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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pre-departure Planning: Do's and don't for your packing list

Things to keep in Mind

• Check out with your airline or

shipping agent to find out what your

baggage allowance is.

• Plan your onward travel from the

airport to your final destination –

your university

• Make sure you have received a letter

of unconditional acceptance from

your college or university

• Find out how many goods you are

allowed to bring in the country you

plan to study in, and which items are

prohibited

• If you are taking any prescribed drugs

or medicines, ask your doctor to

write a letter explaining what they

are and why you are taking them

• Start gathering all the items and

documents you are taking with you –

make sure you have everything

before you start packing

• Buy any extra items you need e.g.

money, belt, photos of yourself,

dictionary

• Label all your luggage with your

name and address

Monday, 24 April 2017

USA tightens immigration : Boon or Bane for Indian Students




I just received a call today from a student, Mam I have an admit from UTD and UIC I am skeptical whether I should go to USA , which prompted me to come up with this blog article

Over the last few days, you might have come across a lot of  proposed changes to the H-1B Visa reform and its impact on your ability to secure a job post your degree in USA.

First and foremost do not go by hear say, have the strong conviction and just go  ahead and apply for higher studies if you have decided to  , each year there are different phases . which will pass sometimes there is a recession phase, there was a time when the rupee got devalued and hence students got worried but that phase has passed, this year its about immigration policies 

Here is iGradGlobal's 2 cents on this:


  • These newer immigration orders  are just proposals and will take time to implement  and become a law only if they get complete support
  • There is nothing against student community, students are still encouraged to apply 
  • There is opposition  not for granting work permit on the whole , but to minimize the loop holes in the system like reducing the middle men , better wages , work permit based on merit not luck
  • This will in turn  streamline the OPT requirement ,if the H1 visa is skills based , you can still have a one year OPT and get a job you deserve in fact with much better wages  
  • Lastly, why is it always going to US that is synonymous with going abroad , what with our students having bagged admits in top world universites in Netherlands- TU Delft, Germany- Hamburg, Canada- Ottawa , Australia - Sydney 
Overall, what we  advise is that students weigh the pros and cons and then decide pragmatically and not just through hearsay 

All the best
Happy Global Studies !!               


For more visit us www.igradglobal.in/contact



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sort the Spring Vs Fall intake dilemma


You have your eyes all glued to the top glohal admit , but as you rummage through  the information overlaod over the internet , you pause to think which is the best intake , what's the timeline, what tests , ah , questions , questions and more questions

Lets take this  one step at a time ,most  countries like USA, Europe , Canada, AUS etc  will have two intakes in a year for admission 

The academic calendar in all these countries commences in Aug /Sep each year call as Fall or Winter , since this is the first  semester most funding for projects and research comes in during this semester 

Secondly , its concurrent with our  graduation months in June when most Indian Universities grant the degrees , thus you can take up the higher education degree immediately after your degree completion without a gap  

Hence fall/winter is  the most preferred intake 

Now lets look at the  other side , since summer/spring /Jan intake is the second intake in the academic calendar ,most funding is exhausted by then , also not many international universities accept international students in this intake .

Most importantly , some universities do not allow students to do internships when they join in Spring intake

Hence , all in all , you need to weigh the pros and cons well before deciding what the best way for you 
unless there is a dire reason we would not recommend that you opt for Spring intake, though  a lot of CS, ECE and Mech universities ( mainstream courses) are open to spring intake these days. 

Refer this video for more view 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBprdK4AQ0k

Send in  queries to biruda@igradglobal.in 


Friday, 10 February 2017

Is F1 student visa likely to become stringent-with new immigration policies ?




Introduction:
Visa - the travel permit to your dream destination !!
Do's -
Key factors :
  • Proper Financial documents,
  • Admit in reputed/related Universities,
  • Good Academics and competitive test scores
Don't's
  • Most common  reasons for denial and workarounds thereof .
  • Missing documents
  • Sound like potential immigrant
How to prepare for the interview - some generic questions listed here
  • Why MS
  • Why this Univ
  • Why are you leaving your job
  • What after MS
  • Who is sponsoring you
  • What does your sponsor do.
Some  general advice:
  • Be on time
  • Don't carry too many/ unecessary docs (refer to the website for the required document), plastic bags, mobile etc
  • Dress neatly
  • Be audible and clear  to the officer,  do not lie / or hide information.
  • Read up some past student experiences


Conclusion :
Remember the interview is all about how confident you sound , how convicingly you speak and how well you articulate your points.


For personalised visa counselling refer:
http://www.igradglobal.in/visa-preparation/

Team iGradGlobal

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

My journey into geotechnical engineering

My journey into geotechnical engineering started some 22 years back when Soil Mechanics and Foundation engineering course was offered in my undergraduate third year at Bengal Engineering College. I immediately fell in love with the subject and even chose geotechnical engineering as my elective too. After getting my Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, I wrote the GATE exam and secured a percentile score good enough to get a seat in the revered Jadavpur University. And, from here my journey began with geotechnical engineering. MS program in geotechnical engineering educates and prepares individuals for careers as geotechnical engineers in the areas of soil mechanics, foundation engineering and environmental geotechnics. 

Let me take this opportunity to explain what this geotechnical engineering is all about. Every structure on earth, whether it be a building, bridge, dam, retaining wall, railway line, highway, canal, pipeline, landfill, or pavement is founded on soil and/or rock. Geotechnical engineering is a branch of civil engineering that is concerned with studying the engineering properties of soil and rock and its behavior under the influence of proposed loading forces.
After receiving my Master’s degree with specialization in geotechnical engineering, I worked in the industry as a geotechnical engineer. Job prospects are excellent because every construction project involves foundation work. With increasing use of developed land many projects involve the challenge of building on difficult ground such as swamps, or hills. In these areas, specialists like geotechnical engineers and consultants are needed.

If you are wondering what the geotechnical professionals do, here you go. The geotechnical engineer is involved in field and laboratory investigations to determine the engineering properties of site soils. The basic responsibilities include obtaining soil and rock samples at different depths across sites, testing samples to determine their strength, compressibility and other factors that affect the behavior of soil and rock when a structure is built on top of it and determining the safe loading level for the soil. In short, the work of a geotechnical engineer includes five key activities: desk study or research into existing information, ground investigation (gathering new data), interpretation (understanding new data), analysis and design, and finally construction (or remediation).


After working in the industry for good 8 years, I decided to pursue a PhD in geotechnical engineering because by then, my thirst for the course had increased so much that I wanted to conduct research. Deep in my heart I cherished my wish to become a professor. I chose to do research on landfills. So, I looked up at all the prospective research areas in the US and UK universities. I got an offer from Cambridge University but financially I could not afford and so finally settled down on the work done by a professor at Michigan State University in US. I took guidance from Career Plan where Biruda Virkud worked before. With good GRE, TOEFL and TSE scores, recommendations from my professors and my notable work in Master’s thesis, I landed up at MSU with full scholarship. Within four years, I finished my PhD and after that I worked at a college as a Professor where I designed a brand new course on geotechnical engineering. My love for geotechnical engineering continues till today…..

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Should our students be groomed better to fit Top Global Schools

 My nephew turns 3 this month, so is eligible to commence his formal schooling journey  this year.  I was initially very excited to hear about this from my sister, only to later find out that this little toddler ,who can't even frame sentences yet,had to actually qualify for this elite ICSE school seat in the hitech locality of Pune city , through an " exam".
As the kid progresses through his schooling years, so does the number of entrance exams progressively increase.
All along our academic life from the age of 3 to the age 21 and thereafter while securing a job /career , we have been conditioned to appear for and excel at entrance exams.You can't expect  overnight transitions in the approach.  We students cannot be made to  rethink or rewire our  thinking when they start aspiring for that top global .admit.
Being in the higher education counselling/mentoring  space for about 15 years , have tried in vain to make students see the point of how the admission in global universities is subjective and does not depend only on entrance tests alone.You can't blame them, when they repeatedly ask me , "Mam I aspire to study at Stanford, could you inform me what are the entrance test cut offs there"
I am always lost on how do you react when they say that , let me first pass the GRE /GMAT/SAT exam and then approach you for admission counselling.
Here's a piece of advice to all those who are aspiring a seat in top universities like MIT (do note that MIT does not even seek GRE score) , global university admissions are very subjective selection process
academics scores +  Entrance test scores + relevant profile (it's a sum total)
So , its in the student's  best interest to gain  more practical skills relevant to his /her subject of interest which will help boost their overall candidature..
Remember, high test scores are just 1/3rd the battle won in the admission process, success lies  in presenting a winning application strategy supported by a strong relevant profile.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Recommendations(LORs) - the long and short of it ...



While applying for admission what are some key ingredients which make a winning application

Most forgotten - Reference letters, how do they add to the storyline..

Did you know that how your professors or boss perceives you,  has a direct impact on your application , better be in their good books

Lets understand the WHO, WHAT ,HOW of these letters


WHO ?

People who know you technically /professionally, not peers , uncles and friends please, identify 3 such people who can vouch for you


WHAT ?

Does not contain a   list of adjectives , but endorse your soft skills which are  otherwise not reflected in your marksheets like good research , leadership skills  through examples and incidences

HOW ?
These are sent mostly online through application forms by providing their official ids and receiving a link and updating the content.

NOTE:These are confidential letters not to be seen by the applicant.
             The designation and qualification of the recommendor does not matter , as much the content and relevance


WEIGTHAGE

a bad reference can turn an admission decision , after all its other people's opinion about you that also matters in securing that coveted ADMIT !!