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'Education abroad is about exposure, not mugging'
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July 10, 2007

Many people seem to think of studying abroad as a stepping stone to immigration.

While it can be done, data shows that an overwhelming majority of students return home to India after graduating.

So, if you won't land a cushy job in London [Images] after parting with all that money and energy, what's the point?
Chindu Sreedharan, PhD student and lecturer at the Media School, Bournemouth University, joined us for a chat on July 5th to discuss life as an Indian at a UK university.

He emphasised how studying abroad is about exposure and experiencing new cultures, not just mugging up textbooks.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript:

Part I:
Experiences as a PhD student in the UK

 vedant asked, Chindu, what is the atmosphere in the UK after the past week? Hvae you noticed marked increase in racism or profiling? Would you recommned other desitnations for foreign study because of desi bombers?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Vedant, the authorities, especially after the Shilpa Shetty [Images] debacle, are careful not to entertain any such profiling. Personally, no, I have not noticed any such. And yes, I would recommend that.

austin asked, will i get HSMP visa after MBA?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Austin, HSMP is based on a point system. Check out their site online. An MBA doesn't guarantee HSMP, though it might give you additional points.

ashish asked, Will i be able to recover my loan amount while i am in UK....Ill be there for 2 years.....Will my career be good after completing MBA....

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Ashish, it's highly unlikely. You will be able to work only 20 hours a week. That should take care of your living expenses. But the fee you pay, which should be around �8000 (Rs 6,50,000) per year -- nope, you will not be able to compensate that.

sachin asked, Most universities in UK offer a 1 yr MBA progra.How good is a 1 yr program if i want to switch career?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Most postgraduate courses here are for one year, unlike the Indian ones. So it is as good as it gets. Slogging for two years needn't necessarily give you an advantage. Besides, education abroad is about exposure, not just about mugging up textbooks, I would argue.

arvindkavi asked, Hello sir, I am Arvind Kavishwar aged 42 years did my M. Sc. in Statistics in 1986 and working for last 20 years in Indian Council of Medical Research (a Govt of India autonoumous research organisation under Min of
Health). I wish to persue my Ph D in Biostatistics. Kindly guide me I will be indebt of your valuable advice. Best

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Do see my earlier responses on PhD. You will need to search online, find people/departments willing to supervise you. In other words, they must be interested in your research topic. They'll help you take it from there.

Albert asked, Chindu, would you recommend going in for top management schools in India or for Oxford MBA? I've earned admissions at IIM Lucknow, but not IIM calcutta which is where I've always dreamed to go. Now, I have this opportunity to attend Oxford, I can't miss it. Should I stay or go?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
I would recommend Oxford, yes. Not because of its reputation alone, but for the exposure a foreign education can provide you. It will put you in touch with different people, different cultures -- a different system of education.

DUSHANTANU asked, your answerto sandip or to reema is not preciously answered. My son is in iit doing 5 years course in bombay iit. he is interested in doing ph.d. in material science. our questoons are similar to sandip what is the amount of research assistance are available generally to ph. d. student in pounds. are they sufficient to take care of lodging boarding and misc. expenses of the student?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
If you get a bursary, yes. Most bursaries will give you a subsistence allowance. From �700-1000 (Rs 55,000-80,000) a month, depending on which university it is. That should cover your expenses, yes. Sometimes, the bursary might only take care of your fees. In which case, you will have to earn your living here, by taking on a part-time job. You can legally work 20 hours a week.

bijoy asked, I heard that for processing HSMP we need to send out original document,is it so ? And how safe will be our original documents ? Can we go to British High commission personaly for the document verification ?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
I think yes, everything has to be presented in original. There's an element of risk, but try and do it by courier or registered post to minimise that.


Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
If you consider studying in England [Images] as a passport to live here, you are absolutely correct. But studying abroad has got more meanings than that.

vali asked, Chindu, you haven't asnwred. What is living expenses for normal things? Movie theatres, taxis, etc. Much more expensive then BOmbay?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Yes. If you live carefully, you can manage with the money you earn here. But taxis are expensive. Eating out is expensive. Movies are expensive (�6 or Rs 480 if I am not mistaken). You would need to cook your own food, walk/cycle to places (you cannot afford to cab it as you would do in Mumbai). But hey, that's what everyone here does!

Sharad asked, Can u tell me approximate cost of doing MBA from UK (will depend on college n location but roughly)? And is GMAt necessary for UK colleges?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
I think the lowest fees is around �8000 (Rs 6,50,000). And for the reputed Unis it would be up to �25,000 (Rs 20,00,000). Build in living costs of approximately �500 (Rs 40,000) at the lowest per month. But if you are enterprising, I am sure you will be able work 20 hours and take care of your living expenses -- and perhaps even save a bit of money towards your fees.

Prem asked, I have completed my diploma and post diploma in plastics technology from CIPET. After that I have 10+ years of experience in the related field. Currently I am working with German MNC. Is there any possibility that I can do MBA from any of the university? Please tell me the procedure.

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
I think so, yes. For an MBA here you need to have a minimum of two years work experience for most universities. Else, you will have to settle for an MA. Google the universities that offer the MBA programme, please, and write to them in person. They should have the eligibility criteria on their site anyway.

raki asked, what about postdoc oppurtunity for biotecnology masters holders with abroad Ph.d with 3 publications

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
You will need to find a supervisor/researcher interested in what you would like to research. Some universities offer postdoctoral fellowship, or research assistanships, where they pay you to work on a particular project.

doctorsatya asked, I have applied for a research position (employment and not studentship)in an university in england(not in london). They are offering me approx 25000 pounds gross a year. I would like to know how much would be my take home salary(approx).I am planning to take my wife along. So, what would be an approx rent for an apartment there for two people. Is it advisable to take up university housing or to find private accomodation?Is it possible to survive with my salary for the two of us in an extreme case if my wife does not get employment?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
I think after taxes your take home would be roughly �1,500 (Rs 1,20,000) per month. That's what a junior lecturer makes in this country (�24,000 or Rs 19,00,000). It's not a lot of money, but it would be enough for a family.

Britto asked, chindu, im a BE computer science graduate. Im planning to do 1 year webdesigning course at UK. howz the IT market over there? will i get a job immediately after my studies?

Chindu Sreedharan answers, 
Britto, getting a job depends on the work permit situation. If you qualify for HSMP, in other words, if you are eligible to stay and work in UK under your own steam, yes, it is not very difficult.

Part I: Experiences as a PhD student in the UK

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