Lies Your Study Abroad Consultant Tells You: Part 1
Going to a consultant here in India gives us more questions than answers. Unless we are straight-A students, we are demotivated by the information that the course we are aiming for, we are just not eligible for it and we can not do anything to improve our eligibility. All of that is a lie.
Disclaimer: Not all consultants are bad. Some of them are open and honest too (but those are really small in numbers). Also, by no means I am saying that college courses have lesser standing than university courses in Canada. Both have their merits and you should have true information about different options available to you.
Most students wish to go to Canada and the US in the hopes of a better standard of living, highly credited courses and growing employment opportunities. When we reach out to the consultants, we are told:
You can’t get into a degree program. Go for Diploma.
Why a degree program? Go for a diploma, save money.
You can get into a degree program and that program can be budget-friendly. All you need is 2–3 days of research and some effort on your profile.
Excuse 1. You have a low GPA/percentage.
Universities have 100s of programs and multiple criteria. There are universities that have 60% as their entry criteria. Colleges or Universities, do your own research and find the programs and institutions that best fit your needs.
Excuse 2. Three-year graduation.
India follows the British education structure and the American education structure is followed in US and Canada. The degrees from both the structures hold transferable value. There is something called an equivalency tool. Even I have a 3 years degree but because it is an honours degree, it has the equivalency of 4 years in Canada and the US. Various universities consider 3 years degrees or acknowledge degrees from nationally recognized institutions. All you need to do is to go to the university website and find the equivalency tool or email the admissions office asking them if your profile would be considered.
Excuse 3. Why are you spending so much?
Colleges cost about 25–30k CAD and there are some good university programs that would cost 40–50k CAD. Living costs unless you are living in downtown areas are pretty much on the same scale. If it is not a very expensive university, even time commitment towards classes would be the same for you to pick up part-time work. If you find a good co-op program in a recognized university, you will have lots of support from the university and its brand name to find a suitable employer. Hence, you will be able to cover the extra cost you are paying during your co-op or within a few months of you being employed. In the long run, having a degree from a recognised university vs having a diploma from a college will have its pros.
Excuse 4. Colleges have more personalised programs.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.
All universities and colleges have different advantages and disadvantages depending on location, availability of resources, the kind of program you want to go for. Maybe some college has a smaller class size or a very specific program it excels in. Maybe some university prides themselves on having a bigger class size and more diversity in the program. It really depends on your goals and needs.
Excuse 5. It is really difficult to get into universities.
Reality: If something is not at all challenging for you, maybe it is not worth it for you to move around the globe. I know certain colleges that demand a student to have a strong profile. On the other hand, there are certain universities that are experimenting with specialised courses or are expanding their classes, hence they make it a little easy for people to get into.
Ultimately what matters is for you to find the perfect program that is in a good location for you to live and work in. No consultant but you and your research can alone help you do that.
You are planning to move to an entirely new country and culture, commit to a particular profession for a huge portion of the rest of your life.
How about you spend a few days actually researching and finding the best option you can get?
Follow for encouraging me to write more about how to find the perfect course you should aim for.
About me: I am from India and I wish to study in Canada. I am documenting my entire process from exams to applications to finances. I hope reading about my journey, experiences and mistakes help you in your process.
Until next time,