Immigration, Studying and Living Abroad

As the year 2018 draws to a close, the value of the Indian Rupee continues to plummet. Losing more than 60% of its value since 2010, it has been continuously depreciating against the US dollar for nine consecutive years. This persistent trend makes the practice of pre-booking dollars in advance at fixed prices a handy tool to save money on foreign currency spending. In this regard, options and forwards are two financial contracts that enable individuals to reserve foreign currency. To gain a clear understanding of the specifics of these contracts, let’s consider a small example:

Mr. A has to spend $10,000 to pay for his child’s education after six months in July. Currently, in the month of February, the dollar is trading at INR70. Following the current trend, Mr. A expects it to reach to INR 75 by July. According to Mr. A, his child’s education, which currently (in February) costs INR 700,000, will cost INR 750,000 (in July) when his son actually starts his studies abroad and requires the money.

In a bid to make a diligent financial decision, Mr. A wants to buy $10,000 at the current price of INR70 (in February) but wishes to receive and use it after six months (in July). Talking to his bank representative, he learns about forwards and options contract and now compares the two to see how they may benefit him.


In February: Mr. A makes an agreement with Bank B in February to purchase $10,000 dollars at a price of INR 71 in July. Although the current price is INR 70, Mr. A would still profit at buying them at INR 71 as he expects the price to jump to INR 75.

The Bank asks Mr. A to pay an initial margin of INR 50,000 to finalize the contract and ensure that Mr. A does not backtrack from it later.

Between February to July: If the price of the dollar remains at 70, or increases to 75, things will be smooth. However, if it uncharacteristically drops to 65, and the contract goes against Mr. A, he will be required to pay a margin i.e. the money to ensure that he would not back down from the contract. This margin would be deducted from INR 710,000 that he will pay in July.

In July: Mr. A has to honor his agreement and purchase $10,000 at INR 71 from Bank B. The margin paid by him would be deducted from INR 710,000 that he is liable to pay. It does not matter whether the price of the dollar has increased or decreased.

A forward will obligate a buyer to buy the currency at a preset price at a predefined date. The buyer of an option will have to purchase the currency, irrespective of its price in that period. The buyer of a forward needs to post a small initial margin and, if the contract moves against the buyer, he may have to post extra margin as well.


In February: Mr. A buys a ‘Call’ option (right to buy at maturity) worth $10,000 at a price of INR 71, which matures in July. To secure this option, the issuing Bank B asks the buyer to pay a premium of INR 15,000. The paid premium will not be deducted from the final payment if Mr. A choses to use his contract.

Between February to July: No activity expected from the buyer.

In July: The buyer can now choose to purchase the dollars depending on whether it is profitable for him or not. Considering the two scenarios that Mr. A may face the below-mentioned scenarios:

If the price of a dollar goes below INR 71: Although Mr. A expected the rupee to devalue, it didn’t. It is therefore not profitable for Mr. A to buy $10,000 dollars at a price of $71 from the option as he can buy it at a cheaper rate in the market. Therefore, the buyer can choose to not exercise the option. In this case, he loses his premium but protects himself from a possibly larger loss.

If the price of a dollar goes above INR 71: Mr. A would want to exercise the contract and, therefore, buys $10,000 at 710,000. The INR 15,000 is not deducted from the total price.

An option contract would give a buyer a choice of buying the currency at a preset price on a predefined date for a small premium price. An option contract becomes profitable only when the fluctuation in the currency is high enough to offset the premium.

Forward v/s Option v/s No Contract

Consider the three scenarios where the future price may alter, understanding the utility of engaging in these contracts for Mr. A. assuming that Mr. A wants to buys $10,000 at a future price of INR 71.

If the price of a dollar becomes 65 at maturity:

Forward: Mr. A has to purchase $10,000 at INR 710,000, thus sustaining a loss of INR 60,000.

Option: Mr. A can choose to not exercise the option and purchase $10,000 at a market price of 65 at INR 650,000; and incurs a loss of only INR 15,000 premium.

No Contract: Mr. A can purchase $10,000 at INR 650,000 i.e. the market price.

If the price of a dollar becomes 75 at maturity:

Forward: Mr. A purchases $10,000 at INR 710,000; thus, saving INR 40,000.

Option: Mr. A can choose to exercise the option and purchase $10,000 at the decided price of INR 71 at INR 710,000. As Mr. A has paid a premium of INR 15,000 initially (to secure the contract), he saves INR 25,000.

No Contract: Mr. A can purchase $10,000 at 750,000 i.e. the market price.


Using an options, forward or no contract would depend on one’s assessment related to currency forecast. For buyers who want to hedge against the risk of the appreciating currency, options may be a costlier but better alternative. On the other hand, buyers who are confident that the currency will devalue can opt for forward as it may save them the cost of paying the premium. If one feels that there may be only small devaluations in the rupee, a forward may be a better choice as one is not required to pay a premium or an extra charge on the contract. To conclude, both option and forward contracts have their own benefits and can be used as powerful tools to hedge against uncertain fluctuations in currency.

Are you looking to enhance your career prospects? Well then, the simplest and the most effective solution is to pursue higher education in a foreign country and subsequently, secure a job in that country. Whether it is the US, Canada, Australia or Germany, all these countries provide a facility to secure a work visa upon graduation as long as you get a job, which is not a very difficult proposition provided you network and identify the right school to pursue your higher education at.

The prospect of studying abroad is expensive, costing anywhere between 20-25 lakhs per year, on an average, and also depends on the chosen destination, program and University. Therefore, it is important for students and the families concerned to explore funding opportunities like loans and scholarships, well in advance.

Fortunately, the market for study loans has expanded considerably over the years with quite a few players entering the fray. There are two types of loans, namely secured and unsecured loans. As secured loans require collateral in the form of real property or other assets, many students prefer unsecured loans. Though the rates vary by as much as 1.5 – 2% between the two loans, the process is virtually the same namely,in-principle sanction, sanction, and disbursement.

  • In-Principle Sanction: A few banks, especially public sector banks, are reluctant on confirming loan grants until one receives the I-20 from the USA University. While you need to show your financial competence to the University to get the I-20, the Bank requires you to show the university I-20 to confirm the loan offer. In case you wish to avail of loan from such banks, you can be in a bit of catch-22 situation.

At times, the bank offers you what is called an ‘In-Principle Loan Sanction Letter’ wherein the bank states that a particular amount of loan shall be sanctioned to the student in case his admission to a particular University is confirmed. However, one must remember that such an ‘In-Principle Loan Sanction Letter’ is not accepted by majority of the Universities, and therefore, if you plan to show loan as proof of financial capability to the University, you need to necessarily obtain the loan from a provider who is willing to sanction the loan without the i-20.

  • Sanctioned Loan : If you choose to avail of education loans from dedicated education loan providers, most of which fall in the non-banking financial corporation (NBFC) category, such as HDFC Credila or Auxilo Finserve, you will be able to obtain a ‘Loan Sanction Letter’ even before the confirmation of admission. Even banks for that matter, upon confirming your loan after you provide a proof of admission, readily offer you the Loan Sanction Letter. By sanctioning the loan, the bank confirms that the loan of specified amount has been granted to the student. The Loan Sanction Letter also specifies the terms and conditions of the loan, such as the repayment period, rate of interest, moratorium period if any, any loan pre-payment clauses, etc. For getting the loan sanctioned, students are typically required to pay a processing fee of as a percentage of the sanctioned loan amount, along with cooperating with the bank for the KYC process involving offering information such as their residential address, employment place, employer credentials, telephone numbers, family income details, past credit history, etc. to the bank officials. The process is subject to scrutiny in case the paperwork does not conform to the requirement. In case of any discrepancy, the loan can be rejected by the bank. Hence applying for CIBIL ratings to assess one’s creditworthiness becomes very important.

The sanctioned amount is sufficient proof for the student to show to the universities and get their I-20. Over 98% of the U.S. universities accept this sanctioned amount.

  • Disbursement: Once a loan is sanctioned, depending on your requirement, you are offered the flexibility of utilizing a part of the sanctioned amount or the entire sanctioned amount. You cannot avail of loan beyond the sanctioned amount. Loan disbursement is a process where you ask the bank to transfer the requested amount into your account or make a payment to the University directly. A student can choose to get the loan disbursed in parts at different points of time during his education tenure, or in full at once. The interest component and the repayment of loan (EMI/ partial EMI/etc) only begins after the disbursement of the specified amount. If the student decides not to avail of any disbursement, all he would end up paying is the initial processing fees.

Collegepond offers loan assistance and guidance to various students through their associations with various banks and NBFCs. To avail of these services feel free to email services@collegepond.com

Now that you have taken admission to your desired program in a top university, it is time to decide on your accommodation before you fly off to study abroad. Student halls, living out and staying at home options abound and each one of these has their pros and cons.

Living on your own

You could play music as loudly as you want, keep your own hours, for you’ve left the chaperones and curfews back home with your overly protective parents. You would be forgiven for living it up king size for the first time until the novelty wears off. The first sign of independence becoming a drag are the realisations that – the dustbins do not empty themselves, drainage plugs do not self-unclog, and the fridge does not self-replicate delicious take-out food, which becomes obvious within the first month itself.

The state of affairs, with the rent being foremost

It’s true that many houses are let to students because they have clear flaws that would be intolerable to older tenants with jobs. These include, but not exclusively, leaking ceilings, running water that fluctuates in temperature, exposed wiring, nightmare neighbours and the list goes on. However, these houses should also mean that you get a better deal on rent and you must negotiate.

Check what amenities are paid for and the extras you need to shell out for

For those leaving home for the first time, halls can be a pleasant halfway house between full independence and the strict rules imposed by parents. Advantages include reliable broadband and kitchens that must comply with basic health-and-safety standards. If the apartment has a heater system that’s included in the rent, then weigh the slightly higher rent with compensation for a warm cosy nest to return to on wintry days, without the penury inducing bills. But if you do end up living out, it is crucial to keep an inviolable emergency fund, of at least three hundred dollars. Furnished or unfurnished, the laundry does not do itself so ensure that the complex has a laundromat on site or you would have to lug it to the nearest one either by car or walk. Also, be certain that there is a food place in walking distance so you can either make your own coffee or get take out. You don’t want to be stuck at home with no grounds and the nearest bistro charges 3 dollars for delivery. The caffeine goes a long way when deadlines loom.

Pick your neighbours carefully

Chances are that this will be the first time you get to choose who you live with. There are various things to bear in mind when choosing your housemates. Also, under no circumstances should you agree to live with anyone until the second term, or better still the second year. Shared habits and preferences are great where you have equally good standards in hygiene, but if both are untidy and unhygienic, it would be an unhealthy environment to live in. In other words, pick someone who you would relate to without ‘twinning’ on all parameters. Also, rooming with the roommate from Hell means picking up after him/her, while also shelling out his rent so it would be nice to ascertain gently their source of income (legal) so you know the deal squarely.

The distance between university and your home, with the nearest transit stop being a mile away

Running late on a class is a no for sure, imagine sprinting a mile like an athlete and then making it to Science 101 with a sweaty shirt and grimy face. Be certain that your apartment has easy access to all the transit stops. Find out the bus route of your university’s transit system and see if you could get a deal on an apartment in the area. Shelling out a couple of extra dollars is way better than losing out on a perfect 4 pointer, just cause you came late for the last minute extra credit quiz.

Keeping it legal, always.

Lastly, be sure to ink all agreements in the name of all roommates for equal deposits and rent liabilities, let the apartment manager know that they need to include all the utilities/amenities in the main body and list them out, fine-print won’t cut it. Also, just to be certain, ensure you have your seniors in college or the University Housing section give the rental agreement a once over and enquire whether it needs to be stamped, notarised or registered with the county office. Also, make sure that you clearly mention the due date for the rent and the absolute last date for utilities to be paid up. Few realise that delayed or non-payment of the same has an impact on the credit score, which is also reported to the university.

With this comprehensive check list in hand, you are empowered to finally explore your independence as a young varsity student.

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.

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.

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.

Germany is regarded as the most sought after non-English speaking educational destination among Indian students to pursue higher studies. Over the years, the country has become a hotbed for graduate education, giving tough competition to the likes of USA, UK and Australia. A lot of students eyeing for Germany as their preferred educational destination opt for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses.

Owing to the stiff competition that students experience in securing an admission into German universities, we have listed the following steps that shed light on how you can go about the application process:

1. Selecting the course and university

Deciding on your preferred course (and the university, according to the program chosen), is the first step to apply to an overseas university. If you wish to apply for MS in Industrial Engineering, consider universities like RWTH Aachen University, Technical University of Berlin and Braunschweig University of Technology.

Unfortunately, there are only a few programs that are taught in English; the rest will have German as the primary language. The first few semesters will be taught in English before the coursework shifts to German-medium. Therefore, it is important that one has basic proficiency in the language.

2. Considering the admission criteria

After drawing up a list of universities, check the admission criteria for each. This will help shortlist the universities that are a perfect fit for your profile.

To be able to study in a German university, you are required a degree equivalent to a Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), which means a higher education entrance qualification. Getting an admission is largely dependent on your profile and qualifications.

Additionally, you will also need to fulfil the requisite language requirements. As a lot of courses are primarily taught in German, students will need to furnish the university with a proof of proficiency – which can be fulfilled by taking the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH) test, or the TestDaF (Test of German as a foreign language).

Note: While both tests are recognised in Germany, you should check which test is accepted by the university you intend to apply to.

3. Request for application forms

The application forms can be downloaded from the respective websites of the universities. They can also be requested by sending a query letter to the university.

4. Filling up the application forms

Following is a list of documents that need to be submitted along with the application form to the university.
• Transcripts from school/college
• Statement of Purpose
• Letters of Recommendation
• Resume (in case of MBA and other technical courses)
• Scorecard of:
o German language proficiency
• Financial documents

Not all universities require you to take a GRE qualification. Saarland University and University of Kaiserslautern do not have GRE as definitive criteria, but they recommend that students take it. However, for some universities like RWTH Aachen University and Technical University of Munich, you will need to present your GRE scorecard. For MS in Industrial Engineering, a minimum score of 310 is deemed acceptable.

With regards to proficiency in English, securing a 7 band in IELTS and a score of 85 to 90 in TOEFL will fulfil the requirements.

To prove their proficiency in German, students can take the TestDaF or DSH tests. Check the admission criteria to ascertain whether the preferred university accepts the test.

5. Application process

You can directly upload the required documents on the university’s website. Some German universities also receive applications through the website www.uni-assist.de, a portal operated by the German Academic Exchange Service, dedicated solely for international students. However, not all universities accept applications through this website.

For universities accepting applications through Uni-assist, the processing fee is Euro 75, with Euro 15 for every additional application. For other universities, the application fee is between Euro 50 and Euro 100.

6. Receiving admission offer from universities

On assessing your application, if the university selects your candidature, it will make you an offer. Once you accept the offer, the university will send a final offer of acceptance.

7. Scholarships

Once the offer has been received, you can also apply for scholarships at German universities. Following are some scholarship opportunities for Indian students:

• DAAD WISE (Working Internships in Science & Engineering)

Offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), students pursuing degree programmes in engineering can avail for this scholarship. As part of the opportunity, which will allow those selected a two- to three-month scholarship at German institutions of higher education and research, students will receive a monthly stipend of Euro 650, a travel subsidy of Euro 750 and health insurance coverage.

• IIT Master Sandwich Scholarship

The scholarship, available to students studying in Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) across India, entails an opportunity to pursue their master’s thesis project work under the tutelage of a German professor from a TU9 technical university. As part of the scholarship, the students will receive a monthly allowance of Euro 750 and health insurance.

8. Applying for a study permit

Indian students will need to apply for a Visa Type D/Residence Permit to be able to pursue studies in Germany. Valid for only three months (or 90 days), students are required to obtain their residence permit in order to extend their stay. In addition, they need to show relevant financial records to prove they have the requisite funds. Additionally, you will also be required to have your health insurance settled.

For more details, meet our counsellors today, who will guide you through the entire process and help resolve any queries.

Over the years, Singapore has become a globally acclaimed destination for pursuing higher studies. Making its mark on the frontlines of the global economy, its impressive business and management programs compare with the top universities globally. Touted as one of the most lucrative educational destinations to pursue management programs, Singapore has provided a gateway into the Asia-Pacific markets; prompting top business schools to widen their overseas presence.

With scores of international students vying for an admission in Singaporean universities, the competition is tough, thereby allowing only the best and most eligible to be selected for the programs. The following pointers highlight the process of applying to a Singaporean university:

1. Selecting the course and university

Once you have made up your mind about pursuing higher studies from Singapore, select your preferred course; and, accordingly, look up the universities that offer the particular program. For instance, those interested in pursuing MBA can opt for universities including Singapore Management University, Nanyang Business School, NUS Business School and James Cook University, Singapore.

2. Research the admission criteria

Singaporean universities are on the lookout for candidates having a consistent and sound academic profile. While this is a primary consideration, you will need to check if your profile fulfils the pre-requisites of the program that you desire to pursue. This step will allow you to narrow down your universities to the ones that will be ideal for your candidature. Every university evaluates its prospective students individually. For MBA, a key requirement that universities look for in prospective students is relevant work experience. However, there are universities that do not have work experience as a criterion – these include James Cook University, East Asia Institute of Management (EASB), Dimensions International College, Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Kaplan International College.

3. Application forms

Forms of many universities can be simply downloaded from their respective websites. You can also request for a form by sending a query letter to the university.

4. Documentations required

Universities will ask for additional documentation along with the application form. These documents will allow the admissions committee to evaluate your candidature and help them determine if you are an ideal applicant.

The following is the list of documents universities will ask for:

  • Application form
  • Resume
  • School/college transcripts
  • Score cards of GMAT/IELTS/TOEFL
  • Letters of reference/recommendation
  • Statements of purpose
  • Financial Documents

Students applying for an MBA will need a GPA of 3.3 and a minimum score of 600 in their GMAT exams. While it is not a criterion, those who have authored research/academic papers and hold relevant experience in research will have added advantage. Furthermore, to prove their proficiency in the English language, a minimum score of 550 for paper-based TOEFL, 90 for the Internet-based TOEFL or a band score of 6.5 in IELTS is required.

For technical programs, Singaporean universities accept a GRE minimum score of 320 (verbal and quantitative).

The universities will charge a processing fee of SGD15 to SGD20 for each application.

5. Application procedure

Most Singaporean universities allow students to upload their applications directly on their respective websites.

6. Admission offer

Once the university has evaluated your candidature and ensured that your profile fits the requirements of the university, they will send you an offer letter. Once you accept the offer, the university will release the official letter of admission.

7. Scholarships

For pursuing the MBA program, students can apply for two scholarships:

  • INSEAD-Syngenta MBA Scholarships for Developing Country Leaders:

INSEAD offers two business management scholarships for students who have exhibited outstanding performance in their academic endeavours. Additionally, the university also looks for characteristics like leadership potential, business and financial acumen, and commitment to contribute towards the development of one’s native country. The scholarships, which span the entire duration of the program, amount to Euro 22,500 a year.

  • NGS Scholarship

Offered by the National University of Singapore, students who have performed exceptionally well in their academics and possess an aptitude for research can apply for this scholarship. As part of the scholarship, those selected will be paid a monthly allowance of SGD3,000 for four years of PhD studies and subsidy for the complete tuition fee.

8. Student Pass

On receiving the offer letter from the university, you are required to apply for a Student Pass to be able to pursue studies in Singapore. The process takes about 10 days (with the volume of applications increasing between the months of July and August) and involves submitting the application to the Student’s Pass On-Line Application and Registration (SOLAR) system, which is the official registration system. For this, the university, which has offered you admission, should register with SOLAR; subsequently, you will need to submit eForm 16. Upon submission, you will submit a printout copy of the form to Student Pass unit – Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Health insurance is mandatory for students pursuing studies in Singapore.

Avail our counseling services today and we will help you realize your dream of studying in Singapore.

Students are increasingly finding Canada to be an excellent destination for pursuing their higher studies. Securing an admission into a Canadian university can be a competitive challenge for most aspirants, but that should not discourage you from applying to some of the best universities that have a global ranking. Familiarising yourself with the application process, planning in accordance and following these steps would make the process of applying to a Canadian university extremely simple and efficient.

1. Choosing the program and university

The first step is to decide on the program you wish to pursue. Subsequently, make a tentative list of the preferred universities that offer your program of choice. For example, if you wish to apply for an MS in Computer Science, you can look at universities like University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, McGill University and University of Alberta that offer various specializations in Computer Science.

2. Admission requirements

Your choice of university will often be dictated by your academic and work profile. The universities offering the desired program ask the student to fulfil a set of pre-requisites to qualify for the program. Hence it is important that you ensure you meet these requirements and can be considered as an ideal fit for the program. Looking up the program’s admission criteria will thereby, narrow down the list to the universities that match your profile. Each university in Canada has set its own admission requirements and evaluates each student individually. Nevertheless, secondary school graduation and a consistent academic proficiency are some of the baseline requirements that all universities have.

3. Requesting/Downloading application forms

Application forms for universities can be obtained either by requesting the universities by sending them query letters or alternatively, they can be downloaded from their respective websites.

4. Collecting supplementary documentation

Along with the application forms, you will be required to furnish additional documentation that includes transcripts from your school, relevant essays and resume. Documents written in languages other than English may need to be translated into the same.

The following is a list of transcripts each student needs to supply to the university:

  • Application form
  • Transcripts from school/college
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume (in case of MBA and other technical courses)
  • Score reports of GRE/GMAT/IELTS/TOEFL (some universities may not require a GRE; look up the supporting documents each university requires)
  • Financial documents

For instance, to apply for the MS in Computer Science program, you will need to submit Letters of Reference/Recommendation, resume, college/university transcripts, English language proficiency test scores, GRE (some universities ask for it) and a Statement of Purpose. A minimum GPA of 3.3 on a US 4.0 grading scale fulfils the requirement, whereas a GRE score of 310 is desired. Language proficiency score of minimum 7 for IELTS (with at least 6.5 in each band) and 90 for TOEFL is accepted by most universities for this program.

The application fee for each university ranges from $50 to $100. Therefore, to save time and money, it is essential to smartly choose the universities you wish to apply to.

5. Application process

Applications can be submitted by uploading relevant documents on the particular university’s website. However, for universities in Ontario, you will be required to apply through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC); this will allow you to not only apply to multiple programs within a particular university, but will also allow you to apply to more than one university in Ontario.

The OUAC will supply the applications to the concerned universities. The university will then email you the list of subsequent steps to complete the process.

6. Receiving admission offer from universities

On assessing your application, if the university selects your candidature, it will make you an offer. Once you accept the offer, the university will send a final offer of acceptance.

7. Study permit

Subsequent to the acceptance of the offer, you will have to apply for and acquire a study permit to be able to pursue studies in Canada for a period of six months or more. In order to obtain the permit, other than your academic records, you will be required to show relevant financial documents that confirm you have adequate funds to pay your tuition fees and living expenses. Some universities also ask that you undergo a medical examination, while some require that you settle your health insurance (the coverage will depend on the province you’ll be travelling to).

Contact our counselors today for knowing more about the application process, university selection and career prospects in Canada.