Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finished Overseas Education? Simple work permit policies

Finished Overseas Education? Here are your job options abroad…

Where to study abroad? The post provides a simple explanation that can facilitate a decision-making for students while selecting the right Country to study in based on work permit policies.

Different visa extension rules in the USA, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland are explained briefly, thus helping international students to take the most appropriate decision while selecting different Universities across these popular study destinations.

Check out the blog post (click)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Masters in Social Media, Marketing, Management in the UK

Masters in Social Media in the UK

Here's a list of Social Media programmes (Masters) in the UK including the exact course name and tuition fee (as collected from their respective websites as on the date of this post for 2012):

To apply to all UK Universities listed, connect with ILW for free applications, university selection, admission, obtaining available scholarships, student visa guidance, meeting other students and much more. All services are free of cost

Birmingham City University, UK 

MA Social Media
Course Fee: £10300
Course start: September. February intake is available

The University of York, UK 
MSc in Social Media and Management
MSc in Social Media and Interactive Technologies
Course Fee: £12720
Course start: September (both programmes)

Goldsmiths University of London, UK 
MA/MSc in Creating Social Media
Course Fee: £14900
Course start: September

City University London, UK 
MSc Social Media
Course Fee: £11500
Course start: September

Imperial College London, UK 
MSc Strategic Marketing
Course Fee: £19950
Course start: September

We specifically include the MSc Strategic Marketing programme at Imperial College Business School London in the above list because of the nature of the programme offered. The course claims to have incorporated Social Media and new digital technologies at the centre of the said programme. Students are provided an iPad2 to carry out their studies. Read about this news here: Digital and social media at the heart of new Master's in Marketing on the Imperial College London's website

Middlesex University, UK 
MA e-Marketing and Social Media
Course Fee: £11700
Course start: September

University of Salford, UK 
MA Social Media
Course Fee: £9790
Course start: September

Social Media and the varied avenues that the field has created including social media marketing, branding, strategy and within internet marketing and social networking, every business and organization is taking social media seriously. Consider Facebook, possibly the most popular social network, if one considers in terms of population, is the 3rd largest population in the world (after China and India). Other popular social networking sites and micro blogging spaces like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and such others are some of the most valued Companies in the world invariably eyeing at hiring the most talented individuals. Needless mentioning, a Masters in Social Media and a related degree facilitating a career in social media consulting will be sought after sooner.

All above listed course are of ONE year duration (in general) and the fee listed is for the full length of the course. Direct Scholarships are made available by many of these UK Universities for international (Indian) students. To apply for the same, contact ILW 

Note: Please check the individual university websites for exact fees

To apply to all UK Universities listed, connect with ILW for free applications, university selection, admission, obtaining available scholarships, student visa guidance, meeting other students and much more. All services are free of cost

You may also wish to read:
Marketing Communications Masters at UK Universities

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Marketing Communications Masters at UK Universities

Masters in Marketing Communications in the UK

Here's a list of Marketing Communication programmes (Masters) in the UK including the exact course name and tuition fee (as collected from their respective websites as on the date of this post for 2012):

To apply to all UK Universities listed, connect with ILW for free applications, university selection, admission, obtaining available scholarships, student visa guidance, meeting other students and much more. All services are free of cost. Check out this short 2 mins VIDEO on how ILW can help

University of Westminster, London, UK 
MA Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £15000
Course start: September. January intake is available

London South Bank University, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £10465
Course start: September. January intake is available

Birkbeck University of London, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications 
Course Fee: £14075
Course start: September

Bournemouth University, UK 
MA Advertising and Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £13000
Course start: September

University of Birmingham, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £14490
Course start: September

University of Brighton, UK 
MSc Marketing (Branding and Communications)
Course Fee: £12750
Course start: September

University of Bedfordshire, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £9600
Course start: September. January intake may be available

University of East London (UEL), UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £9990
Course start: September. January intake is available

Kingston University, London, UK 
MA Marketing Communications and Advertising
Course Fee: £11880
Course start: September

London Metropolitan University, UK 
MA International Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £13500
Course start: September

Middlesex University, UK 
MA Marketing Communications (Post graduate Diploma also available)
Course Fee: £11700
Course start: September

University of the West of England (UWE), UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £11250
Course start: September

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK 
MSc Digital Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £14866
Course start: September

University of Chester, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications and Public Relations
Course Fee: £9500
Course start: September

University of Huddersfield, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £11500
Course start: September. January intake may be available

University of Greenwich, UK 
MA Strategic Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £9500
Course start: September. January intake may be available

Buckinghamshire New University, UK 
MSc Marketing Communications
Course Fee: £9400
Course start: September. January intake may be available

All above listed course are of ONE year duration (in general) and the fee listed is for the full length of the course. Direct Scholarships are made available by many of these UK Universities for international (Indian) students. To apply for the same, contact ILW 

Note: Please check the individual university websites for exact fees

Similar Programs: 
University of Surrey, UK 
MSc Communication and International Marketing
Course Fee: £12705

Edge Hill University, UK 
MA Marketing and Communications
Course Fee: £11500

If you have liked this post, check out this short 2 mins VIDEO of how ILW helped April.

You may also wish to read:
Masters in Social Media, Marketing, Management in the UK

Saturday, July 28, 2012

10 mistakes while applying for MS in US Universities

Waiting for GMAT/GRE + TOEFL Test Score and then applying

Don’t wait for your GMAT score, GRE score, TOEFL score to arrive. It’s pointless. You may miss the deadline to apply to US Universities (also especially if your first score is not up to the mark). It's wise to take the test early but your selection of US Universities should be done in a way where you do have a combination of a. dream Universities (ambitious), b. very good Universities and c. back-up Universities (in case you do not get through to the first two categories). US Schools allow you to apply in advance and you can provide them with a test date.

Three quick recommendations (the fourth one is free)
1. Apply to 8 Schools (3 dream, 3 very good, 2 back-up) (max. 10 US Schools)
2. Apply in October/November in the year before your course start eg. If you plan for Fall 2015, apply in October/November 2014. Many Universities for specific programs only accept admission applications (with all application documents) until mid-December. Don’t fret if you only reviewed this blog post in December or January since (nearly) a large number of US Universities accept applications until mid-January. Many Universities will have rolling admissions too
3. Prepare yourself for GMAT/GRE test for two weeks and assess your abilities to score (may be with your tutor if you have one). Then, book a test date and work towards that date instead of endlessly preparing for the test
4. Check the entry requirements of the shortlisted US universities well in advance so that you could keep the documentation ready like essays, personal statement (SOP), etc. 

One problem is certainly solved with this approach of ‘not waiting’ – a good GMAT/GRE score means your chances to (possibly) secure admits from dream and very good universities rise and if not, you already have applied to your back-up universities.

Waiting for the hard copy of the test scores (like GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS): 

No. You don’t need waiting for the hard copies of these test scores. US Universities will not accept these from you. These are reported by the testing agencies (eg. ETS) directly to your selected Universities. a. when you register / appear for the tests (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL), you select up to 5 Universities where your scores are reported for free (included in the registration fee) and b. you can use your online account to send out your score reports. The best is to report your score 30 days in advance to the application deadline of the university (or earlier)

Overestimating your test scores: 

Practice tests are different from real tests (specially on the day of the test). Besides, nervousness sinks in for most students on the test day. Your target score must generally be 10% higher than your required score. And you can easily reduce your actual score by 10% to 15% as against what you find during practice tests. Never overestimate your scores; otherwise you will only have applied to back-up universities. We laugh sometimes suggesting typically that every GMAT applicant believes to be good at English and every GRE student believes to be the best at Math.

Realistically estimating your test score will also allow a. selection of right universities and b. reporting your scores to the right universities (saves money)

Randomly applying to as many Universities

You’ve finalized your university list (that you are going to apply to finally). Then you hear about your friend applying to another set of universities. While applying to one university may seem a costly affair (you spend about Rs 5000 to apply to one—reporting TOEFL, GMAT, GRE scores, application fee, courier charge, others), more importantly, it suggests that you are unsure of your future plan of studies or have not previously researched well enough to be spending vast amounts of money. Thus, unless you come across one super program option (which seems like coming out of serendipity only), you may wish sticking to your university options

How to fill the University application form? 

Spelling mistakes – bad. Entering incorrect academic details, scores, and reluctance in entering all details (if you have a long list of activities) – seriously, you must be crazy. It is wasting your time and money, the university’s time and you only have applied to one university less (for each university that you repeat that mistake).
Oh! And yes. An address, a statement, other descriptions -- (all) start with a capital letter eg. "I have worked with....", "ILW, 21 Pitruchhaya Building...Vile Parle (W)" -- it cannot be "i have worked with...."

Common Personal Statement

This is typical. Often times you do not even require a personal statement. Commonly popular as a statement of purpose (SOP), students tend to make one common essay. You are better off collecting the requirements of all universities you are planning to apply to. Make a list of essays (different from SOP) and start working on the toughest essays first. Quite interestingly, you may find that essay answering many of your other essay questions. Each University may have a set of questions asked through their application form (or may be listed on their website in the admissions or entry requirements sections) and these questions are important to why you as an applicant fill in to their class. Each essay requires individual attention. For some uncommon errors that students make while writing essays, check this post

Heavy concentration on subject / technical knowledge

Especially distinct to MS applicants, each piece of information they wish discussing with a university is technical (mildly perhaps for business/management applicants). While academic achievements are important, it’s a waste if you do not highlight other personal traits and achievements like displaying experiences that has brought out in the (recent) past, your leadership qualities, social activities, sports participating, and such others. Sometimes even critical assessments about yourself are important. It’s wise to point out your shortcomings so that you realize you are spending money on entering a class where you can contribute too. Your higher studies must teach a whole lot of other characteristics which will be required in the real world. Here’s an interesting post suggesting 11 skills that every graduate must concentrate on developing

Work experience

While for most MS programs, work experience is not essential, having one always helps and boosts your admission chances. However, to build up work experience like part-time experience during your course—that’s just not required. And if you imagine being able to prove that you’ve worked as a manager in only 1 year post your Bachelors (in India), you must be kidding. Surely, highlighting your internships, real-time work experience is a must even if it brings out minimal learning that you could highlight (on your resume)

Resume Building

Include all information. Keep it short and simple. You can get creative and there are many websites that help you facilitate that. You don’t need a 4 page CV and bore the busy admissions committee

Expecting all universities to reply in the affirmative

Indeed. Sounds weird. However, most students would anticipate that all universities will provide only a positive reply and you may have 8 I20s to finally decide from. The fact that you are applying to 8 universities is because you have some dream university options. Don’t hesitate to receive reject letters

Lastly, some useless errors' list:
a. Your email id should be correct, must be checked regularly and is largely the only method most universities will contact you
b. Believing 'rolling admission' means you can apply anytime. You must apply timely
c. Not submitting financial documents' proof (that you can fund your studies), when you have applied for scholarships. You must submit financial proof
d. Not applying for transcript timely. All US Universities require transcript (different from marksheets). These need to be made available to all US Universities you are applying to
e. Not checking if your university requires transcript evaluation. Many US Universities require your transcript and degree to be evaluated by a testing agency like World Education Services and others

Good luck applying!

You may also wish to read: US University Essays and Mistakes

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Indian students will face UK visa interview from 31st July 2012

UK Border Agency may invite Tier 4 UK (Student) Visa applicants for an interview to determine whether to award an entry clearance (or grant you a visa to study in the UK). UK Visa interviews will begin on or after 31st July 2012. If students do not attend the visa interview, they may face a visa refusal.

Full ministerial statement about student visa interviews and genuine student rule is available here.

Students joining UK Universities in September / October 2012 intake will possibly be the first ones to face these interviews.

The 9th July 2012 update on the UKBA website suggests that a student could be asked numerous questions about a student's immigration and education history, study and post-study plans, and financial circumstances. Student may face a visa refusal if the visa officer is not satisfied with the genuineness of the student. The update also mentioned that up to 14000 students are expected to be interviewed over a one year period.

We believe that the visa interview will primarily have the following key objectives:
a. whether the student is able to communicate well in English
b. whether the selected course of study at the selected UK Institution is justifiable
c. whether the student's objective is to genuinely study (and not work)
d. whether the student's documentation is appropriate (genuine)

The UK visa interview will NOT be for all (Indian) students.

Thus, students having good academic scoresgood IELTS score (typically -- 6.0 overall and above for Masters, MBA, other PG courses; 5.0 overall and above for Bachelors and other UG courses), and meeting the financial requirements (of being able to prove having adequate finance covering the full tuition fee and maintenance funds) may not even face an interview. (Note: these are perceptional thoughts; there may certainly be more factors that the British High Commission may wish to assess in an applicant).  

Students with long gap years between studies (barring MBA programmes that require adequate work experience) or students having low academic and/or IELTS score or who have selected a different course progression (eg. BCom students applying for MSc Hospitality Management) may have a higher chance of being called for a UK visa interview.   

Again, the fact remains, if a student has wisely selected the study option, ideally the student need not worry about the interview. Really, what they wish to assess is your true motivation (to study) and that you have not lied on the UK visa application form.

Here is what we expect the UK Tier 4 visa interview questions to be (random questions order):

  1. Why did you select the UK for higher studies?
  2. Isn’t this course offered by any university or college in your country?
  3. Why did you choose this UK university and how did you find about it?
  4. Why have you selected this course? Is it relevant to your previous studies?
  5. What is the location of the university/college?
  6. What is your IELTS score?
  7. Your score is low. Will you be able to understand the studies?
  8. Your academic score seems to be very low. Why do you think your University has offered you an admission?
  9. What is the scope of your course?
  10. Why are you taking this course?
  11. What is the course structure? (Course content)
  12. Do you intend to work in the UK after completion of your studies?
  13. What do you intend to do after completion of your studies?
  14. What are your future plans?
  15. What benefit will this course bring to you?
  16. How much money can you earn after your completion of studies?
  17. Are you aware about the part-time work rules in the UK for students? Will you be willing to work part-time if you get an opportunity?
  18. How many hours of study per week is suggested by your University?
  19. Where will you stay in the UK? Are you going to live in private accommodation? Have you booked any UK accommodation?
  20. Who is your sponsor? How much do they earn in a year?
  21. What is the source of income of your sponsor?
  22. Do you have any relative or friend in the UK?
  23. What is the course commencement date?
  24. What will be the total cost of studies per year?
  25. What will you do during the off period/semester?
  26. How much money is available for your stay in the UK?
  27. Have you researched your career prospects?
  28. Tell me about some Companies that can hire you after finishing your course in the UK
  29. Tell me about the place where you university is?
  30. If you get an employment opportunity in the UK after your studies, will you be willing to take that up?
Good luck to students!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

UK Student Visa Rule Changes. Tier 4. 6 April 2012 is the date

April 6, 2012 is the date that the new UK visa rule changes for the Tier 4 (students) comes in to effect. And also come along a list of changes to Post Study Work (PSW) Visa, maintenance fund requirements, new graduate entrepreneur route and more.

Synopsis - some concrete changes to note:

UK Student Visa - Maintenance Funds Requirements
Main Applicants (students who have a CAS): Previously, students had to prove they had:

  • £7200 (£800 multiplied by 9 months) if the UK University was in London (inside of inner London boroughs) and 
  • £5400 (£600 multiplied by 9 months) if the University was outside London (outside of inner London boroughs)

Apart from the programme tuition fee at respective Universities, the living cost stated above remained constant irrespective of the course duration (for UK student visa purposes only). While that understanding remains unchanged, the new fund requirements for UK student visa maintenance funds are as follows for students (main applicants):

  • £9000 (£1000 multiplied by 9 months) if the UK University is in London (inside of inner London boroughs) 
eg. if you have a study offer and CAS from University College London (UCL) or University of Westminster or any London Colleges, you will need to show £9000 towards living costs
  • £7200 (£800 multiplied by 9 months) if the University is outside London (outside of inner London boroughs) 
eg. if you have a study offer and CAS from a British University (including a University in England) outside of inner London Boroughs like the University of Manchester, University of Birmingham, Durham University, Aston University, or from a University in Wales (like Cardiff University, Bangor University or other Universities in Wales) or from a University in Scotland (like the University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, and other Universities in Scotland), you will need to show £7200 towards living costs.

Thus, any applicants applying for Tier 4 UK visa after April 6 (2012) must adhere to the new rules.

For (adult) dependants, the following fund must be shown:

  • £5400 (£600 multiplied by 9 months) if the University of the main applicant is in London (inside of inner London boroughs)
  • £4050 (£450 multiplied by 9 months) if the University is outside London (outside of inner London boroughs)

Working in the UK. Work Visas: Students in perspective
Post Study Work (PSW) Visa to be replaced:

  • PSW Abolished: The post study work visa under Tier 1 visa category where students used to get a two year work permit to work in the UK after successfully completing their Bachelors degree or Masters Degree (in general) has been abolished. A more "selective system" will come into effect allowing retention of only the most talented international graduates who can apply for work permit to stay in the UK for work purposes
  • Graduate Entrepreneur Route: A new graduate entrepreneur route opens up with up to 1,000 places for students working on world-class innovative ideas who want to stay and develop them but do not meet the requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route
  • Young entrepreneurs or small company directors can stay on in the UK after their studies if they have £50,000 to invest in their business thereby boosting the UK economy favourably
  • Graduates from a UK University with over £20,000 salary (or more in some cases) can continue to live and work in the UK. The job must also be offered by a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). Ideally, this would mean that students can then convert their visa in Tier 2 later

Read the full visa rule changes document: 
UK government's plans to make changes to Tier 4 (Students) and Tier 1 (Post-study work) of the points-based system are available to read in the following document.
Source: UK Home Office Publications

You may also wish to read:

UK Student Visa Rule Changes. BID Introduced. Effective March 2015

Indian students will face UK visa interview from 31st July 2012

How to apply for a visa? UK Student Visa. Tier 4 (Students) Category

Saturday, January 28, 2012

LSE courses that do not require GRE or GMAT

Masters courses without GMAT, GRE requirement at LSE 

So many students keep asking if they ever had a chance of getting through to studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science. While graduate admissions at LSE are completely merit-based (and of course the quality of your overall application), we wonder why would a student want to think that they didn't have a chance at all.

The interesting question that comes up often times is if there are programmes at LSE that can be studied without appearing for a GRE or a GMAT test. We strongly do believe that students who really prefer studying at the like of LSE, London Business School (LBS) and such other top UK Universities should really be willing to take up and score well in the test. Nevertheless, there are some course options at LSE that we have been able to identify (as on date) that may not require you to have a GRE and a GMAT score:

MSc Urbanisation and Development (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)
MSc Media and Communications (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)
MSc Media and Communications (Research) (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)
MSc Accounting, Organisations and Institutions (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)
MSc Development Studies (at LSE. GMAT, GRE not required. But will be considered if submitted)
MSc Development Studies (Research) (at LSE. GMAT, GRE not required. But will be considered if submitted)
MSc Development Management (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)
Diploma in Accounting and Finance (at LSE. GMAT,  GRE requirement: None)

When you apply online for LSE courses (MSc level), you can make a choice of three programmes that you may wish to study. It is not essential to use all three choices though. Make sure that you apply early as LSE has rolling admission. The sooner the course fills up, the course is closed down for further applications.

Just for information:
LSE has examined and provided the academic direction and support to a wide range of degrees and diplomas offered by the University of London International Programmes. The LSE, as a college of the University of London, is responsible for all academic aspects of the qualifications offered.

Human Psychology makes us believe that students looking at LSE generally tend to check London Business School (LBS) and unfortunately, there are no programmes at LBS that do not require either GRE or GMAT.

Studying at a top Institution is tempting. However, changing your course choice for not believing that you could do well on GMAT or GRE is not much appreciated. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

US University Essays and Mistakes

Students are often stumped when they hear about essays. Essays are an integral part of the US admission process and nearly all Schools pay extreme importance to it. Most importantly, essays allow you to put forth your thoughts, compensate for any irregularities or downsides during your academic studies and / or work.

Some non-typical mistakes that students make while considering to submit quality essays are listed here:
  1. Reviewing sample essays: When you start reading others' work (generally online), remember that 1000s of others are also reviewing the same. You will begin to lack originality. Essays must be right from your thoughts, past experiences and future plans (goals). You will invariably end up losing too much time if you start reading others' essays. Further, you will keep comparing your completed essays with what's available in the market and it sure will present more dilemmas whether your work's come out better than others'. Keep it natural. Then edit them, proof-check them. As long as it matches to what you are thinking, go ahead and submit them. You want to end up in a class of students and lecturers who understand you!
  2. Stubbornness on reducing the size: Academic essays generally come with a word limit (eg. not more than 500 words). You do not have to essentially consume all the words. It's tempting, but you can do away with this thought as long as you feel your essay is clear and to the point. It always happens that discarding information that you've written is painful and the art of writing well is to know what to remove. Never hesitate discarding useless or repetitive information
  3. Picking from personal statement / SOP: Often students end up writing a personal statement (statement of intent, statement of purpose). Essay questions are formed in a way where answers are required to be your own, unique in it's own way and requires clearly answering the question raised. Picking everything from your personal statement does not help. You may end up not answering the main question at all. Justify writing each essay separately
  4. Procrastinating writing difficult essays: Delaying writing the most difficult essays is foolish. Rather, once you finish the most difficult ones, the others (lesser engaging or difficult essays) become automatically easier and run with a flow
  5. Displaying weaknesses: Students are often hesitant in displaying weaknesses. The best is to accept them and write about them. If you have not paid attention (ever) to what your weaknesses are, take time to evaluate and assess them. It's best to tell the school (where you will be studying) about what you've come to learn
  6. Flowery Language: No. Keep them simple. Reduce the size of the sentences after you've written your essay. Writing rosy words don't help and by far does not raise your chance of getting through with admission. Essays that are simple, to the point and natural are winning
Really your target should be to end up in a school which accepts you the way you are and changes you for the better rather than anticipating that you are an Einstein and talks about the Physics that you helped evolve that changed the world! The word's 'natural'--stick to it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MS in US. MBA in US. Steps to apply to USA - Admission Process

US Admissions need a track of deadlines, fees, application process, documentation, writing of essays, personal statement, requesting referees to send out recommendation letters, scholarship information and much more. 
There's a clear step-wise US admission process written out by ILW. Hope this is helpful.