Beware of bogus promises, think twice before opting to study abroad

Representational Image. Photo: iStock/ cybrain

According to the Union Ministry of Education, around 3.3 lakh Indian students have left for higher studies abroad till June 30. Education experts say the number has risen exponentially from previous years. For the whole of 2022, over 7 lakh students left India to study abroad, they point out.

Many overseas education consultancy firms paint a rosy picture of easy certification, foreign degrees, high-paying jobs, and permanent residence status. What they fail to tell you is that it needs careful selection before you finalise the college or university that you wish to study. Experts Onmanorama spoke to said that reality might be very different from what the glitzy ads may tell you.

Here are a few aspects you have to review before choosing an agency or a foreign country before embarking on a journey to a foreign country.

Watch out for these hidden risks


Sharing digital copies of crucial documents like your passport, Aadhaar card, and bank passbook should be done with caution because they can be readily altered.

Some firms even provide their clients with temporary documents that show necessary funds or income information. However, further verification in a foreign country could land students in a legal tangle. In most cases, they would be deported before they complete their education. The worst part is that these firms would not accept any liability or refund the fee they took.

False promises

People often fall for the deceptive claims made by some education experts in their marketing. People's attention is quickly captured by taglines like 'Study & Settle in the UK' and 'Study for Free in Germany,' which persuades them to contact these companies.

Most of them do not give the clients a clear picture of the education system and work laws of the countries they want to migrate to, leaving many students struggling in these foreign places.

Financial frauds

This is the hoax that individuals frequently fall for while applying to study abroad. In the pretext of an application fee, admission processing fee, and guarantees of easy relocation abroad, some agencies demand enormous sums from clients. Most of the time, parents and students blindly pay, and get duped in the process.

Representational Image. Photo: iStock/ AndreyPopov

How to choose a certified overseas education consultant?

Before choosing a consultant who can correctly guide you to pursue further education outside of India, keep the following things in mind.

Credibility: One must thoroughly go through the agency's reviews online. Rather than reading the good ones, check for the negative ones and see where it fails to meet the expectations or promises.

Qualifications of the counsellor: Parents and students must not fall for any counsellor's good talks. Instead, they should check for the person's qualifications and experience in the industry. Remember that it is not about good talks, but useful information and proper guidance that would prove helpful.

Scrutiny of educational institutions: Verify if the educational institutions to which they are seeking admission are private, government-aided, or for-profit ones. Examine numerous student review sites where alumni or current students provide information about the curriculum, faculty, and facilities.

Overseas education
Photo: Representational/ File Image

Things to remember while choosing a foreign country

Think wisely: Analyse your purpose for choosing a particular country. Read about the various courses being offered by the best institutions in the country and their syllabus before taking a decision. Looking out for scholarships is also a good option.

Make a career plan: A good career plan is an absolute necessity for students intending to pursue higher education in a foreign country. It would help in streamlining one's preparations and exploring the right opportunities.

Suitable country: When it comes to choosing a country, one must focus on her purpose, that is whether you are looking for education, permanent residence, or both. Candidates must also look out for factors such as affordability, climate, cost of living, availability of full- or part-time jobs, and courses or professions that have huge demand in that particular country.

Choosing a non-English-speaking country: For students selecting a non-English-speaking country, finding a part-time job would be tough due to the language barrier. Therefore, it is difficult for them to cover their living expenses there. Having a basic knowledge of the country's language would be helpful, even while trying to acquire a permanent residence.

Avoid academic gap: Taking a 'break' or gap year before travelling abroad for education would not look preferable on an applicant's profile. Most top-notch universities and institutions do not take in students who have an academic gap. For instance, some of the candidates spend more than a year after Class 12 concentrating on IELTS or learning a foreign language to migrate. This would not look good if you were applying to a prestigious university or college in any foreign country.

Understand the legal aspects of the country: Students would benefit from learning more about the target country's migration and labour regulations in order to prevent legal complications. Knowledge of the international students' law and various provisions by the government will also benefit.

(Information courtesy: Manoj P, Founder and CEO of Global Educational Consultants, Kochi,

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