Australia is currently the third most popular destination for international students in the English-speaking world, behind the United States and the UK. Many international students prefer its cultural diversity and natural beauty, quality education, career, and immigration opportunities; almost one in four Australians are born overseas.
Universities have 2 semesters; first semester starts in February to early March (Fall) with exams in June, while the second begins late July with exams in November (Spring). You can join either semester except for Medicine or Dentistry that only has February intake; deadlines for Fall range from September to December, and for Spring from March to May.
The 3-4 year Bachelor and 1-2 year Master degrees are taught through lectures and tutorials with continuous assessment across class, group work and exams. You need an offer of admission from an institution, electronic confirmation of enrolment, personal identification, transcripts and credentials along with valid Overseas Student Health Cover to enter. IELTS or TOEFL scores is compulsory for proficiency in English but may be waived against CIE English result.
AusAID for students from developing countries and Australia Awards provide scholarships, albeit they are competitive and primarily for postgraduate students. Also, universities have their own scholarships, for instance, the International Undergraduate Scholarship for University of Melbourne students. Further, student visa allows work of 40 hours per fortnight during term with no such limit when course is not in session.
Canada is going through a demographic shift and cannot rely on population growth to fuel the economy. By 2030, over 65 segment is expected to double while the working population will grow by only 8%. With affordable tuition fees, tolerant and diverse society, quality education, post-study work and immigration options, Canada is a leading destination for study abroad; international student numbers have gone from 25,000 in 1995 to under 100,000 in 2015.
Education is a provincial subject with no national standard. While universities mostly follow the semester system, some follow trimesters. The 4 years Bachelors program attracts most students, but 1-2 year graduate and MBA programs are also popular. Enrolment happens for Fall but other entry points may be available. Deadlines are mid-September to late October for medical and law, mid-December to end January for all others with transfer window till end April
A majority of the top universities are in Ontario and undergraduate applications are managed through the OUAC. All other applications are filed through respective online system of each other university. Most universities require high school transcripts, and IELTS or TOEFL. SAT is also required for students who follow the US system. Look out for Co-op programs that bundle internship or research opportunities as part of the degree
While there are limited scholarships for international students choosing to go to Canada, financing options are still available through specific universities, and the range of financial aid available varies on a case-by-case basis.
East Asia is emerging as a popular destination to study among international students. The rich multi-cultural environment, developed infrastructure and accessibility, and vibrant city lifestyles in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur etc. combined with the high quality of education in East Asian universities makes the region a lucrative career destination.
Universities in the far-east are famed for their competitive academic culture with a strong focus on the liberal arts and a ‘holistic education’. There is no universal application for East Asian colleges, although applications for each college are considerably similar. East Asian colleges offer a 4 year bachelor degree, but the 2 Masters/Graduate degrees is much more popular. Some US colleges, such as Yale, NYU, American, and Hult have campuses in the Far East, or work in collaboration with local colleges.
Enrollment happens for fall but other enrollment periods may be available, depending on the college. Most East Asian colleges allow applications till April 1st, with a decision handed out on a rolling basis until mid-Summer. Most colleges require a college-specific application along with a high school transcript. Many US-based campuses also require the SAT reasoning test and the IELTS, for admission. Entry test requirements vary.
The costs of attending a college in East Asia are low compared to those incurred when attending a college in Europe or the US. Applicants paying full must expect to pay approximately 20 lacs a year in college fees, with an additional 10 lacs for housing and accommodation. Aid policies for East Asian colleges vary from institution to institution. Most colleges offer merit-based scholarships to the most deserving of candidates, with colleges very rarely offering need-based financial aid. Colleges which offer scholarships are often those with the most competitive applicant pools with scholarships only offered to the most qualified applicants.
College in the US is a dream destination for many students from all over the world. There are over 5000 universities in the States, including many of the top global colleges; hence the quantity and quality of higher education opportunities available here are unparalleled. There are two types of universities in the US: National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The major difference between the two is that Liberal Arts Colleges offer only undergraduate or Bachelors programs, whereas National Universities offer Bachelors, Masters and PhDs as well.
Most universities and colleges, require the Common Application, which encompasses several forms as well as an activity list and an essay section. As of 2015, 500 universities use the Common Application. In addition to the uniform requirements of the Common App, almost every university asks for supplements to this application, in the form of essays. Students applying must send in high school transcripts and TOEFL/IELTS scores if they are unable to demonstrate proficiency in English. Candidates, in the case of most colleges, must also submit scores for the SAT Reasoning Test, and much more rarely for the SAT Subject Tests. Early Decision applicants must apply before 1st November, while for regular applicants; the deadlines for submissions vary from 1st- 15th January. Admission decisions are dispatched in March and April.
Some of the top universities (Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, and Amherst) are need-blind, even for international students. Need-blind universities do not consider an applicant’s financial situation during the selection process. There are select universities that are need-aware – they will take into account the applicant’s financial need as a factor in giving them a decision – but state that they will meet the full demonstrated financial need of students if they are accepted. There are also various forms of financial aid available and may include – albeit rarely – need based, and merit-based scholarships. These often require separate applications.
The UK is a densely popular destination for Pakistani students seeking higher education opportunities. There is an immense variety of universities and academic programs available, giving students the ability to personalize their educational experience. Combined with this is a multi-cultural experience unlike any other, with a strong vibrant Pakistani community overseas based in commercial hubs such as London, Cardiff and Manchester.
There is one application through UCAS – similar to the Common Application – which includes general registration, personal information, recommendations and academic details. A personal statement or essay is a vital component of the application. UCAS gives students the option of choosing up to 5 courses or programs. The deadline for applying to Oxford or Cambridge is 15th October. For the majority of other UK courses, however, the deadline is around mid-January. Some university admissions operate on a rolling basis, and allow the option of applying until June for admission in the fall. There is no set date for decisions, and candidates receive one as soon as their application has been processed by the admissions committee.
Although there are some well-known scholarships in the region, these are limited and other financial aid options available include loan schemes for students. Two famous scholarships that are funded by the government are the Chevening and Commonwealth. Other than that, there are university specific scholarships such as the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, although these are centered on graduate education
College options in the Middle East have dramatically opened up in the last few years due to a strong satellite campus presence in cities like Doha and Abu Dhabi. These programs are swiftly gaining ground as they provide the same quality of education as their flagship campus, in a locale closer to Pakistan, and often at a somewhat lower cost. Within these countries, there exists a widely divergent, highly varied range of cultures that run the gamut from the undoubtedly eastern to the decidedly western. Students also gain from this area in a major way which is an improved understanding of the forces that are shaping the world and of the cultures in this region that are playing such an increasingly important role on the international stage.
Students intending to apply to the UK must fill a university specific application online and send in supporting documents; these supporting documents generally include High School Transcripts, Teacher’s Recommendation, Personal Resume, TOEFL/IELTS Scores, and Personal and Supplemental Essays. Several universities also provide applicants to have an interview with an Alumni or Admissions Office via Skype. Some universities – specifically satellite campuses of universities housed in the US such as Carnegie Melon and Georgetown – accept the Common Application, and often require Standardized Test Scores. Applications often open up in Fall, and the deadline for applying to most universities in Qatar and the UAE expire in March.
Unlike the US, there is no universal means to apply for financial aid in the Middle East; several colleges often have grants, loan programs, and scholarships awards of their own – for example Carnegie Melon University in Qatar offers a small amount of merit-bases scholarships every year. There are also scholarship opportunities available through local state governments – e.g. the Qatar Foundation – which offer to waive the costs of tuition for studying in their respective countries in return for working in the country for a set amount of time. Interest free paid loans can also be paid back after graduation. The overall cost of attendance is relatively cheaper compared to studying in the US, and there are a ranger of financial aid options available.
Europe has a world-wide reputation as a center of excellence in learning. Year after year, European universities rank prominently among the top 100 in the world. And only Europe can offer state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge research opportunities together with the chance to walk in the footsteps of so many of the world’s most influential thinkers. These high academic standards are achieved without breaking the bank. Tuition fees and daily costs are reasonable, the education sector being a top priority for Europe’s competitiveness.
Unlike the US and the UK, there is no centralized admissions process in Europe, and students must apply through individual university portals. In addition the application, students must send in High School Transcripts, Teacher References, CV/ Cover Letter and Standardized tests scores (for selective colleges). Most colleges in Europe also require applicants to fulfill a local language requirement, which can also be satisfied by taking a one year course at the college. Application deadlines very depending on the intake term; generally January is the deadline for the summer term, and June is the deadline for the winter term.
For most universities there are a variety of funding options available for international students. These include general European scholarships like the selective Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, as well as specific aid packages and scholarships individual to specific universities. In additions to scholarships and grants other options such as loans, work-study programs, and other awards may also be available. However, education in Europe is not cost-intensive, as a vast majority of institutions in Europe offer education for free, with costs only incurred as a result of transport and accommodation, substantially reducing the overall costs of education.
Many students prefer to stay at home for the undergraduate education, and considering the rise of educational powerhouses in recent years, this is often a feasible option. Pakistan provides students to gain a quality education on relatively low budget in close proximity to their families. Many fields, including law and medicine, have several stellar programs locally, with several universities providing an excellent education in this regard.
Pakistan has a varied education system with no national standard. Some universities follow a trimester system while others follow a dual semester system. There is no singular application through which applicants apply to colleges, although several colleges have similar requirements (e.g. the MCAT is required by all medical schools). All colleges however, have separate entry tests. The majority of colleges have a 4 year Bachelor Degree program, followed by a 2 year degree program.
Enrolment happens for fall but other entry points (January and March) may be available, depending on the college. Applications for admission must be sent out by middle of senior year (December/ January) although several colleges have second or third round of admissions for applicants applying later on in the academic year. Most colleges require high school transcripts along with a college- specific application, as well as an entry test.
The costs of studying in Pakistan are immensely low compared to gaining an education around the world, with costs often not exceeding more than 9 lacs a year. Aid policies for Pakistani colleges vary from institution to institution. Several colleges are government subsidized, considerably reducing the total cost of education, and also offer merit- based scholarships (UCL) to the most outstanding applicants. Other colleges do not offer merit-based scholarships, but offer need-based aid, in extreme circumstances.