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Studying abroad is a common aspiration for many students, and it’s likely you’ve dreamed of being one of them. But while you may have done your research, have you considered everything, such as the weather? Don’t worry if you haven’t – this post is here to help.
Recently, Yuktie Jhangiani, the founder of Kosha, spoke with Charushilla Narula, the founder of University Connection, about the essential factors for students studying abroad. In this post, we’ll summarize their conversation and provide you with some valuable tips. So, get ready to take notes, and if you’d like to watch the full interview, you can find it at…
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For students studying abroad, there are numerous benefits that make it an attractive option in modern times. Here are a few of the advantages that any aspiring student can enjoy while traveling abroad:
- Making friends from more than 50 countries: Studying abroad allows students to meet people from various backgrounds and cultures, helping them broaden their social network and gain a global perspective.
- Exposure to an international way of teaching: Studying abroad exposes students to different teaching methods and educational systems. It enables them to learn from world-renowned professors and academics, providing them with a competitive edge in their future careers.
- Developing independence: Studying abroad teaches students to be self-sufficient and independent. It provides them with the opportunity to navigate unfamiliar territories and cultures, giving them valuable life skills that they can apply in their personal and professional lives.
Studying abroad can be a truly transformative experience for students. However, it’s natural to have doubts and fears along the way. By being open-minded and adaptable, students can make the most of their study abroad experience and come away with memories and experiences that last a lifetime.
One of the first things you’d want to know is, “When’s the right time to start applying or planning for universities abroad?”
Charushilla: “The earlier you start, the better it is. But then, how early is too early? 6th, 7th, and 6th graders shouldn’t be troubled with the natural process of learning and growing.”
It’s only in Grade 9th that we can focus on things like skill-building, knowledge base, and a profile.
9th and 10th is also the time when students start thinking of what streams to select and what they’re inclined towards. So that would be the best time to get started.”
But please don’t feel sorry if you don’t belong to this particular age bracket.
Charushilla: “It’s not too late if you’re in grade 11th. If you are there, it’s a great time to curate a college list. Figure out what options are there for you internationally and in India. And if you’re one of those who are waking up in Grade 12th and wondering.
What do I do? Get in touch with a counsellor at the earliest so that your application process can be streamlined.”
The next question Yuktie poses is about post-graduation courses. She talks about how Indians have been asked to complete sixteen years of education. So the question is, “When is the right time to start planning post-graduation courses?”
Charushilla suggests that you start planning about post-graduation from your first year at college. You must figure out the kinds of entrance exams you need or want to sit for. There are some countries like Canada that still need 16 years of education.
Yuktie asks Charushilla to shed light on some of the non-traditional courses or courses where Indians can get the maximum value as against studying in India.
Charushilla: “Today, students have the privilege to pick up multiple majors. You could be studying computer science along with entrepreneurship. You could be doing history along with photography. Or you could pick up economics and also dabble with music.”
Hence, parents shouldn’t neglect their children’s capabilities and hobbies. There’s a lot to explore and learn abroad. So if your child is interested, give it a go. And you must remember this one piece of advice that Charushilla shares:
Charushilla: “Not every major you study always translates into a career. It’s about opening your mind to so much that’s available to you.”
Sports enthusiasts can also benefit from a career that caters to their interests. There are courses for sports psychology, sports law, or analytics too.
If you need help in navigating your career, you should visit a counsellor. It could take you a step closer towards realizing your potential and working towards it.
Charushilla compares the role of a counsellor to that of a sports coach. Anyone who plays a sport can play it to a certain level. But if you want to take it further, you need someone who can provide the right inputs.
Hence, in this regard, Charushilla believes that parents are always the first counsellors for their kids.
At the same time, ensure that your children stand out from the crowd with their skills and knowledge. It will go a long way in helping your child excel. Here’s where a professional counsellor can come in and help.
Next up, the two of them discuss the ideal packing list for a kid going abroad.
Yuktie: “It’s a good idea to pack essentials that cover your knees for the first three months you spend there.
Your experience will help you live there like a local. You would get more comfortable with the neighbourhood, places to go, and how to get from A to B.
That’s when you can top up with other things you need. Typically, take your essentials for the first three months of your stay. ”
Charushilla: “We’re all tropical beings here in India. But how do these students go about adapting to these colder climates.”
Yuktie: Typically, students are leaving in September. Or if it’s the Jan intake, they’re leaving in December. In September, they’re getting into the country when it’s autumn and the cold has already started.
When we talk of December, they’re reaching there in the peak of winter. And many of them are experiencing winter for the first time. So one of the first things is to follow the concept of winter layering. It’s a very scientific concept.
“The air pockets created between your layers block the body heat from escaping out. So follow the principle of wearing a three-plus-one learning system.”
Here are the layers you should consider while making your packing list and are recommended by Yuktie as must-haves while travelling abroad to study.
Apart from the three layers, accessories are essential to cover your extremities in winter weather. Also, you can add or remove layers depending on the temperature you’re experiencing.
Yuktie: “If it’s going to be sub-zero temperatures, you’ll need four or more layers. Also, it depends on your individual resistance to cold.”
Students tend to find it tough to acclimate to the weather during their first season in a country. Yuktie shares how that’s the time you must focus more on layering. By the time you spend six months in the country, your job will become much easier.
The top three essentials you must ensure to carry would be:
Regarding appropriate clothing, there’s another critical question that needs answers. When is the right time to shop for winter wear if students are planning to study abroad?
Those going in September would be entering around the winter season. And if you’re going in for the Jan intake, you’re entering peak winters.
Hence, Yuktie suggests to go prepared with your basic winter wear. It will keep you well-prepared and won’t catch you off guard too.
There are times when the weather gets volatile during winter. So if you aren’t prepared, you’re in for a challenging ride ahead.
Generally, the sales abroad take place during the Thanksgiving period. But it’s too late to shop for winter wear by then. Also, if you shop from India, you will enjoy a price benefit on your winter wear.
There’s another exciting piece of information that Yuktie shares regarding winter wear for students abroad.
Most of the clothing that’s available abroad is made in India. So kids and parents, please don’t hesitate to shop from an Indian winter wear brand. But ensure that you pick good quality.
During the interaction, Chariushilla also discusses the importance of profile-building. She emphasizes profile-building as the “base layer” while you prepare for a university abroad.
Students must be proactive and participative in class. They should be eager to raise their hands whenever teachers ask the students questions. In short, you must be interested to learn and grow as a student.
Additionally, you can also showcase the skills you’re good at. You could be a great musician, sportsperson, or reader. But the main attraction to any hiring individual would be something extra and edgy you might’ve done.
Charushilla shares the example of people who’re musicians. Being a musician, you could launch your album or mentor other aspiring musicians to achieve their goals.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with students who’ve enjoyed psychology but have also been sitar players or have enjoyed computer science but have also been national level, football players.
So it’s a matter of building these things together and effectively creating that projection on the application.”
Internships or community engagement are very useful for your CV. But have you gone the extra mile to project an activity in your life? That’s the real question you must find answers to.
What are the challenges students would face abroad while studying, you ask? Here’s what Charushilla has to advise you:
Charushilla: “Preparing for college is like preparing for life.”
So here are some of the common challenges parents and kids tend to face:
- Financial Planning
- Tackling the weather
- Classroom environment unlike what you’ve experienced before
- Handling household chores and maintaining a schedule
- Handling your daily expenses
As for the schedule, Charushilla emphasizes getting into the habit of maintaining a calendar. It brings some organization into your daily work.
Good preparation is a must when you’re planning to study abroad. It takes a lot of effort until you’re finally at the airport. But if you’ve gone through that, you should enjoy every minute of your experience.
You have some exciting options to pick for your majors. You can dive into a range of fields related to your interests. And as you’ve seen, clothing is also a part of your preparation.
Please ensure to dress according to the weather. If you’re travelling during winter, pack accordingly.
So are you all set to pack for your academic career abroad? Don’t take it lightly if you’re about to enter a cold country. Well, if you have time on your hands, go winter wear shopping.
This post was written by Kosha team member – Shawn Mathias