US VISA Master Guide – Everything you need to know about the F-1 VISA Interview!

Table of Contents All about F1 visa Scheduling the F1 visa interview Documents required for visa interview Frequently asked questions Top reasons for visa rejections Top 10 tips to crack the visa interview   A] What is F1 visa? F1 visa is a study visa which is issued to international students who wish to study [...]

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Collegepond April 27, 2021 0 Comments

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application Process Goes Online For F1- VISA Students

The year gone by has been tumultuous, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting every aspect of our existence, more so, leaving an unending sense of uncertainty in the lives of students. The impact is more visible on those students pursuing their higher educational journeys in the US - under the F1 visa. As a result, Monday’s [...]

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Collegepond April 13, 2021 0 Comments

VISA Appointment Cancellation FAQ’s

With bulk visa appointment cancelations that happened recently, it is natural that students are worried about their study abroad plans. Please do not allow these concerns to affect your morale. We expect that this year, Covid response will function in a much more informed and decisive manner across all industries and organizations. The consulate has [...]

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Collegepond April 12, 2021 0 Comments

External Scholarships

Scholarship Name: Rotary Foundation Global scholarship Grants Active / Inactive: Active Season: Fall Deadline: June 30 Eligibility: Demonstrate knowledge of Rotary Participate in an orientation session before departure (either online or in person) Participate in club and district activities as requested by their sponsors, such as speaking and presenting at club or district meetings and [...]

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Collegepond January 9, 2021 0 Comments

Making the Right Decision for Your Higher Education in Australia Amidst Closed Borders

The Australian government has taken the restrictive action of closing its borders for all except citizens of Australia, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although in the best interest of the Australian community, this decision has impacted and sparked an atmosphere of uncertainty, especially among international students looking to pursue their career aspirations in the country. [...]

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Collegepond December 18, 2020 0 Comments

Packing list for travelling Abroad

Packing list for travelling Abroad 1. T-shirts (round neck) - 8 2. T-shirts (with collar) - 3-4 3. Jeans (stick to blue/black) - 6-7 4. Formal shirts - 3 5. Formal trousers - 2 6. Undergarments - at least 15 pairs (very important) 7. Formal suit - 1 complete set 8. Ties - 2-3 9. [...]

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Collegepond December 1, 2020 0 Comments

How to make your profile irresistible for top universities | Masters in USA

Gaining admission in universities abroad is becoming increasingly competitive. With thousands of applications pouring in against only a few hundred seats, students need to create a profile that stands out and immediately makes the Admission Committee take notice. While it is imperative to work towards creating a strong and unique profile to secure admission into a prestigious university, students are often confused and unsure of how to create a glowing profile. Here are a few pointers that will help to build an excellent profile for Master’s and make a difference.

1) Identify your USP (Unique Selling Point)

Many applicants will have a similar or even better academic record and test scores than you. In order to stand out and make your profile unique, you must identify your USP and highlight it to bring it to the notice of the admission committee. Start by jotting down your strengths. Give specific examples and quote instances from your academic or professional life that can substantiate the strengths you want to highlight.  Focus on strengths that will help you to succeed in the program you’re applying to. A certificate of completion or achievement is a good way to validate your strengths.

Another advice is to compartmentalize your strength into categories such as academic, professional, communication or technical prowess. Thus, identifying your USP and mentioning it in your application essay will help you to put together a powerful application.

2) Write a succinct and powerful Resume

The University admission committee has to go through several thousand applications, but to ensure that the admission committee does not overlook your application, you must create a succinct and powerful one-page long resume which highlights your strengths and achievements. It must provide more information to the admission committee than what is included in the application and helps them to evaluate your candidacy in a better manner. University resumes should be designed to enhance your application and provide yet another opportunity to showcase your worth as an ideal candidate. You must use crisp language and a clean layout, covering topics like academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, volunteer or community service, certifications, research, publications and leadership experience.

3) An interesting and engaging Statement of Purpose

Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) gives you the opportunity to display your passion and interest for the intended specialization and gives you an opportunity to explain the lacunae in your academic credentials. Your focus has to be on clearly explaining the purpose you are applying for a particular specialization. It should also contain a brief introduction of yourself and your academic background. You must also mention your short-term and long-term goals in one paragraph. These goals have to be as specific as possible. Describe your academic or any professional background that is relevant to your purpose. You should also give details about what motivated you to pursue further studies and have you chosen the university you are applying to. This paragraph requires you to research the program, curriculum, and faculty, so that you can highlight the specific aspects that make the university your preferred choice. It is always a good idea to take the opinions of others and seek professional help from experts like education advisers or counsellors as the SOP greatly determines your chance of getting admission in your dream university.

4) Letter of Recommendation

Refer to your strengths in the USP list that you have made and think of people who can vouch for your strengths like a good academic record, motivation, creativity, communication skills, integrity, etc.   You must take help of your professors to write impressive letters of recommendation as they qualify to truly assess your performance and vouch for your academic credentials. However, if you have any work experience ranging to a year or more, then get at least one reference from your workplace as well. A master’s degree requires the student to submit three recommendations; hence it is ideal to get one professional and two academic letters of recommendation. This will give the admission committee a balanced opinion of your academic and professional capabilities.

5) Work experience in a prestigious company

If the company you are currently working in has a very competitive and difficult recruiting process, it makes the Admission Committee view your profile in a positive light. Also working in a reputed company makes your profile stronger and makes the admission committee realize that you are an exceptional student with excellent skills and academic record to have bagged a prestigious job or internship at a reputed company.

6) Diversify your profile

Apart from the technical skills, if you have learnt any new and different skills through extra certification courses or have any experience that can add value to your profile you must mention it. For example, if you have volunteered for any special projects and participated in any conferences or competitions, you must highlight these points to bring it to the notice of the admission committee.

7) Work towards creating a well-rounded personality

You do not want to come across as a uni-dimensional person with only academic or professional interest. Universities believe in taking students who have a holistic and well-rounded personality. If you are a sport enthusiast or have joined any social cause or started a small entrepreneurial venture, you must highlight these in your profile.

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Collegepond October 22, 2020 0 Comments



IELTS is the International English Language Testing System which is the world’s most popular test for English language.

This test assesses all English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking in less than three hours, and is intended to reflect how English is used for studies, work, and communication, in countries abroad. There are two types of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

What is Academic IELTS?

The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional matriculation in an environment of English communications. It showcases some of the features of academic language and determines whether the person is ready to commence studying or training.

An IELTS certificate is acknowledged as substantiation of proficiency in English by over 10,000 education and training institutions worldwide. Some universities in countries where English is not spoken, require an IELTS score as their courses are taught in English.

Mostly the IELTS Academic test is taken to support a candidate’s study and application for studies overseas. It is also very important for the candidate to find out about the entry level requirements of each and every organisation before taking a test.

Students get the opportunity to submit their IELTS test results to five organisations automatically and free of charge by the IELTS test centre. However, if a student wishes to send his/her results to additional organisations, a fee is charged. A request can be made to send the results as long as the IELTS scores are valid.

Test Format

The Listening and Speaking portions are the same for both: the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, but the contents of the Reading and Writing varies depending on the test chosen.

The Listening, Reading and Writing elements of all IELTS tests are finished on the same day, without any breaks in between the three. The test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes in total.

Test format – Listening

30 minutes

The person taking the test will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write his/her own answers to a series of questions. The four sections would each have a set of ten questions. The first two sections deal with everyday social contexts and sections 3 and 4 deal with educational and training contexts.

  • Recording 1 – Consists of a conversation between two people in an everyday social setting.
  • Recording 2 – Consists of a monologue in an everyday social setting, for example- a speech based on local amenities.
  • Recording 3- Consists of a conversation between four people in an educational or training context, for example- a school teacher and a student talking about a project.
  • Recording 4 – Consists of a monologue based on an academic topic, such as a lecture at college.

The examiners will be looking for pointers to showcase the test taker’s ability to understand the key ideas and detailed authentic information, the perspective and outlook of the speakers, the purpose of remarks and evidence of the person’s ability to follow the evolution of concepts.

Test format – Reading

60 minutes

The Reading element contains 40 questions, planned to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for key ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical arguments and identifying writers’ attitudes, perspectives and motive.

IELTS Academic test – This includes three long texts that range from the descriptive and factual to the eloquent and interpretative. These excerpts are taken from books, journals, newspapers and magazines. They have been chosen for an amateur audience, but are apt for people starting courses at university or looking for professional matriculation.

Test format – Academic Writing

60 minutes

IELTS Academic test

Topics are of common interest to, and apt for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or looking for professional matriculation. There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – The test taker will be presented with a graph, table, diagram or chart and be asked to give a description, summary or explanation in support of the provided information in his/her own words in about a word count of 150 words. The person may be asked to provide a brief description or explanation for the data, narrate the stages of a process, how something works or give an account of an object or event.
  • Task 2 – The test taker will be asked to write an essay of about 250 words as a response to a viewpoint, argument or problem. Responses to both the tasks are required to be in a formal style of writing.

Test format – Speaking

11-14 minutes

The Speaking element analyses the person’s use of spoken English. Each test is recorded.

  • Section 1 – The examiner will ask the test taker general questions about themselves and a range of familiar subjects, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Section 2 – The test taker will be given a card which asks them to talk about a specific topic. The test taker will have 1 minute to prepare a speech which will be narrated for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask a couple of questions on the same topic.
  • Section 3 – The test taker will further be asked more questions about the topic in Section 2. These will give the person the chance to converse more about conceptual ideas and issues. This section of the test lasts between 4-5 minutes.

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Collegepond October 22, 2020 0 Comments

Study in Ireland, the land of Saints and Poets

If you’re considering studying in Ireland, you can look forward to a mix of contemporary modern cities and idyllic countryside. Not to forget a rich cultural habitat and cityscapes steeped in history. The icing on the cake is that Ireland is now one of Europe’s wealthiest nations with a high-quality education system which is built [...]

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Collegepond August 31, 2020 0 Comments

Canada now makes it easier to obtain a Study Visa to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Interested in a Canadian Study Visa? Here’s some good news! The Canadian government has recently relaxed the rules so that the entire visa procedure is more friendly. Also, India and Canada have recently signed an MOU relating to areas like student and faculty exchange, research and curriculum development and mutual recognition of educational qualifications.

The Canadian immigration authority, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has stated that students from India will get faster visas because of major changes in visa procedures which will reduce the processing time to within 45 days as compared to within 60 days earlier. IRCC is also exploring more efficient ways to process applications.

Under the process called the Student Direct Stream (SDS), students from India who prove that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada will be processed faster. What’s more, SDS complements the Express Entry system for permanent residence in Canada, if that’s what you are looking for.

Of course, to qualify for SDS, you need to meet additional requirements too such as language levels that are stricter than regular study permit requirements. But don’t be discouraged, because even if you don’t have all of the additional information required for SDS, there is a way out. You can apply through the regular study permit application process, either online or at a Visa Application Centre.

Here are the requirements to be processed quickly for the student visa and to be eligible for SDS as per the High Commission of Canada:

– You need to be accepted by an eligible post-secondary Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
– You need to have paid your tuition for the first year
– You need to obtain a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 from one of the financial institutions approved by IRCC
– You need to complete an upfront medical examination
– You need to have the minimum-required IELTS level of English language ability of 6.0 in all categories (listening, reading, writing and speaking).

Make sure the above requirements are fulfilled and you could be well on your way to a better future.

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Collegepond August 16, 2020 0 Comments
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