How to choose the right educational consultant for overseas education


Are you aspiring to study abroad? Searching for information about various foreign universities and the programs, they offer? Then you will benefit by taking help of an educational consultant. In this article, you will find some guidelines and tips on how to choose the right educational consultant and get admission to the program of your choice in any university abroad. Read on to know more.

With the advent of technology and the internet massive volume of information is available at the click of a button. Hence, it is often difficult to sieve the right information at the right time. Therefore, if you are planning to study abroad, then just browsing on the internet is not enough, you may need help of an educational consultant to select a suitable foreign University.
So a very common question you may come across would be: how to choose the right educational consultant? Here it is. In this article, you will find detailed tips for choosing the right educational consultant. Just like how a doctor knows how to prescribe the right medicine, a teacher knows how to teach, an educational consultant knows universities and schools abroad! But, first a brief background.

How-to-choose-right-educational-consultant

Background


Many students across the country aspire to study abroad, because the international schools provide top class infrastructural facilities, quality education, global exposure and well-paid jobs. If you are planning to study abroad, then you will need to decide the right country, right university, right college or school and the right program. Finally, what you need is to find the best fit between the school/ program and the student's aptitude and career choice. This search is something, which cannot be carried out alone. Parents and the child need to jointly execute a well-planned methodology to save time and money and get the best-fit program of choice. This is where educational consultants come into the picture. This is because the process of choosing an experienced educational consultant can save efforts and money and ensure that you get admitted to the desired course in a timely manner.

Why a consultant


There are various benefits of taking help of an educational consultant to study abroad as listed here:
  • Provide you information about the programs of your choice

  • Help in deciding the country, university and school

  • Provide details of financial requirements

  • Provide guidance for scholarships and assistantship

  • Help in completing the admission formalities

  • Give details about the city and help in arranging for lodging and boarding

  • Prepare for travel and airport pickup

Overall, the main benefit of the educational consultant is to help the applicant in finding the best fit course in a university abroad.

Functions of a consultant


Educational consultants play an important role in helping the applicant throughout the admission process as listed here:
  • Understands the applicant's requirement and helps in zeroing down on the country, university/college-school and program for the applicant

  • Helps the applicant in completing the admission formalities like the admission form, SOP-Statement of Purpose, and recommendations

  • Involved in following up with the chosen university/college to ensure a positive and earnest response

  • Help in finalizing the document and send out the recommendations, highlighting the applicant's strengths and reasons as to why he/she should be granted admission

  • Guides the applicant for the finances required and help to arrange the financial documents in time and in the required format

  • Guiding the student in obtaining student visa by helping in preparing the visa application and financial statements

  • Help in arranging travel, foreign currency, travel insurance, budgetary accommodation, airport pickup, and even bank account , mobile service and insurance in the foreign country.


Check the following


The next point is to search for an educational consultant who will carry out all the functions listed above. Unfortunately in India government does not play any role in case of overseas education consultancy. Hence one needs to be extra careful in choosing a genuine educational consultant who can provide end to end service right from searching for a program to the stage where the applicant takes the flight. You can check for the following information before zeroing down on the consultant:
  • College admission related knowledge, Counselling experience, number of counselled and how many have secured admission- history of success, number of years of work

  • List of country options provided , is it balanced and genuine

  • Check history of programs and scholarships recommended abroad

  • Has adequate knowledge of foreign education system

  • Explain all services provided, and cost involved , no hidden costs

  • Is recommended by some past applicant who is already studying abroad

  • Check out previous references

  • Check previous history of a university/college aboard recommended by the consultant.


Traits of an ideal educational consultant


Once you have shortlisted a few educational consultants, the next step is to select the right one. One meeting or an interaction is enough to understand the traits of an educational consultant: whether interest is in you or in promoting own business. So instead of directly fixing up with the educational consultant, it is important to visit/ call the consultant. Note that interaction with the telephone operator or a junior is not enough. A face-to-face meeting or a 15 minute discussion on phone is a good tool to judge the points listed below and then finalize the consultant. Education is an important event and will define your future, hence a country/ university/ school or college /program has to be chosen judiciously. You need to be reassured that the consultant is working for your cause and not just his!
So check out for the following traits, which may become evident during the interaction:
  • Minimizes stress and anxiety of applicant and parents

  • Accepts the applicant's status as it is and does not compare with other candidate's achievements

  • Sensitive to family background and relationships, understands people and is flexible to family dynamics

  • Works with the family as a team and respectfully guides the applicant through the admission process

  • Respects and counsels the applicant while offering feedback on essays/ SOPs

  • Committed in maintaining high ethical standards and is not biased to a few foreign universities/ schools/ colleges

  • Is in contact with former clients and knows what is happening in the foreign universities where the applicants are admitted earlier and uses this information for the benefit of the current applicant

I feel that the right educational consultant is the one who possesses at least 80% of the above traits.

All said and done, once an educational consultant has shortlisted the abroad university/ college/ program it is critical that you review each of the websites of these foreign universities in depth and clarify if this is really what you want to go ahead with.

To conclude: Choose an educational consultant with care and I am sure he/ she will give you the best fit of the program which you desire and this in turn will provide a jump in your educational path.


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