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UAE Education

Carefully consider entry requirements and immigration pathways before choosing your study abroad destination

Experts spotlight factors to keep in mind at a panel discussion during Gulf News Edufair

Tejas Labhshetwar, Founder of Gyanberry , Zoya Siddiqui, Middle East Associate, StudentRoomStay, Dr. Muhammad Yousuf Qadri, CEO, Qadri International Educational Consultancy and Ruchi Shukla, Founder, Horizon Scholar during a panel discussion, Career Impact - How overseas education enhances job prospects and professional growth, on the final day of the sixth edition of Gulf News Edufair
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

An overseas education not only improves career prospects but also opens up immigration pathways for students. To take full advantage of the benefits, however, students need to carefully consider a variety of factors, from selecting the right programme to keeping an eye on the ever-changing immigration policies, said experts at a panel discussion on Career Impact - How Overseas Education Enhances Job Prospects and Professional Growth on the final day of Gulf News Edufair 2024.

“When it comes to choosing an overseas education, there are certain fundamental things to keep in mind,” said Tejas Labhshetwar, Founder of Gyanberry, which specialises in medical college admissions around the world. “First and foremost are the entry requirements for a specific programme at a particular university as requirements differ for different universities. Then comes infrastructure of the educational institution and accreditation, followed by the cost of education and post-study work permit options in the destination country.”

Although the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland remain popular study abroad destinations, not everyone can get admission in universities in these countries. “Even if you get admission, it's very expensive,” explained Dr Muhammad Yousuf Qadri, CEO of Qadri International Educational Consultancy. “So the best alternatives are countries in Europe like Hungary, Italy and Spain. Even though they have universities ranked in the top 200-500, they are quite affordable. The entry requirements are easier to meet because they have got more seats, compared to the UK and USA. So these are better options for people looking for value for money and quality education.”

However, your choice of study abroad destination depends on your objective as well.

“If immigration is your end goal, then you should start your search for an international education keeping that goal in mind,” said Ruchi Shukla, Founder of study abroad consultancy Horizon Scholar. “Find universities or foreign countries that are open to relocation. The US is a great place to go and study, but the chances of getting a permanent residency are less. So do your research and find out if your university will be able to help you find a job after you graduate, because sometimes immigration depends on whether you are able to secure employment once you finish your programme.”


Zoya Siddiqui, Middle East Associate for StudentRoomStay, which offers onsite as well as hosted accommodations for international students across the world, was of the opinion that everybody before deciding on an educational programme should do a SWOT analysis.

“Try to find out that what you are really passionate about. Usually students copy what others are doing. But we really need to find out where our passion lies in order to avoid career burnout in the long run.”

She also highlighted the importance of nurturing varied interests in order to develop and showcase diverse soft skills to stand out in applications to international universities.