Top Five Reasons to Study Abroad in Australia
Studying abroad in Australia doesn’t require you to learn a new language, but there are still many new phrases and meanings for you to discover during your adventure.
Australia boasts natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef. Study abroad in Australia and you could become a certified scuba diver and explore the amazing beauty the Reef has to offer.
Performance arts in Australia are a beloved tradition and well funded by the federal government. Enrich your appreciation for the arts and attend any one of the several operas offered throughout each region.
Australia is abundant in cultural dynamics derived from Aboriginal, Dutch and English influences. Studying the conjoining of these cultures will surely be an interesting and eye-opening experience.
Australian society is generally laid-back, friendly and full of opportunities for new adventures, unexpected friendships and inspiring activities.
Studying Abroad in Australia
Australia is both a country and a continent and is closest to Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. It is located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is considered by some to be the “world’s largest island.”
Study Abroad in Australia
People living in Australia generally speak English but add to it a wonderful accent and distinct vernacular. Indigenous languages, of which there are close to seventy, are still spoken but quickly disappearing. If preserving indigenous languages is of interest to you, studying abroad in Australia might be a wonderful opportunity to help save native languages.
The currency in Australia is the dollar but not the green one. Be sure to trade your green dollars for colorful Australian ones once you’ve arrived. Australia makes most of its money through an open-market economy that operates much like that in the United States. Its economy is broad and diverse but distinguishes itself by utilizing an abundance of natural resources and being one of the world’s largest exporters of wine. If you’ve ever had an interest in tending to vineyards, turning grapes into wine, bottling products or selling an in-demand product, Australia might be the perfect place for you. Be sure to contact the Australian consulate or embassy prior to your visit if you want to live, study, and work in Australia; you’ll need to secure a passport, study visa and work visa.
If studying history, promoting peace and serving justice are elements of interest to you in your studies; an Australia study abroad program might be the perfect fit for you. The country’s political and social dynamics will add to the intrigue of your visit, and if you aren’t fluent in a foreign language, this could be a great study abroad destination for you to explore.
Life in Australia
Australia study abroad programs introduce you to the fabulous life of an Aussie. Australia is home to the world-famous outback (which means Australia consists mostly of deserts) but has one of the world’s most diverse eco-systems. Tropical rainforests, deserts and alpine regions provide homes to spectacular animals like koalas, kangaroos, wombats, platypuses and kookaburras while plains and lowlands provide homes to grove after grove of delightfully smelling eucalyptus trees. The climate in Australia is suitable for taking a traditional Australian walk-about or participating in traditional sports like surfing, boating, diving, cricket, field hockey, rugby and netball.
Famous destinations like the Sydney Opera House, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Darwin Festival of the Northern Territory join a collection of others to display the arts, histories and music of the regions. Natural beauties like the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Augustus and Kakadu National Park conspire to make one lose track of time; while cultural activities, like government-supported performance arts, aboriginal dances and singing and paintings on rocks, barks and caves, conjoin to bring Australia’s history to life. When you study abroad in Australia you’ll be witness to a plethora of cultural offerings.
You’ll also be eating wonderful food during your time as a study abroad student. Traditional Australian cuisine is inspired by its British and Aboriginal roots. Local vegetables, meats and grains combine with the seasonings and sauces of England to create well-loved Australian fare. Traditional roasts and wines are summoned to celebrate Sundays and meat pies, Billy tea and smoked meltwurst give visitors a taste of various regions. If eating emu eggs, mincing your meat, and smothering your toast with vegemite and chutney sound like intriguing options, then consider studying abroad in Australia. Your taste buds will thank you!
History and Culture in Australia
Australia’s roots are steeped in a reverence for the land and a belief in the dreamtime. These indigenous cultural beliefs blended with the influences of western Anglo-Celtic culture create an environment unique to Australia. The eventual gold rush and ensuing Eureka Rebellion led to the transformation of governance in Australia and eventually enabled each of its Aboriginal, Dutch and English populations to live in relative peace. Causing enduring peace between the indigenous and immigrant cultures of Australia is an ongoing challenge but serves to enrich the bold and dynamic culture of the region
Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and post-secondary. Within the provinces under the ministry of education, there are district school boards administering the educational programs. Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in every province in Canada, except for Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, where the compulsory age is 18, or as soon as a high school diploma has been achieved. In some provinces early leaving exemptions can be granted under certain circumstances at 14. Canada generally has 190 (180 in Quebec) school days in the year, officially starting from September (after Labour Day) to the end of June (usually the last Friday of the month, except in Quebec when it is just before June 24 – the provincial holiday)
Elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education in Canada is a provincial responsibility and there are many variations between the provinces. Some educational fields are supported at various levels by federal departments. For example, the Department of National Defence includes the Royal Military College of Canada, while the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for the education of First Nations. Vocational training can be subsidized by the Learning branch of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (a federal department).
1950 Canadian School Train. Pupils attend classes at Nemegos near Chapleau, Ontario.
About one out of ten Canadians does not have a high school diploma – one in seven has a university degree – the adult population that is without a high school diploma is a combination of both immigrant and Canadian-born. In many places, publicly funded high school courses are offered to the adult population. The ratio of high school graduates versus non diploma-holders is changing rapidly, partly due to changes in the labour market that require people to have a high school diploma and, in many cases, a university degree. Majority of Schools 67% percent are co-Ed.
Canada spends about 5.4% of its GDP on education. The country invests heavily in tertiary education (more than 20 000 USD per student). Since the adoption of section 23 of the Constitution Act, 1982, education in both English and French has been available in most places across Canada (if the population of children speaking the minority language justifies it), although French Second Language education/French Immersion is available to anglophone students across Canada.
According to an announcement of Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Canada is introducing a new, fast-track system to let foreign students and graduates with Canadian work experience become permanent eligible residents in Canada.
Most schools have introduced one or more initiatives such as programs in Native studies, antiracism, Aboriginal cultures and crafts; visits by elders and other community members; and content in areas like indigenous languages, Aboriginal spirituality, indigenous knowledge of nature, and tours to indigenous heritage sites. Although these classes are offered, most appear to be limited by the area or region in which students reside. “The curriculum is designed to elicit development and quality of people’s cognition through the guiding of accommodations of individuals to their natural environment and their changing social order” Finally, “some scholars view academics as a form of “soft power” helping to educate and to create positive attitudes.”, although there is criticism that educators are merely telling students what to think, instead of how to think for themselves. Furthermore, “subjects that typically get assessed (i.e., language arts, mathematics, and science) assume greater importance than non-assessed subjects (i.e., music, visual arts, and physical education) or facets of the curriculum (i.e., reading and writing versus speaking and listening).” The students in the Canadian school system receive a variety of classes that are offered to them. The system is set up to meet the diverse needs of the individual student
Pre-university program, two years (typically Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Arts)
Professional program, three years (e.g. Paralegal, Dental Hygienist, Nursing, etc.)
University (Usually requires a College degree (DCS (French):’DEC) or equivalent)
Three years for most programs (or four years for Engineering, Education, Medical, and Law) leading to a Bachelor’s degree. Non-Quebec students require an extra year to complete the same degree because of the extra year in college.
Graduate (or postgraduate)
One or two years leading to a Master’s degree.
three or more years leading to a Doctoral degree.
The French educational system is highly centralized and organized. It is divided into three stages:
Primary education (enseignement primaire);
Secondary education (enseignement secondaire);
Higher education (enseignement supérieur). The following degrees are recognized by the Bologna Process (EU recognition):
Licence and Licence Professionnelle (Bachelor)
Higher education in France is organized in three levels or grades which correspond to those of other European countries, facilitating international mobility:
Licence and Licence Professionnelle (Bachelor)
In addition, the Licence and the Master are organized in semesters: 6 for the Licence and 4 for the Master.
These levels of study include various “parcours” or paths based on UE (Unités d’Enseignement or Modules), each worth a defined number of European credits (ECTS). A student accumulates these credits which are generally transferable between paths. A Licence is awarded once 180 ECTS have been obtained. A Master is awarded once 120 additional credits have been obtained.
Licence and Master degrees are offered within specific domaines and carry a specific mention. Specialités which are either research-oriented or professionally-oriented during the second year of the Master. There are also Professional Licences whose objective is immediate job integration. It is possible to later return to school through continuing education or to validate professional experience (through VAE, Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience).
Higher education in France is divided between grandes écoles and public universities. Grandes écoles admit the graduates of the level Baccalauréat + 2 years of validated study (or sometimes directly after the Baccalauréat) whereas universities admit all graduates of the Baccalauréat.
A striking trait of French higher education, compared with other countries, is the small size and multiplicity of establishments, each specialized in a more or less broad spectrum of areas. A middle-sized French city, such as Grenoble or Nancy, may have 2 or 3 universities (focused on science or sociological studies), and also a number of engineering and other specialized higher education establishments. In Paris and its suburbs there are 13 universities, none of which is specialized in one area or another, and a large number of smaller institutions which are highly specialised.
It is not uncommon for graduate teaching programmes (master’s degrees, the course part of PhD programmes etc.) to be operated in common by several institutions, allowing the institutions to present a larger variety of courses.
In engineering schools and the professional degrees of universities, a large share of the teaching staff is often made up of non-permanent professors; instead, part-time professors are hired to teach one only specific subject. These part-time professors are generally hired from neighbouring universities, research institutes, or industries.
Another original feature of the French higher education system is that a large share of the scientific research is carried out by research establishments such as CNRS or INSERM, which are not formally part of the universities. However, in most cases, the research units of those establishments are located inside universities (or other higher education establishments), and jointly operated by the research establishment and the university.
Universities in France
The public universities in France are named after the big cities near which they are located, followed by a numeral if there are several. Paris, for example, has thirteen universities, labelled Paris I to XIII. Some of these are not in Paris itself, but in the suburbs. In addition, most of the universities have taken a more informal name which is usually that of a famous person or a particular place. Sometimes, it is also a way to honor a famous alumnus, for example the science university in Strasbourg is known as “Université Louis Pasteur” while its official name is “Université Strasbourg I”.
The French system has undergone a reform, the Bologna process, which aims at creating European standards for university studies, most notably a similar time-frame everywhere, with three years devoted to the Bachelor’s degree (“licence” in French), two for the Master’s, and three for the doctorate. French universities have also adopted the ECTS credit system (for example, a licence is worth 180 credits).
The traditional curriculum based on end of semester examinations still remains in place in most universities. This double standard has added complexity to a system which also remains quite rigid. It is difficult to change a major during undergraduate studies without losing a semester or even a whole year. Students usually also have few course selection options once they enroll in a particular diploma.
France also hosts various branch colleges of foreign universities. These include Baruch College, the University of London Institute in Paris, Parsons Paris School of Art and Design and the American University of Paris.
Main article: List of universities in New Zealand
Typically, a bachelor’s degree will take three years, and a further year of study will lead to an Honours degree. Not every degree follows this 3+1 pattern: there are some four year degrees (which may or may not be awarded with Honours), and some specialist bachelor’s degrees which take longer to complete. Typically, Honours may be awarded with first class, upper second class, lower second class or third class, but this can vary from degree to degree. A bachelor’s degree may be followed by a Master’s degree. A candidate who does not hold an Honours degree may be awarded a Master’s degree with honours: such a degree usually involves two years study, compared to one year for a Master’s degree for a candidate who does have an Honours degree. A candidate who has either a Master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree with Honours may proceed to a doctoral degree.
Entry to most universities was previously “open”, that is to say that one only needed to meet the minimum requirements in the school-leaving examinations (be it NCEA or Bursary). However, most courses at New Zealand universities now have selective admissions, where candidates have to fulfill additional requirements through their qualifications, notably with the University of Auckland offering the largest number of selective-entry courses. Mature students usually do not need to meet the academic criteria demanded of students who enter directly from secondary school.
Domestic students will pay fees subsidised by the Government, and the student-paid portion of the fee can be loaned from the Government under the Government’s Student Loan Scheme. Weekly stipends can be drawn from the loan for living expenses, or the student can apply for a needs based (on assessment of parental income) “Student Allowance”, which does not need to be paid back. “Bonded Merit Scholarships” are also provided by the Government to cover the student-paid portion of fees. The New Zealand Scholarship is awarded to school leavers by a competitive examination and also provides financial support to school-leavers pursuing a university degree but does not entail any requirement to stay in the country after they finish university. International students pay full (non-subsidised) fees and are not eligible for Government financial assistance.
Until 1961 there was only one degree-granting university in New Zealand, the University of New Zealand which had constituent colleges around New Zealand. Now the colleges are independent universities in their own right, and since then three new universities have been created (Auckland University of Technology, Lincoln University and Waikato University).
Universities in New Zealand:
Auckland University of Technology (Auckland)
Lincoln University (Lincoln, Canterbury)
Massey University (Palmerston North, Auckland, Wellington)
University of Auckland (Auckland)
University of Canterbury (Christchurch)
University of Otago (Dunedin) and (Invercargill)
University of Waikato (Hamilton)
Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington)
Colleges of education
See also: State sector organisations in New Zealand § Colleges of education
The name ‘College of Education’ is protected by Act of Parliament. (Previously the name ‘Teachers’ College’ was protected.) Only universities and standalone colleges of education may use this title. Thus, privately owned institutions that are not listed in Acts and that provide teacher education such as the Bethlehem Institute (Tauranga) and New Zealand Graduate School of Education (Christchurch) must use alternative names.
Below is a partial list of historical or existing colleges—specifically those listed  in Acts of Parliament as public (Crown-owned) teacher education providers:
Auckland College of Education (Auckland)
Massey University College of Education (Palmerston North)
Wellington College of Education (Wellington)
Christchurch College of Education (Christchurch)
Dunedin College of Education (Dunedin)
Most colleges of education in New Zealand in the past 30 years have gradually consolidated (for example, Ardmore with Auckland), with the trend in the last 15 years to consider and effect mergers with universities closely allied to them, for example, the Hamilton and Palmerston North colleges amalgamated with Waikato and Massey respectively. In the 2004–2005 period, the Auckland and Wellington colleges merged with Auckland University and Victoria University respectively. In 2007, the Christchurch College of Education merged with the University of Canterbury. The remaining stand-alone college in Dunedin merged with the University of Otago in January 2007.
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP)
See also: State sector organisations in New Zealand § Polytechnics and institutes of technology
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics(ITP) offer general technical and vocational education. Curriculum are based on practical knowledge in a working environment.Courses usually take place in workplaces (workshops, hospitols, studios…), certification upon graduation are industry-related and real work experiences are usually part of the curriculum
United Kingdom- England
Students normally enter university from age 18 onwards, and study for an academic degree. Historically, all undergraduate education outside the private Regent’s University London University of Buckingham and BPP University College was largely state-financed, with a small contribution from top-up fees, however fees of up to £9,000 per annum have been charged from October 2012. There is a distinct hierarchy among universities, with the Russell Group containing most of the country’s more prestigious, research-led and research-focused universities. The state does not control university syllabuses, but it does influence admission procedures through the Office for Fair Access (OfFA), which approves and monitors access agreements to safeguard and promote fair access to higher education. Unlike most degrees, the state still has control over teacher training courses, and uses its Ofsted inspectors to maintain standards.
The typical first degree offered at English universities is the bachelor’s degree, and usually lasts for three years. Many institutions now offer an undergraduate master’s degree as a first degree, which typically lasts for four years. During a first degree students are known as undergraduates. The difference in fees between undergraduate and traditional postgraduate master’s degrees (and the possibility of securing LEA funding for the former) makes taking an undergraduate master’s degree as a first degree a more attractive option, although the novelty of undergraduate master’s degrees means that the relative educational merit of the two is currently unclear.
Some universities offer a vocationally based foundation degree, typically two years in length for those students who hope to continue on to a first degree but wish to remain in employment.
Students who have completed a first degree are eligible to undertake a postgraduate degree, which might be a:
Master’s degree (typically taken in one year, though research-based master’s degrees may last for two)
Doctorate (typically taken in three years)
Postgraduate education is not automatically financed by the state.
The University of Birmingham, a ‘Red Brick university’.
Education: Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Certificate in Education (Cert Ed), City and Guilds of London Institute (C&G), or Bachelor of Education (BA or BEd), most of which also incorporate Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Law: Bachelor of Laws (LLB).
Medicine: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, studied at medical school
Business: Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Psychology: Doctor of Educational Psychology (D.Ed.Ch.Psychol) or Clinical Psychology (D.Clin.Psych.).
In the academic year 2011-2012, most undergraduates paid fees that were set at a maximum of £3,375 per annum. These fees are repayable after graduation, contingent on attaining a certain level of income, with the state paying all fees for students from the poorest backgrounds. UK students are generally entitled to student loans for maintenance. Undergraduates admitted for the academic year 2012-2013 will pay tuition fees set at a maximum of up to £9,000 per annum, with most universities charging over £6,000 per annum, and other higher education providers charging less.
Postgraduate fees vary but are generally more than undergraduate fees, depending on the degree and university. There are numerous bursaries (awarded to low income applicants) to offset undergraduate fees and, for postgraduates, full scholarships are available for most subjects, and are usually awarded competitively.
Different arrangements will apply to English students studying in Scotland, and to Scottish and Welsh students studying in England. Students from outside the UK and the EU attending English universities are charged differing amounts, often in the region of £5,000 – £20,000 per annum for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The actual amount differs by institution and subject, with the lab based subjects charging a greater amoun
United States of America -USA
Educational attainment in the United States, Age 25 and Over (2009)
High school graduate 86.68%
Some college 55.60%
Associates and/or Bachelor’s degree 38.54%
Bachelor’s degree 29.0%
Master’s degree 7.62%
Doctorate or professional degree 2.94%
Higher education in the United States is an optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education, often at one of the 4,495 colleges or universities and junior colleges in the country. In 2008, 36% of enrolled students graduated from college in four years. 57% completed their undergraduate requirements in six years, at the same college they first enrolled in. The U.S. ranks 10th among industrial countries for percentage of adults with college degrees.
Like high school, the four undergraduate grades are commonly called freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years (alternatively called first year, second year, etc.). Students traditionally apply for admission into colleges. Schools differ in their competitiveness and reputation. Admissions criteria involve the rigor and grades earned in high school courses taken, the students’ GPA, class ranking, and standardized test scores (Such as the SAT or the ACT tests). Most colleges also consider more subjective factors such as a commitment to extracurricular activities, a personal essay, and an interview. While colleges will rarely list that they require a certain standardized test score, class ranking, or GPA for admission, each college usually has a rough threshold below which admission is unlikely.
Once admitted, students engage in undergraduate study, which consists of satisfying university and class requirements to achieve a bachelor’s degree in a field of concentration known as a major. (Some students enroll in double majors or “minor” in another field of study.) The most common method consists of four years of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or sometimes another bachelor’s degree such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.,) or Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) Five-Year Professional Architecture programs offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.)
Professional degrees such as law, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, are offered as graduate study after earning at least three years of undergraduate schooling or after earning a bachelor’s degree depending on the program. These professional fields do not require a specific undergraduate major, though medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment.
Some students choose to attend a community college for two years prior to further study at another college or university. In most states, community colleges are operated either by a division of the state university or by local special districts subject to guidance from a state agency. Community colleges may award Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree after two years. Those seeking to continue their education may transfer to a four-year college or university (after applying through a similar admissions process as those applying directly to the four-year institution, see articulation). Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local four-year college, where the community college provides the first two years of study and the university provides the remaining years of study, sometimes all on one campus. The community college awards the associate’s degree, and the university awards the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Graduate study, conducted after obtaining an initial degree and sometimes after several years of professional work, leads to a more advanced degree such as a master’s degree, which could be a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), or other less common master’s degrees such as Master of Education (MEd), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Some students pursue a graduate degree that is in between a master’s degree and a doctoral degree called a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.).
After additional years of study and sometimes in conjunction with the completion of a master’s degree and/or Ed.S. degree, students may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or other doctoral degree, such as Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Podiatry Medicine, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Psychology, or Juris Doctor. Some programs, such as medicine and psychology, have formal apprenticeship procedures post-graduation, such as residencies and internships, which must be completed after graduation and before one is considered fully trained. Other professional programs like law and business have no formal apprenticeship requirements after graduation (although law school graduates must take the bar exam to legally practice law in nearly all states).
Entrance into graduate programs usually depends upon a student’s undergraduate academic performance or professional experience as well as their score on a standardized entrance exam like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-graduate schools in general), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Many graduate and law schools do not require experience after earning a bachelor’s degree to enter their programs; however, business school candidates are usually required to gain a few years of professional work experience before applying. 8.9 percent of students receive postgraduate degrees. Most, after obtaining their bachelor’s degree, proceed directly into the workforce.
Annual undergraduate tuition varies widely from state to state, and many additional fees apply. In 2009, average annual tuition at a public university (for residents of the state) was $7,020.Tuition for public school students from outside the state is generally comparable to private school prices, although students can often qualify for state residency after their first year. Private schools are typically much higher, although prices vary widely from “no-frills” private schools to highly specialized technical institutes. Depending upon the type of school and program, annual graduate program tuition can vary from $15,000 to as high as $50,000. Note that these prices do not include living expenses (rent, room/board, etc.) or additional fees that schools add on such as “activities fees” or health insurance. These fees, especially room and board, can range from $6,000 to $12,000 per academic year (assuming a single student without children).
The mean annual Total Cost (including all costs associated with a full-time post-secondary schooling, such as tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board), as reported by collegeboard.com for 2010:
Public University (4 years): $27,967 (per year)
Private University (4 years): $40,476 (per year)
Total, four-year schooling:
Public University: $111,868
Private University: $161,904
College costs are rising at the same time that state appropriations for aid are shrinking. This has led to debate over funding at both the state and local levels. From 2002 to 2004 alone, tuition rates at public schools increased over 14 percent, largely due to dwindling state funding. An increase of 6 percent occurred over the same period for private schools. Between 1982 and 2007, college tuition and fees rose three times as fast as median family income, in constant dollars.
From the US Census Bureau, the median salary of an individual who has only a high school diploma is $27,967; The median salary of an individual who has a bachelor’s degree is $47,345. Certain degrees, such as in engineering, typically result in salaries far exceeding high school graduates, whereas degrees in teaching and social work fall below.
The debt of the average college graduate for student loans in 2010 was $23,200.
A 2010 study indicates that the return on investment for graduating from the top 1000 colleges exceeds 4% over a high school degree.
According to Uni in the USA, “One of the reasons American universities have thrived is due to their remarkable management of financial resources.” To combat costs colleges have hired adjunct professors to teach. In 2008 these teachers cost about $1,800 per 3-credit class as opposed to $8,000 per class for a tenured professor. Two-thirds of college instructors were adjuncts. There are differences of opinion whether these adjuncts teach better or worse than regular professors. There is a suspicion that student evaluation of adjuncts, along with their subsequent continued employment, can lead to grade inflation.
The status ladder
American college and university faculty, staff, alumni, students, and applicants monitor rankings produced by magazines such as U.S. News and World Report, Academic Ranking of World Universities, test preparation services such as The Princeton Review or another university itself such as the Top American Research Universities by the University of Florida’s The Center. These rankings are based on factors like brand recognition, selectivity in admissions, generosity of alumni donors, and volume of faculty research. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 27 of the top 50 universities, and 72 institutions of the top 200, are located within the United States. The US has thereby more than twice as many universities represented in the top 200 as does the country with the next highest number, the United Kingdom, which has 29. A small percentage of students who apply to these schools gain admission.
Included among the top 20 institutions identified by ARWU in 2009 are six of the eight schools in the Ivy League; 4 of the 10 schools in the University of California system (Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco); the private Universities of Stanford, Chicago, and Johns Hopkins; the public Universities of Washington and Wisconsin; and the Massachusetts and California Institutes of Technology.
Also renowned within the United States are the so-called Little Ivies and a number of prestigious liberal arts colleges. Certain public universities (sometimes referred to as Public Ivies) are also recognized for their outstanding record in scholarship. Some of these institutions currently place among the elite in certain measurements of graduate education and research, especially among engineering and medical schools.
Each state in the United States maintains its own public university system, which is always non-profit. The State University of New York and the California State University are the largest public higher education systems in the United States; SUNY is the largest system that includes community colleges, while CSU is the largest without. Most areas also have private institutions, which may be for-profit or non-profit. Unlike many other nations, there are no public universities at the national level outside of the military service academies.
Prospective students applying to attend four of the five military academies require, with limited exceptions, nomination by a member of Congress. Like acceptance to “top tier” universities, competition for these limited nominations is intense and must be accompanied by superior scholastic achievement and evidence of “leadership potential.”
Aside from these aforementioned schools, academic reputations vary widely among the ‘middle-tier’ of American schools, (and even among academic departments within each of these schools.) Most public and private institutions fall into this ‘middle’ range. Some institutions feature honors colleges or other rigorous programs that challenge academically exceptional students, who might otherwise attend a ‘top-tier’ college. Aware of the status attached to the perception of the college that they attend, students often apply to a range of schools. Some apply to a relatively prestigious school with a low acceptance rate, gambling on the chance of acceptance, and also apply to a safety school, to which they will (almost) certainly gain admission.
Lower status institutions include community colleges. These are primarily two-year public institutions, which individual states usually require to accept all local residents who seek admission, and offer associate’s degrees or vocational certificate programs. Many community colleges have relationships with four-year state universities and colleges or even private universities that enable their students to transfer to these universities for a four-year degree after completing a two-year program at the community college.
Regardless of perceived prestige, many institutions feature at least one distinguished academic department, and most post-secondary American students attend one of the 2,400 four-year colleges and universities or 1,700 two-year colleges not included among the twenty-five or so ‘top-tier’ institutions.
Funding for college
At the college and university level student loan funding is split in half; half is managed by the Department of Education directly, called the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP). The other half is managed by commercial entities such as banks, credit unions, and financial services firms such as Sallie Mae, under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Some schools accept only FFELP loans; others accept only FDSLP. Still others accept both, and a few schools will not accept either, in which case students must seek out private alternatives for student loans.
Grant funding is provided by the federal Pell Grant program.
Finding the Best Countries to Study Abroad
Study Abroad Destination Countries
Are you interested in broadening your horizons by studying abroad? Do you dream of exploring architecture at the Taj Mahal or studying marine sciences at the Great Barrier Reef? How about studying international business in China or the history of civilization in Greece? Do you want to build a global network of friends and perhaps future employers throughout the world? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions or entertained other fantasies of international adventure, study abroad is for you.
Once you’ve decided to study abroad, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Don’t worry! The team at StudyAbroad.com has your back. We have spent years researching ideal study abroad locations and have brought the world’s best and most interesting program locations (from Albania to Zimbabwe) right to your fingertips. Whether you want to hit the hotspots of world-famous cities, enjoy the stimulus of rich and vibrant cultures, adventure through the great outdoors, or anything in between, our comprehensive list of the best study abroad countries has excellent options for you.
How Do I Pick a Country to Study Abroad?
Determining the best countries to study abroad can be a fun but challenging task. After all, StudyAbroad.com lists close to 200 countries in which students can elect to study abroad. The country you choose depends on the type of educational, cultural, and social experiences you want to have. To begin the process of narrowing down your choices, ask yourself the following questions:
Is there a particular part of the world I have always wanted to see?
Do I want to study in a city, town, or rural area?
Where do I feel comfortable living? What qualities do I look for in a “comfortable” location?
What kind of cultural, social, and extracurricular experiences and activities do I want to enjoy?
Do I want to explore cultures drastically different from my own or experience one that is relatively similar?
What are my personal, academic, and professional goals, and what countries offer programs most connected to them?
Is it important to me to be able to travel to surrounding countries, or can I live in a more remote area?
By answering these questions, you can get a better idea of where you might want to study abroad. However, if these questions leave you unsure, or if you want to explore different options, find a list of study abroad programs by country. Simply click on a country and you will find a description of the country along with a list of study abroad program options.
And, keep in mind that no matter where you study abroad, your experience is sure to be a wonderfully life-changing one!
Steps to be followed if going to study abroad
Clearance of Exam
- The two most important English proficiency tests that Indian students take while seeking admission in an English country are: International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- In Europe and Australia, IELTS is more popular while in the USA, TOEFL is more popular. However, scores of both the tests are now accepted as proof of student’s English proficiency by almost all the universities, irrespective of the continent where they are located.
- However, if you are specifically targeting European universities and educational institutions, IELTS is more widely accepted there. Conducted jointly by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council and IDP Education Australia, IELTS is considered slightly more difficult than TOEFL.
- Both TOEFL and IELTS evaluate student’s skills in English writing, listening and reading skills. But while TOEFL focuses on sentence structure in its paper-based and computer-based formats, IELTS focuses on ‘speaking’ skills of the candidates.
- Non-native English speakers often find it difficult to face interviews and hence, consider TOEFL to be easier than IELTS. However, the new internet-based TOEFL test also includes a section to evaluate English speaking too.
- Scoring patterns of IELTS and TOEFL are quite different too. While IELTS gives out scores in bands from 0 to 9 for each section (where 0 stands for ‘does not know English at all’ and 9 stands for ‘expert in English) and average them for the overall band, TOEFL scores are more exact. However, if you have already taken TOEFL, you can check with the university in Europe to see if it accepts the TOEFL scores converted to IELTS scores.
- Typically, the duration of IELTS test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Interviews to test the speaking skills of the candidates usually take place within a day of the written test.
Selection of colleges and applying to colleges
Selection of colleges is very important part , do check the recognition and accreditation and rating before applying, check the reports of colleges with Ex students try to explore the details of colleges also very important is the course which you are selecting.
Preparations for Admission and Interviews
After selection of colleges another part is admission procedure , do prepare in advance and fine tune each and every minor points.
Course fees and fund arrangement ( Loans etc )
- Once you are through the selection and admission procedure the next is the course fee and how you are going to pay the same
- Banks are now helping the students who wants to study abroad by offering the education loan , they are few steps which needs to be followed to get the education loan the best person who can help is chartered accountants
Applying for VISA
Visa procedures all over Europe are pretty much the same. However, if you are going to France as an international student, be ready to wait in long queues, and going through similar procedures at multiple stages.
Indian students need to apply for student visa to France, if they are enrolling in:
A. Erasmus -Mundus programmes
B. French language learning programmes
C. Full-time UG/PG/Twinning degree programmes
D. Short- term internship programmes that are part of UG/PG study programme
E. Student exchange programmes
French consulates in India can be found in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Puducherry and Kolkata.
It is advisable to apply for French student visa, as soon as you have all the documents ready. French red tapism is quite famous and visa processing might take a long time. Usually three months of time is considered safe for visa processing.
It is also advisable that you make at least three copies of all your documents – one to keep with you, one to keep at a safe place in the bank locker, and one to keep with your trusted friend or family member. You will need all these documents again, when you reach France.
French like to stick to rules. Make sure that you follow the rules exactly as they are stated and take more documents with you than asked for.
All the three photographs should be recent (taken within three months) and in colour (with white background). The size of the photo should 3.5 cm X 4.5 cm with the head centered in the frame. They should have a clear view of the full front view of your face, preferably with ears exposed.
Make sure that you need a short-stay ‘Schengen’ visa (if your period of stay is less than 90 days) or a ‘long stay student visa’ (if you have to say for more than 90 days in France).
To apply for a short-stay student visa, you will need to:
- Fill and sign a short-stay application form.
- Submit three passport size photographs (taken within the past 3 months)
- Passport issued less than 10 years ago with a validity at least three months beyond the period for which visa is requested
- Copy of passport with various extension information and old passports
- Letter of registration and enrolment from a French Academic Institution
- Cover letter that explains why you need the visa and about your study project
- A short curriculum vitae
- Copy of your degrees, diplomas, and certificates
- Proof of finances, including income tax papers of last year, bank statement and salary slips of last three months of the student or his or her sponsor. Scholarship holders can show the certificate, if asked for it.
- Proof of medical insurance, which should include overseas medical insurance policy as well as repatriation and evacuation cover of 30,000 euros.
- Copy of air tickets
- Proof of residency in France during the first three months of the stay, which can include confirmed hotel reservation, copy of lease, “attestation d’accueil” provided by the person who will be offering you accommodation in France, or attestation by the institution that they will provide accommodation to you.
- Student under 18 need to have an authorization from both parents to travel alone, which needs to be certified by an entitled Indian authority. They also need to enclose copy of the parents’ identity.
- Visa fee for a Schengen visa is 60 euros while for a long-stay student visa, it is 50 euros.
To apply for a long-stay student visa, you will need to:
- Fill and sign a long-stay application form.
- Besides the other documents that need to submitted for a Schengen visa, you have to make sure that proof of your finances should cover:
- Amount of tuition fees +
- 550 euros x number of months of stay (as living expenses). If you have “Attestation d’accueil” where a family in France agrees to host you for the duration of your stay, you can calculate your living expenses according to 300 euros per month.
- Only liquid assets are considered as funding resources.
- Fill and sign the “Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration” (OFII) form.
The long-stay student visa is valid for three to twelve months, after which it has to be renewed.
Register at OFII within 15 days of your arrival in France with the residence form stamped by a French consulate, which must have:
- Your visa number
- Your date of entry into France or the Schengen area
- Your address in France
- A copy of the ID pages of your passport and of the immigration stamp received as you entered France
OFII will then give you an acknowledgement receipt an appointment for the interview and the medical examination. You will also have to stick a 55-euro stamp from (OMI or ANAEM) at a page that will be given to you and be present for the interview with all the documents ready.
After the medical exam, you will receive a medical certificate which you will need to stay in France in the second year.
Non-EU students need to file for a Residence Permit or (“Carte de Séjour” in their second year of study, where you will need the medical certificate you received from OFII after the medical exam. Apply for this Residence Permit to the Préfecture at least two months before your visa expires.
Checklist before you leave
Studying in Europe is a dream for many. But crossing international borders also mean that you have to be very careful about documents and papers that prove your identity, citizenship, where you stay, the purpose of your stay, and the duration for your stay. You should be able to prove that you have enough finances to bear your study expenses and living costs at several checkpoints:
- at the immigration authorities in India that grant your visa,
- at the airport once you reach the foreign country, as well as
- at all the local authorities where you have to register yourself in the foreign country.
Often health insurance and air tickets are also an important part of your travel kit too.
Here is a pre-departure document checklist for students going to Europe for higher education:
- Academic Documents and University Paper Work
- Make sure that you have Letter of Acceptance, Letter of Enrollment, admit card, and the ID card sent to you by the institution with details like your roll number and joining date.
- Keep both hard and soft copies of pay slips and fee receipts ready, just in case.
- Take the copies of all your academic certificates, attested by Indian dignitaries, along with you. You may be asked to produce them during the admission procedure.
- Read the university brochure and joining instructions carefully. They may ask for some additional documents too.
- If you have rented a place, carry the rent agreement along with you. Otherwise also, you should have all the valid documents that indicate where you will be staying during the period of your study.
- Even if you go from one city to another city within the country for a temporary stay, you usually have to inform the local authorities and your university about the change of your address. Keep them informed to stay safe and out of trouble.
- Keep the personal bank statements and salary slips of last six months (yours or that of your sponsor) ready too to show that you have enough funds to fend for yourself during your stay in the country.
- In case, you have got a scholarship, keep your scholarship certificate ready showing the amount that has been or will be paid to you.
- International credit cards are always an advantage when you are traveling abroad. However, most European countries accept MasterCards and Visa Cards.
- While it is a good idea to at least some euros in cash, always use traveller’s cheques for transaction of a larger amount.
- If you are on a specific medicine, remember to carry enough of it during your stay. Also, remember to carry one copy of your prescription, medical history and medical reports along with you. They will prove to be handy, in case of an emergency. Be sure to keep one copy at home or at a safe place where you can reach them, in case you lose your papers. Better still, scan them and e-mail it to yourself.
- Keep several copies of your recent passport size photographs with you. You will need them during admission and immigration procedures in India as well as in the European country where you are going.
- Keep your list of emergency contacts always with you. These should include name, contact number, and addresses of Embassy personnel in your home country and destination country, student support personnel at your university or college, and your friends and family members at home as well as abroad. Keep as many alternatives with you as possible.
- An international call card that offers you a cheaper option to keep in touch with your family will seem like a boon once you reach the foreign land, at least for the first few weeks.
- Get all the necessary vaccinations and get the certificate to prove that you have done so. You may be asked to show the certificate by the authorities.
- It is a good practice to carry your blood group ID with you too.
- Don’t forget to take along all the papers related to your health insurance. Health insurance that covers you during your stay in a foreign country is often a mandatory requirement by the immigration authorities.
- If your passport, visa or residence permit is about to expire, get them renewed in time. Keep their extra copies with you at all times.
- Make sure that you have the medical fitness certificate ready before you board the plane to ensure the authorities that you are not a carrier of any of the dreaded communicable diseases.
- Carry details of your travel insurance too.
- Countries have specific rules about the weight of luggage they allow you to bring as an international traveler. Check the rules and keep with the specified limits.
- Take along your driver’s license and other documents that confirm your identity.
- Frequent international travelers advice that it is a good practice to label your luggage with your name, phone number, and complete address.
1- Yale University