Overseas education is a big step in a student’s life. For most Indian middle-class families, this is one of the biggest (and, of course, one of the best) investments they make. In some cases, it can even trump “buying a house”. And being a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime event, it needs to be a well-researched decision. Most students are the first in their families to go for overseas education, and their parents are not fully aware of the steps/processes involved. Parents can be naive in this aspect and often fall prey to many scams while applying for study abroad. With that in mind, here are a few major points that parents and students should be well aware of.
Understanding the Process
The application process is very different in India when compared to the developed countries. In India, we focus on a single entrance exam or a single test score that can make or break our chances. In many countries, however, we see that a holistic approach is being taken where the focus is not just on a single exam.
The application process includes a lot more than a single test score. It will take into account your academic performance over the last few years, your projects, your extracurricular, your involvement in research, and your recommendations, among other things.
Many students believe that by paying enough, they can receive the score they want. Do not be taken in by these phishing schemes! The majority of these are aimed at inexperienced pupils.
Technology is improving, making it easier to catch kids who have been cheating. The institution will refuse your application if they find out that you obtained these grades by unethical means.
If the university comes to know this after you have been admitted or after your course has been started/completed, it has the authority to withdraw your admission and deport you.
So, take tests the right way and don’t fall for silly scams while applying for study abroad competitive exams. These tests are skill-based tests and might require some time, effort, and practice on your part, but no matter what, do not resort to unfair means.
Agents vs. counselors
Do you know the difference between an agent and a counselor?
Well, an agent may want you to apply to universities that they are partnered with, whereas a counselor will have your best interests at heart. That is a true test.
Financial Documents Forgery
Overseas education is not exactly a cheap affair. It can cost good money. More often than not, parents do not have enough money, and the agents can direct them towards unfair means. Not to mention that it’s not just unfair but illegal as well most times.
If you are caught (which does happen often), you will be banned permanently from applying for a visa to your preferred destination. These documents are a part of the checking process in order to ensure that you are able to complete your education.
So, what is the right way when you are lacking funds? In a scenario like this, there are education loan providers out there that students can look for. However, one must be cautious as many loan providers lend you money by looking at your ability to pay them back after your education. That itself can be a great check for you.
This is a common scam while applying for study abroad. More often than not, agents promise students a guaranteed visa, which is not possible. No agent can have that sort of influence over your visa.
Professional guidance and counseling are available out there to ensure that you put your best foot forward. Many people have lost money and even passports by putting faith in these agents. So, don’t look to “pull strings” and do it the right way.