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Planning to study abroad? Know about the top countries and skill-based courses on offer 

From Sustainability to Smart City Management, here are some courses one can consider for higher studies



As per the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), a total of 1,33,135 Indian students went abroad for higher studies this year, as on March 20. Universities across the globe have been offering a variety of new and innovative courses in various domains. But which are the countries that provide top-notch educational infrastructure? And what kind of preparations do students need to apply for courses abroad? Dr Sonia Singh, an academician, researcher and director of Toss Global Management who has been associated with career counselling and education consultancy for years now, shares some important insights into study abroad programmes. Read:

What is Toss Global Management about?

Toss Global is a management and education consultancy, where we have different verticals. We help in setting up new businesses and provide HR consultancy. Second, I am the assessor of different UAE Government quality awards, which boost a company’s chances of bagging Government projects. We prepare companies for these awards. Third, offer career counselling and study abroad programmes. We have a specific portal for this. This is used by various career counsellors. We also set up career counselling labs at educational institutes.

What are the things to keep in mind while designing a curriculum to suit today’s times?

I regularly design curricula. Recently, I designed an e-learning project as well as the BBM course curriculum for a well-known private university in India. In the UAE, I have designed newly implemented courses in institutions.

The theoretical part is just one aspect of a curriculum design. How the students are learning it practically, applying, and interpreting it is most important. A fine blend is what we try to achieve with a focus on outcome-based modules.

Which are the countries are offering attractive courses or opportunities for students?

For students looking to study abroad after Class XII, Singapore has opened up opportunities post-pandemic. Many students in the UAE now want to go to nearby countries compared to Canada or the US. Many of them are also opting for the UK and Europe as they are more approachable. Earlier, there was no course-work visa but now countries like the UK have introduced it, which is being leveraged by many students.

The public universities of Germany, on the other hand, are also offering interesting courses to international students. Many private universities are coming up as well which do not mandate clearing any German language exam. The cost of education is comparatively cheaper there. Apart from that, Australia, known for its environmental policies, is among the preferred destinations. New Zealand is also a top destination although studying there could be expensive.

What are the new courses that study abroad universities are offering?

The courses are more skill-based or vocational. Data Science and Nanotechnology courses have gained a lot of popularity. Sustainability courses, especially those on Solar Energy, are now picking up. From mainstream management, institutions are moving to Management in Smart Cities. In Europe, Graphic Design courses are witnessing huge demand. The trends change every five years.

At the master’s level, most of the scholarships are for technical courses or medical and para-medical courses. The same holds true for post-doctorate courses too.

In my experience, it is always good to do a terminal degree abroad as it makes a significant impact on a student’s profile. You will have access to a lot of resources and will also get a lot of exposure.

Your son Himank Singh is studying at Apeejay School, Faridabad Sector 15, in Class X. What has the experience been like?

Our experience has been wonderful. Himank, who is a tennis player, was in Dubai till Class VIII after which we enrolled him at Apeejay to improve his game and help prepare him for NEET. For instance, he was not introduced to NCERT Exemplar until he joined Apeejay. The school has been a welcome change for my son — the teacher-student ratio, the competitive environment, and the quality of the teachers have worked wonders for him. It has been a beautiful journey so far.

Did your son face any difficulty initially in making the shift?

The shift was not exactly difficult. Back in Dubai, we had already introduced him to certain CBSE courses and books which helped him once he joined Apeejay. As far as cultural change is concerned, my son adapted easily since he was in the habit of travelling and meeting new people of different nationalities. So, he was able to gel well with the students and teachers at Apeejay. The only difficulty he faced initially was with grasping Hindi, but he has improved a lot now. He is enjoying the journey.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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