Studying Abroad? Here Are The Top 12 Things To Know6 minute
Travelling abroad has been a dream for most of us here and not just only for a vacation but to study and do our masters. We all love going abroad, living a life free off restriction and most importantly become independent, which comes with a lot of responsibilities. Most of the people who are planning to go abroad don’t really know the procedures or things that are needed to be kept in mind before going there, this creates a lot of confusion for them and things can get really chaotic over there. Here are a few things that we all should keep in mind before planning to go to do our masters abroad:
- In-depth research–
Going to a new place and living all by yourself can get difficult if you don’t know know about the country that you’re going to live in. You have to do a thorough research about the place that you are going, their culture, the language spoken, the courses and universities offering you education and specializations that you prefer.
Having a proper knowledge and a good research can help you decide better on which country you want to pursue your masters in, some universities have a separate department dedicated to student queries from foreign countries. Conducting an in-depth research will help you select your course and country accordingly.
- Confirm your course and accommodation –
Courses abroad are way different from what Indian courses have to offer, it is very important that you choose the right and appropriate course for yourself while you’re applying for masters. Most of the time, you are interested to cover a broad subject but most of the courses that are offered are specialized courses of that particular subject, which is why you should wisely choose your course. Once your course is confirmed the next step is going to be Accommodation. Accommodation is provided by the universities itself, but if you aren’t willing to stay in the university dorms then you can get a place for yourself.
- Produce Precise Paper work –
It is not as easy as it looks to study abroad, there is a lot of paper work that goes behind a perfect stay, some applications are rejected because of no clear documentation of papers. Important documents like Visa and Passport should all be up to date and ready, visa procedures and tenures differ from place to place which is why you should double check such things to avoid confusion in the process later.
If you have written tests like TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT or GRE, then keep all of those documents handy as well because you might never know when you will be asked to produce those documents.
- Have an up to date knowledge about currency exchange –
We need money to meet our daily needs and would have a plan or a budget on how much money we need to have in our pockets for the first few days or even months. The currency value varies from country to country and keeps changing according to the economy. It is necessary to be up to date with the recent trends in currency value of the country you are going to as well as your home country because this may have a drastic effect on your budget later, which may arise in shortage of money or huge expenditure. A small change in the currency value will leave you re-budgeting your entire expense.
- Register your course with home government –
Studying and living in a new country is very exciting but there are a lot of cons that follow with it. The first few days can get eerie because of no proper facilities like Wi-fi, cell coverage or for that matter even your safety and it can become very difficult for your family to be on the lookout for you. Registering with your home government will have you on their radar and always have you being kept under their nose. Any emergency or matter of concern will be immediately taken into notice by your home government.
- Up to date with health check-up and vaccinations –
When you’re going abroad for your masters or even a small trip, you have to visit a travel clinic in order to get yourself checked and vaccinated according to the place you’re going to be living in or visiting. Many places have diseases existing in only their country and might have no sign of it in the country you live in, that’s why if you’re planning to live there or go there then you have to get yourself vaccinated to get immunity from those diseases. If you fail to get yourself vaccinated and fall sick, then you will be sent back to home and all the expenses will be bared only by you.
If you have any health complications or already existing diseases, then make sure you notify them well in advance and have your prescriptions and medical certificates ready, so that when you are questioned about the medicine you’re carrying then you can produce the prescriptions and documents.
- Organize your travel expenditure and itinerary –
Flying abroad is very expensive and you have to book your tickets well in advance and plan your flights schedule. Maintaining and itinerary can be really resourceful at this time, it helps you get a clear-cut vision as to what you want to do and how to do. It navigates you through your entire schedule and saves you a lot of time. Organizing all of these things well in advance will avoid last minute chaos and also save a huge amount of money when it comes to tickets.
- Inform your near and dear ones –
Living independently is one of the best feelings ever, but so is remaining safe. When you’re living alone, keep your family members or close friends up to date about your whereabouts as it is easy to locate you wherever you are. This doesn’t mean updating everything on your social media as this can be dangerous for you, maybe just giving a call or leaving a message to your close one can be very helpful.
- Talk to your bank –
This is one of the most important steps because you obviously cannot survive without money. Your debit or credit cards might not work abroad if your bank does not have an access in those countries, which is why you should talk to your bank and enquire about their foreign branches and procedure required to continue using the facilities of your bank there as well. If your bank doesn’t have a branch abroad, make sure you have all the necessary documents to create an account there and go on with the process without any hassle and get a quick bank account.
- Bag packing –
Backpacking is something that most of us do not consider important, but it can prove to be very helpful in the early days. Packing warm clothes or any necessary accessories that you require, yes you can buy clothes after going there but carrying a few is not a bad idea because you never know when you may need it. Your bag-packing should happen according to the place that you’re going to be living in, so make sure you have all your essentials packed accordingly, you can even carry your cute little cuddly bear or your favourite sweater that you always need.
- On arrival –
As soon as you reach the country, the first thing to do is registering yourself to the Indian Embassy. It is important to do this because you can reach out to them at times of an emergency or problem that you’re facing in the country. You must also report to the concerned department and register yourself there after landing, then head out to the university for completing the rest of the formalities. Following these steps on your arrival will help to make the process easier and settling in the place much more efficient.
- Be prepared –
When you’re going to a totally new place, you should be prepared with everything that comes your way. Being prepared for things gives you a lot of courage and confidence which is exactly what you’ll need when you decide to go independent. Firstly, gather all the information about the place you’re going to stay in, know about the lifestyle and people, research more about the place, mentally prepare yourself for doing this from the beginning to start a new phase in your life and you’re all good to go.
Considering the number of people planning to go abroad, apart from this make sure you enjoy yourself out there and live a full-fledged life because every memory counts. If you have any experience of yours to share with us, then please do share in the comments section below. Keep Glo-ing!
The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?3 minute
If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed.
Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.
The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.
DCP Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act.
The case is still under investigation. But..
All the right things that could’ve gone wrong:
First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.
Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet.
And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime.
Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293.
We hope for the best outcomes.
What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know2 minute
Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity.
If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.
Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems
Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it.
It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)
COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India
Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’
In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”
He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”
Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added.
Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms.