education and for their sheer brand value in the job market. Their course structure, course flexibility, credible research opportunities, high quality of life and a favourable exchange rate has made the United States the number one education destination for students across the globe. However, the fact remains that the cost of education in the US has escalated steadily over the past ten years, while the dollar has fared steadily in the world market. This means that while the U.S economy booms, the international students must have deep pockets to consider the U.S as a destination for higher education. However, this doesn’t have to be the case always. There are a number of institutions that provide a good education with reasonably low tuition cost. We have done a comparative study of universities based on parameters like tuition, cost of living, grants/financial assistance etc., which gives international students the upper hand in selecting the best fit for their financial situation.

Based on low tuition cost per annum

Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, Utah as well as Rexburg, Idaho tops the list. BYU is a large private university, it offers students a very affordable tuition of just over $5,000 per year making this one of the most affordable high-quality colleges on our list whereas BYU-Idaho offers students a number of educational programs; the top majors for international students include business administration, accounting, and biology. Yearly tuition for BYU-Idaho is the lowest on this list coming in at $3,830.

If you are looking for great diversity in a mid-western setting, Minnesota can’t be beaten. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN-TC) is situated between the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It ranks 20th in international student size of all research institutions and offers affordable tuition coming in at just over $22,000 per year. Iowa State University located in rural Ames, Iowa with top picks being electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering, has a yearly tuition at just over $20,000. In short order, the University of Wyoming (UW), with an average annual tuition of $12,770, University of Minnesota, Morris offers tuition at $13,000 per year, same goes for colleges like Martin Luther College, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay (Tuition being $17, 324), Illinois State University (Tuition over $16,000) as well as UMN  Duluth (tuition over $17,000) are the recognised universities as per American Association of Universities (AAU), which offer international students the lowest tuition versus their private and larger public counterparts like Harvard, Purdue University, State of New York University, whose tuition costs seem a kingly ransom, but rate well on other factors.

Based on high-value jobs/ROI

Many international students hope to stay back in the United States after they finish their degree, more so when they have exorbitant loan liabilities to pay off. Therefore, here’s a list of universities that give you a good chance of finding employment afterwards. Among the top colleges in this list are Amherst College, City University of New York-Queens College, City University of New York-Bernard M. Baruch College and California State University-Fullerton, followed by San Jose State University, University of California, San Diego for the engineering specialisations, particularly.

Based on university assistance vide grants/waivers etc.

International students do not qualify for many types of financial aid available to American citizens, but some universities do offer significant amounts of financial aid to international students in the form of tuition waivers, teaching and research positions with good pay, which significantly reduce the financial liability. According to “U.S. News and World Report,” the most generous institutions, offering average financial assistance of at least $50,000 per student, include the University of Chicago, Williams College, Yale University and Skidmore College. Unsurprisingly, these universities also see enormous waves of international student applications, which justify them being earmarked accordingly.

Tuition waivers give scholars the chance to exchange work, often called “service hours,” for tuition, lowering costs considerably. Not all colleges offer tuition waivers, but many do, like the University of Washington, University of North Dakota, Pennsylvania State University and a few others.

Based on low city costs, overall

Cities in the following states have a low cost of living:

  1. Mississipi
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Michigan
  5. Tennessee
  6. Missouri
  7. Kansas
  8. Alabama
  9. Georgia
  10. Indiana

The universities in these states would likely have competitive tuition rates when averaged out with the average living cost for an international student. Cost of living recurs every month and when taken into consideration annually could well rival the tuition fee at any mid-size university in the U.S. Read the full report at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/28/americas-cheapest-states-to-live-in-2018.html.

As has been discussed above at length, there must be a balance between the tuition and living costs versus the actual value of the specific program that the student intends to study. This would account for the money being spent to be viable and convert into a job opportunity. That being said, the community colleges in the United States offer preparation options for students, who would like to save on large tuition fees and complete their requisite preparations. A student who studies at a community college in the U.S pays half the per credit fee, that would be applicable to a four-year varsity. Having said so, a community college may hold significant value for an undergraduate student, with no bearing on a graduate student at all.

Consult our experts at your nearest Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd. office and allow us to draw up your university selection list that is tailor-made to your requirements.

In 2015, Frankfurt was adjudged the most sustainable city in the world, as per a new ranking presented by the consultancy Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index. A sustainable city can be defined as one that functions without causing difficulties for either the citizens or the environment in the future. Frankfurt’s environment department announced that as much as 50 percent of the city is green. A large part of the city – which comprises of landscapes like woodlands, meadows, grasslands, gardens, parks, grass verges and water bodies – has been designed with an aim to minimise carbon footprint.

As a system that concerns the development and designing of land, sustainable town planning can be described as a process that supports an effective functioning of resources, including transportation, communication and distributed networks without bringing about issues that can adversely affect the environment. Effective planning, to this end, includes considering the requirements of people and the environment and, at the same time, understanding the limitations of development. For example, in an endeavour to establish natural habitats and maintain biodiversity (key facets to our continued existence), it is important that town planning identifies the limitations of development. Today, there is a growing need for innovative strategies that rely on effective land use and minimise damage to natural resources. Sustainable town planning aims at converting land spaces into healthier and salubrious neighbourhoods.

To serve the sustainable town planning domain, one should possess a broad skillset that comprises of attributes like keenness to be up to date with the current trends, exhaustive knowledge of environmental issues in order to devise innovative solutions and passion to build better places. In addition, one should have excellent negotiation and communication skills to consult with stakeholders and parties as well as interact with developers and professionals, including architects and surveyors. The ability to effectively evaluate planning applications and attention to detail to understand findings, being up to date with policies concerning designing of spaces, carefully analysing data, and designing layouts and landscapes and drafting statements are handy skills that professionals in the sustainable town planning sector should possess.

Pursuing a specialised program in sustainable town planning will broaden one’s knowledge base in regional planning and enhance their skillset in areas including, but not limited to, design making, finance, policy development, and planning law and legislation.

Graduates of sustainable town development can apply for jobs within, both, private and public sectors. Career opportunities exist in private planning consultancies, where one can serve as an advisory and/or consultant to organisations concerning planning schemes. Furthermore, prospects are also available in housing associations, neighbourhood planning organisations, private developers, utility companies and retail businesses

A variety of roles – including housing manager and officer, town planner, inspector/conservation officer of historical buildings and structures, and transportation officer – exist in the public spectrum. In addition to planning, design and development, jobs are also available in areas like transport, environmental consultancy and economic development. Some of the other jobs in the domain include, but are not limited to, community development worker, landscape architect, sustainability consultant civil service administrator, environmental manager and planning and development surveyor.

Since the 1960s, the need for sustainability in the modern architectural domain has enhanced dramatically with the introduction of what has been referred to as “Green Buildings”. Today’s ecologically conscious world calls for using innovative techniques while developing buildings that are environmentally friendly; thereby, lowering the adverse effects of construction through factors like efficient energy consumption and development space.

By addressing the undesirable and unfavourable impacts of buildings, sustainable architecture takes into account design technologies, development space and energy that do not pose harm to the environment or the ecosystem. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), sustainable architecture aims at limiting the wastage of energy and water. To reach maximum energy efficiency, sustainable architects construct buildings out of recyclable or renewable materials.

In an effort to preserve the environment from practices that are detrimental to the community, the need for sustainable architecture has increased by leaps and bounds in the recent past.  Sustainable architects supervise the construction and design of buildings with a focus on the effect the structure will have on the environment. For instance, they will use building materials that will not cause landfills; and will ascertain that the practices and equipment they deploy are energy efficient.

As part of their jobs, sustainable architects are responsible for reviewing regulations handed down from authorities that have jurisdiction in the particular project site; making certain that factors like soil and weather conditions and topography are analysed at length before commencing the construction. Regularly consulting clients about their spatial and functional requirements and budgets; as well as integrating different aspects of the construction process into a single project plan only lead to further efficiency and cost saving.

As per the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the most basic prerequisite to pursue a career in sustainable architecture is a bachelor’s degree. Some of the graduate-level programs also require completing certain number of studio hours, which allows students to apply their skills in drafting and design techniques. Those interested in pursuing graduate education in the domain can explore concentrations like ecology, environmental technology and sustainable design. One can also look into landscape design programs – with courses like, but not limited to horticulture, site planning, geology and visual design. Post-secondary applicants seeking a career in sustainable architecture can consider enrolling in programs like architecture, sustainable development, mechanical engineering, environmental design and planning and environmental engineering.

Some of the top universities offering graduate courses in sustainable architecture include Harvard University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and University of Texas.

Recently, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED) was set up by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), which offers qualified individuals the certification to be a LEED Green Associate. BLS also mandates those considering a career in sustainable architecture to have relevant license(s).

Those considering a career in sustainable architecture can seek employment opportunities in, both, private and public sectors. One can get jobs in a variety of roles – including, but not limited to, project designer and architect, architectural service management, transit architect and interior designer – at architectural firms, consulting firms, engineering firms, educational services, and building, developing and general contracting.

At entry level, sustainable architects can earn up to $45,000 a year. On the other hand, the salary range of those with adequate professional experience in the domain lies within $80,000 and $85,000 a year.

The low or no tuition structure of German varsity education has made it a popular choice of most international students. An ever flourishing economy epitomising the era of Industrialisation, Germany offers international students a quality of life seldom available in other countries. Famous for its verdant forests and mountains, Germany also has a cultural experience to offer visitors, students or settlers, an experience far superior in the making.

If you are interested in studying in Germany and have not yet been accepted to a state or state-recognized institute of higher learning, you are considered as an applicant. As an applicant, you can be issued a residence permit for up to nine months. This requires that you presumably meet the qualification requirements for a course of study and can verify this with the appropriate (original) documents.

However, if your foreign education credentials do not qualify for direct acceptance to such an institute, you can take a qualification test in order to earn the qualification to be admitted for a specific subject. If you get your education visa for Germany and complete your degree, you can remain in Germany to search for a job for a limited period of time. If you find a job during that period, you are allowed to stay in Germany. It is reported that up to 54% of students who complete a degree in Germany stay in the country and find a job.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs and investors who create economic opportunities in Germany, are allowed to immigrate with the threshold of investment being currently pegged at 250,000 Euros. In addition, you will need to get a self-employment visa, which falls under the category of German Work Visa.  Residence permits can be temporary and permanent, depending on the purpose of issue. Students are issued temporary residence permits, which allow foreign nationals to stay in Germany for a specified period of time and then, return to their home countries.

Permanent residence permits mean that the foreign national can reside at will without the benefits of a citizen like voting, passport etc. Germany has two temporary residence permits and one permanent. The Standard Residence Permit is used for immigration as mentioned above as well as for those completing training courses, those visiting Germany for political and humanitarian reasons etc.

Moreover, The EU Blue Card is given to foreign national workers (who are not citizens of EU countries) who have high qualifications and want to work in Germany and apply those skills. High qualifications mean that the person has an undergraduate or graduate degree in any given field. To qualify for the EU Blue Card, you need to have already found a job in Germany, and the minimum annual salary must be 50,800 Euros.

The EU Blue Card grants its holders the right to stay in Germany for four years, with a possibility of changing their residence permit into a permanent settlement.  To qualify for permanent settlement the person must show enough German proficiency, meet certain financial requirements, as well as must have worked in Germany for more than 33 months in their place of employment, which requires the skills gained with the highest qualifications. Following the issuance of the EU Blue Card is the permanent residence permit in Germany, which is called the Settlement Permit. This is given to those who have had either a standard residence permit or an EU Blue Card for at least 5 years and meet certain language requirements.

For more details on how you can plan your study and career progression in Germany, contact your nearest Collegepond office and we will help you realize your dreams of studying, working and settling in Germany.

Australia is well-known across the globe as an educational destination for the diversity in education that it offers. Educational institution and universities in Australia offer an extensive array of courses and degrees for international students so that they can find a program that is a good fit for them. International students can choose between universities, vocational education, and English language training.

What truly appeals to international students is the quality of scientific research in Australia as it is at the forefront of technology and innovation. Therefore, international students who decide to study in Australia can take advantage of the latest research resources and technological advances. Another fact that makes Australia a popular choice for international students is that students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while they are pursuing their studies. This helps them take care of their living expenses as well as gain some work experience.

If you are a student who wants to study in Australia, you need to get an Australian student visa. To obtain a student visa, you must be able to prove to the Department of Home Affairs that you meet the key requirements to be granted with the Australian student visa.

  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
  • Financial requirements
  • English proficiency requirements
  • Health and character requirements

You will need to complete an Australian student visa application form, pay the visa application fee and attend an interview as well.

Now that you know the key requirements for an Australian student visa, let us discuss it in detail to gain more clarity.

What is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)?

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement was introduced in November 2011. GTE says that the visa applicant should demonstrate his/her intention to stay temporarily in Australia in order to study or to accompany a student as a dependent (i.e. spouse or child) or as a guardian. At the Department of Home Affairs, the decision-makers will consider the following factors:

  • Temporarily, what are the circumstances in your home country
  • What are the potential circumstances for you in Australia
  • What is the value of your chosen course to your future
  • Your immigration history

In order for the decision-makers at the Department of Home Affairs to determine whether you meet the key GTE requirements, some applicants might be required to only fill in the visa application form whereas others might be asked to attend an interview at the nearest Australian embassy or consulate in your city/country.

How to complete an Australian student visa application form:

 

When it comes to the visa application form, all international students apply for the same visa: the Student Visa (Subclass 500), available for application online.

Before you apply for a visa, you will need to obtain a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) or a Letter of Offer that will confirm that you have been accepted into a course that is registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions of Courses (CRICOS). You will need to enter the COE, which will be in the form of an online code into the appropriate section in the online visa application. You might also be required to pay a deposit towards your tuition fees.

For studying in Australia at the same or a higher study level, you can change your course afterwards. In case you are changing your course to a lower level, you will need to apply for a new visa on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) or a non-AQF level course (unless you are changing from a PhD to a master’s). An added advantage is that you may also package your studies by studying two or more courses on your Student Visa (Subclass 500) with a clear progression from one course to another.

 

What are the requirements for an Australian student visa?

 

While you are completing your online visa application form, you will be needed to present evidence of the following according to the Australian student visa requirements:

  • Financial requirements: It is important to provide an evidence of sufficient fu nds to cover your tuition fees as well as travel and living costs. February 2018 onwards, it has been decided that the amount you need to prove you have for living costs (apart from your tuition and travel) is set at AU$20,290 (~US$15,600) per year. In case you have any dependents (such as your spouse and children), you will also have to show evidence that states that you are able to cover living costs for them, inclusive of school fees. Other than that, you can also show evidence that your parents or your spouse are willing to support you and that they earn at least AU$60,000 (~US$46,140) per year.
  • English proficiency requirement: If you do not come from an English-speaking country (and have not completed at least five years of study in an English-speaking country) you will be required to prove that you can speak English to the level required in Australia. Eligible English-language tests are entlisted on the website of the Department of Home Affairs. Tests such as IELTS, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) fall under the list of English-language proficiency tests. If you have already taken any of these tests, you can produce them as evidence. The score that you need depends on whether you are starting a full degree, doing a foundation course, or enrolling on a preliminary English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
  • Health requirements: If you intend to train as a doctor, dentist or a nurse, you may be asked to take a medical and/or a radiological check-up to prove that you are in good health. If you are asked to do so, you will have to book an appointment with a doctor approved by the Australian immigration department.

All students travelling to Australia are obliged to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). In order to purchase this health cover, you can contact your university, or purchase it directly from one of the five approved providers: Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, Allianz Global Assistance and nib OSHC. Also, the cost of the health insurance cover often varies depending on the provider and the span of time that you purchase the cover for.

  • Character requirements: The Australian student visa requires that you must be of good character in order to enter Australia. This is inclusive of a criminal record check that makes sure you don’t have a substantial criminal record. You may also be needed to acquire a penal clearance certificate (or police certificate) or obtain a police statement, as well as be asked to complete a Character Statutory Declaration Form.

What are the documents required for an Australian student visa?

 

The website of the Department of Home Affairs has a checklist featuring a list of documents that you are required to submit for specific circumstances.

Generally, students are required to submit the following:

  • Your completed Australian student visa application form (157A)
  • Paid visa application fees – currently AU$560 (~US$430) in most cases
  • A copy of your passport biodata page (you may also be asked to physically provide your passport)
  • Your Certificate of Enrolment or Letter of Offer
  • An evidence of your sufficient funds
  • An evidence of your health insurance cover
  • Your English proficiency test results
  • Your criminal record check results
  • Four copies of your recent passport-sized photographs
  • After you have completed assembling and scanning your supporting documents, you will need to create an account and apply with the online ImmiAcccount application system.
  • Mostly, visa applications take about four weeks to process. If you are going to study in Australia for a course that is of a duration longer than 10 months and that finishes at the end of an Australian academic year (usually mid-December), in such a case, your visa will generally be valid until 15 March of the following year. If in case your course extends over 10 months and finishes in January or October, your visa will generally be valid for two months after the completion of your course.
  • Under some circumstances, it might be possible for you to apply for a further visa at the end of your course for which you will need to consult the Department of Home Affairs website to get additional details.

How to use your student visa?

You are permitted to enter Australia on your student visa up to 90 days (3 months) before the commencement of your course. Within the first seven days of arrival, you need to inform your education provider of the address where you are residing, and also inform them within those seven days if you change your address.

While you are on your student visa, you will be allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the time your course term is going on, and you can work full-time during the holidays. The student visa is automatically issued with permission for you to work, although you will not be allowed to begin working in the country until your course has commenced. You must also not entirely rely on work in order to support yourself or your family while you are in Australia.

If you are studying a master’s by research or a PhD program, you will not have any work restrictions. However, you must keep in mind that any work that is required as a part of your course is not included in the limit. Any work that is voluntary or unpaid is also not included in the 40-hour work limit if it is genuinely voluntary such as for a non-profit organization and for something that benefits the community.

For as long as you are in possession of a student visa, you have to adhere to certain obligations: you must remain enrolled in a CRICOS-registered course; you have to attend your classes on a regular basis; you have to make a satisfactory progress in your course as well as maintain an OSHC health insurance. Also, there are certain visa conditions that you as well as your dependents are supposed to comply with and breaching any of the visa terms and conditions might result in the cancellation of your visa in Australia.

With more than 1,150 international course programmes conducted in the English language, with over 55 higher education universities, the Netherlands is the largest provider of English-language course programmes in Europe. The Netherlands has furthermore been hailed for its ground-breaking Problem-Based Learning, or ‘PBL’ pedagogy that instils in students the capacity to analyse and solve real problems independently, through a mix of theory and application, teamwork and self-study and systematic challenging of the student’s cognitive faculties. To be eligible for a study visa to the Netherlands, one must fulfil certain mandatory conditions.

Primarily, you should be accepted by a recognised university or university of applied sciences as a student to a full-time accredited day program. This allows the concerned university to become your sponsor. All recognised educational institutions are listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors. Secondly, you need to show sufficient income to support your education, living expenses etc. for the duration of your study. Further, you submit an undertaking to obtain at least 50% of the required credits for each academic year. Lastly, if you score below an IELTS Band 6, you can have a one-time maximum period of 12 months to prepare for your studies, through an English or Dutch course. Having stated the minimum requirements needed to get admission to a Dutch university, you would have to fill the online application to schedule an interview for your MVV at the closest Dutch embassy in your country.

Working in the Netherlands as an international student

On the back of your residence permit, it ought to say ‘Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) vereist voor arbeid van bijkomende aard, andere arbeid in loondienst niet toegestaan’. Students need to ascertain whether they have been given this at the time of visa issuance or not.  You may only work in paid employment, if your employer has a TWV for you. You are then allowed to work for a maximum of 16 hours a week or full-time during the summer months of June, July and August. This also means that you must adhere to the legal requirements to maintain your student status in the Netherlands, barring which you could receive a fine or a penalty or even, both.

You are allowed to work in the Netherlands as a self-employed person (without a TWV). To do so, it is important that you continue to meet the requirements for your residence permit for study. Many students choose innovative ways of dealing with shoestring student expense budgets by opening pop up eateries, playing an instrument in a location or even, selling Indian fast food as a novelty, all of which come under the umbrella of being self-employed. If you are planning to take up an internship in the Netherlands, you do not need a TWV if the internship is relevant to your field of study. You and your educational institution have signed an internship agreement with the company, where you will do your internship.

Seeking employment in the Highly Educated Person track

You are eligible for a residence permit ‘Orientation Year Highly Educated Persons’ if you meet the following conditions, while in the Netherlands:

  • Within three years preceding the submission of the application, you: have completed an accredited Bachelor’s or Master’s programme or a postdoctoral programme in the Netherlands;
  • Have had a residence permit in the Netherlands for the purpose of scientific research or a residence permit for the purpose of working as a knowledge migrant to undertake scientific research;
  • Have obtained a Master’s degree on the basis of an Erasmus Mundus Master’s Course;

There are certain other conditions to gain entry into the Netherlands, with a valid work permit. You could find the form here at https://ind.nl/en/Forms/7523.pdf.

With a solid social security system, excellent work-life balance, government sanctions for self-employment, the Netherlands is on the list for most students from across the globe.

Ireland has one of the highest educational involvement rates in the world with almost half (48 percent) of the Irish population having attained at least a college-level education, which is in sharp contrast with the less-than-40 percent level of the other developed countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Belgium, and France. Eighty-one percent of Irish students complete secondary school and approximately 60 percent go on to higher education, scoring significantly higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average in reading literacy and science, says an OECD report. Little wonder then that so many international companies ranging from computers to pharmaceuticals, from financial services to telemarketing consider Ireland, time and again when hiring graduates and making location decisions for entry into the European market.

Whether you want to explore the Irish plains, take advantage of its solid education system or find employment, you will need a visa to enter Ireland. If you wish to visit Ireland for a period of less than 3 months for a holiday or to pursue a short course of studies or on business, then you can apply for a short stay ‘C’ visa – either a single entry or multiple entry visas depending on the duration and frequency of your visit. On the other hand, if you would like to travel to Ireland for more than 3 months to pursue a course of study at an Irish accredited school or institution (above high school), for work or to settle permanently in Ireland with family members who are already resident in Ireland, then you can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa for a single entry or a purpose appropriate visa, as explained below.

If you are a non-EEA (Eastern European Association) national coming to study in Ireland, you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) regulations stipulate that students who are from a country outside the EEA, then you must apply for a student visa. A student visa application must include evidence of ready access to a minimum sum of EU 7,000, which is the sum computed for a year of study in Ireland. Apart from this, they must also have a valid admit letter from the Irish University, along with the requisite allied documents as well as proof of medical insurance, if provided by college. Since 1 June 2015, non-EEA nationals can enrol in an eligible course at High School Certificate/Level 6 or above on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The maximum time they can study in Ireland at this level is 7 years. There are exceptions to this limit for students doing a Ph.D or a course such as medicine and in special circumstances, wherein the student is suffering from ill-health.

Upon graduation, the students receive an extension of their permission to remain in Ireland under the Third Level Graduate Scheme. This scheme allows a non-citizen graduate of an Irish university to find employment and apply for a General Employment Permit or a Critical Skills Employment Permit, as the case may warrant. For example, graduates with a Bachelor’s qualification may get a 12-month extension to their residence permission; up to a maximum of 7 years of student permission overall. Graduates with postgraduate qualifications or above may get a 24-month extension (2 blocks of 12-months) to their permission up to a maximum of 8 years of student permission overall.

In recognition of the potential foreign revenue and generation of employment in local areas, the Irish government have taken strong steps in projecting Ireland as a much preferred educational destination! With its excellent infrastructure, eminent educational credentials and excellent employment opportunities, Ireland is most certainly a study option that students should consider.

You can find detailed information at:

http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Irish%20Visa%20Information.

http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_to_ireland/studying_in_ireland/immigration_nonEEA_students.html.

http://www.nfq-qqi.com/qualifications-frameworks.html.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MICHELIN STAR CHEF?

Every culture is manifested in the type of food and ingredients that are typical of the region or community. Today, chefs like Gaggan Anand, Vikas Khanna and Sanjeev Kapoor are all household names, with the fame and popularity that rivals those of cricketers and even, film stars. Even in the West, the names Nigella Lawson, Emeril, Bobby Flay are all master epicures as well as Master Chefs in their own right.

Being a Chef needs the person to have a balance of creativity and the scientific precision of a researcher to draw the exact taste on the palate as can be. Chef Vikas Khanna is an alumnus of the Welcome Group School of Hotel Administration, Manipal, as is Chef Kunal Kapoor, both of whom have popularised the MasterChef India series. However, few know that to gain exposure to European and Western cuisine, Chef Khanna has also taken courses at Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, and New York University. Little wonder then that his name is now eponymous with the ten greatest Chefs of all time like Julia Child, Jamie Oliver, Clemens Wilmenrod, Massimo Bottura and David Chang.

In addition to America’s gastronomic inventions, Old-school Europe has always had its delights of fresh food, wine and epicurean fantasies that aspiring chefs the world over dream to master. Le Cordon Bleu, incepted in 1895, now offers a network of 50 schools on five continents enrolling 20,000 students annually. Each school offers its own list of culinary short courses and demonstrations; with fees ranging from EU 199 to above EU 18,000, depending on the course. To be accepted to Le Cordon Blue, one must be over 18 years of age, should have completed 12th grade or High School Diploma and may also provide prior culinary experience. For more details, please visit the site, https://www.cordonbleu.edu/paris/how-to-apply/en. These admission requirements are for the undergraduate program and echo across every culinary school in all continents.

For the graduate program, the student must gain apprenticeship with renowned chefs, restaurants, where fine dine cuisine and varied cooking styles may be imbibed. Along with this, each school mandates the criteria for having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality/Culinary Arts or an equivalent degree. The candidate must also have excellent credentials and range imbibed through practical training and may have to give a demonstration to the panel, to qualify for a seat with reputed institutes like the Louisiana Culinary School, Culinary Institute of America, Sorbonne Institute of Culinary Arts, among others.

The term ‘Chef’ before a name qualifies an individual to be distinguished for his skill in presenting epicurean delights implementing his knowledge of sensory and visual stimulants in the use of ingredients and cooking methods. With the proliferation of media and news, the number of food based content have dominated the market, with internet upping the ante. Most Chefs across the globe have their own signature show on primetime slots as well as their own signature restaurants, a la Sanjeev Kapoor, Julia Child, Vikas Khanna, among others. Fame, popularity and not to mention, excellent remuneration go hand in hand for those masters of the kitchen, who have perfected both style, method and presentation.

Top dollar Executive Chef jobs are limited, but leading positions are available at fine-dining restaurants, and in domestic and international resorts and hotels. The average salary for an Executive Chef could well be upwards of $130, 000, depending on the property he serves. The salaries for head chefs are between $50,000 and $100,000, closely followed by Assistant Chefs, Sous Chefs and others. With top dollar remuneration, the freedom to build a brand lies in the skill of the individual who chooses this eclectic and exciting profession to become a Master in the Culinary Arts. You could work at a fine restaurant or even seed your own restaurant under your very own signature brand, like the Australian legend, Gordon Ramsey. The call to be a Chef is a vocation, where along with titillating their taste buds, you also find a home in people’s hearts and memories, with meal-times becoming occasions for people to get together and bond with each other.

The manifold increase in the price of a medical seat in India has made it difficult and unaffordable for students to pursue the MBBS degree. Similarly, it is prohibitively expensive to get admission for an M.D program, which is a must if you intend to become a specialist or teach medicine. The cost of the MBBS in India is anywhere from 80 lakhs to 1 crore, while the M.D program can cost you upwards of Rs.2 crores. Rather ironic for a rapidly multiplying population, which needs at least one doctor for every 600 persons and yet, the shortfall is phenomenal. Access to quality healthcare in rural areas remains a dream as the prices rise continuously for the much prized degree. In recent times, students have begun considering countries like Russia and Slovenia for pursuing higher studies in medicine.

An MBBS at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia will cost you 90,000 EU for a course period of six years. For admission to the Department of Medicine’s MBBS program, you need to have completed your 12th grade with a minimum score of 60 % or above with core competency in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.  The Slovak Medical University in Bratislava is the only university in Slovakia that provides monothematic education for healthcare professions in all three degrees of higher education, and at the same time, the only institution that has guaranteed complex education of healthcare workers in Slovakia under various names since 1953.(For more details on fees, course structure etc., please follow the link, http://www.uni-lj.si/study/bachelor/mf/.)

However, there is one important aspect to keep in mind for admission to Slovenian medical universities. They require that the High School Certificate equivalence be issued by the District Office in Bratislava, Section for Education, Tomášikova Street 46, Bratislava. Also, the prospective student must appear for a Slovenian medical entrance examination, similar to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to secure the admission. All the documents must be translated into the Slovenian language for submission to the university. It is also mandatory to submit the syllabus of completed courses or Course Information Sheets (ECTS) for the qualifying exam, 11th and 12th grade at the time of submitting the application to the university. The student must also furnish a medical fitness report to show that he/she is fully able to handle the rigors of medical school. After fulfilling all these conditions, the prospective student is ready to begin studying at Slovenia.

After the completion of the course, be it an MBBS or an MD, a medical professional would prefer to be licensed in his home country as well as country of naturalisation. For an Indian doctor, the Medical Council of India (MCI) is the licensing and governing authority for all medical professionals in the country. You must be certain that the university that you have chosen is on the approved list of equivalence degrees as authorised by MCI.  Pavol Jozef Safarik University Kosice is the university listed in Slovenia as approved by the MCI. Visit https://www.mciindia.org/CMS/information-desk/for-students-to-study-in-abroad for the comprehensive list.

Besides practising in India,, there are several other recognitions that form a gateway to practicing in other countries like the US. The link https://www.faimer.org/resources/world-directory.html shows that the Faculty of Medicine at University of Ljubljana as well as the University of Maribor are recognised by FAIMER and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification (ECFMG) is a mandatory certification for graduates seeking licensing in the United States. Since the two universities in Slovenia are listed in the WFME registry, their graduates may apply for the exam. The minimum requirements to qualify for writing the ECFMG exam are that applicants pass USMLE steps required for ECFMG Certification within a 7-year period. All international medical graduates (IMGs) should have had at least 4 credit years of medical curriculum at a medical school listed in the IMED.  Applicants for ECFMG Certification must document the completion of all requirements to receive the final medical diploma.

According to a recent article in Forbes, the US is facing a resource crisis with fewer physicians for its growing population so there would be great scope for foreign medical graduates to seek and receive employment in the United States under the J-I category. Please read the article carried by the NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/upshot/america-is-surprisingly-reliant-on-foreign-medical-graduates.html. This opens up several avenues of career opportunities for students who opt for the strenuous medical programs. The average pay for a medical graduate varies between USD 100,000 to USD 150,000 depending on his work profile. Similarly for a medical post graduate, the average pay varies between USD 180,000 to upwards of USD 250,000, depending on the specialty.

The plethora of opportunities for medical graduates with lucrative benefits beckons you to pursue your studies in Slovenia. Apart from these benefits, Slovenia’s small size means that it’s perfectly possible to ski or hike in the mountains in the morning and sunbathe at the coast in the afternoon (or vice versa if you prefer!). Not only that, but you can also easily reach any of the four countries which have borders with Slovenia; Croatia, Austria, Italy and Hungary. Therefore, there are endless possibilities for travelling both within, and outside of, Slovenia, as a student, in the beautiful country.

So look no further to achieving your dreams of becoming a doctor or medical specialist. Visit our study abroad counseling centers for getting more information on pursuing your medical education at Slovenia.

China has 39 institutions ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2018, including six new entries, and many of the country’s universities are included in the QS Asia University Rankings 2018 ranking as well. In a bid to compare with the best education destinations of the world, China is currently investing US$250 billion a year in “human capital”, which includes the subsidy of education for young people moving from rural to urban areas, in an effort to lessen the gap between the educated elite and rural workers.

Ranked 25th in the world and sixth in Asia in 2018, Tsinghua University is in the Chinese capital of Beijing and is a member of the elite C9 League; it is best for architecture, civil engineering and materials sciences. For all three of these subjects, it’s ranked in the top 10 universities in the world. The C9 League, which focuses on fostering excellence, is the Chinese equivalent of the Ivy League. Peking University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Science and Technology of China, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, Zhejiang University are the other universities in the elite fold.

The foresight shown by the West is pluripotent in China with the international collaborations of American and British Universities, like Peking University maintained a partnership with Germany’s Freie Universität Berlin since 1981. Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is the largest international university in China with dual degree-awarding powers from the University of Liverpool (UK). The university has over 10,000 students on the Chinese campus with a further 2,500 studying at Liverpool on a 2+2 study route. Duke Kunshan University, a Sino-American partnership between Duke University in the US and Wuhan University in China, offers a Duke education, which is catering to demand of a dynamic and rapidly growing China.

For admission to any of these universities, the minimum qualification is the completion of the preceding program. For example, to secure admission to a Master’s degree program in Mandarin, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree in the same subject, as well as a HSK level (Proficiency in Mandarin) of 5-8. Visit http://www.hanban.org/ for more information on this aspect. The English-medium programs do not require HSK results. Instead, applicants for English-medium programs should provide recognized English proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Although, English native speakers or those who hold an academic degree taught in English are exempted. The average tuition fees in public universities range between 3,300 and 10,000 USD annually while the fees at the international universities can start from around 8,000 USD and can lead to around 15,000 USD per annum.

After receiving admit, you would apply for a student visa. An X1 student visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit China for study, advanced studies, or fieldwork for more than 6 months. An X2 visa is issued to foreign nationals who come to China with the same purpose, but for a period of less than 6 months. It is imperative that the university to which you have been admitted is accredited for offering courses or internships to foreigners. X1 holders shall apply for a Temporary Residence Permit from the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) within 30 days upon entry into China.  They will send you a JW201 or JW202 form and an admission letter. Students cannot work on a student visa, for further details, contact the University office directly for further details.

In Beijing, China’s most expensive city, you can live fairly comfortably off of US$15 a day. Renting an apartment costs around US$250-350 a month and a meal at your local noodle joint won’t set you back more than a couple of dollars. Dormitories generally offer single rooms, double rooms or deluxe rooms. You may also request for your own roommate if you want. The cost of accommodation may vary from RMB 25 to RMB 150 per day, depending on the university, the city and the type of room. There’s no mandate on healthcare insurance as the cost of medicine is reasonable.

China produces twice the number of graduates than those produced by the United States. A record-breaking 8 million students graduated from Chinese universities in 2017. This figure is nearly ten times higher than it was in 1997, a testament to China’s building capabilities in its massive human resource. Engineering, economics and science majors in China enjoy high starting salaries and are sought after in the employment stakes. With a steady unemployment rate of 8 percent since 1999, China has seen phenomenal growth over the decade due to its strategic policies. China’s point-based work permit program has three tiers, namely A, B and C, which classify the talent for receiving a work permit. Qualified international students at Chinese universities will be granted work permits and employment licenses. Qualified students at foreign universities will first be granted work permits, followed by an employment license after arriving in China and obtaining a work visa to work in China, after completing the course of study which makes employment easy.  According to a Forbes article, a total package for an expatriate middle manager in Mainland China is now worth over $276,000 per year on average, which makes employment in China lucrative.

Chinese universities have become increasingly popular with international students. The rising numbers ranging from 52,150 in 2000 to 442,000 last year bear testimony to this fact. More than half are from the Asian sub-continent, with the next biggest number being from Africa. With their value for money and enviable partnerships with international behemoths, China is fast catching up with Singapore in the education arena. Given its many advantages, China is definitely a destination to be considered by any international student for its rich heritage as well as for being a paradigm in world-class education.

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