7 Things to know about What is Semester Abroad
Most universities in India follow a semester system, meaning they divide one academic year into two independent sections and conduct classes and examinations in those two sections, each of which is called a semester. Sometimes, a student may be interested to pursue a research project but may not be able to do so due the constraints of the college. Or the student may want a new academic experience and may want to explore colleges abroad. A semester abroad helps the student do exactly that.
What is a semester abroad?
A semester abroad is a program by which a student can spend one semester in a university (normally a partner university) abroad. The student will learn the relevant courses the way it is taught there. This will be counted for the degree the student is already pursuing and hence there will be no problem with the student’s graduation. This is a very common practice for students abroad and is gaining traction in India as well.
What are the advantages of a semester abroad?
A semester abroad can help the student in three major ways.
Firstly, the student gets an international educational exposure. This can help the student understand how their environment would be, if they choose to pursue higher studies there. It may also make the Master’s admission easier if they decide that that university is where they want to go. Research and better course combinations are great academic incentives for students.
Secondly, a student who has completed a semester abroad is a unique candidate from an employer’s perspective. Not only is the student going to have diverse knowledge, but the student can also interact with people from different backgrounds and that is a great skill in the corporate world.
Thirdly, the student gets to experience a new culture and people from different backgrounds. Their experience in a different environment can broaden their horizons and help them grow as individuals.
How do I apply for a semester abroad?
A Confluence, not only do we provide step by step guidance, but we also offer partnership programs between Universities across India and host Universities abroad for such programs. Depending on the student’s interest we can help the student select a suitable program. Once this is done, we can help prepare the student to apply for the same.
What are the application requirements?
Unlike a regular admission application, these are enormously dependent on the course and the host university. Some universities may want a test for English Language Proficiency (such as the IELTS or the TOEFL). Some other universities may want the student to be proficient in a foreign language. Generally however, the student’s resume, academic documents, a statement of purpose indicating idea/reason behind the study abroad and references/letters of recommendation are required. Interviews are normally unlikely. Once your program of interest has been identified our in house experts will be able to help you send your best possible application.
Will I need to apply for a student visa?
A semester abroad is normally a few months long. Depending on the country you may require a student visa but if the program is less than three months in duration, a tourist Visa may suffice. We also provide guidance for Visa interviews and applications.
How much does it cost to spend a semester abroad?
Normally a student will have to pay regular semester fee of the host university in order to spend a semester abroad. However, this fee itself may vary depending on the University. For instance, many German Universities offer free education until the Undergraduate Degree if the student fulfils certain conditions. On the contrary, in countries like the UK and the US, this is not common.
Are other funding options available?
Many colleges in India have internships and placements cells that may have funding options for students spending a semester abroad at a partner university. The host university also offers scholarships, fellowships, studentships, grants and bursaries that are common funding options. Loans are another alternative. Most of the scholarships/fellowships are highly based on merit. Furthermore, work study options can also be arranged, depending on Visa regulations and the University’s policies.
Thus, a semester abroad can be a great way to find out if an abroad education is right for you, without the burden of a full length course. It also impacts employment opportunity and can be a great cultural and academic exposure. Confluence offers semester abroad counselling services and has tie ups between many Universities in India and host Universities abroad. Contact us for any enquiries.