Know Your Resources
There are an impressive number of free or low-cost resources available to Indian students who want to study abroad. However I find that students are often unaware of the help they can get. Below is a review of the valuable study abroad information services in English-speaking countries. You should look into these if you are planning higher studies outside India in the future.
United States India Education Foundation (USIEF): The USIEF offers services to advise Indian citizens on higher education in the US. The center at Marine Lines is also affiliated with the ‘Education USA’ program and both entities offer up-to-date and unbiased information on education programs in the US. There is an annual membership fee of Rs. 3000, which gives you access to a library of university catalogs and scholarship opportunities as well as individual counseling sessions where you can get personalized guidance. USIEF also offers regular lectures and sessions that help you prepare to study in the US. These range from discussions with admissions officers to financial aid and visa planning workshops. The USIEF has telephone hotline hours when you can call with your questions. You can find out what they offer by checking either http://www.educationusa.info or http://www.usief.org.in
Education UK: While the British High Commission in Mumbai does not maintain a physical center dedicated to helping students who want to study in the UK, they do host education exhibitions throughout the year where you can meet representatives from 60+ universities who can help you understand which UK programs might be best for you (the Mumbai exhibitions are typically held in November). Also because the process for applying to UK universities is more centralized and uniform across programs, the Education UK website is a useful tool for making your study plans no matter where you intend to matriculate. (http://www.educationuk.org). If the UK is high on your list of countries in which to study, go to their website now, sign up for updates and start planning.
Study in Australia: The land down under is another great option for a well recognized, English-language university education. However, down there, they do things a bit differently. The Australian High Commision supports agents in India who can direct or counsel you on behalf of a college (some colleges in the US & UK use agents, but very few). How does it work? You work with an agent who may represent any number of colleges; the agent advises you on your university options. This service is free of charge to you. But be cautioned that your agent should be an up-to-date member with the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI). This AAERI is a self-regulated body which ensures that its members abide by a code of ethical practices. Basically pursing higher education in Australia through an AAERI certified agent ensures that the Australian college is accountable for the conduct of its agents. You can find an AAERI cerified agent by searching on: http://www.aaeri.org/members.html
Education in/au Canada: Another excellent choice for study abroad is Canada. While the Canadian government promotes Canada as a study abroad destination by hosting events and fairs that distribute information about Canadian education, they do not have a center in Mumbai. The Canadian University Application Center based out of Delhi (http://canada123.org) is the place to start your planning and stay up-to-date on Canadian education events in your area.
Besides the countries I have covered above, there are many other universities throughout the world that offer English-medium instruction. The best place to start is the country’s consular website and look for links on education or study. This can usually get you to the right place where you can either call or email for more information on the resources available to you.