Avoid same fate as Indian students who were almost going to be deported from Canada 

Looking at how fraudulent documents almost led to the deportation of a few Indian students from Canada. choosing the right consultants is more important now than ever 
Here are some tips | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here are some tips | (Pic: EdexLive)

Selecting the appropriate overseas education consultant is of utmost significance when considering studying abroad. With a myriad of options and complexities involved in the process, a credible overseas consultant can make or break your career. The recent news concerning Indian students facing deportation from Canada on the charges of fake admission letters has grabbed a lot of attention. As reported, the students received their visas based on fraudulent documents and few of them even graduated with degrees and now, are on work permit!

If one thing that clearly emerges from this sad incident is that as an aspiring student, zeroing down on a credible overseas educational consultant shouldn't be a second priority anymore.

An overseas education consultant acts as a guide and facilitator throughout the entire process of studying abroad. Their role extends beyond providing information and assistance; they are there to support and empower students in making informed decisions regarding their educational journey. But it is equally important for you to select a credible one out of a sea of consultants in the market.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right education partner for you:

Research and background check: Before choosing an education consultant, conduct thorough research and background checks. Look for consultants with a strong online presence, informative websites and positive reviews. Verify their credentials, certifications and affiliations with relevant professional bodies.

Expertise and experience: Consider the expertise and experience of the consultant. Look for consultants who specialise in the countries and universities you are interested in. Experienced consultants have in-depth knowledge of admission requirements, visa processes and scholarship opportunities.

Success stories: Read client testimonials and success stories on the consultant's website or other reliable platforms. Genuine testimonials reflect the consultant's track record and client satisfaction. Reach out to previous clients, if possible, to gather more insights.

Opt for comprehensive services: Ensure that the consultant offers comprehensive services that cover all aspects of studying abroad. This includes university selection, course guidance, application assistance, visa support, financial advice and pre-departure arrangements. A credible consultant will provide end-to-end solutions.

Transparent fee structure: Inquire about the consultant's fee structure and ensure that it is transparent. Request a breakdown of services included in the fees. Avoid consultants who demand exorbitant fees upfront or make promises that sound too good to be true.

Look for ethical practices and approach: Choose a consultant who follows ethical practices and adheres to a code of conduct. They should prioritise the best interests of the students, maintain confidentiality and provide unbiased advice. Avoid consultants who engage in unethical practices such as false representation or fraudulent activities.

Personalised support: A credible consultant will offer personalised attention and support throughout the process. They should take the time to understand your goals, preferences and concerns. Look for consultants who offer one-on-one counselling and tailor their services to meet your specific needs.

Accessibility and responsiveness: Consider the accessibility and responsiveness of the consultant. They should be readily available to address your queries and provide timely updates. Quick and effective communication is essential for a smooth and hassle-free life.

Local country support and network: If possible, choose a consultant with a local presence or partner office in the country you plan to study in. Having local support can be valuable when you face any challenges or require assistance during your stay abroad.

Personal recommendation: Seek recommendations from friends, family or alumni who have used the services of overseas education consultants. Working with a recommended consultant comes with a blanket of security and trust. Word of mouth publicity can be the best source of information at times.

In conclusion, remember to conduct thorough research and consider multiple consultants before making a final decision. Choosing the right overseas education consultant can greatly enhance your study abroad experience and set you on the path to a successful future.

(Rohit Sethi is Director of study abroad consultant, ESS Global. Views expressed in the column are his own)

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