Pro Tips For Nepalese Students looking to study abroad
Even small details can go a long way in terms of helping you adjust to the environment in a new country mile apart from your home and loved ones. As an international student, you can come across situations when you might feel only if you knew this or that.
Nepalese students wanting to study abroad is not a new thing but very few feel prepared to cope up with the changes they need to face.
Let’s have a look at a few tips for Nepalese students wanting to study abroad:
Learning the Language:
Language is the best means of expressing yourself. If you are applying to a country where the first language is not English, you start struggling from day 1. English could be spoken in the country but not by everyone.
At times we take things for granted, for example, if you are applying to study Master’s program in Norway the language of teaching is English but the fact is you only spend few hours in the classroom and language could be a barrier while working, traveling, shopping and many more.
Knowing the culture:
Culture, as we know, differs from one country to another but we generally tend to ignore that it might differ from one part of the country to another.
It is always good to be studying and knowing about the local culture once you are sure of studying in that particular locality.
You can do so by visiting the official webpage of the particular city, by talking to other international students and by taking help from the international admissions team in your university/college.
When we think of a foreign country we generally think of burgers, pizza, pasta, and so on but this is not the case. Do make sure that you know what the food is like in the country you are planning to study.
We are used to ‘rice’ and ‘dal’ for almost every meal and things could be different if you are living on campus. Make sure you carry your favorite snacks from your home country to have something to eat until you get used to the local food. This is one of the basic tips for Nepalese students to help them manage their food habits.
The university you are headed to could be located in urban, sub-urban or rural setting and you need to adapt accordingly. For example, if you are going to a major city like New York, you will not need to worry about how to travel but if you are planning on studying in a university in Arkansas, you will need a vehicle of your own even if you want to go out to buy groceries.
There are public vehicles operating but only at an interval of 30 minutes or an hour and you definitely won’t enjoy waiting at a bus stop under freezing conditions for about an hour in the winter.
The biggest problem that Nepalese students face is related to finance and this is obvious because of the fact that US $1 is equal to more than NPR 120.
What Nepalese students believe is they will be able to find a job which will be enough to pay for their tuition and living which unfortunately is NOT true.
Let’s look at an example, Cost of attending an average university in the USA is about $25,000 and the amount an International student can make by working throughout the entire year legally is $12,900 (20 hours a week *4weeks per month* 9 month of an Academic year + 40 hours a week *4 weeks per month * 3 months of summer when a student can work full time) assuming the hourly rate of payment is of $10.
Don’t just assume that things are going to be alright but instead make sure you have a proper plan on how you will be paying for your studies.
Make sure your parents are willing to support you not just for the first semester of first-year but throughout the duration of your studies.
Look at studying abroad as an investment not an expenditure. You would definitely won’t enjoy being in a situation of “I could have been successful if I had planned well financially”. Education advisors and consultants can provide good financial tips for Nepalese students.
Knowing your University:
you might think you know your university by going through the website or the brochure you have received while receiving your offer letter but you might be wrong. Knowing your university means a lot more than knowing where it is and what programs they offer.
Do you know where the library is? How can you go to the cafeteria? You might need to meet a professor but do you know where his office is? Do you know what student organizations you can join in the university?
Do you know that you can find a job from here in Nepal if you apply early? Lots of questions that could arise if you really dig deep. The correct answer is in the proper research and communication.
There may be families who are eager to host international students until they find a place to live in. Talking to your university regarding connecting you with a host family will not just make it easy for you to settle down but will also help you get familiar with the local culture and people.
They could be your family away from home and could be your place to visit during the holidays. If you are planning on studying abroad, make sure you find a host family.
Communication is key regardless of the country you are going to. Nepalese students have a habit of being shy and feeling inferior, but this is exactly what you should not be doing. Try to make as many friends as possible before you even land in the University.
How? Ask your university to connect you with the other students not just from Nepal but globally who have been studying or are planning to study with you.
Talk to them and try know them better, they could be your future room mates and having friends before reaching the university definitely helps.
Professors are your best friends; they don’t just teach you in the class they can help you with jobs in your related field, help you with your research and could be the best people to take advise from.
More importantly, they are the ones writing your recommendations for your future jobs or further education and they have very strong connection in the industry which can help you land good internships.
These could eventually lead you towards finding a full-time job and settling down in the country.
The rule of thumb in Nepal is to buy a North Face jacket if you are going to study abroad. Well, that may be needed but not always and may be you need more than just 1 of such jackets if you are going to a place which is extremely cold such as some parts of Canada but do you really need one if you are going to Florida for your further studies?
Some places may see too much rain, for example, London, so knowing the weather is very important. You don’t want to end up switching your university or country after reaching there because you don’t like the weather.
Departing students tend to do a lot of shopping and more often they buy stuffs that they will never use or use very few times.
It is always good to take the stuff that you already own and if needed then buy it in the country you are traveling to, you don’t want to end up buying something that you will feel awkward using. Instead, take some extra cash for shopping.
Learn to be independent:
Most Nepalese students are dependent on their parents for most of their household things and trying to learn how to do things that you will need to be doing by yourself once you reach your preferred destination is always going to make life easier for you. Most common problems are cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, laundry and so on.
Most Nepalese students decide where they want to study simply based on where their friends and relatives are. However, there is a lot more that you need to be knowing before deciding upon which country you should be headed to.
Please make sure to compare countries:
Duration of Study. Generally, England has 3 years Bachelors but USA 4 years.
Post-study Work Permit: UK has 2 years PSW whereas Canada has 3 years. Similarly, Australia has up to 4 years PSW and USA has up to 3 years in the form of OPT depending on nature of their majors.
Generally, UK/Australia/Canada requires a student to send the tuition fees before applying for a VISA but USA doesn’t
An international student can work only on-campus for 20 hours a week but while studying in Australia you can work for 40 hours fortnightly and can do so either on-campus or off-campus.
Most US-based Universities offer different types of scholarships and up to full scholarships but this can not be true in most of the other countries.
US Universities can ask for standardized test scores like SAT, GRE, GMAT, or ACT but these tests may not be needed in other countries.
In countries like UK/Australia/Canada you can apply for a pathway program and its common for a lot of Nepalese students but this is not so common if you are considering applying to the universities in the USA.
A student will need to face an interview at the Consular Section if he/she is planning to study in USA but you may or may not have to face an interview to study in Canada, Australia and other countries.
You will have to wait for a certain time to receive your student visa in other countries but the decision is made right after your visa interview and you will know it right away at the US Consulate.
Taking help from experts:
As the saying goes, “Morning shows the day”, planning is very important if you want to succeed as an international student and it starts from knowing what country would be the best for you, what major you should study, which university you should go to, etc.
One might argue that everything is available online; however, getting help from someone who has been in the field for long can help you go the extra mile.
We generally take advise from our relatives who are living in your country of interest, but have we asked ourselves how many universities they know about and how many applications they have successfully filled? How many SoPs have they reviewed?
Every University is different and there are many programs that you might have never heard of before and there could also be changes in different immigration policies and your case could be completely different from the case of your friend, relative or whoever you know in the country of your preference.
Why do you take risks if someone can genuinely help you? If you have made up your mind to study abroad, before you do anything else like visiting an educational consultancy or asking your friends and relatives living in the country of your interest, check the following websites for authentic information about the country of your interest so as to avoid being misled:
🟦 For USA: https://educationusa.state.gov
🟦 For UK: https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org
🟦 For Canada: https://Canada.ca
🟦 For Australia: https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/
Please complete this form to talk to an Advisor at Edwise Foundation. You can ask any questions relating to the application process, universities, majors, costs, funding (scholarship, TA/RA), F-1 interview, etc. Please note that we can work with any universities for you as long as you fit in well in respect to your academic interests and financial capacity.