Studying overseas is a gateway to opportunities. It allows you to tap on the knowledge of classmates and faculty members from different backgrounds and learn how to be independent when you leave home.
If you are thinking of applying to universities and scholarships overseas, there are resources at hand to help you make the right choices.
The Scholarships and Top Universities Fair offers seminars conducted by education consultants and organisations. There, you can get tips on the application process and learn about various scholarships.
Where should you study?
The education system differs across countries. As it will impact your university life, research the differences before you make a decision.
For instance, degrees from the United Kingdom are typically more specialised, while the liberal arts model in the United States requires undergraduates to take different subjects before selecting a major.
You can complete a bachelor’s degree in three years in the UK, while it will take four years to complete it in the US. However, even though US degrees take longer, they give you a broader scope of learning.
Australian degrees are British-based. The destination is a popular choice because it is relatively affordable and nearer to home. If you want to learn more about studying in Australia, check out the talk at the fair by Ms Serene Yong, director of Overseas Academic Link (OAL) at 11.40 am today.
Ms Yong says: “Australia is a popular destination for health sciences majors. This year, we have brought in Curtin University, La Trobe University, Flinders University and University of Newcastle to the fair – top choices for Ministry of Health Holdings (MOHH) scholarship holders who are looking to study subjects like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and nursing.”
She says some key factors to consider are recognition of degrees, eligibility of candidate, duration and the cost, and advises candidates to apply early to sort out visas and accommodation.
For more information about Australian degrees and scholarships, you may also approach CMS (Pte) Ltd at the fair. Its education consultants can provide information on scholarships available in Australian universities and assist eligible candidates to apply for them.
There are also many advantages to studying in Canada, a bilingual country where English and French are integral to its education system.
Ms Caroline Mourand, trade commissioner of the High Commission of Canada, says: “Similar to Singapore, Canada prides itself on being a diverse, tolerant, and open country. International students in Canada also enjoy all of the same freedoms as Canadians – respect for human rights, equality, and a stable and peaceful society. International students who love nature will also be happy to know that Canada has wide-open spaces and is home to more than 40 national parks and park reserves.”
At the fair, representatives from Canadian leading universities like University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo will be answering questions and offering tips at the Canadian Pavilion.
Know the application process
The university application process varies across countries.
For example, when writing a personal essay for university application, take note that UK and US universities look out for different criteria. Typically, UK universities look for your interest in a particular subject, whereas US universities want to hear why you want to join the institution as a whole.
If you are keen to learn how to write a great college essay for the United States, attend the talk by Ms Kristin Sullivan from Collegewise Asia at 3.20pm today.
Ms Nikita Lath, university admissions advisor at Collegewise Asia, says: “Don’t write your application essays with the intent to tell admissions officers what you think they want to hear. Be genuine and let your personality shine through.”
For more tips and information, visit the Scholarships and Top Universities Fair happening today at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre Hall 403 from 10am to 6pm.
Top application tips
Start early to avoid clashing with important examinations later in the year;
Consider factors such as recognition of degrees, eligibility, duration of study and cost; and
Research thoroughly the logistics such as accommodation, visas and study permits.