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Advertise Articles on Studying abroad >> Indian Student Associations >> Education Abroad >> Article

There 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 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 / Links / Online Courses from Universities  / Indian Student Associations

Article: 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 ahead.

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 celebrations.

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 mood.

* 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 or 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, US.

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 (The Hindu)









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