Beyond Boundaries is a professional educational consulting firm based in Bangalore, India, offering assistance with the complete application and visa process for studying overseas.
Beyond Boundaries assist aspiring applicants from India and overseas in applying to the colleges and universities for associate, Bachelors, Masters, PhD and MBA in countries like USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Netherlands and Norway.
With over 13 years of valuable experience in the overseas education industry, Binita Parekh, founder of Beyond Boundaries, shares her views on overseas education for Indian learners, best destinations for students, evaluation/analysis of universities, future plans and other learning experiences, in a candid discussion with Careerindia.
Read on to discover more..
What makes Beyond Boundaries a unique firm, among other overseas education consulting firms in India?
We at Beyond Boundaries have patterned a unique initiative - that of personalized customisation. We assist candidates from every possible background without discriminating between a high and low performers. Furthermore, we do not promote any university or education destination. Our "client" is our "student" and not the institution or university.
Comment on the level of influence that 'overseas education' has on the Indian learner.
It is indeed true that studying abroad has a remarkable impact on their overall development on Indian students.
Invigorating intellectual engagement, a collaborative approach to problem-solving, acquisition specialized skill sets, modern state-of-the-art research facilities, inter-disciplinary study with specialised courses, hands-on experience with internships in prestigious institutions, development of good communication and interpersonal skills gives the Indian student a definitive world-view and exposure which helps them excel.
What are the common challenges that you face with the applicants and the embassies of other countries?
Dealing with each student and parents independently, understanding their expectations, aspirations, background, financial capabilities, etc. is a major challenge. There is pressure on us to live up to their expectations and deliver the same.
In terms of obtaining a visa, whenever there are changes in the visa rules and regulations, we need to keep ourselves abreast with it and accordingly guide our students. The major problem for Indian students is to arrange for the 'finance' required to cater to each country's visa requirements. A lot of preparations for at least 6-8 months would be required.
Every applicant is viewed holistically and sometimes even applicants with strong profiles are rejected by the universities even though the student may seem to have maximum chances of admission. This volatility makes the entire 'university short-list and research process' very arduous.
There are many students who seek advice in the area of evaluating universities based on the admits they have in hand. How integral can evaluation/analysis of universities be, for the overall decision-making process?
Short-listing of Universities where the potential student can be admitted is the most crucial and daunting step in the application process.
We do a detailed profiling of the student by identifying the student's strengths, weaknesses and aspirations before coming up with the universities suitable for each candidate.
To conclude, analysis of the student in question and choosing the appropriate university is the cornerstone of the entire process.
List the top 7 highly sought after overseas educational destinations in the world, and why are they so desired by the students?
USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden and France are among the few favourites among Indian students when it comes to higher education. The colleges are chosen based on their rating and its facilities which include scholarships, infrastructure, research facilities, opportunities to work alongside their course and the probability of the students getting a financially-secure job in the country after completion of the course.
Give us a brief idea about your other projects/ventures, apart from consulting packages provided on MBA, Undergraduate and Masters/PhD programmes.
In the future, we intend to expand and open offices in other cities and tie-up as partners with the Indian colleges and universities to help students plan their overseas education application procedures well in advance which will give them ample time to complete the process successfully and in get admitted to the top universities, thereby helping them in their pursuit of academic brilliance.
If you had to share three most prominent learning experiences with beyond boundaries so far, what would they be?
- There are a myriad of courses available in India in all fields, which should be considered. Opting for overseas education just for the lure of better lifestyle and more pay should not be done. This is something we tell all our students.
- There are a lot of factors involved when choosing a college. To select a college which is satisfactory in all categories, while keeping in mind the budget of the candidate may be a long process. So we encourage students to apply with us at least 2 years in advance so that the proper research can be done to select the perfect institution for them
- Fluctuating economic conditions worldwide have affected the number of Indian students opting to study abroad.
As an entrepreneur, what are your views on present education system in India; and how would you like to bring about a change for the betterment of all learners in the country, for the future?
There are a lot of colleges that have sprung up in recent times which fail to give quality education or add any positive value to the student's learning process.
Students are not encouraged to express themselves effectively and are discouraged from taking risks and coming up with original ideas.
The need for improving communication and soft skills is a major area that needs focus among Indian students. The colleges also need stronger research infrastructure which will also enable the country to progress technologically and scientifically.
A final word is that the best pedagogic techniques and teaching resources have to be employed and utilized to make students competitive and confident. This kind of empowerment will definitely give our next generation students a distinctive edge and empower them to implement their ideas and stand among the best of the best in the world.