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Can't afford a foreign degree?
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December 14, 2005

Your dream is to study abroad. But can you afford a foreign degree?

illustrationInternational education expert Karan Gupta, who chatted with Get Ahead readers on December 7, has this advice: Apply to universities which are known to give funding. In case you do not get funding from the university, you can apply for a US loan or an Indian loan.

Karan has been working as a professional counsellor since 1999. He studied at Ithaca College and The University of Texas at Austin in the United States.

While pursuing his education, he worked in the Office of Admissions, Financial Aid office and the International Office. Karan is currently the honorary study abroad counsellor at Jai Hind College, Mumbai and manages Karan Gupta Consulting.

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

Part II: An MBA abroad? Work here first

 Karan Gupta: Hello, welcome to the Karan Gupta chatroom. I'm here now! Shoot your questions.

Shefali: Hi Karan, This is Shefali Bharti, s/w engg having 1.5 yr of experience. I want to pursue my MBA from States and planning to take GMAT in June 2006. But I do not have sufficient funds to support myself. Can I get a loan for my studies which I can pay back after completing my MBA? Which one is a better option, taking loan from India or States?

Karan Gupta: The loan offered in the US is a better loan as the interest rates are low (3-4%) and the repayment period is within 25 years of taking the loan. The Indian loan usually has an interest rate of 10.5% and repayment is within 2-3 years. You need a guarantor in the US who is a US citizen or a green card holder in order to get a loan in the US.

jasw: Could u please tell the percentage of people stduied abroad and came back home?

Karan Gupta: More than 90 percent of students who study in the US stay back. The percentage of students who come back to India after studying in Australia and the UK is greater.

rohit: Hello Sir,How is funding at NJIT for EE branch??

Karan Gupta: NJIT has a few full graduate assistantships and some tuition waivers as well. Depending on your qualifications, you may get a scholarship from NJIT.

Murthy: Hi Karan, I am not aware of the authentic/official websites I shall check for applying for higher studies in Australia, UK, US...I am trying Google and am not able to get satisfactory info. Please help me.

Karan Gupta: The best Web sites are the university Web sites. Once you have identified the universities you want to apply to, visit the particular university's Web site for accurate information on courses, fees and admissions.

Shahul: hi karan... can you please tell me how much shud i score in GRE and TOEFL to get through Carnegie Mellon?

Karan Gupta: CMU does not have minimum scores for admission to many majors. However, admitted students in Engineering usually have a GRE score of above 1,400 and a TOEFL score of above 250.

mkj: am mechanical engineer having 3 yrs exp.i want to do MS(mech.-CAD)is Australia good for it?what is the expenditure?How can i go there for study,which institute is better there?

Karan Gupta: An average cost for an MS in Australia is around $ 20,000 AUD. Universities in Australia require the IELTS for admissions. Universities such as RMIT, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne are 'good'.

Prakash TN: I would like to know the job opportunities (Full time and permanent) in UK after finishing MSc

Karan Gupta: Getting employment in the UK is not easy. However, though the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, many students are finding employment.

acbfdg: karan, im a CA from india and now working in singapore on an employment visa. To get a student visa for US, do i stand a better chance if i get a residentship here or employment visa is good enough?

Karan Gupta: Getting residence in Singapore and then applying for a student visa may just increase your chances. However, you can apply for a US student visa in Singapore even if you are on an employment visa.

Vandana: Hi Karan, What would be the changes to the new GRE, effective October 2006?

Karan Gupta: The changes are not expected to be drastic. Mainly, the math will be more challenging. The verbal may not change a lot. More information on the changes will be released in a few months on

Ritu: I appeared for GRE in the month of november and scored 1100. I want to pursue a course in biological science (Microbiology)so that I am able to work as a scientist in a pharmaceutical company.Kindly a)suggest some good universitiesb)Should I pursue simply MS or integtrated MS and PHD coursec)Any other good branch other than microbiology which will help me in getting a decent Job.

Karan Gupta: The 'good' universities for Microbiology are Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and so on. You can even try Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa State among others. Pursue the field you are most interested in rather than a field better for job prospects.

anju: hi karan, i want to know about the scholarships that i can avvail of , my gre score is 1370, 640 verb, 730 quants, and i am p lanning to pursue ee ,i also want to know about loans and financial assistance since i am falling short of funds.

Karan Gupta: Majority of funds are given by the university itself. Therefore, apply to universities which are known to give funding. You can even apply for loans in India and in the US.

JuhiRanjan: Which are the good universities in USA that give financial aid to foreign students for pursuing Ph. D in computer science

Karan Gupta: Try Penn State, Ohio State, CMU, G Tech. These are some of the universities which have funding for CS.

ashwin: Hi Karan, I am planning to pursue my MBA from AUS and I am applying to UNI.OF.MEL and MONASH, I would like to know how good these colleges are ?

Karan Gupta: Both are good for an MBA. I prefer University of Melbourne.

madhavan: Hi i am a BE holder in electronics and communication engg. have been working on software development (Java) for the past 2 years and am thinking about an MS. Should i take up comp sci or electrical?

Karan Gupta: It may just be easier for you to get into EE rather than CS. If you apply for CS, you may have certain pre-rec classes.

wrert: Hi Karan, I am a Civil Engineer having about 6 years of experience in Highway Design I want to go for PG in Management. . Presently I am working abroad with a US based company. Can u suggest me some course abroad which can be helpful in pursuing my carrier in Infrastructure industry.

Karan Gupta: Your best bet would be an MBA. An MBA would teach you how to be an effective manager and will hone your leadership skills.

Manish: Hi Karan I am doing B,Tech Computer Science and planning to go U.K for higher studies.Tell me which course is better there MSc in Management or MBA.

Karan Gupta: Look at an MBA after you have at least three years of full time work experience. All good MBA programmes need work experience before you apply for admissions. An MSc is a more theoretical degree and you can apply for an MSc with no prior work experience.

umesh: hi karan, I am a doctor, finished my MBBS last year, can you give info PG courses for doctors in US an EUROPE. and give info about universities which offer MBA in Hospital Management.

Karan Gupta: Before applying for an MBA you should have work experience. Since you graduated last year, I would recommend that you wait for at least two years before looking at an MBA.

Anwar: Karan , I am now in 3rd yr Engg doing ECE i have agg of 80% till date please help me in regarding Schloarships and about the Student loans .....ANWAR

Karan Gupta: Like I said earlier, apply to universities which are known to give funding. In case you do not get funding from the university, you can apply for a US loan or an Indian loan.

vishal: sir,i am post graduate in chemistry from rajasthan. where should i do doctrate from so that i am better valued.

Karan Gupta: In my opinion, the US is the best.

abhishek: Hi Karan.I am a BCA graduate with a year of work experience.I have my admission in University of Melbourne for the MBIT program.Your views on the same. Also which is a better destination to study in from a long career perspective Germany [Images] and other european countries like sweden which offer free education?I want to study information systems and ideally pursue commercial roles in IT cos.My only source of funding are the bank loans.

Karan Gupta: University of Melbourne is a good school and I think you will be happy with the MBIT programme at this university. I don't think you should opt for universities in Germany or Sweden.

kanth: hi, karan i have done in electrical engineering with 58% and from university with 62%. now i m doing phd in reputed institute in india. i want know about my chances to get admission in to PhD at US and Europe Universities. Whats u r suggestion?

Karan Gupta: PhD admissions are never easy. You need to find professors in universities who are doing the same research that you are interested in. US universities may be slightly more easy for you to get in.

mayur shah: hello karan, I had just compated BCS(comp.sci) and CCNA.which university in australia is very good for technical knoledge?i want to make career in networking field so which university is good for me?thanxs.

Karan Gupta: RMIT, University of Melbourne and University of Sydney are all good.

question bank: hey Karan,i have a few queries :1)how much does it cost to have an MBA from one of the top 20 universities in US and what's the gre score required?2)which would you suggest:an MBA from a top 20 indian institute or one from US?3)how do you rate placements & salary for a person from INSEAD?4)while doing MBA from a foreign univeristy normally we have to compete with peole who have 5 years work exp or so.Wont this affect your job chances from campus?5)my quant and verbal strengths are reasonably good(98 percentile for CAT last time)which would be the universities(along with their fees) that i can target after taking GMAT?is GMAT EASIER THAN CAT?sorry for the long list!!!!!

Karan Gupta: An approx cost for an MBA from top US universities is about US $1,00,000 for two years. US MBA students usually have better placements than Indian MBA students (excluding the IIM students). Insead is a good school but placements are not that good. Yes, work experience can affect your chances. Yes, GMAT is easier if you have taken CAT.

sandeep: hi could u please tell me in regards with MBA in UK JAN 2006 intake which universities are gud ( fee n future) and is staffs is a good university as it offers sandwich MBA.

Karan Gupta: Never heard of Staffs University before.

Part II: An MBA abroad? Work here first

Got a question for Karan?
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Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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