Want to study abroad after Class XII? The prep needs to start now, says Abhishek Singhal
What is the right time to begin preparations for studying abroad?
The answer to this is quite simple: Now! Given that the application can be filed in even two weeks, there's nothing to stop you from giving it a shot. While it is possible to apply for admission over a fortnight, an application that can pull its own weight, something that is bound to stand out and get noticed, that takes much longer. It is not a preparation for going abroad that you are looking for, it is preparation to be the best you can be. And for that, the earlier you begin, the better it is.
For UG Programmes
If you are in Class IX or X, and are keen on studying abroad start by exploring topics of interest. Aim to increase your general awareness, and then establish long term interests and commitments. Over a period of time, enroll in activities that could showcase your interests and skill sets. This kind of exposure helps students develop a better sense of maturity.
A child who follows international conflicts closely, understands diplomatic relations, and keeps tabs on current developments could possibly benefit. Similarly, children from a science background could increase their awareness in a specialised area by reading up about it, by participating in workshops, or even possibly doing online courses.
Expand interests by exploring different avenues. Join classes, camps, or workshops. Try out new activities, hone your existing skills, and use your free time proactively. Starting out early is ideal not just to build your portfolio, but also, most importantly, to figure out what your strengths and interests really are.
In Class XI/XII, it will be time to begin preparation for tests like SAT, ACT or AP. These are key scores for admission applications. An early start gives you the upper hand in preparations.
Consider how you can give better shape to your interests and activities. At this time, give direction to interests. If you are a football player, try to play at a higher level. You could even consider doing online courses (MOOCs) if you have time and inclination.
The writer is co-founder, UnivAdmitHelp