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are two distinct trends shaping up: On one hand, the US and
European governments are tightening visa and travel restrictions,
on the other hand, demand for western education has seen a
marked surge from around the globe. To cater to this demand,
universities and educational institutions are offering distance
education, part-time educational courses and, e-learning and
online degrees. This section of GaramChai.com presents a glimpse
into the options available to global students who wish to
avail of world-class education without travelling half-way
across the globe.
Articles on Distance Education
Articles on Part-Time Degree Courses
Articles on Online Education
Online Courses from Universities
How to feel `Desi in Pardes'
For students who wish to study abroad mere securing of a
good score in exams like TOEFL and GMAT is not the end of
all the formalities. It is only the beginning of the grind
The grind starts with the frantic search of good universities
and downloading of the application material and prospectus
from the Internet. Then one has to go through the rigours
of applying for which he or she has to shed considerable amount
of sweat for preparing the Statement of Purposes (SOPs) and
the recommendation letters. By the time the applications are
sent and accepted by the universities, one has to start working
for the visa formalities and financial grants. In the present
scenario, especially after the 9/11 incident going through
the visa formalities is like passing through an acid test.
It is even tougher and strenuous than obtaining the grants.
One is not sure till the visa is stamped and cleared whether
he or she would be able to board that much-cherished transatlantic
flight. And immediately after getting the visa clearance the
stomach picks up another batch of butterflies amidst all the
The thought of leaving the near and dear ones and how to cope
up with the culture shock in an unknown land sets in a depressing
* Travel tips:
Here are certain tips to overcome that feeling and prepare
for the departure:
* First of all that homesick feeling is going to stay as long
as one stays away from home-sweet-home. Do not get into a
shell or start searching for Indians in the university to
form a coterie. American students and students from other
Asian countries are quite friendly. Communicate with every
soul in the campus and one could get rid of that feeling to
a large extent.
Keep passport, visa, insurance and admission letter in a small
pouch and carry them in person.
Make note of the connecting flight details including the gate
numbers in a small notebook or in a digital diary.
Make note of the contact number of the university counsellors,
admission officers and friends if any.
Travel light. Take only the bare minimum.
It is advisable to buy the required clothes, shoes, basic
stationeries, reference books and toiletries (enough to last
for a month or so) from India, as they are very costly there.
* Contact Indian Students' Associations before departure.
This is the most important thing that one should do before
departure. Almost every university in the US has got an Indian
Students Association. Contact them before departure as they
would provide all the necessary details that one needs to
know. Every association has got its own interactive websites
with all the options like FAQ (frequently asked questions),
chat and e-mail queries. If one has difficulty in locating
them then visit www.garamchai.com
or www.yale.edu/sas/misc/weblinks for a complete list of Indian
Students Association websites in US, UK and Australia.
For all sort of doubts right from how to commute from the
airport to the university to what type of clothing one should
carry and from which nearby Indian restaurant they can have
their food to where they can find a suitable accommodation
the student associations are ready with the answers.
"The primary role of the associations is to try to make the
students feel at home, Make him feel `desi in pardes'. Once
such associations are contacted, details pour in through chat,
e-mails or telephonic conversations.
They even arrange volunteers to attend the airport and receive
the newcomers," says Srinivas Savaram who worked as a volunteer
during his student days in George Mason University, Fairfax,
Some sites like the one belonging to the Indian students of
University of Memphis and Okalahoma give complete details
of the travel plans.
Right from what masalas and pickles to carry to how many jeans
or jackets are necessary to fight the cold and make the luggage
light. They also give details of the accommodation rates both
inside and outside the campus.
Apart from the websites there is also an institute in Visakhapatnam
by name IndiGenius that imparts an exclusive 15-hour course
to foreign-bound students.
It touches on various aspects like an insight into the history
and culture of the land, communication skills, university
culture, social etiquette and travel tips. For details contact:
98491 28428 or 94408 58301.
By Sumit Bhattacharjee