Dear Mentor:

Should I study in Germany, France, Colombia, Australia, or Russia?

I am a student and have appeared for the entrance exam this year but, due to the problem pertaining with the court cases, the chances of the admission rounds resuming, in my personal opinion, seem rather faint. So we're considering the option of studying abroad. I have made inquiries regarding Australia (too expensive) and Russia (feasible but not acceptable due to its reputation). But after having spoken with a few friends, they suggested Germany, France or Colombia where it is rather economical, which is what we're kind of looking for. But I'm unable to find any information for these places. If you could help me with this I would really appreciate it. If you want details about my financial limitations, please do email me as I don't think it would be a good idea to put up the figures on the Web. If not so, tell me and I wouldn't mind putting those up too.

Looking Out, India

Dear Looking Out:

You would agree that "economical" is a relative term; what's economical for one may not be so economical for another. We do not need your financial information. We can discern relevant information from what you have provided. You probably come from a middle-class family in India with limited financial means, particularly considering the exchange rate for the Indian Rupee for the countries of interest to you. Our background is no different, despite which we have been able to study in the US and Canada. We can share with you our knowledge and experiences.

By the way, you and others should know that when you submit your inquiry, your submission does not automatically go on the Web. We carefully examine each inquiry to make sure that the identity of the individual or any private information is not revealed to our audience at large. You can submit any information that you consider relevant to your inquiry. With appropriate, more complete and relevant information, we would be in a better position to comment on your situation more knowledgeably. Your private information will not be divulged on the Web.

As you may know, our focus for education at iMahal is restricted to the US, UK, India, and Canada. We will make our best effort to address your inquiry. It seems to us that you are trying to study anywhere but in India. We also don't understand your reference to "court cases." We recognize that sometime in India, problems arise with the integrity of entrance exams. These problems do not impact just individual students or a handful of students, but thousands if not tens of thousands of students. Colleges do not go without admitting a new batch of students for the entire year. Sometimes the start of session may be delayed due to certain problems, but it is rarely the case that the session is canceled altogether. Therefore, this is something in your inquiry that doesn't seem right to us.

We are a bit puzzled by your selection of countries. We can perhaps assume that you are not competent in German, French, Russian, Spanish or Portuguese. For admission, you are required to: 1. Either demonstrate your competence in the medium of instruction; for example, the requirement of TOEFL (Test of English Language as a Foreign Language) in the US and Canada, or 2. Take a language immersion course, an intensive course on how to speak the language. One reason for a large number of international students being in the English-speaking countries is that English is the most used language in the world. The language barrier is not an easy one to overcome and, even if you could, the learning of a new language is time consuming and it costs money.

We are not sure about the cost of education in Germany or France. You should be careful to understand that the cost goes beyond the cost of tuition; it is the total cost including tuition, fees, room & board, books and supplies, transportation, and so on. The cost of living in Europe is some of the highest in the world. Given Europe's social programs, some costs for local and EU (European Community) students are subsidized. These subsidies are often available to outsiders. We find it hard to believe that the total cost of education in Germany or France is less, or at least less in any meaningful way, than that in Australia.

And, then there is Columbia. What do you know about Columbia, other than it is not India? Do you even know where it is? Columbia is an under-developed, drug-infested country in South America with a 40-year insurgent campaign, in part funded by drug-money, to overthrow the Colombian government. The government, private, and social institutions are anywhere from non-existent to poorly-functional. We have never heard of reasonable education and Columbia spoken together in one sentence, until of course now. Is this the country to which you are referring? Is this where you really want to go for education? A little bit of effort on your part for your future to learn about your choices may be a good start, rather than "information from friends" and having a mindset of anywhere but India.

There are two types of students in India who go "abroad" for studies: 1. Whose families have deep pockets, or 2. Who have demonstrated superior academic performance and performance on entrance exam(s). Effectively, one needs to be either rich or very smart to study abroad. You may say that it is unfair but such is life. You know the rules; so if you must pursue overseas education, you should understand that you have to play by the rules.

Students with superior performance can obtain financial aid. Virtually no financial aid is available at the Bachelor's level. So academically-gifted students typically go abroad for Master's or Doctoral level studies.

India boasts, and rightly so, some of the finest educational institution in the world. The superb quality of education at such institutions as the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management and AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) is world-renowned. There isn't a lack of good quality educational in India, notwithstanding the "court cases," but the desire to be anywhere but in India is too strong among many. We would encourage you to not discard India out of hand for quality education.

The cost of education in Canada is significantly lower than that in the US or the UK. You may wish to consider Canada as one of your choices. You can find the List of Colleges and Universities in Canada in the iMahal Education Channel.

You can find the List of Colleges and Universities in France in the iMahal Worldwide Directory. We hope you can understand French because most of the sites are in French only. You can also find the List of Colleges and Universities in Germany in the iMahal Worldwide Directory.

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