Prof. Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM)

Prof. Dr Jaspal Singh is the Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM). In this role, he is the principal academic and administrative officer of the University College. This includes overseeing academic planning, academic program review and curriculum development, and providing leadership in creating and maintaining academic standards and policies.


There is a significant increase in the volume of students opting to study abroad. According to a consulting firm, RedSeer, more than 18 lakh Indian students are expected to head overseas by 2024 for foreign education. Studying abroad provides you with not just an outstanding education but also a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Preparing yourself for admissions to top universities abroad has always been perceived as a nerve-racking process, especially when there are many options to consider. In truth, one of the most challenging obstacles aspirants faces in finding the perfect study abroad experience is making the right choices at the beginning of their venture. The sheer number of possibilities is intimidating, but you must begin sooner rather than later, and sooner means ‘now’ with the start of the placement season. 


Most aspirants have several questions when exploring options for education away from home. Before anything else, the first step to this process should always be self-reflection. Questions such as: “Why did you choose this course and university? Why do you wish to pursue your degree in another country? What are your long-term objectives? Do you know what you want to get out of this?” go a long way and will help strengthen the decisions and journey you decide to take ahead. One of the first things you should do is set aside some time to think about these topics and reflect on what best fits your needs and aspirations in order to start meeting them. 

For students wishing to pursue a career in Medicine, these self-reflection points are vital as medicine is a noble profession built on the foundation of a life of service and continuous education. It is a career that requires you to put others above yourself always. Hence, knowing your motivation points to pursue Medicine will help in the selection of where you choose to study it at.


This next step is crucial but arguably, also the most thrilling. The first step in building a college application process checklist is to narrow your pool of universities to apply to. The decision of which universities to apply to is the first obstacle of the university admission process. You have the choice of picking universities at random or spending months deliberating on the best options. In any case, you must ensure that you are satisfied with all of them. 

With differing admission criteria, courses, and standards, come differing entrance exams as well. A large part of the research stage must be dedicated to understanding these exams and preparing well in advance to maximize results. Another critical factor often skipped when considering a program is location. Aside from the cost and quality of education, there is also the aspect of distance from home that influences university selection. Location factors for a significant part of the experience, from cultural adjustments to social exposure, it is important to consider all vertices when making a major life decision.  While there are numerous ways to source information during the research process, a more realistic and accurate insight can be obtained from talking to alumni, faculty, or university students. 

For professions that are highly regulated such as Medicine, Engineering, Accountancy, Law, etc students should also research into recognition by the relevant bodies to ensure that the university they are choosing, especially if it a foreign university, is duly recognized by local and global authorities.


Each university has its application process, which may differ based on the program you wish to join. It is critical to discuss the application procedure with a university or an advisor so that you can prepare all the necessary materials and get ahead of deadlines. You can make an organized plan to work through an international college application process without rushing by creating an application process checklist.  This is also the best time to research all the documentation like submissions, letters, purpose statements, recommendations, and certifications required to be submitted during the application process keeping multiple copies to be prepared and ready when asked to be presented. 

Qualification criteria

Since entry requirements differ between institutions and countries worldwide, it is advisable to learn about them first to have the best chance of being accepted.  Another factor to be considered is eligibility into the country abroad. Since a large percentage of aspirants are students with little experience of moving to a new country, it is vital to be educated on the preferred destination’s requirements when it comes to obtaining a visa and entry before moving forward with the application process. Understanding each university’s criteria for scholarships is also beneficial to optimize the application process. 


When applying to foreign universities today, it is not just enough to meet the criteria. You must also demonstrate an interest in the subject you wish to study proficiency in for the course you are applying for. The interview process is the assessment stage that is designed to highlight these points. Preparing for them through mock interviews and tests can help a candidate boost confidence and prepare them for unexpected situations. University admissions are more than just a form-filling exercise in which you mechanically list your accomplishments; it is an insightful and ever-evolving process. The worst thing many students do is try to list everything they do and all of the tests they’ve aced.  Suppose you have made it to the interview stage. In that case, it is important to remember that you have primarily cleared the academic requirements, offer up to the panel an insight into who you are beyond the classroom, and what more you can offer to the community. 

Lastly, the most important thing to remember is that you need to enjoy the process and maintain a positive attitude before committing fully to this journey. The outlook you decide to take on this road will determine the quality of your experience going ahead. 

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