In today’s world, there is a need for acquiring practical knowledge. However, most colleges do not bring out the best in students. Studying is generally the self-learning path and this can be achieved through a good institution that guides you.
I am Bhavadharani K Murugavel and I pursued a Master of Engineering degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. I acquired the dream of studying in Canada while pursuing a bachelor’s in CSE. I studied for my Bachelor’s in Chennai and I realized that my college does not provide the kind of exposure that an engineering student needs.
In today’s world, there is a need for acquiring practical knowledge. However, most colleges do not bring out the best in students. Studying is generally the self-learning path and this can be achieved through a good institution that guides you. Due to the Covid-19 wave, my final year exams were stuck. Thus, I had to wait for another 4-5 months in order to finish my studies. I worked for a year during Covid due to the stressful situation I faced staying at home and in May 2021, I started searching for Universities to pursue my Master’s.
My Journey in Choosing the Right University
Initially, I started with the process of Permanent Residence in each country. I aligned this process with my studies. I also networked on LinkedIn which was the best thing I had done. I had the chance to speak with approximately 100 students located in the place I had chosen. With their feedback, I had sidelined the options that did not match my financial and job requirements. Finally, after acquiring all the feedback, the best option that I could find was Canada.
The next stage was to select a university or college in Canada. I followed the same strategy I had followed earlier. I found many alumni in order to find what would be the best for my future. I picked universities that matched my preferences that included a welcoming environment, good faculty, and a good curriculum. Finally, I chose Concordia University in Montreal as my university to pursue Master’s degree.
Process of Admission Preparation – What helped me?
A lot of people had previously suggested for me to hire a study abroad counselor. However, I did not choose that option and chose to trust myself through the admission process. The role of my guide was played by YouTube tutorials and LinkedIn throughout this process. In order to prepare my resume, I looked into YouTube videos.
For a Statement of Purpose and Letter of Recommendation, I asked for help from my LinkedIn network. After four days of preparation, I prepared for my IELTS examination and scored 7.5 overall. Again, to score in this examination, I used only online materials and YouTube for my practice. I got my official transcript, degree certificate, and medium of education from the college where I studied bachelor’s.
I paid 200 CAD after getting an acceptance letter to reserve my spot. Later, I paid my fee for the first year. Student Data Stream is the special visa pathway that is offered in Canada for students who have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate. This is a pre-safety deposit of 10,000 CAD used for other student expenses. After submitting all the documents, in order to conclude the visa process, it may take up to a month or more.
I advise all the aspirants to review all the prerequisites of the course that had been listed on the website of the university. Mail the university authorities immediately if there are any queries. However, you must wait for at least two weeks for their reply. You must use LinkedIn wisely in order to get all the information that you need. Moreover, YouTube is the best place that you can approach for preparation.
Using your Savings Properly
Our university generally selects students for scholarships automatically as soon as they enroll. Generally, scholarships are offered mostly for research-based students. Moreover, they are offered by the government of Canada. Also, it was inevitable that like almost every other Indian student, I had to apply for an education loan to pursue my studies abroad.
In order to fund my education, I was required to take some basic loans and some on gold. However, I had rallied the rest of the funds through the money I had earlier saved for this. Later, I submitted the acceptance letter and the fee structure in order to avail myself of the education loan. Finally, it took me around a month to finalize the loan. The process took less time than expected as the amount was less.
Podcasting – An attempt at harnessing the opportunity
Trying things that push you out of your comfort zone helps you keep growing and this plays a crucial role in one’s life. Studying abroad helps you grab all the opportunities that are available. Moreover, you can be sure that there are several opportunities that you can avail. In order to utilize these opportunities, you must identify, analyze and work for them tirelessly. I started a show called ‘Entrebind’, keeping the urge to grab to the opportunities in mind, which was the right podcast for your business on CJLO, Concordia’s radio station.
This was my idea and I did the show from my home. Moreover, my team supported me tirelessly in hosting it. I was brand new to podcasting. However, CJLO helped me understand the nuances of podcasting. They also helped me at every step. Moreover, my program coordinator stood as my support system throughout my journey. However, this was not a paid job. But, in order to grow my startup and help entrepreneurs located around the world, I did it.
India and Canada – A wide difference in Studies
In my studies, since moving to India, the courses are the most noticeable difference. Students in Canada have complete freedom to pick the courses. Moreover, the procedure for grading is different for every professor. In order to get a detailed view of the course in real-time, all courses have a project. I learned everything over here in Canada more than my bachelor’s. Especially, I learned a lot of soft skills. While in abroad, you are independent and must take your decisions on your own. Also, the responsibility lies on you for all the outcomes.
Canada and its Environment
I am staying in Canada for over a year. I feel that it is great being in a different culture and also in a completely different world. People in Canada have sweet gestures and are very kind. Moreover, I appreciate the freedom that girls experience, even at midnight. These small gestures are what makes your day.
People in Canada always offer seats to those in need such as pregnant people or old ones. Such gestures are very sweet. Also, whenever people open doors for themselves, they are sure to keep the door open for the ones behind them too. However, this seems funny at times, but we get that smile always from other people. The most tiring thing is Commuting but it is very helpful. Moreover, the different cuisines available provide for a much better experience.
Moreover, there are many fun outdoor activities in Canada. Snow skating and some fun rides are offered in winter. Montreal is known for its nightlife and partying. Therefore, all these places consist of different street lights and fun games which include light dancing and dominoes on the street sides. It’s Halloween during fall and thus, it is necessary to prepare yourself to be strong and you must not get scared. Concerts are organized during summer and there is a lot of natural beauty to visit. People generally perform in public places. Canada consists of so many fun elements, especially in Montreal.
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