If you’re considering studying abroad, it’s likely that you’re exploring the idea of working with a professional study abroad consultant. And there are numerous benefits that come with having one! These consultants are usually local, easy to collaborate with and ensure you don’t overlook any crucial steps in the application process. They possess the knowledge and experience to address common questions such as:
- “Which country should I choose for studying abroad?”
- “What course or program would be most suitable for me?”
- “How can I successfully navigate the application process?”
While you can conduct your own research to find answers, having an experienced study abroad consultant to guide you is your best option. These educational experts are sometimes referred to as counsellors or study abroad advisors. To ensure you select the right study abroad consultant, here are five essential questions to ask:
Question 1: “What is your experience in study abroad advising?”
One of the key factors when choosing a study abroad consultant is understanding their experience in the field. Their experience shapes their understanding of the multitude of study options available overseas. Each consultant has a unique approach to various study abroad programs and destinations.
To gain insight into their experience, you can ask related questions such as:
- “Tell me about the last student you advised.”
- “What are some of your credentials and qualifications?”
- “How long have you been advising students?”
Look for consultants who have a proven track record of successfully assisting international students like yourself.
Question 2: “What resources and services do you offer?”
Inquire about the services your study abroad consultant provides, including:
- University or college selection
- Program and course guidance
- Visa assistance
- Scholarship information
- Pre-departure support
What distinguishes a good consultant from a great one is the level of support they offer throughout your study abroad journey. This support starts from the initial application process and typically continues until you settle into your host country. It’s crucial to have someone you can trust to answer your questions throughout the entire process!
Question 3: “Can you provide testimonials or references from past students?”
Receiving honest feedback from individuals who were in similar situations as yours can help you make a more informed decision. Request information about previous students who have worked with the consultant, and if possible, reach out to one of them for feedback. When communicating with former clients, pay special attention to details such as the consultants:
- Communication style
- Overall ability to guide students successfully
By doing this, you’ll gain exclusive insights about the consultant and make a more educated decision.
Question 4: “How do you stay up-to-date with current study abroad trends and regulations?”
Study abroad regulations and trends are continually evolving, making it crucial for your study abroad consultant to stay updated. Your consultant should be familiar with topics such as:
- Visa requirements
- Admission procedures
- Changes in education systems across different countries
It can be beneficial to inquire about the consultant’s professional development activities. For example, do they attend conferences or participate in regular training sessions? Are they members of any relevant associations?
Question 5: “What are some challenges I may encounter while abroad? What are the solutions?”
Lastly, studying abroad is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, but it also presents its fair share of difficulties. Since challenges may be inevitable, a good consultant can help you prepare in advance, making it easier to navigate these obstacles.
Some common challenges international students face include:
- Language or cultural barriers
- Managing finances
Ask the consultant if they have helped students overcome any of these challenges. Then, inquire about the solutions they have to address them. Their confident response will indicate whether they have devoted time to thinking about and resolving these matters in the past.
Finding the right study abroad consultant is crucial for planning your international education journey. By asking these essential questions about a consultant’s experience, resources, and knowledge, you can assess their suitability and find the support you need.
Best of luck on your journey!