Alumni Speak

Wanna study abroad? Don’t ignore sports, community service

Apeejay Faridabad alumnus Keshav Giridhar gives precious tips on how to get into top global universities

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Keshav Girdhar

Keshav Girdhar is currently pursuing Bachelor of Information technology, with a Majors in Data Science from Macquarie University, Sydney. It’s considered as one of the best universities in Australia. Keshav, an alumnus of Apeejay School, Faridabad, shares important tips on how to find a place in the best universities of the world.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a sportsperson. I am a national-level swimmer and Triathlete (a race in which people swim, ride a bicycle, and run). In class 12, I secured sixth position at the Triathlon national competition and won gold at CBSE nationals Aquathlon Championship 2018 and 2019. Aquathlon is a two-stage race involving swimming followed by running. Talking about academics, I scored 95.4 per cent in class 10 and 93.8 per cent in class 12. I have studied in Apeejay School, Faridabad since Nursery. I was the Secretary of the student council and took part in various extra-curricular activities. I also won the prestigious Dr. Stya Paul Award for Human Values which is given to students who exemplify and exhibit good human values in their day-to-day life.

Are extra-curricular activities helpful in securing admission to foreign colleges?
Yes, they are more than helpful. Foreign universities are not looking for bookworms. It’s important to be active in extra-curricular activities and social service that interests you. Social service is not a recommendation; it’s a requirement. It gives an impression to the college admission committee that you put others before yourself. I was part of the school Interact Club and participated in various community services. Unlike India, countries abroad put a lot of emphasis on non-academic achievements.

Tell us more about the course you are pursuing?
Last year, I wanted to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science. Since this is a practical-based course, I had to postpone my plans for a year due the ongoing pandemic. As the situation has still not improved and Indian students are not allowed in Australia due to travel restrictions, I had to opt for a new course – Bachelor of Information technology, with a Major in Data Science. The reason that I opted for this course is because it will help me develop strong computing and analytical skills needed for a successful career in the burgeoning world of data science. The Covid crisis has once again reinforced the importance of IT in every field. Though, I have begun my online classes and I am waiting for things to improve so that I can fly to Australia for physical learning.

Why did you pick Australia for foreign studies?
I picked it as my preferred destination for studies as my uncle lives in Sydney. If I ever need anything I could seek his help. Living near a relative gives you peace of mind.

What advice will you give to students who want to study abroad?
Start the preparations before class 10. Build your profile by taking part in community service and other extra-curricular activities especially Model United Nations. Start preparing for college admission tests such as ACT (American College Testing) and SAT (Scholastic Assessment test) when you are in class 11. Both ACT and SAT are standardised tests that are required to be taken by students looking for admission in undergraduate schools based in the US and Canada. For admission to colleges in the UK and Australia a good IELTS score will make your resume stronger. Start studying for these tests when you are in class 11 as in class 12 you need to focus on boards. I took the help of Hayden and Reynott, a leading consultant for overseas admissions and test preparation. To study in an Australian University, you are required to write the Statement of Purpose (SOP). It includes the candidate’s personal interests, goals, academic progress and motivations for the chosen career path. Be honest while writing the SOP.

5 tips for students aspiring to study abroad

  1. Start the preparations early.
  2. Be active in extracurricular activities and social service that interests you.
  3. Opt for the course that interests you.
  4. Learn to cook and do other household tasks.
  5. Write the Statement of Purpose (SOP) with full honesty.

“Select the course that interests you. Don’t compromise on the course. Also, if you are planning to study abroad, learn cooking and other household chores. Become self-reliant.”

-Keshav Girdhar

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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