Tag: Singapore

Passport to the World: A Snapshot View of College Education around the World

Its May! And even though traditionally December is the end of the year, for students May can often represent that end, especially since they have their eye on summer vacation around the corner. May 1st brings an end to the admissions cycle for US applicants who may their final decisions on colleges. Later in May, as Board results come out, other college decisions are made.

However, for other students, namely those starting their college journey, May is the beginning! Summer vacation brings holidays to fun places, catching up with school and working through reading lists. And so, as you explore higher-education opportunities around the world, we at CollegeCore decided to create a quick introduction to approaching college applications to colleges and universities around the world.

United States of America (USA): The idea of the American Dream isn’t a new one. Nor is the fact that US colleges and universities consistently rank amongst the best in the world. Which is why it isn’t surprising that the United States is probably the most popular destination for students venturing out of their home countries to study abroad. Most US institutions offer flexible programmes for all students, which help them find their interest before deciding on a major; this is particularly interesting to students coming from rigid curriculums like the majority of those offered in India. However, with 3000 incredible universities and an application process which is both involved and complicated, it is no wonder CollegeCore helps dozens of students through their applications every year! Whether its understanding the difference between Ivy-League and Public-Ivies, figuring out whether to ACT or SAT and wading through dozens of essays, the US application is a convoluted process with big rewards at the end of the journey.

Canada: Oh Canada! Now, more than ever, students applying to college in the US are also looking to Canada for more college and university options (especially considering the tenuous political climate and its impact on employment in the US). With incredible, world class universities to choose from, co-op programs which allow students to blend studying with valuable work experience and a more welcoming employment environment than the country to its south, Canada is an option we see more and more of our students choosing each year. And to great success! We have students attending all the top 10 universities in Canada with students making a clean sweep in their applications every year so consider Canada (though beware the cold weather that impacts the majority of universities). Like the US, Canada offers 4 year programs. However, co-op programs which includes work experience along with the academic course extends 4 year college to 5 year.

United Kingdom (UK): UK is a popular destination for students from India and why not! The UK and India may have had a difficult history fraught with conflict but there is immense familiarity in the education systems – three year programs, academically driven college decisions and education in English. But as is the case with most academic driven college decisions, competition is tough and so, we guide students as they apply to Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL and LSE, truly the best of the best universities. With only one application allowing you to apply to a maximum of five schools, every step of the application counts to secure the college of your dreams. The UCASApplication form allows you to apply to 5 programs. It could be 5 different universities or 5 different programs in 1 or more universities. Moreover, it is important to note that due to the Oxbridge system, students can only apply to Oxford OR Cambridge, not both. While UK is still understanding the impacts of Brexit, the education system has felt no big impacts.

Singapore (S’Pore): With its relatively affordable education and top-notch courses in computer science, applied science, law and economics, Singapore is an excellent destination for students who are academically inclined and ready to perform their best. Being geographically proximate to India also means getting the chance to study abroad without ever feeling too far from home. Its rigorous curriculum, world-recognized degrees and a Ministry of Education Tuition Subsidy (Scholarship) to ease the financial expenses, mean that Singapore attracts more and more students to every year. The Ministry of Education Tuition Subsidy requires the recipient to work in a Singapore-based company for three years after graduation but is an excellent opportunity. Moreover, Singapore list of top universities universities also include Yale-NUS, which is the Asia location for Yale’s excellent faculty allowing students to access incredible education closer to home. Yale-NUS has the same application needs as US universities so it is different from the other Singapore universities such as NUS and SMU which are focused on grades to make admissions decisions.

Hong Kong (HK): What is it that your mind conjures when you hear the words ‘Hong Kong’? If you are thinking about a city of skyscrapers, busy businesses and maybe Bruce Lee movies, then your guess is right. But Hong Kong is also one of the major hubs for education in Asia, giving Singapore stiff competition as an excellent place to study STEM courses and engineering. Students can make the most of these technical courses taught in English Language while successfully positioning themselves to get great jobs in its fast-paced economy. So whether its HKU, HKUST or City University of HK, Hong Kong is definitely becoming a strong study-abroad destination for students who are looking for the next hub in Asia.

Europe: For the longest period of time an education in Europe meant studying in the UK. And though the UK continues to be a strong favourite, stricter visa rules and the decreasing number of employment opportunities are resulting in students considering other choices. And for good reason! European colleges offer great education but they also offer the opportunity to experience cultural diversity. However, language of instruction is often in the local language so we encourage students to take that into consideration when applying. If you don’t know French or German reconsider the application or look for programs in English which are limited. So whether you want to study Hotel Management in Switzerland, Engineering in Germany or Political Science at Sciences Po France, explore Europe as more than just a vacation spot.

USACommon App+
4 yearsLiberal
Arts – allows
to study beyond
Canada Individual
4 years (5
with co-op)
Flexible but less
than USA
35 lakhs
UKCommon App
3 years (4
in a few)
Restricts classes
to major
25-35 lakhs
Depends on
Restricts classes
to major
Differs by
college &
4 yearsRestricts classes
to major
18-25 lakhs
4 yearsRestricts classes
to major
18-25 lakhs

With the myriad of opportunities out there, we encourage students to use their summer break to explore, bring thoughtfulness and clear direction to their application process, and seize those passports to explore the world!

CollegeCore works with students applying to a myriad of colleges around the world and has been doing so for well over 17 years. Reach out if we can help you seize your passport to the world.

Why not India?

Why not india 2

Is it possible to have zillions of concepts in your mind but still be uneducated? Uh…?

Is brain drain after high school worse than brain drain after college? After all there are as many articles complaining about students who go for undergrad as IIT-ians and IIM grads going to US Companies each year! That’s true…

So does overemphasis on good grades and churning out Sheldon Cooper’s by the dozen mean that a system works perfectly? Or ensuring that there is overall growth way beyond just academic brilliance, a better approach to have? I’m not sure…

What about a system that gives immense scope for creativity and focuses on originality while giving you the freedom to pursue everything that your heart desires? Wait, this we have the answer to.

Because when it comes down to freedom and flexibility, this is where the Indian system lacks and an American education takes over completely.

Ever so often, we get clients that begin with the question,

“Why Not India?” 

As we look at Studying Abroad, there are those in favor and those against. While those in favor tout “Global Exposure” those against often talk of the high cost of education. But beyond that, there are a few clear differences between the different opportunities worth considering.

After completing the highly demanding and exceeding competitive Indian high school regime, the acceptable undergraduate options available to students in India can literally be counted on one’s fingertips. The popular options usually are Engineering, Medicine, Fine Arts or Commerce. Yes there are others and plenty more, yet the majority of students find themselves shunted towards these few career opportunities.

So you walk in to college with an idea with what you want and then you figure out that what you thought at 17 was the ideal career for you, isn’t the ideal thing at 19. Want to switch? YOU CAN’T!

Should have read the fine print…

You can choose only one course of study and you need to be sure about what you choose as it comes with a 3/4-year Lock-in period! If you realize after a year that you made a wrong choice, it comes with a penalty of the subsequent loss of years before you take on your new course.

Where the Indians tighten up, the Americans loosen.

The Indian education system is primarily academic driven and more theoretical based. Theoretical based because there is little or no emphasis on sports and other extra curricular strengths a student might have. It is rigid because if you are a mathematician with a flair and passion for playing the piano and want to find the mathematical explanations to the notes you play, you absolutely don’t stand a chance to find answers to this desire in the Indian system.

While Behold! The American education lets you do exactly that! So while you pursue a major in Mathematics, you can go ahead and minor in Music or vice – versa. You wish to study Psychology and expand your learning by studying Drama as well; just go ahead! And you finally get points for playing Soccer/Cricket as well! You have absolute freedom to study what you wish, any number of subjects you wish, as long as you have the ability to face the challenges and demands that come with pursuing such diverse areas. In between your college years if you want to change majors, the system displays flexibility on that front as well. A few questions asked though, but if you have the right answers, there is no one stopping you.

As opposed to the Indian way, the US education system gives emphasis to understanding through practical applications. It is driven by the ideal to encourage learning through thinking and not forcing it down someone’s throat.  It is driven by the principle that a complete education doesn’t mean having answers to all the intelligent questions all the time, instead focusing on your own strengths and striving to be the best in the fields where your interest lie and giving you all the resources to achieve your dreams.

But the US Education isn’t the be all and end all. There are considerations to keep in mind. Is the student mature enough to handle themselves far from home? Will they get lost in too much choice? If you are certain they want to study Medicine, why not complete your MBBS in 5 years in India rather than spend 8 years in the US?

Each student is different, but for those looking for an engaging and exploratory academic experience, the US is a destination worth considering.