"Getting admission is a reputable pre-med program requires hard planned work."
"Application process is different in each countries.
"You must have a good high school diploma to begin with."
Overseas consultant NNS Chandra had these words of advice for students aspiring to study abroad.
On May 8, 2015, Rediff.com had organised an online chat with overseas education consultant NNS Chandra.
For those who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript.
Ramya Krishnan: Sir,My son has just gone into XI STD. He wants to do his grad in the US.
He has taken the physics chemistry and bio stream.
What are the entrance exams that he would need to take to secure admission in the US universities?
He is more interested in doing medicine. Kindly advise.
NNS Chandra: Hi Ramya, Your son is planning to do grad or under grad in USA?
Getting admission in a reputable pre-med program requires hard planned work. Ask him to write to me, please.
Alan George: My daughter wants to pursue her masters in US, and what should be her cut off in GRE to get into the best universities ?
NNS Chandra: There is no cut off in GRE, But most competitive programs are highly selective and GRE plays a good role.
Ajay Jain: Hello Mr. Chandra, My son has appeared for class 10th this year (CBSE ).
I have got him admitted in one of the best world school of delhi in IB Diploma Programme.
Since his session will start in august, He has currently joined 3 months SAT Reasoning and TOEFL Training.
Can you guide what should be our course of action. Is IBDP going to help in securing admission? Please guide.
NNS Chandra: Great steps. Delhi got several great IB schools.
I am a big fan of IB, Have many students all over world in IB.
In fact I am an IB parent too (My son studied IB (in North America), But IBDP alone is not a ticket to top schools.
Please ask him to get in touch with me I can give several ideas and tips.
SUDHIR KUMAR: I have completed a dual degree course from BITS Pilani - four-year computer engineering and one year of MS in Chemistry.
I want to go for higher studies and possibly a career in chemistry. Can you suggest?
NNS Chandra: That is wonderful achievement, Sudhir. The best school study chemistry is of course MIT.
You can look for your interesting areas and research going on in Berkeley, Caltech. GT take a look. UMass Amherst got several good programs.
GAGAN CHHABRA: Dear Sir,Which exam one need to clear for doing Engineering from US or UK or Singapore? and which is cheapest of them including all expenses?
NNS Chandra: Application process is different in each countries.
You must have a good high school diploma to begin with in all countries mentioned.
Cost should remain same for UK and USA, in some ways UK can be a cheaper, my experience. Comparing apples to apple.
Varadaraja Gopalan: I am graduated from BITS Pilani with dual degree. Currently working for a leading Analytics firm and have 2 years of work experience.
Pl suggest on pursuing MBA form top US universities as to when to enter, funding options are available as my parents may not be in a position to extend me financial support.
Thanks for your reply and time.
NNS Chandra: Have you done for GMAT, Varadaraja? What score?
Base degree you are strong. Your success in securing funding depends on your academic work so far.
Please email me your academic efforts till now? Any research? What kind of work you do?
Dinesh Verma: I am an engineering graduate with PG diploma in international business and having more than 14 years of experience in various domains, I am confused about doing PHD or doing some one year management programme from US or doing the PHD from US or in India. Please suggest.
NNS Chandra: How much of research experience you have, Dinesh?
Have you identified the area to work on? Doctoral degree, whether in India or USA, is more research based, Did you try out GRE yet?
Ramya Krishnan: Sir, my son has just gone into XI STD. He wants to do his grad in the US.
He has taken the physics chemistry and bio stream. What are the entrance exams that he would need to take to secure admission in the US universities?
He is more interested in doing medicine. Kindly advise.
NNS Chandra: Hi Ramya, your son is planning to do grad or under grad in USA? Getting admission is a reputable pre-med program requires hard planned work. Ask him to write to me, please.
Mahesh Kumar: My daughter is just going to get into class X, can you provide some insights on how can I have my daughter get admissions into undergraduate classes and what are the competitive exams she will need to take up?
Is SAT the only focus she would need keep?
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
NNS Chandra: Ask her to participate in academic competition now.
For example, today some of my students are participating in Sir Isaac Newton Physics exam. Ask her to get in touch with me today if she want to participate. Then there are exams like American Math contests etc.
Amused Commentator: My son will complete his BE (CS) next year.
He wants to pursue PhD in the US after that.
While he'll take the GRE now, what has he got to do get admission there?
NNS Chandra: He must demonstrate his research interest, for sure. I assume he is taking MS/PhD track.
Pollisetty Saivenkatprasad: Hello, I have 30 years cement process experience, and I had worked in middle east and in Africa.
I want to know whether I am welcome in American Cement Industry.
What are my prospects and how should I apply online. Can you help me.
NNS Chandra: I have limited info on cement processing, I assume the process should be the same.
For getting a job in USA you need to be qualified for visa as a special category worker or H1B (for someone like you). Please check that out.
Anil Dhuri: Dear Sir, my son Aditya Dhuri has given his HSC (Economics) exams and he desires to do MS in Economics.
Is it advisable and what is the further line of action and which university abroad is ideal according to you.
NNS Chandra: Dear Dhuri, If I am understanding correctly HSC is high school diploma, right?
Aditya is going to do Bachelors here and Masters abroad, right? I want to make sure that I understand your question correctly. Let me know. Then I can be clear.
Pollisetty Saivenkatprasad: Dear Sir, I am 50 yrs old and I have two degrees (BCom, BEd) and few years teaching experience in schools, I like to work in US.
How should I proceed to conquer my dream.
NNS Chandra: Dear Sir, Fifties is new thirties, as they say in America. Nothing should stop you from coming to America and work if you are determined.
There would be several challenges. How many years of experience in school?
Qualified and trained teachers in certain subjects are in demand.
You could always do your masters and move on to next step?
Rajiv Nijhawan: Dear Sir, my daughter is doing BTech in computer science,she is in third year right now and wants to pursue masters from abroad.
She is not sure which subject she should choose for masters kindly guide and also does Scandinavian universities are good for doing masters.
NNS Chandra: Hi Rajiv – Let me answer your second question first. Scandinavian.
In my opinion, yes, studying in any of those countries would be an experience, academic and living, no doubt.
They have some great centers of learning technology, wonderful poly-techniques (universities of applied sciences). Several Masters Programs are taught in English.
Now to first question -- answering this requires more specific details of your daughter.
What does she wants to do after her masters, which field she wants to work, for example some schools offer CS in Healthcare focus.
Which track for example MS/PhD or MS -- she wants to do a research focused masters or more course work (class room) work she likes?
Satyadar: Hi , I did diploma for 3 years and my engineering course is 3 years.
I have 5 years of work exp in Singapore. I want to pursue MBA in US or UK.
I want know to whether I am eligible to apply for admission with 3 years engineering degree.
NNS Chandra: Satyadar, When you have field experience, some universities might consider you as a mature student and waive some core requirements like four years bachelors.
I have rarely seen any waivers happening with five years of experience.
You could wait for few more years or you could try to do some extra course work and gain additional university credits.
Photograph: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
- 'How can I pursue masters in the US?'
- Study abroad tips: Stop thinking you're an average student
- How to improve your essay
- 'Which university should I opt for?'
Have questions for NNS Chandra? Post them here! He'll answer them every Friday between 3 pm and 4 pm IST.
You may also email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Based in Boston, USA, Chandra is an engineer by training, an academician by trade and researcher by passion.
He often shuttles between India and the US to coach students in admission related counselling.
He is associated with professional organisations like Study Iowa, NACAC, OCACA, ACA, ASCA to name a few.