Ashish Fernando, Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect

Ashish started his career as a Software Engineer with Thomson Reuters Inc., building their flagship investment research solution – Thomson One. He then went on to take multiple executive roles in Program Management and AI before managing the Data Science and Engineering business in the Insurance vertical. Ashish is a university gold medalist in Biotechnology and later went on to study Bentley University’s flagship MBA in 2014 with a 100% scholarship. Ashish founded iSchoolConnect in 2017 to solve the pain point of many parents and children: getting unbiased, hassle-free admission in foreign colleges.

 

AI might have aged as a term in the market, but the way it keeps adding value to the study abroad landscape, making the mechanism more robust for students, is an ever-evolving process. From helping students make informed decisions to gliding through the application and admissions process, AI has transformed every aspect of the study abroad environment.

Introduction

Technology has been advancing at a brisker pace, and we have arrived at the next stage of human evolution- the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) breakthroughs have had a significant impact on many aspects of human society, including economics, politics, science, and education. In the field of education, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data have made tremendous strides. Their pervasiveness is mirrored in the numerous ways they are used to transform the industry.

The study abroad sector, a subset of the higher education sector, is no exception to this technological transformation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has completely overhauled the study abroad aspirants’ experience through and through the process—whether it’s researching and identifying universities/colleges, filling out application forms, verifying documents, writing essays, or preparing for interviews—AI has covered it all. The amalgamation of AI in the study abroad scene has vastly benefitted the study abroad aspirants.

Let us take you through the big impact of this radical technological revolution and show how it can help your study abroad dream take flight:

Where to study?

Deciding upon the destination country and the preferred university is quite a herculean task. To funnel the list, browsing on the internet can be quite time-consuming with doubts still lingering about certain variables of the filtered institutions. Here comes the transformative role that AI and Machine Learning (AI) are playing to curate the list of universities based on students’ search history, preferences, and profile.

Recommendation Engines introduced by AI-based EdTech platforms help study abroad aspirants search for an institution or course. They suggest the best match for the student’s profile and help them through decision-making by listing all key factors such as university ranking, tuition fees, and acceptance rate.

While receiving a customized list of universities/colleges based on one’s preferences is a welcome relief, students still have queries about these institutions that require immediate answers. Due to differences in time zones and work hours, getting an immediate response to the queries is hard. This is where AI-enabled chatbots come into play to ensure a quick turnaround and bridge the information gap. These chatbots have been integrated by many universities and EdTech companies that offer study abroad assistance.

The AI-enabled chatbots mimic human conversations. They act as a repository of frequently asked questions. Machine learning and natural language processing techniques are used to seed the most frequently asked questions in the chatbots, allowing students to get quick answers.

How to apply?

The first stage in the study abroad application process is to narrow down the favourite schools list. However, applying to the universities that have been shortlisted is still a hassle. AI-based platforms can help with this by providing a unified application process that allows students to apply to different universities with a single application. The automated application and document verification system reduces the time and energy involved in the process. It expedites the process of applicant document verification. This means their application will be processed faster, ensuring good news sooner!

Further, to help students craft the best Statement of Purpose (SOP), these platforms offer writing mentor tools that help the students chisel their SOPs to perfection by eliminating grammatical errors, checking plagiarism, and even suggestions to enhance their SOPs and essays.

Adding to the ease of preparation, study abroad EdTech platforms offer tools to help students ace their interviews. The video interview analyzer tools help students prepare for their visa/MBA interview. Students can check their performance against the parameters such as confidence, energy, focus, and assertiveness. They benefit significantly from these simulated interviews in terms of being poised and aware during their final interviews.

Conclusion

The advent of AI in the study abroad landscape has certainly simplified the process for the aspirants. The ordeal of scouting institutions, scouring the internet for reliable information, and going through the lengthy application process has been drastically reduced. AI-based EdTech enterprises working in the sector, as well as universities adapting to transformational technologies, have assisted students in applying to their dream universities with a fraction of the strength required previously. The additional services that help students with their writing and interview skills are, of course, the icing on the cake.

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