The UK application registry UCAS has released new data from its 15 January admissions deadline for the 2019/20 academic year, and so we now have an early view of what enrolment trends may look like for the coming year. “On time” applications received by January 15 are viewed as an important indicator of current demand for British higher education, though students continue to apply after the deadline as well.
Applications to British universities for 2019/20 are up overall, and this marks the first overall increase in three years. More than 561,400 applications were received by UCAS, nearly 2,500 more than at the same time last year.
While the overall growth for this year is marginal, it is being led by a 9% increase in applications from students from outside the European Union. This was driven in large part by a surge from China (+33% over 2018). Looking at the broader pool of applications, there was a 1% decrease in the number of applications from students in the UK, and applications from countries in the EU were up slightly by 1%.
The healthy growth in non-EU applications and slight growth in EU applications was met with relief by university stakeholders in the UK. “In this time of uncertainty, it’s welcome news to see more EU and international students wanting to come and study in the UK,” said Claire Marchant, UCAS’s chief executive.
Still, the fact that Chinese applications account for so much of the increase is worrying to some who make the point that there needs to be more diversity within the international student population in the UK. Trend data illustrates the extent to which the population of Chinese in UK higher education has grown over the past decade. In 2010, there 4,450 Chinese applications registered, while for the 2019/20 year there were 15,880 plus another 5,100 from Hong Kong.
Looking at the new UCAS data, Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, commented that,
“It is a shame that we are so dependent on one country for our international students … as I would like to see similar growth from other territories too. But I welcome the growth and I also think it will provide the UK with some real soft power benefits in the future, when these people graduate and go back to China with experience here on their CV.”
Needless to say, the same concern could be raised by many leading study destinations, including the US, Australia, and Canada. But in one interesting indication of the significance of China in British higher education enrolments, UCAS observes that there were more applications from China and Hong Kong this year (20,980 combined) than there were from Wales (18,850) or Northern Ireland (17,910).
Comparing to 2018/19 data
At last year’s 15 January deadline, there were 11% more applications from non-EU students than the previous year, marking the first time in five years that applications had gone up from non-EU students. Non-EU applications numbered 58,450 in 2018/19, while this year, there were 63,690 from students from outside the EU, which amounts to 9% year-over-year growth.
Where applications from EU students had dipped in 2017/18, they rose to 43,501 (3.4%) in 2018/19. The latest UCAS data reveals that the growth trend is holding, though modestly so: EU applications grew 1% to 43,890.
UCAS registered 453,840 applications from the UK this year, which represents a decrease of just under 1% compared to the applications received in January 2018.
While China is the big story in terms of the overall increase in applications volume this year, there were also notable gains from the following important sending markets:
- Canada: +3%
- France: +5%
- India: +5%
- Italy: +2%
- Malaysia: +4%
- Nigeria: +10%
- Spain: +7%
- US: +5%
There were also significant increases from countries sending smaller numbers of students to UK universities. While these are more modest numbers, the extent of the growth is notable given the push for greater diversification of the international student population in the UK.
The latest student data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) describes another year of very strong growth in Canada’s international student enrolment.
The number of abroad students studying in the country rose 16.25% last year, marking a third consecutive year of double-digit growth and an overall overseas education increased 73% in the five years since 2014.
The number of international students holding Canadian study permits (as of 31 December) reached 572,415 in 2018, up from 492,545 the year before. This compares to the 690,468 foreign students in Australia as of November 2018, and the 458,490 EU and non-EU students in the UK during the 2017/18 academic year.
The last time we took a close look at the enrolment composition of each country, the UK was the second-ranked study destination in the world (after only the US), followed by Australia in third, and Canada in fourth. Based on the continued rapid growth of foreign student numbers in both Australia and Canada, it seems likely that there is further change afoot in that global table of leading study destinations.
Major growth markets
India continues to be a big story in Canada’s international education sector. The number of Indian students grew by another 40% in 2018, for the total overall growth of just under 350% since 2014. This amounts to more than 172,600 Indian students in Canada last year, a benchmark that means that India will now surpass China as the leading sending market for Canada. Chinese numbers rose 2% last year to reach just under 143,000.
While they are showing contrasting trends in recent years – China is flattening out as India surges – the two countries together accounted for 55% of all visiting students in Canada.
More broadly, the top 20 source markets, as reflected in the table below, sent nearly 86% of Canada’s foreign students in 2018.
The top 20 sending markets for Canada, 2018. Enrolment and percentage of the total. Source: IRCC
Aside from India, the fastest-growing markets for Canada in 2018 included Bangladesh (+53%), Iran (+48%), Vietnam (+46%), Colombia (+41%), Philippines (+29%), Kenya (+29%), and Brazil (+17%).
In terms of the level of study, 13.5% of Canada’s international students were in secondary schools, 76.5% in post-secondary programmes, and 10% in “other studies”, including exchange programmes and language studies of six months’ duration or more.
Indian parents want to send their children to study abroad. According to a new report, as many as 44 percents of parents in India are mulling to send their children abroad and most sought after destinations are the US, UK, and Australia.
The research done by HSBC says that 52 percent opted to study in US as the destination followed by Australia with 46 percent and the UK is third with 44 percent. The other destination includes countries like Canada, Germany, Singapore New Zealand, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland.
“There’s a clear appetite from parents in India to send their children overseas, whether that’s to gain international work experience or improve language skills in countries such as the UK, the US, and Australia,” HSBC India Head-Retail Banking and Wealth Management Ramakrishnan S said.
However, the massive financial burden is still the key concern for parents in India when it comes to sending their kids to study abroad as 42 percent of the respondents said the international education does incur massive financial cost on the family.
Interestingly, the people living in the UK, the US and Australia also feel the same and 63 percent, 65 percent, and 64 percent parents of these countries share the sentiment with Indian parents.
The views of 10, 478 parents and 1507 students in 15 countries participated in surveys.
To attract more Indian students, New Zealand has taken several steps such as introducing a three-year, post-study work visa for international students, its envoy Joanna Kempkers said today.
The New Zealand High Commissioner to India said her country attracts about 20,000 Indian students every year.
“We are trying to get more Indian students in New Zealand universities. New Zealand has eight universities and there are also government-supported institutions,” she told PTI on the sidelines of ‘New Zealand – India Academic Conclave’ here.
Kempkers also said that New Zealand focuses on more quality education that thousands of students are pursuing in the country.
Asked about the steps being taken to encourage Indian students to study in New Zealand, Kempkers said that the government has just announced new three-year open post-study work visa for all international students studying undergraduate degrees, masters degrees, and Ph.D. study.
Also, New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in the world, she said.
According to a statement, the academic conclave builds upon a range of initiatives that are pushing New Zealand to the fore as the preferred international education destination for students, with a 15 percent increase in Indian students choosing to study in New Zealand universities.
At the conclave, New Zealand’s Regional Director of Education (South, South East Asia and Middle East) said, “We are delighted that Indian students are future-proofing their careers by choosing to study in New Zealand, particularly given the recent introduction of a three-year open post-study work visa for bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D. degree international students…”
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also participated in the conclave, sought collaborations with international academics to understand the dynamics of higher education and know about what needs to be done.
Home Office to extend scheme which streamlines process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK.
A pilot which is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK has been extended to an additional 23 universities, the Immigration Minister announced today.
Currently in its 2nd year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the pilot will streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK.
It also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.
Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications.
Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.
The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include 2 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 1 in Northern Ireland as well as universities from across England.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:
I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.
The UK continues to be the 2nd most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.
This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.
The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.
The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.
The 23 universities to be added to the pilot are:
- Cardiff University
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Harper Adams University
- Newcastle University
- Queen’s University Belfast
- The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- University of Bristol
- Durham University
- University of East Anglia
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Essex
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- University of Manchester
- University of Nottingham
- University of Reading
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of Wales Trinity St. David (Swansea Campus)
- University of Warwick
- University of York
Your Visa Interviewer is going to judge your merit on your preparedness, ability to respond to their questions and your body language.
Congratulations! You have secured interview calls from the Universities you have applied to and are now in the final stages of your application process.
College interviews can be conducted by either the admissions board or an alumnus of the school, depending on the interview process of each school.
Furthermore, they can take place on over the phone, via Skype, on campus or in select cities and last between 30 minutes to an hour.
Regardless of the format, these simple tips will help you crack your next study abroad interview:
1] Do your homework
It’s imperative that you go through your whole application a few times prior to the interview, so that you are aware of what to say in the interview.
Your answers to interview questions need to support the rest of your application and convey why you are the best fit.
2] Practice! Practice! Practice!
Meticulous preparation is the foundation of an effective interview.
Review a comprehensive list of questions and write down answers or bullet points for each of the answers.
Practice answering questions in front of a mirror, so that you can see what you look like, and be mindful of your body language and facial expressions.
3] Be on time for the interview
You do not, under any circumstances, want to be late to your interview.
Showing up on time is a clear indicator of your ability to manage your time, and tardiness will be viewed negatively.
4] Reach your interview site at least 15 minutes early.
Showing up early to the interview also gives you time to relax, compose and take stock on how you are visually presenting yourself.
5] Dress well
The general rule of thumb is that over dressing is better than under dressing. So when deciding on what to wear your default dress code should be formal business attire, unless you were specifically provided a more casual dress code option.
Essentially, you would want to dress in the same way that you would for a job interview at a large company.
6] Exercise basic etiquette
You need to build a positive and engaged conversation throughout your interview process.
When you enter the premises please be polite towards any administrative staff who you encounter before (and even after) your interview, without being overly friendly.
Casual remarks have a way of making it to the admissions committee, which is something we want to clearly avoid.
Make sure to greet the interviewer at the start of the interview, and to thank them at the end of it.
Take copies of your resume with you in case the interviewer needs on and of course keep your cell phone switched off, or at least in airplane mode, during your time there.
7] Strike the right tone
During the interview, maintain a friendly, engaged tone with your interviewer. Do not respond negatively to any comments or questions.
If at any point you feel thrown off by a question, it’s okay to ask for a minute to recompose yourself, think about the question and then communicate your best response.
Showcase your genuine enthusiasm for the school and program through insightful and honest answers that best reflect your experiences and personality, rather than by speaking aggressively or too quickly.
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence and build trust.
Use your resume as a reference tool, only if you need to, otherwise you should be well prepared so that you do not feel the need to look at it at all.
8] Be yourself
Be the best version of yourself — authentic and confident.
Share stories that have genuinely had an impact on your life, and make a list of these experiences in advance.
The admission committee has significant experience conducting interviews and can sense even the tiniest inkling of phoniness. Put forward the best version of your true self!
9] Pay attention to your body language
The way that you present yourself is of critical importance.
Your interviewer is going to be judging on the entirety of his or her interaction with you, including your background and experiences, your ability to articulate yourself, as well as the way in which you communicate with your body language.
Sit upright and at the edge of your seat to convey that you are both engaged and passionate throughout the interaction.
10] Have your own set of questions for the interviewer
The questions from your interviewer will be centered on determining whether you are a good fit for their specific programme.
Usually, at the end of the interview, you will be given a chance to share any specific questions that you may have for them. Although this is optional, by asking appropriate, well thought-out questions, you have an opportunity to make a strong impression.
11] Don’t forget your Thank You!
Ensure to write a formal Thank You letter/e-mail to your interviewer/s.
To demonstrate courtesy and develop a rapport with the interviewer, it is imperative that you send a thank you message within 24 hours of the interview. Most interviewers do expect this.
The Thank You note should be written separately to each interviewer, and reiterate the critical components of your conversation.
Make sure to reflect your sincere appreciation and reconfirm your passion for and commitment to the program and school.
If you do your homework well and come in prepared you can make a great first impression! Good Luck!
Are you thinking about studying abroad, but are not sure if it’s worth your time? Or are you ready to participate in a study abroad program, but need some extra talking points to convince your parents that you’ve made a smart decision?
The number of American students who go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades (304,467 students in the 2013-2014 academic year), and this increase is likely to continue. International education is on the rise, and for good reason: research has shown that students who study abroad have better career prospects and are more socially aware. Read on to discover more study abroad statistics, facts, and figures that reflect the latest trends in international education
Benefits of studying abroad
For many years, the benefits of studying abroad have been described in words like these: “It will completely change your life!” and “You will come back a new person.” But the exact long-term benefits were unknown. Now, though, the positive impact of study abroad experiences can be proven with study abroad statistics.
The Institute for International Education of Students (IES) conducted a survey to explore thelong-term impact of study abroad on the personal, professional, and academic lives of students. Here are some interesting findings:
- 95% of the students who were surveyed admitted that studying abroad served as a catalyst for increased maturity, 96% reported increased self-confidence, and 95% said it had a lasting impact on their worldview.
- More than 50% of the respondents are still in contact with U.S. friends they met when studying abroad.
One of the goals of study abroad programs is to train future global leaders who will respect other cultures and political and economic systems and care about the world’s welfare. The survey reveals that study abroad is succeeding in this mission:
- 98% of the students stated that study abroad helped them better understand their own cultural values and biases, and 82% said that it helped them develop a more sophisticated way of looking at the world.
- 94% stated that their study abroad experience continues to influence interactions with people from different cultures.
- 87% of the students said that study abroad influenced their subsequent educational experiences. Nearly half of all respondents took part in international work and/or volunteerism since studying abroad.
- Three-quarters of the respondents said that they acquired skill sets that influenced their future career paths.
The survey results proved that studying abroad can greatly influence a student’s life. The results of the survey show that study abroad had a positive influence on the personal development, academic commitment, and career paths of the students who took part in IES study abroad programs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results show that the longer students study abroad, the more significant the academic, cultural, and personal development benefits are. But the survey also suggests that study abroad programs lasting at least six weeks can also produce good academic, personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.
The Erasmus Impact Study (2013) analyzed the effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and on the internationalization of higher education institutions. The results of the study proved the benefits of studying abroad for the career development of mobile students. The study highlighted that mobile students are more likely to get managerial positions in their future careers and are less likely to experience long-term unemployment.
Here are some key findings.
- More than 85% of Erasmus students study abroad to enhance their employability abroad.
- More than 90% of mobile students reported that they improved their soft skills, including their knowledge of other countries, the ability to interact and work with people from different cultures, adaptability, foreign language proficiency, and communication skills.
- 64% of employers think that an international experience is important for recruitment.
- Young people who study abroad are half as likely to face long-term unemployment as those who do not study abroad. The unemployment rate of Erasmus students five years after graduation is 23% lower.
- More than 1 in 3 Erasmus students who completed a job placement abroad were hired or offered a position by their host company.
- Almost 1 in 10 former mobile students who completed a job placement abroad has started a company.
- 64% of surveyed employers said that graduates with an international background are more often given greater professional responsibility.
Global trends in international student mobility
The world is becoming increasingly globalized, and international experience is one of the most essential components of higher education in the 21st century. Just take a look at these facts:
- The global number of students who study abroad continues to rise with an annual increase of 10%. There were almost 5 million international students in 2014. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected that, with demographic changes, the international student population is likely to reach 8 million by 2025.
- The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Australia are the most popular host countries for international students. Half of all international students study in these five countries.
- Regions that hosted the largest number of mobile students in 2013 were North America and Western Europe (57% of total mobile students), East Asia and the Pacific (19%), and Eastern Europe (10%).
- The countries with the most students studying abroad are China and India. According to UNESCO, there were 712,157 Chinese students studying abroad in 2013. Several small countries including Andorra, Anguilla, Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Montserrat, the Seychelles, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have more students studying abroad than at home.
- International students who study social sciences, business and law primarily go to English-speaking countries to study (more than 30% of the total number). Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States together host 36% of all foreign students worldwide.
- New players have emerged on the international education market in the past few years, such as Canada (5% of foreign students), Japan (4%), Russia (4%), and Spain (2%). At the same time, the market share of the most popular countries is declining: the share of international students in the United States decreased from 23% to 17 % between 2000 and 2011.
- Several traditional source countries are working hard to increase their attractiveness to international students. China hosted nearly 380,000 foreign students in 2014 but has a target to attract 500,000 students by 2020; Japan is aiming for a target of 300,000 international students in 2020; and Malaysia wants to attract 250,000 foreign students by 2025.
International students in the USA
A lot of foreign students choose the United States as their study abroad destination. Here are some specific figures about international students in the USA:
- There were nearly 1.2 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status in the United States, according to the latest quarterly report on international student trends released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). According to data from a March 2016 SEVIS report, the number of international students at U.S. schools increased 6.2% compared to March 2015.
- 40% of international students in the USA study science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
- New York University (13,851), the University of Southern California (13,080), Northeastern University (11,381), Columbia University (10,810) and the University of Illinois (10,690) have the highest number of international students. More than 10,000 foreign students were enrolled at each school in March 2016.
- 77% of all international students in the USA are from Asia.
- The top 10 countries where international students come from include China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, and Mexico.
- NAFSA’s latest analysis finds that the 974,926 international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $30 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 373,000 jobs during the 2014-2015 academic year.
U.S. students studying abroad
The problem is…
American college students are not as globally minded as theirs peer from other countries.
But the situation is improving, and the number of U.S. students going abroad keeps increasing every year, a growth pattern that is likely to continue.
- The number of U.S. students studying abroad for credit in the 2013-2014 academic year grew 5.2% from 289,408 students to 304,467 students.
- The most popular destinations for U.S. students studying abroad in the 2014-2015 academic year were the United Kingdom (38,250 U.S. students), Italy (31,166), Spain (26,949), France (17,597), China (13,763), Germany (10,377), Ireland (8,823), Australia (8,369), Japan (5,978), and South Africa (4,968).
- Europe is the most popular region for U.S. students studying abroad. There were 162,282 American students studying in Europe in the 2014-2015 academic year. Latin America and the Caribbean hosted 49,312 students from the United States, while Asia hosted 36,290.
- 68,798 American students were studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in different countries around the world in the 2013-2014 academic year. Another 59,687 American students were studying business, while 57,067 studied foreign languages and international studies.
- The majority of U.S. students (62%) studied abroad for just 8 weeks or less. 35% of the students stayed for one semester, and only 3% of American students stayed long term for a year.
- 3,638 disabled students studied abroad in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Open Door Report on International Educational Exchange.
- 100% of first-year Harvard Business School students are required to complete an international field project with a partner company in an emerging market country.
- 65% of American college students who study abroad are women. Only 5% of Americans who study abroad are black, according to the Institute of International Education.
- The Institute of International Education has launched a new five-year program called “Generation Study abroad” to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad from the present number of 295,000 (10% of all American students) to 600,000 by 2019.
- 90% of American college students do not study abroad at all.
Why is study abroad essential?
We live in an increasingly globalized world. New technologies have led to the international integration of national markets and businesses. To successfully compete in the global marketplace, multinational and small businesses need employees with cross-cultural competence and knowledge of foreign languages.
- More than 100 Chinese companies were included on the 2016 Fortune Global 500 list, which ranks the world’s largest companies based on revenue. In fact, China takes three of the top five places on the list.
- Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that by 2025, 45% of the world’s largest companies will probably be based in emerging markets.
- A recent survey found that almost 40% of U.S. companies missed international business opportunities due to a lack of internationally competent personnel.
- 95% of consumers live outside of the United States.
- International trade creates and supports jobs in the United States. More than one in five American jobs are tied to international trade (38 million jobs in 2013).
- According to research conducted by Professor James Foreman-Peck for the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS), deficient language skills as well as the assumption that “everyone speaks English” are costing the UK economy about 3.5% of its GDP.
- A British Chamber of Commerce survey (2013) reveals that 62% of non-exporting British companies regarded languages as a barrier to looking for international opportunities, and 70% of exporters had no foreign-language ability in countries where they operate.
- 70% of UK businesses value foreign language skills in their employees, and 38% of businesses consider language skills particularly helpful in building relationships with clients, customers, and suppliers.
- Language barriers increase the difficulty and cost of doing business on the international market. According to a report by the University of Wales, 25% of export companies in England and Wales had lost businesses because of language and cultural deficiencies.
It is clear that employers are seeking candidates with study abroad experiences on their resumes. Students who want to work in our deeply interconnected world must study abroad.
There is no doubt that studying abroad will change your life. It offers you a chance to experience other cultures, make international friends, learn new languages, improve your job prospects, contribute to your personal development…and maybe even find the partner of your dreams!
We hope that these study abroad statistics that reflect modern realities have helped you get a clearer picture of this unique, life-changing experience and understand the benefits of studying abroad. Of course, study abroad is a serious undertaking. It will challenge you on a personal level. It will have an impact on your college career. And it costs money. But it is also an investment in your future, both academically and professionally, because the study abroad experience is now more valuable than ever.
City students who are looking to apply to universities in the US, will soon be advised by their respective college counsellors to undergo the entire gamut of vaccinations listed by the government.This comes after officials from the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Hyderabad, called for a training session for college staff regarding vaccinations on Friday . The session aims to educate staff members so that they can inturn inform students about the importance of getting vaccinated and the risks of failing to do so.
According to official figures, 25,000 students get visas to the US from the city alone every academic year. But many of them consider getting vaccinated as a trivial issue and keep the matter in abeyance till the end, say officials of IPM.
“Over 50 per cent of students who apply for courses abroad are not punctual about vaccination. Speaking from a medical perspective, the students have to take their vaccines at least one month in advance. But that is not the case,“ Dr G Sampath, deputy chief surgeon, IPM, told TOI, adding that there have been cases where students come to IPM a few hours before their flight asking to be vaccinated. Experts say it takes at least a month for any vaccine to kick in and provide immunity, but since students here delay the process, they are forced to take the vaccine once again at international airports at exorbitant prices coughing up as much as $200 (which may cost as less as Rs 150 at IPM). “Whenever students take these vaccines on short-notice they are bound to feel weak, with cases of nausea or fever, as with any vaccine. But when they reach the immigra tion check at their destination, they are stopped as the vaccines have still not begun to function,“ Sampath said. A few of the mandated vac cines include those for Mumps, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis (A,B and C), Rotavirus, Rubella and Varicella, which take a month’s time to build immunity in the human body .
Officials also say that there have been a few cases where students have tried to take vaccines from private practitioners, clinics or hospitals. “But that will not help because, we (IPM) are the only institute to be recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which gives us with the power to administer and authenticate the entire vaccination process,“ said K Amarender Reddy, director, IPM.
Source: Times Of India
The US Department of Homeland Security has been undertaking a review of the current Optional Practical Training (OPT) time frame which enables students to obtain an additional 17-month extension (the standard OPT duration is 12 months) upon completion of their studies. Recently, a ruling was made which has not only allowed the extension to remain in place, but has actually extended it from 17 to 24 months. This means, students who pursue STEM related degrees can now remain in the USA for up to 3 years upon completion of their studies.
For more details, please refer to the following useful links:
English is an important language especially if one is a prospective student wishing to pursue education abroad. One of the requirements of studying abroad is an excellent score in the standardized test specific for the country and course of study. These tests form an important part of the International admissions and acing them is not very hard with enough time and preparation. The universities in these countries require high test scores because a certain knowledge of English is required to study and excel, no matter what the field of study!
- International admissions in most countries require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for engineering, technology and science related courses and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for Business and management related courses.
- English Language proficiency tests include high scores in the TOEFL for admissions in USA and Canada whereas the IELTS is required for the European countries.
- All of these tests analyses a student’s verbal skills and his command over the English language. But the GRE and GMAT also have quantitative sections which tests students on their problem solving skills and analytical thinking. The verbal sections in these tests are usually harder to ace and require more preparation (when compared to the TOEFL and IELTS).
GRE,GMAT & TOEFL, IELTS
The verbal sections of the GRE and GMAT are much more harder than those from the IELTS and TOEFL. This is because the TOEFL and IELTS test only for basic understanding of the language. On the other hand the GRE and GMAT test for advanced understanding of English (this includes vocabulary, analytical thinking, and other skills required in a graduate environment to succeed).
ACING THE VERBAL SECTIONS IN STANDARDIZED TESTS:
The verbal sections in all these exams test the student’s vocabulary skills and the ability to comprehend and understand English as a language. A student can easily score in these verbal sections by following the techniques outlined below.
- The easiest way to improve a language is through reading and newspapers are a good place to start. They not only acquaint you with the current news but also with a good choice of vocabulary helping him to begin his journey through a language. Many complex words can be learned through the editorial sections in the newspapers. The best way to remember them is to write them down, find out their meanings and associating them with examples or scenarios that one is never likely to forget. But not just any newspaper, read good papers such as the Economic Times, and The Hindu, these papers use high quality English in their articles. Additionally papers have articles on a number of topics, by reading them you will improve your ability to solve comprehension related questions (even if the topic of the passage is not known to you).
- Books form an important part of the reading process. Many novels and classics written by excellent authors like Ruskin Bond and Jeffery Archer open up a whole new world of words that are of a high level (Best part is that captivating stories and an author’s wordplay helps committing words to memory).
- Mnemonics is another key to improving memory power to help retain words in your mind. Associating catchy phrases and acronyms with specific words and usage of flash cards are all different mnemonic techniques that help improve vocabulary at any place and time according to one’s convenience.
- Word lists that include uncommon and hi-fi words are available in various preparatory materials. One must make use of them adding to those lists his own set of words that he discovers through everyday reading. Going over them again and again till they become a familiar territory is the key to gaining an excellent vocabulary.
- Familiarity is the trick to acing a language. Use these words everyday be it in conversations to word games to crosswords to writing diaries. Make the words which you learn a part of your day to day activities.
Language skills never go unused and developing them forms an important part of every education. The Verbal sections in all these tests are easy to ace provided one has prior knowledge about the type of questions and excellent vocabulary skills through good preparation.