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'Can I appear for IELTS and TOEFL?'

November 14, 2015 11:28 IST
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"Qualified people are getting very highly paid and exciting jobs. But a lot of regular desk jobs are now getting eliminated and news and media outlets are becoming leaner and smarter.

"But think if you have the skills to succeed, like are a good writer, how good of a reader are you.

"Are you passionate? Are you opinionated? How much of research training you got?

"Work on these areas."

NNS Chandra shares advice on how to pick the right international education.

In an online chat with readers every Friday, overseas education consultant NNS Chandra offers advice on how to pick the right course and career abroad.

For those who missed the chat on November 13, here's the unedited transcript:


rajesh luthra: It is told that for doing MS , scholarships are not generally available. However, one may get teaching assistantships to partially support, which may affect grading

NNS Chandra: Scholarships are available for grad students. It is rare.

Only for academically well achieved students. Several IVIES for example offers full tuition waivers for qualified students who cannot afford that.

One must secure admission. That is challenge. Same with TA or RA. This year, I know two students (one from Egypt and one from Italy) got into top schools fully funded. 

What you heard is right about "generally these are not available".

If you form and part of the crowd of international students applying with no special achievements or spectacular academic achievements, then that statements is true. But please understand American private research university campuses would do anything to attract brilliant/driven young men and women from different part of world. .


rajat: I just submitted my last requirements to study abroad in Thialand and now I'm just waiting on the acceptance letter, sir my question to you is how much days does it take for the acceptance letter?

NNS Chandra: Hi Rajat, You mean admission letter right?

This Letter of Admission will be printed on the official letterhead of the university departments and signed by the officially assigned managing official which confirms that you are accepted for the program and invites you to begin your studies at a certain date, right?

The time line depends on University. Should not tale long.

Did you apply directly or through a agent? Do you know you were accepted?


rupali mehta: sir i am a commerce student studying in my final year, i want to pursue a career in finance, and i want to do it from UK,please advice which is the best university in the US ?

NNS Chandra: Rupali are you grad or under grad candidate? What are your grades now? ECs? University list depends on your your efforts so far.


rajesh luthra: I want to do MS from good US university. Is their any possibility of scholarship or full tuition fee waverRajesh

NNS Chandra: Hi Rajesh, In my year in this practice I have seen several students get full tuition waivers to wonderfuly close scholarships many times.


M P: Hi Chandra, I would like to learn some new technology related to IT. Am having 10 yrs of work experience in MNC and would like to shift to some new technology

NNS Chandra: MP, lots of new and cool tech out there. From big data to 3D printing.

As an educator I believe in learning and training, experiencing and then reflecting on what you learned.. Rest are your ideas, right?


bismi patric: My Kids are in Xth and VIIIth standard respectively. They want to pursue +1 and +2 in commerce stream in Chandigarh / India.

I want them to pursue their Graduation in Commerce from US. How am I supposed to go ahead? regarding admission in good colleges/universities. Kindly advice

NNS Chandra: Bismi Patrick - You really think well ahead. Admire you for that.

Prepare your kids for university. Make them great students, let them enjoy high school, tell them to be engaged citizens, take leadership when required.

Good schools and excellent admissions would be there waiting for them. I assure. But it is too early to think of grad school and university selection now. Email me.


Chinmay Thakur: sir I am a graduate from commerce stream, currently working in BPO, I want to enter into a banking field can you help me from where should I start, I have heard that Suffolk University in Boston is a very good option? what's your say on it?

NNS Chandra: Chinmay Thakkur - I know the school.

I work in Boston, close to the school. Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Suffolk University is a private University. Small.

With under 10,000 students. Banking focus, I have not seen much in this school, if that is what you are looking at. But a great academic institution.

Lean, professors are well known and active and involved teachers.


Vikas Sharma: I have done my MBA and want to do some specialisation.

NNS Chandra: Oh great. Insurance and risk management is a big area.

Do take a look at that. India is going to be big in this area. Do consider to do some certification and accreditations which will increase your profile and make you sharper as a professional.

If you are considering doctoral studies, marketing and sales is an amazing area. I teach cultural marketing


Hari: I am involved in taking Piano certification from Trinity College of London.

My GPA is currently about 3.5/4.0. I am from Hyderabad. What is your recommendation to increase my chances of scholarship?

NNS Chandra: Main focus should be on ACT score. Get a 34 or even a 35 score with writing. And take AMC and other international competitions.

Schools like Carnegie Melon or Brown University and of course MIT ask for AMC scores. Make sure you are doing AMC 10 in 2016 Feb, SIN in May...show universities you are intellectually capable.

Write to me at syam.chandra@transwebglobal.com I can try to find some place in Hyderabad to give these test.and participate in competitions.

And do consider AP credits taking also, if you got time.


Jatin Madan: Hi, what are the realistic chances of getting scholarship/financial aid for undergrad studies in Business/Accounting/Entrepreneurship/Economics? And which universities provide scholarships in these fields?

NNS Chandra: Very high, in my experience, Jatin. Top students from India on average secure 5000 $ on entry.

Last three years I have seen an increase in scholarship awards, BU awarding to an Indian student of 25,000...practically full tuition for three sems! which could be continued


Hari: I am in 10th Grade and following CIE syllabus in India. What are the options for me to get a scholarship in US for Bachelors degree.

Can I do something in the next two years which will increase my changes of scholarship for bachelors degree in US?

NNS Chandra: Of course my friend. You can do a lot in two years!

How good of a student you are? Percentage, if I may ask? Which program? IB? Which City? Are you an engaged student? I mean what extra curricular you are involved?


vibha mohan: hello, my daughter is doing her 7th semester B.E. in computer science, she wants to do her MS in US.

I wanted to know whether she has to work for 2 yrs for work exp. and sif she scores well in GRE will she get Scholorship in US. for studing MS.

What will be cost for tuition fee, cost for living or can she work and study.

NNS Chandra: Vibha, applying as fresh grad immediately after Btech would be always easier, in my opinion for international students.

If choosing to study after two years, it doesn't much make a difference coming to admission. Getting right job matters.


Hari: I want to study in US for my bachelors degree. What are the exams I need to write and what are the options for me to get a scholarship in US?

NNS Chandra: Hello Hari, Which grade are you in? You have to or it is recommended to take SAT or ACT before you apply.

Scholarships are determined based on your GPA/high-school grades. SAT/ACT scores and work you have dome in high school.


Vikas Sharma: Hi I am working in Insurance Sales from last 10 Years what course should I opt for and what will be cost Implications can I work Part time also

NNS Chandra: Yes Vikas you can work part time. There are limitations on number of hours and that will be determined by your course work duration of your course etc.


Vikas Sharma: Hi I have 10 years of Experience in Insurance Sales can I opt for any courses and can I work part time along with studies

NNS Chandra: Hi Vikas, What is your educational back ground? Do you want to pursue grad program or a diploma? Or are you looking to enhance your knowledge on insurance products?


Farhan Aziz: sir I am a Arts student studying in final year, i am very keen to be a journalist, is it a good career option? secondly can you help me with the list of universities in the US for journalism?

NNS Chandra: Farhan, Journalism as a career choice is undergoing a lot of changes as with anything with advent of technology and revolution in communication devices.

Qualified people are getting very highly paid and exciting jobs. But a lot of regular desk jobs are now getting eliminated and news and media outlets are becoming leaner and smarter.

I see your keenness. Appreciate. But think if you have the skills to succeed, like are a good writer, how good of a reader are you.

Are you passionate? Are you opinionated? How much of research training you got?

Work on these areas. You can build your career, I assure you. What kind of arts are you studying? Design? Or BA student?


dattatray karpe: My son is in First year BTech ( Mechanical ) and wanted to pursue PG in US after BTech, can you guide us when should start appearing for SAT and which classes in Delhi which help us to guide for good score.

NNS Chandra: Hi Dattatray, if your son is applying for MTech or any masters after his BTech he should be taking GRE or GMAT etc. Not SAT. SAT & ACT are for undergrad admission.

I would recommend him to focus on his engineering studies now, maintain a good grade.

Fifth semester he must decide on what he need to do for masters and apply for his GRE or GMAT etc. Training would be during for that time.


Aatish Jagmanani: I am a journalism graduate with 5 yrs of work exp. What are the courses I can pursue in the US that will get me a job in the US?Also what is the cost -- tuition fee, living costs etc?

NNS Chandra: Great Aatish. Where you work? Working in desk or on field? What is your focus?

I am a lead editor of a research journal myself. Just curious.

Now coming to your question, I would recommend a course work in communication management. I did masters in communication management in SI New-house in Syracuse University.

Take a look at New Media Management Program. SI New House also got a similar programme at Grad level.

I would budget around 35,000 to 45,000 USD for an year for tuition, living expenses etc.

Give or take couple of 1000s. Lots of RA/TA and intern ship opportunities available for qualified international students. Write to me once you are in USA. I should be able to-guide you


Siraj Memon: What is the diff between spring and fall intake?

NNS Chandra Siraj, Universities (American) have two intakes for admission purposes, namely Fall and Spring semesters.

Fall semester starts in late August and ends in late December or early January whereas the Spring semester begins in January and ends in early May.

But thinking about which one you should chose - for better opportunities, course availability, scholarship possibilities, joining student clubs etc. fall is what I normally recommend.


Megha Nambiar: Can I appear for both IELTS and TOEFL in the same year?

NNS Chandra: Of-course yes Megha. These are two different exams. Two methods of measuring your language skills.

I have seen in China and Korea, students take both exam and submit both scores.


Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: University of the Fraser Valley/Creative Commons

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