My Life at The Pennsylvania State University

Chethan G. shares his experience at The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :-Energy & Mineral Engineering, my background and my interest pulled me to it.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- I had enough schools to select here.

Q :- How is Pennsylvania State University(THE) different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about
A :- One of the big ten school, biggest alumni in the world, more chances of getting jobs all around the world

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Yes, definitely.

Q :- Please share some of your experiences of the USA for aspiring students
A :- Study here is different in many ways when compared with India. As many people in India think that US has better infrastructure than India, it is absolutely true in many cases. So come and utilize and get placed in a good position.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- I think coming to USA is one big thing, but making a correct choice is what matters. I think selection of a better school is also critical before applying to any other university.

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- Nothing much, regarding the people here, they are very helpful and nice

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- As I said earlier, infrastructure cannot be compared at all. Talking about Pennsylvania State University, some websites say that it is one of the top 10 Universities for engineering in the World. I can understand that by seeing the facilities here.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- I only agree this if you have a degree from a better university when compared to an institution in India. Coming to US and studying in some ABC college is not at all worthy.

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- Just close your eyes for 2 years, do not worry.

Q :- Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A :- One of the major thing is getting a bank loan, and you have CREDILA.

Q :- Any other advice to students and parents?
A :- Make a correct decision in selecting the university.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- May be PhD

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Maximum part from Credila Educational Loan.

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- I first came to know about Credila from VISU Intl Ltd. Later even though I applied myself to the universities, I approached Credila and found it much different from any other state bank, etc. Mr. Ashutosh P. was very helpful. I really have to thank him.

My Life at Northeastern University

Shoeb M. shares his experience at Northeastern University, USA

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- Computer science, my background and my interest pulled me to it.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- I had a lot of choices here.

Q :- How is Northeastern University different than any other USA University
based on whatever you have heard from your friends about
A :-It's in Boston. Very nice curriculum and co-op jobs.

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Yes

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- Study hard before you come here. Life will be easy.

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- People are co-operative and friendly. They believe in what you say. Thats why they are so advanced.

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- PROFFESSORS! and RESEARCHES are a class apart.

Q :-Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- Definately

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- Dont worry.

Q :- Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A :-You need CREDILA.

Q :- Any other advice to students and parents?
A :- Learn cooking and teach cooking.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- Job or research

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Credila Education Loan

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- Nice plans and Mr Mahesh M was helpful.

We give funds up to 100% for students who can’t afford to pay margin fees, on merit

Prashant Bhonsle's interview conducted by Mr. Alekh Angre of Moneylife

Credila Financial Services, which specialises in education loans, says it has been successful in particularly helping students who are otherwise deprived of a good education due to their poor economic condition

In an interview to Moneylife, Prashant Bhonsle, country head of Credila Financial Services, explained various aspects of education loans in India, and elaborated how Credila is working to help students and universities. He discussed the criteria for sanctioning loans, interest rates, credit rating of students and co-borrowers, rating of universities and so on. Mr Bhonsle also answered questions about the shortage of basic education and facilities. Following are excerpts from the interview.

Moneylife (ML): How different is Credila from banks and other financial institutions, whether they are in the public or private sector? What are your unique features?

Prashant Bhonsle (PB): We have innovative products and services. Many lenders prefer giving loans to students applying at institutes and universities recognised by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) or some other accreditation agency. Seeing the growth in the number of private institutes, we are also providing loans to such students. We take into consideration factors such as the quality of education, employment potential, and so on, when sanctioning loans. There is flexibility in the collateral guarantee. We provide services for legal verification of collateral documents, whereas banks ask students to do that on their own. Banks insist on a confirmation of admission and universities ask for a proper guarantee that finance will be secured to pay the fees. Here the student is in a catch-22 situation. At Credila, we give the student the sanction letter based on his documents and the institute he has applied to. Once admission is completed, the loan is disbursed. We provide loans of up to 20 lakhs. We fund students even up to 100% of their fees for those who can't afford to pay margin fees, based on merit. Finally, we even consider relatives, cousins as co-borrowers (other than parents), which is generally avoided by banks. And we don't have hidden charges.

ML: How many students have availed of education loans from Credila, for higher education within India as well as to study abroad? Has there been an increase in loan disbursements?

PB: There has been a big increase in the number of students applying for education loans in both segments-for those seeking to study in India and at foreign universities. The cost of education is rising and these days students want to be independent in funding their education, so many of them apply for loans. Another reason is the incentive on loans-students can claim a tax benefit on the interest paid. We saw around 500 students applying on each day during the peak season. In the last study we did, we recorded an average one student applying every minute at Credila.

ML: Credila offers customised loans for students and co-branded loans to academic institutes. Can you explain these products?

PB: The customised loan programme, as the name suggests, is structured based on the institute and the course, or the individual student. Here we evaluate factors like the student's and co-borrower's credit history, fees schedule and repayment capabilities holistically, after which the loan amount is decided. A co-branded loan is basically using the Credila tag together with the particular university or institute. Suppose a new course is launched by the university, many of the banks may not sanction loans to the students applying for this course. But Credila partners with the university to become an exclusive loan partner and provide students with finance for the course.

ML: As per the information on your website, there is a borrower and co-borrower's underwriting criteria as part of the eligibility for a loan. Please explain the criteria.

PB: Primarily it is the occupation profile of the co-borrower, which in most cases are parents. The credit history of the co-borrower forms a major pillar in sanctioning loans. We have tie up with credit bureaus to evaluate credit history. But we do have provision for deviation if the student is highly meritorious.

ML: Credila has an exclusive credit scoring model for student loans. Is the score given in a particular number or in percentage terms? What is the range for high and low scores? Does the credit score of a student influence the amount of loan he will get?

PB: In 2005-06, when we launched our service, we conducted research to understand the domain of the education loan sector in India. A lot of data pertaining to the sector was studied. We partnered with Fair Isaac Corporation to give credit scores for education loans, based on the data collected by us. It is a complex algorithm of various factors such as the quality of the student, the institute, the type of course, the quality of the collateral, credit history of co-borrowers, and so on. We also give weightage to the merit of a student. The score depends on each individual student and there is no particular range.

ML: How will a credit score given to universities based on their programme benefit them?

PB: This is a ranking which is given to the university. Many times, universities lack in talented students as meritorious ones are financially weak. When we co-brand with a university, we become a platform for the student applying at the university and the loan is provided to him/her there. This way the university gets quality of students and vice versa.

ML: Credila offers partner programmes for foreign universities which allow them to provide Credila Financial Services as a student loan provider to fund Indian students entering Indian Universities and Indian students entering US universities. Is this limited to universities in India and the US?

PB: This is not limited to American universities. We have funded loans for students applying at universities across the globe. Many students have been enabled loans to study at campuses in New Zealand, Germany, France and other countries.

ML: How many universities-Indian and foreign have you partnered with? What has been the overall response from universities and students who opted for a loan from you?

PB: Many universities from both India and abroad have partnered with us. The response has been good and encouraging from both students and universities. Students who have benefited from the loan have recommend others to apply to Credila. Universities see it as a value-addition service. Insead University in France has recommended us on their website for loan services for students.

ML: What is the current rate of interest and how is this calculated? Does Credila have a universal interest rate for all, or is the rate calculated depending on the university? For instance, State Bank of India charges special interest rate for students of ISB Hyderabad and it has a different rate for students of other institutions.

PB: We have both services. As I said earlier, various factors are taken into account for customisation of loans and interest rate at the individual student level. The rate of interest can vary depending on the institute, the student's academic achievement, and so on. We only provide loan on floating interest. We too provide special interest rates to certain institutes. For students applying from ISB Hyderabad we have provided loans at a rate of 9.75%. There is a special rate for universities like Insead University.

ML: Azim Premji recently donated around Rs8,846 crore as a gift towards his foundation, which promotes education and related work. Do you think this trend of big financial houses investing in the education sector will grow?

PB: Personally, I think it will be beneficial. The demographic deviation of India, as suggested by policymakers, corporate, states that education will facilitate the workforce. The scope for this sector is growing.

ML: The cost of private education is spiralling day by day. Will corporate investment in the sector (as it is happening now), make it more costly, or is it the other way around? Also, is it possible to opt for a public-private partnership, given that the large population is dependent on the government for even a basic education?

PB: Currently there is a lot of positive environment for the education sector in India. The government is taking steps which are conducive for the sector to grow. The cost of education is definitely increasing, but the quality is also increasing. In this situation a better enabler should be provided, which can provide financial backing to students for achieving quality education. Public-private partnership is good and I see it growing in the right direction.

ML: Mahindra & Mahindra managing director Anand Mahindra gave $10 million to Harvard University and Ratan Tata's Tata group gave $50 million to Harvard Business School. At the same time there are many people in India who cannot afford even a basic primary education, usually because of the lack of finances and facilities. Do you think there is a need to give more attention to basic education and provide funds to make it affordable to everyone?

PB: Basic education should be given more emphasis. The current five-year plan, that is the 11th plan, is making positive changes in the area of primary education. The incentive along with educational programmes like the mid-day meal programme, and so on, have helped improve the attendance level. A better enabler who can provide loans to students will contribute to making education more affordable. This is currently going in a positive direction.

ML: As on 31 March 2010, non-performing assets in the education portfolio of public sector banks had increased and now they are putting certain mechanisms in place to check delinquencies. How does Credila track students in case of default or delay in re-payment?

PB: We constantly communicate with students during the academic tenure of the student who has been granted a loan. We generally ask for 3-4 references, apart from the borrowers. Again there is constant engagement with all the references. As of now, for the students going to the US, we have tied up with some government agencies there which help us track a particular student. But since we only specialise in students' loans, we undertake thorough research, so we have the upper hand to track the student in case of any default.

ML: There has been talk that the government's UID (unique identity) project will help trace borrowers. Also, banks could seek updated data from credit bureaus to help overcome these defaults. Do you plan to tie up with any of them?

PB: We have partnered with Credit Information Bureau (India) to evaluate credit history while screening the application. There has been cases were loans have been rejected because of credit history. But we don't solely depend on credit histories, but there are various factors (as I had explained earlier) that play an important part. As regards the UID project, we would want to partner with them.

ML: When it comes to education loans, there is a lot of documentation hassle, which is the biggest hurdle for students who are opting for education abroad. How can this be made more user-friendly for student borrowers?

PB: Customer education is the most important. Every aspect of education loan portfolio should be explained. At Credila we perform KYC (Know your customer) as per RBI guidelines. Most banks don't provide education on the student loans mainly because this is one of the services provided by them also it is seasonal in nature. We make parents and students understand that opting loan will not only give them tax benefit but also build credit history.

ML: There is a lot of confusion among people regarding education loans and the processes. How do people seek guidance on this?

PB: I think there has to be some onus on the borrowers to undertake research. Students should start their preparation, especially financial preparation, much earlier. A lot of information about banks is available. An early start will make things easier.

ML: Given the fact that there is an increase in the number of students opting for higher education, the number of education loan-seekers has also increased. What is Credila's roadmap for the year ahead?

PB: We are aiming at multi-fold growth. We want to scale up the loan disbursements, for which we are expanding our operations, workforce and locations.

ML: What are the major challenges Credila faces in verifying applications, disbursing loans and recovery?

PB: Our operational capacity is very efficient, because of which there is hardly any challenge in verifying, disbursing, or even recovering loans. Our main challenge is to reach out to a larger number of people. We are expanding our operations in phases. Our biggest challenge is the cost of funds. Being a non-banking financial company the costs are higher.

My Life at Northern Illinois University

Priyanka V. Shares her experience while studying at University of Northern Illinois

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- I am into Industrial and Systems Engineering department and I’ve taken up this course because the future prospects.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- Because the quality of education offered at USA is very high than in any other country and also the advanced technology helps me to learn more.

Q :- How is Northern Illinois University different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about
A :- Northern Illinois University is good for Industrial engineering department and also the university has got funds, projects and also the research work which is being carried out is of my interest.

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Yes, I am happy with my decision.

Q :- Please share some of your experiences of the USA for aspiring students
A :- All who wish to dream and achieve more, then can opt masters. If you have interest to pursue higher studies, then master’s is the best option.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- One who wishes to pursue higher studies and dream high, this is the best option.

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- Discipline, punctuality and value of time

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- Very organized, dedicated and effective. We get to learn a lot.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- Absolutely, for the people who wish to pursue higher studies. We earn more than what we spend.

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- Think in a broader way and let ur children achieve their dreams.

Q :- Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A :- Get ready to face the system over here, as it is entirely different from India’s system. We have to get adjusted or else you will face problems.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- I wanna settle as Industrial and Systems engineer

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Through Credila – An HDFC Ltd. Company

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- Because it does not look into unnecessary documents and the issual of loan amount is very fast. Also, the interest rate is almost similar to government banks.

My Life at University of Virginia

Prateeksha S. shares her experience at University of Virginia

Q :- You have been one of those highly respected lot of students who have been doing higher studies at University of Virginia . How does it feel to be at University of Virginia USA?
A :- Pretty good. Learning a lot. Developing a global outlook and professionalism.

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- Chose Engineering Physics (MS) as I wanted to explore new interdisciplinary areas.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- Wanted an education that would let me specialise and master in an area of study.

Q :- How is University of Virginia different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about?
A :- University of Virginia offers a flexible program, where you can involve in research in latest technologies and make a contribution.

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Very much. It has certainly helped me gain knowledge in my field of study, develop problem solving capabilities for even problems which are not well-defined.

Q :- Where do you eat? Do you cook yourself?
A :- Often eat on campus and cook for myself.

Q :- Where do you live? On-campus or off-campus and why?
A :- Stay off-campus as it is cheaper.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- Be prepared to work hard. It’s worth, if you make the best use of it.

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- Respect all cultures. Be professional. Pay heed to advice. Seek advice. Seek help if you’re stuck at something. Do your homework.

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- In USA it is more professional, more rigorous, help is available (and one should seek it). People want to make an impact and really make it happen.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- Probably at this point of time it is. Provided one gets a job to pay off the loans. But India should be working on developing a good graduate education system.

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- Be supportive, encouraging, believe in your child and be there for them, keep in touch 1-2 times a week at least, enquire time and again whether your child is doing fine and don’t take for granted that everything’s going alright, plan ahead for possible situations. Teach your child how to cook and clean :)

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- Gain employment in USA for atleast 1-2 years to obtain experience before coming back to India.

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- Not too much hassle, quick and professional.

My Life at University of California

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- I am doing Masters in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Microwave and RF circuits. I have a deep interest in Microwave and I wanted to pursue higher studies for the same reason. This course here at UCLA, has both aspects academics as well as research opportunities.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :-USA offers better environment for an international student for academic and/or professional carrier. Here at UCLA in graduate program, most students are international students. Its like an international educational hub.

Q :- How is UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends
A :- About UCLA is lot more happening place as compared to other universities. The university has well rounded education system, as there are all kinds of courses here varying from engineering and sciences to music, TV and fashion. This place is full of professors with famous names in their fields. Facilities like recreation center and Gym make life really good. It’s a good experience to be here. Also, Electrical engineering department has recently been ranked 8th in terms of research nation wide.
In terms of job market and industry exposure too, I liked this university. It’s my first quarter here and already there are plenty of Job Fairs for internships and jobs in variety if areas.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- Education in US is not just getting a masters degree. It’s more about exposure to outer world. Here there are opportunities for every single thing you might want to do. So, if you plan to come to US for studies don’t close yourself but try new things and meet new people and enjoy.

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- I learned about different cultural differences. How are Chinese different from Europeans and stuff like that. The American culture, people and their habits.

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- Academically, its much more intensive. The course work itself is very demanding and requires clear understanding of concepts. The evaluation system is not just limited to exams, rather than distributed all across the quarter in terms of Home Work evaluation. Teacher student relation is far less formal, we can go to clases in shorts with coffee mug in hand. Professors are more open and free to speak and have respect for their students as individuals.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- I believe it mostly depends on what’s your financial conditions, but yes I think its worth the money. It changes your complete life this point onwards.

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- It’s a great option to send your child to study abroad. We should think of it as an investment. Many parents are afraid that their child will get spoiled in western culture, but its far from reality. First, the American culture is definitely open, but very sensitive to moral values. Second there are plenty of Indians to make friends here.

Q :- Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A :- Give GRE and TOEFL early, so that there is no hassle while application period. Apply to as many universities you can afford to (in terms of fee), you never know which option will work out for you. Be in touch with your seniors in US for help regarding SOP, application material etc. Feel very open to talk to university graduate division (mail or phone) for queries. Many times calling is much better as they get many mails and may not answer. Join Internet forums like Edulix for help. If you get reject from anywhere, call them why they have rejected the application. Many times it may be simply because one of your recommendation letter is missing or something like that. On request they can also reconsider your application or wait more for materials to arrive. Once admit is granted apply for Visa (after you have finalized the university). Book plane tickets early, it really saves money.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- I want to continue for PhD here at UCLA. Then join industry for few years. And look for entrepreneur opportunities.

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Personal savings from Job, family funds and Credila loaning

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
Credila granted me loan with a very easy process. And best part was I dint have give any collateral. I got very good interest rate too.

Choosing between USA and India for higher education

Keeping in mind the broader perspective and present education scenario, more and more students as well as parents are evincing interest in venturing out to foreign lands in order to acquire highly specialized level of education.

Today, connecting with the world is becoming unbelievably easy and quick, be it through the communication or through transport. Hence, if today’s young generation gets an opportunity to study abroad; it could definitely be worth a try.

For students contemplating study abroad option against study in India option, increasing number of Indian students are preferring foreign universities as it provides them a good opportunity to explore the world and learn about new cultures. According to Vivek Merchant who has recently completed a Masters in management in information system, Edith Cowon University, Perth, Australia is of the opinion that “A study abroad gives the opportunity to interact with different cultures and experience a different lifestyle. I definitely would not have experienced a lifestyle such as this, if I was studying in India till date.” According to Vivek, a Study Abroad experience opens up new vistas and avenues along with giving new avenues to mix and interact with people of various cultures and countries.

Study in India is also up to the mark but by studying abroad you are educating yourself and also benefitting from overall personality development as you acquaint and adjust yourself with a new society and a new peer group. Studying abroad does give you a wholesome experience to new cultures, life patterns and even work experience. Suraj Thyagarajan Paramasivam from Chennai who opted to study MS in computer science and engineering at SUNY University, Buffalo advises aspiring students to be ready to face anything and be ready to work hard. He also adds that everything has to be done by oneself in US and thereby they will become a good manager or a multi-tasker if they go abroad for higher studies. Suraj had taken education loan from the specialist education loan lender called Credila Financial Services, after trying in vain to get education loans from many other banks. He said, “Credila is more of a human organization who understood the needs of the students”.

Well, study in India has become pretty routine and methodical, while study abroad emphasis on your overall development and personality growth which again depends entirely upon your initiatives and efforts. Studying in India would primarily mean concentrating entirely on studies mostly through books and exams along with routine practical study based entirely on the curriculum. On the other hand, study abroad gives you the opportunity to explore and go further in depth to subjects which interest you the most. Krishnan Lakshminarayanan who has completed Masters in Chemical Engineering (MS) from Oklahoma State University expressed his views on study abroad by stating that his study experience was very different. He also added by saying that “It is more rigorous than India in a way since they take Homework and exams more seriously than we do. Also the marking scheme is GPA (Grade Point Average) which means that even if you have a good score but your ranking in the class is bad then the GPA goes low. This affects the career in turn.”

My life at Oklahoma State University

Krishnan L., MS. Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State Univ., USA

Q: You have been one of those highly respected lot of students who have been doing higher studies at Oklahoma State University? How does it feel to be at Oklahoma State University USA?
A - It feels very good to be at Oklahoma State University. It is a premier institute in USA and funded by the Oklahoma Government and is widely respected in USA for chemical and mechanical engineering.

Q: Please tell us about which courses are you doing and why did you choose that course?
A - Masters in Chemical Engineering (MS). Nov I have research assistantship and working in Polymers Science research. I chose this course since it is my ambition to be a Chemical Engineer and US is a heaven for chemical engineering.

Q: Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A - USA is the heaven for chemical engineering. Also it is a land of opportunities and presents opportunities in chemical engineering.

Q: How is Oklahoma State University different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about?
A: I found Oklahoma State University (OSU) to be better than many universities in USA like Lamar, Univ of Louisiana Lafayette etc. This was the best admit that I received out of the nine universities I had applied for.

Q: Are you happy with your decision?
A: Extremely happy with the decision and also happy for choosing Credila.

Q: Where do you eat? Do you cook yourself?
A: I cook food and have become a good cook. I believe people in Mumbai are generally good at cooking since they get to eat good food at home and outside. Also there are some Indian restaurants where I and my friends go once in a while but it is expensive to have Indian food. Sometimes we go to Indian Hindu temples which offer Indian food at very cheap rates and sometimes for free and it is very tasty.

Q: Where do you live? On-campus or off-campus and why?
A: I stay off-campus with three other friends and it is at a 5 min walk from the college campus. I chose of campus because it is cheaper than on campus housing. But is also advisable to take housing near the campus and not as far as 2 km from the campus as it is dangerous. There is more police patrolling near the campus vicinity and not far from the campus since it is done by campus police.

Q: Please share some of your experiences of the USA for aspiring students
A: For all aspiring students I would advise that it is important to pursue the dream incessantly. It is more important to have the dream and not do it half heartedly.

Q: What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A: The life in USA is nothing different from that in India and one should not forget that life as a student is challenging since the education system here is different and it is important to not losing focus in the comforts and luxury of USA.

Q: Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA?
A: I learnt that USA also has culture just like India and give more importance to family just like Indians. Also they have a beautiful landscape but the climate is a little harsh.

Q: How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India?
A: Very different. It is more rigorous than India in a way since they take Homework and exams more seriously than we do. Also the marking scheme is GPA (Grade Point Average) which means that even if you have a good score but your ranking in the class is bad then the GPA goes low. This affects the career in turn.

Q: Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A: It is always worth spending money to get a degree from USA since it is highly recognized all over the world. One of the main ambitions of pursuing education is to seek a multiplication factor in the salary one would obtain.

Q: What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A: It is more important to understand the dream of the child and the most important is with systematic planning anyone can pursue US Education. It is not only for the rich and affluent but also for the Middle Class people.

Q: Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A: Financial planning is most important. Visa interview preparation and documents needed for the same are also very important.
Also the key is to talk to a lot of students here in USA. I think students here in USA feel honoured when they receive call from their friends or talk to people online and do the best help (at least I and my friends do).

Q: What are you future plans?
A: My immediate plan after completion of my degree is to work in a chemical engg firm in USA for a few years. I plan to return to India after I have achieved my goals here in academics, work wise and also monetarily.

Q: How did you fund your higher education?
A: I took the entire loan amount from Credila. I was sanctioned an amt of 20 lakhs I have chosen to take partial amount with me to fund for the first and second semester and initial living. Initially while I came I was a non funded student without any scholarship. But now I have Research Assistantship and it pays me enough money so I am able to fund myself comfortably.

As far as the EMI of the loan my father is paying it also my mother contributes to the income since she is also self employed.

Q: Why did you choose Credila?
A: I met Credila in an Education expo at Goregaon years ago when I was doing my graduation. I always had this dream of pursuing US education. I started working so that I can save some money to be comfortable financially and try to add something in the contribution towards my education expenses apart from my parents.
Later when I decided that it was time to pursue US education by giving GRE i tried various PSU banks but was unhappy with their services. The bank executives were rude and were not considerate enough to understand. I then tried Credila since I had their business card which I got from them 2 yrs ago in a education expo as mentioned earlier.

I am extremely happy that I chose this decision to pursue that call and talk to Credila. They responded immediately and their Sales team explained me everything in complete detail and gave me a vision that it is possible for me to pursue my dream. I give my sincerest thanks to the Credila team. Credila team was very good at explaining and solving all my doubts and my parents questions. The best thing was the Credila executives were willing to spend time and gave importance to the student's dream more than anything else.

Q: Any other advice to students and parents?
A: Other advice is for the students to teach their parents some small but important aspects of technology. This would be like helping the parents know how to chat and use VOIP - voice over internet phone. This saves a lot of money for the parent and the child and it does not make one feel lonely. It is advisable to buy a laptop after coming here since electronic items are cheap here but it is equally important to have one at home in which the parents are also comfortable chatting.
I talk to my parent’s everyday using gtalk, skype and this was planned since I had bought a set of microphones and trained my parents to use it while I was in Mumbai. Now it is really beneficial since it is really cheap and we save a lot on mobile phone bills.

Other advice is on the packing of clothes and food items. If one can get food items which is allowed in the packing contrary to the MIS perceptions it helps a lot since students miss Indian food (particularly home made food items a lot).

First Time in India: Education Loan Approval before admission for students going to the USA

Mumbai: Credila Financial Services, a subsidiary of HDFC Ltd., is a specialized education loan lender. Credila announces a special benefit to the students who plans to pursue higher studies in the USA. Credila will, underwrite the education loan application file and issue education loan Approval letters to the credit- worthy students even before their admission to the US Universities.

“Credila’s education loan approval before admission to the USA is the first ever in India!”, said Prashant A. Bhonsle, Country Head of Credila Financial Services. He continued to say, “Unless students demonstrate the sources of funds, the US Universities don’t give I-20 to the students. With Credila’s education loan approval letters, thousands of creditworthy students from India, now, will be able to fulfill their dreams of higher education in the USA”.

The Catch-22 Dilemma of US Bound Indian Students: There are severe restrictions that are based on The US Federal Immigration laws and policies on funds that an Indian student can receive at U.S. universities. Matter of fact, universities will not confirm admission unless students can demonstrate their ability to bear the cost of an American Education.

American Education and the I20
An US University can conditionally admit the student for a particular course based on various parameters, ranging from Standardized Test Scores (GRE, GMAT, etc) to Leadership Qualities. However, it does not release the official document confirming a students’ admission until and unless the student is able to demonstrate financial ability to pay for the first year of the course and continued funds to support the remaining years of education.
This official document of admission, also called the Form I20, is in fact a legal document tied to US Immigration Services. The I20 is not only the only proof of secured admission but also forms the basis of that student’s US student visa claim and attempt to enter the US for education. In a nutshell, if you don’t have an I20, you don’t go to the US for education.

Obtaining the I20
Demonstrating financial ability can be tricky, especially because only a few forms of documentary evidence are accepted by the US University. A typical Indian student has limited options - receive funding from the university in form of scholarships, waivers, etc that are extremely difficult to secure OR document family funds OR obtain an education loan. “Credila loan approval letter was one of the important financial docs which I was holding to get I20”, said Suraj T., studying in SUNY at Buffalo, USA. Another student Ajin N. who obtained education loan from Credila and studying in University of Illinois at Chicago, USA said, “Credila gave me the liquidity to go ahead with the fees payment. So the embassy was happy with loan approval letter and the way of funding for my course”.

The Chicken-Egg Syndrome
Indian Students that plan on obtaining an education loan to fund their US studies face a typical “Chicken-Egg” syndrome every year: The US University requires proof of assured funds to confirm the admission and release the I20; Indian banks do not Approval or authorize education loans until the student has confirmed admission and received the I20. So what comes first—the I20 or the bank loan authorization? Chicken or Egg?
This limitation of Indian Banks put a severe damper on several qualified students that plan on obtaining the I20 and funding their American education via loans. Unfortunately some students, out of sheer desperation, resort to unethical measures to forge such documentation which makes things worse overall. Mr. Richard Yam, Foreign Student Advisor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst notes “We see a lot of loan approval letters that prospective students from all over the world send to us to document proof of funds. [But] I do not think I have seen anything [similar] from India.” This is echoed by Mr. Hrayr Tamzarian, Asst. Dean of International Admissions at Smith College, a highly selective private undergraduate college near Boston—“We normally accept loan letters [for I20 sponsorship] as we are very expensive and understand that the student and family may not have full funding proof and may take student loans to pay the balance fee…if the family funds plus the loan add up to the required amount, then we can issue the I20.”

Credila’s Unique Solution for students applying for studies in the USA

One of the objectives of a recent and exciting development relating to educational loans in India aims at solving this “Catch-22” situation jeopardizing the Indian student community.

Credila Financial Services, is currently India’s first and only fully-dedicated education loan provider. Credila has entered into key partnerships with various organizations and educational institutes around the globe to better serve the Indian student community. Credila Financial Services is a subsidiary of HDFC Ltd. HDFC Ltd. is a strategic investor in Credila. Over 50,000 students and parents have applied to Credila for education loan in the past few months. So far Credila has funded students for their studies in Universities such as Columbia Univ., Cornell Univ, Purdue Univ., Carnegie Mellon, Oxford etc.

Credila is offering Education Loan Approval letter to credit worthy students even before they get any confirmed admission from the USA. Credila does not mandate “Confirmed Admission” to process or grant education loan offers and Approvals. So a student can apply and receive a loan approval letter from Credila even before being admitted to the course of his/her choice. This may also help the student to secure admission to better courses. For more information, please visit

Other headlines

• Get Education Loan Approval before your Admission!
• Credila to issue Education Loan Approval before admission
• Get I-20 with the help of Credila’s education loan approval
• Facing problems getting I-20? Credila can fund you!
• Students going to the USA: Credila can fund you!
• No funds for I-20? Credila can fund you!
• Credila’s innovative solution for the students going to USA
• Students going to USA: Credila can help you in your I-20
• US Universities need proof of funds: Credila provides funds before I-20
• USA admission: Credila can fund you and help you get I-20
• Admission to the USA & I-20: Credila funds students before I-20
• Credila to approve education loan before I-20

My Life at Cornell University

Pracheer G. Shares his experience at Cornell University

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- M.Eng. – Computer Science. I wanted to study more about Computer Science, specifically the fields I am interested in. A professional-oriented course was an added plus.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- Because of the standard of education here. It is an experience in itself. There is no doubt you won’t regret studying in US.

Q :- How is Cornell Univeristy different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about
A :- I would again like to point out to the fact the faculty of here is among the best in the world. They are the thought leaders in their field. Plus I was interested in all round development for which Cornell seemed an obvious choice. Not to mention the university has some breathtaking views!
You would find all sorts of people from all over the world sitting with you in the class.

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Hell Yeah!

Q :- Please share some of your experiences of the USA for aspiring students
A :- You would always be exploring provided you have time! Soon the pressure of studies would dawn on you. To use a cliché, it is better to work hard, play hard. The level of teaching is way different (in a better way) so it may take some time to adjust.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- The process of applying may seem complicated and tiring. Don’t get bogged down by that. The effort would seem worthwhile once you arrive here and enter your first class!

Q :- Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA ?
A :- Punctuality! You are supposed to submit your assignments by 11:59:59 PM always!

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India ?
A :- You have to think more in your assignments. Method of teaching is more practical rather than theoretical like that in India.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- IMHO, yes. It is worthwhile.

Q :- What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A :- Initially, it may sound scary to send your kid half way across the world spending so much money. But you would soon realize it was the best investment you ever made. And education can never be waste.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- Am giving interviews right now and side-by-side applying for a Ph.D. programme.

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Credila

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- Because they were the only loan providers who were responding properly to all the questions I had! Plus since their sole purpose is educational loans, they seemed to be the choice.

My Life at Columbia University

The US experience of Ms. Sangeeta R. who enrolled for MS at Columbia University -2010

Q :- How does it feel to be at Columbia University, New York, USA?
A :- It feels privileged to be a part of an Ivy League Institution.

Q :- Please tell us about which course is you doing and why did you choose that course?
A :- Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design.

Q :- Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A :- The USA has the most eclectic mix of International students.

Q :- How is Columbia University different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends?
A :- Columbia University is not only one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States offering a diverse range of graduate and masters’ level programs but also located in New York, one of the best cities in the USA.

Q :- Are you happy with your decision?
A :- Yes, I am extremely happy with my decision.

Q :- Where do you eat? Do you cook yourself?
A :- I try and cook myself most of the time. It is super convenient to find Indian groceries and spices here in New York. However due to a hectic schedule at school, I do end up eating out most of the time. The food is good in terms of variety and quality and also reasonable, price- wise.

Q :- Where do you live? On-campus or off-campus and why?
A :- I live 10 blocks away from campus. Columbia University does not have housing within the campus, but offers a lot of student housing either in Columbia owned housing or other rental agencies.

Q :- What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A :- My advice would be, to shortlist your schools carefully and apply well in advance. Also ensure that you do begin communicating with the directors and professors, professing your interest in pursuing the course. The people here at schools in the USA are extremely helpful and willing to offer advice at all times. So you should make the most of it.

Q :- How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India?
A :- The fact that there is diversity in terms of nationality of the students, make the learning experience fun and enriching. Also the pedagogic approach is different and more flexible in terms of choice of classes and subjects that interest you the most.

Q :- Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A :- It is definitely beneficial in terms of the learning experience and the exposure that you get.

Q :- What are you future plans?
A :- My plan for the future is to work in the States for a couple of years to build on international experience and then eventually move back to India to set up my own Architectural practice.

Q :- How did you fund your higher education?
A :- Through family funds and Credila Educational Loan.

Q :- Why did you choose Credila?
A :- Because of their extremely transparent process in terms of loan processing as well as quick and timely help during need of financial documents at the time of applying for a Visa.

How to choose a school

Before diving into the decision-making process, it is worth taking time to consider whether you have the makings of a masters in management student.
Typically in Europe, where the degree is popular, no work experience is required to enter the programme. As a consequence, students tend to be younger than those who complete MBAs or other programmes where professional knowledge is a prerequisite.

According to FT data, students are, on average, aged between 22 and 23 when they start a masters in management programme.

Christina Olabarría, admissions director for the masters programme at Esade Business School, Barcelona, says: “Most choose to do a masters with a view to differentiating themselves from other candidates applying for graduate recruitment schemes and management training tracks.”

Unless you have an unusually clear idea of your ambitions, choosing your ideal school often initially comes down to location.

“Most students make a geographic choice first, then look at schools within a particular country or region,” says Judith Bouvard, dean of Grenoble Graduate School of Business.

According to Valérie Gauthier, associate dean at HEC Paris, the key question to ask is: where do you want to work after graduating?

If the answer is France, you might apply to HEC; if you want to work in London, then the LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) or LBS (London Business School) would be among the obvious choices.

Since relatively few US schools offer the masters in management qualification, would-be applicants from America might want to consider Europe, where the programmes are more a part of the business school landscape.

Internships – whether during the course or upon graduation – are most likely to open up job opportunities in the country of study. Studying abroad therefore offers the chance of early international experience, while studying in a location where a particular industry is clustered – finance, for example, in London – enhances your chances of getting a job in a target sector.

Given how hard business schools work to protect and enhance their brands, finding a school with a good reputation is critical. Some are known for quality across the board, others for strength in a particular sector, or for the warmth of their welcome for overseas students. Rankings tables are crucial in providing information for students to judge what’s best for them.

“Reputation is everything for business schools,” says François Collin, executive director of Cems’ head office.

“It nurtures the virtuous circle that enables schools to attract and recruit the top professors, the best students and the influencing corporate partners.”

It will come as no surprise then, that the reputation of a school or programme will go a long way in affecting how you are viewed by potential employers.

Serious schools are also branded for the quality of their courses by accreditation bodies such as the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in the US, the EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development), and Ceeman (the Central and East European Management Development Association).

And although the top ranked schools are likely to be the best resourced, they are also more likely to be oversubscribed, and are often the most expensive.

As such, it is important to be realistic about what you apply to do. How good are your credentials? Is there an alternative that is more suitable? Might you do better to become a graduate trainee, gain experience and study for an MBA at a later date?

However, if you are unable to secure your first choice, all is not lost. “If you can’t get into a top school, look for those on the up and ride the wave of success,” says Ulrich Hommel, an associate director at the EFMD.

Most masters in management programmes include some form of work-related experience, from supervised research projects within a business environment to an internship. “A good programme will mix academic rigour with corporate relevance,” says Prof Hommel.

Therefore, potential students should seek as much information as possible about any corporate partners affiliated with different schools ­– not just whether an internship is available, but with whom and in which sectors. Another consideration is which companies hire alumni from the school. “Admissions officers are a good source of information, but ask to speak to alumni and current students too,” Prof Hommel advises. They have a good insight into what it is like to study a particular programme and are in the best position to point out any pitfalls.

Depending on where you see your career taking you, it is worth researching the international dimensions of a school. Find out what proportion of faculty and students is from overseas – diversity is likely to bring a wider range of perspectives to a programme. Dual degree programmes, where participants spend time in two institutions in different countries and are awarded a degree from both, are a popular way of gaining international exposure.

Consider, too, how the programme is delivered. Those keen to avoid traditional “chalk and talk” methods should look for new learning techniques incorporated into the programme. The use of interactive technology and action learning, such as trading room floor simulations and role plays, are good indicators of an innovative programme.

Once you’ve discovered all you can, then pay the school a visit.

“Talk to the current students, talk to the administrators, talk to the faculty,”’ suggests Susan Roth, director of MSc programmes at Cass Business School at City University, London. “Do you get a buzz walking through the door and feel it’s where you want to be?” When all other parts of the decision-making process have been worked through, trust your instincts.

Sun, sea and school

At Ceram business school, located inside the Sophia Antipolis technology park close to the Mediterranean resort of Antibes, the aromatic smell of pine trees and the chirrup of crickets make for a pleasant backdrop to the school, which celebrates its 44th birthday this year.
Yet the school has more than just its birthday to celebrate. Ceram recently announced a merger with ESC Lille, another of France’s grandes écoles, in a move that will create the largest business school in the country. With more than 5,000 students, it is hoped the merged – and as-yet unnamed – school will compete with high-profile international rivals.

Current Ceram director, Alice Guilhon, who has also been appointed head of the merged institution, wants to create a business school for the knowledge economy, focusing on globalisation, innovation and technology. “The merger does not change the strategy in any way,” she says.

Ceram’s Sophia Antipolis home has been donated to the school by the French Riviera Chamber of Commerce. The combined school will also have campuses in Lille and Paris, where the MBA programme will be based, and Suzhou in China. Another campus is planned for the US.

Its location inside one of Europe’s leading science and technology parks helps underpin Ceram’s partnership with the Department for Research on Innovation and Competition (DRIC), part of the OFCE, one of France’s leading economic research organisations.

Ceram and DRIC will soon offer an MSc and a PhD programme in applied economics. “It is a huge opportunity to connect two disciplines in economics and business,” says Jean-Luc Gaffard, director of DRIC and professor of economics at nearby University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

The combined school will offer a range of bachelors and masters programmes and a modular MBA. A second MBA programme, focusing on the knowledge economy, will be developed within the coming year. Prof Guilhon believes this “can become a flagship programme for the school in the future”.

The only major change Prof Guilhon envisages is the merger of the masters in management, the flagship programme of most French business schools. The plan is for the merged Lille and Ceram programme to be taught in English at both Sophia Antipolis and Lille.

Other French business schools will be watching their progress with interest.
Soon after I arrived at the Thunderbird School of Global Management five years ago, a group of faculty members, students and alumni were asked to identify two personalities who best represented the core values of the school.

Their choice of Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur, seemed logical, but the other name came as a surprise: the Dalai Lama.
The billionaire, yes, but the Buddhist monk? What could the Dalai Lama have to say about business and management? A few months later, when the man himself paid us a visit, I finally understood.

Speaking to us, the Dalai Lama stressed the importance of individual responsibility in an interconnected world and his belief that many of today’s problems are man-made.

He explained: “Our minds still think in terms of ‘we’ and ‘they’, but in reality, there is no such thing. The world is one body. We must recognise that the ‘others’ are also part of humanity, and that my future depends on your future. We may find some comfort in the notion of independence, but in reality we are all interdependent.”

If correct, how should this interpretation affect the way we should act towards each other? With compassion, says the Dalai Lama.

Genuine compassion is the recognition that others have the same rights, even those who are different and hold conflicting views, he told us.

“Love and compassion should extend beyond a person’s small circle of friends and relatives to include others who may think, look or act differently to us,” he explained.

His words chimed with a quote from the philosopher Socrates, inscribed on the gate of the Arizona campus at Thunderbird: “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

The Dalai Lama may not be the first name to come to mind as a management guru, yet his teachings could not be more meaningful in trying to understand the responsibilities of business leaders in the global economy.

In his speech, he described two basic principles of Buddhism: the first, a philosophical outlook that recognises the interdependence of all things; the second, a value system based around the notion of compassion, the requirement to cause no harm to others.

These two ideas are interconnected. If I believe my wellbeing depends on yours, then your pain becomes mine, and it becomes my self-interest to care about yours.

Such a philosophy can also be used to define global citizenship in a business context: an outlook that recognises the prosperity of one individual, company or nation depends on the prosperity of others.

A global citizen will work to create value for all parties involved in a business transaction, rather than seeking to exploit one party for short-term gain. For example, he or she cannot accept harmful labour practices in one country for the reason that it benefits customers or shareholders in another.

The notion of “sustainability”, meanwhile – financial, social and environmental – is a recognition that one’s success is tied to that of others, and that one’s business strategy must respond to the interests of multiple stakeholders.

Successful business leaders understand that treating others with dignity and helping them succeed is imperative if they themselves want to succeed over the long term. They do not win by playing one supplier off against another, or by selling products that are harmful to their clients.

They win by innovating, serving and creating. They treat employees, customers, suppliers and investors as partners, not enemies. They change the world by creating products, jobs and returns for investors. They give back to their communities. In the process, they find financial security for themselves and the satisfaction of having made a meaningful contribution.

During his visit, the Dalai Lama shared the story of a prominent Indian businessman who asked for his blessing. “Your blessing is not here,” the Dalai Lama told him. “Go back and invest in your community — create a school to bring about opportunities to all those who have been left behind. That will be your life’s blessing.”

Angel Cabrera is president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management
.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article

GMAT Problem Solving

GMAT problem solving questions are designed more to test your understanding of underlying mathematical concepts than to test your ability to actually carry out quantitative procedures accurately.

Fortunately for many test takers, advanced quantitative topics, such as trigonometry and calculus, are not tested on the GMAT. To score well, you only need to be familiar with basic arithmetic, geometry, and algebra, as taught at the high school level. Any decent GMAT prep book will cover these quantitative concepts.

Problem Solving Tips and Strategies
Read the questions carefully. It is impossible to overstate the importance of careful reading. The most common pitfall GMAT test takers stumble into is answering the question they thought they read, instead of the one the test asked. There is a big difference between a question asking "Which of the following may be true?" and one asking "Which of the following may not be true?" The test writers deliberately include answer choices that correlate to common misinterpretations of the questions.

Use your scrap paper for every question. No matter how easy a question appears, you should utilize your scrap paper. Seeing a calculation on paper will help you avoid easy mistakes and the answer choices designed to exploit them. Remember, once you record your answer on the GMAT CAT, you can't go back and change it. This aspect of the CAT makes this tip even more effective.

Do not get bogged down with complicated or lengthy calculations. We have looked at hundreds of GMAT problem solving questions and found that they are deliberately designed to make such calculations unnecessary. You are overlooking a shortcut if you find yourself getting bogged down in this way.

The "guesstimating" technique is extremely effective on this exam. Most of the time, the answer to a problem-solving question is a value, and the values given in the answer choices will not be very close to each other. As a result, you can save time by 'guesstimating.' For example, if you know the value you're looking for is about 30%, and the answer choices are 4%, 13%, 29%, 47%, and 81%, you can safely guess that the correct answer is 29%. Congratulations – you just saved yourself a lot of time on this question, and avoided getting caught up in a longer calculation that might have resulted in a math error!

Learn how to work backwards. If you are completely stuck on a question, you can always try plugging in an answer choice and work backwards to see if it makes sense. When you use this technique, we suggest starting with the choice giving the middle value. Even if the middle value does not answer the question, it might tell you if you need to go higher or lower. You will have narrowed 5 choices down to 2.

Convert quantities freely. There are often shortcuts available to you if you can recognize relationships between the numbers used in the problems. Keep in mind, the GMAT test writers never haphazardly select numbers for their questions. This technique is especially useful in narrowing down likely answer choices when you feel the urge to pull out a calculator. One easy conversion to remember is that, at least for purposes of the GMAT, π = 22/7.

Use process of elimination as a last resort. The GMAT writers have historically arranged answer choices in ascending numerical value. Even if you are unable to immediately hone in on the correct answer, chances are that guesstimating, working backwards, or some other technique will help you eliminate many wrong choices.

Practice, practice, practice. When you spend time practicing quantitative questions, you internalize these tips and strategies. You will also become very comfortable with the type of questions found on this portion of the test, and will quickly realize whether you need to brush up your skills in any math areas, such as geometry or algebra. After all, when it comes time to sit for the GMAT, you will want to be able to recall certain information – the total number of degrees in the sides of a triangle, the calculation for the area of a circle, etc – off the top of your head.

Problem-Specific Tips and Techniques
There are several distinct types of quantitative problems, each of which can be approached with specific tips and strategies:

Geometry Problems

Assume diagrams are drawn accurately unless the question specifically states otherwise. Do not, however, rely on your visual judgment to answer these questions. The test writers never allow their questions to be that easily answered. One common mistake is to assume that 2 lines must form a right angle, when this is not specifically indicated in the text. Do not fall into this trap – it is one of the most common mistakes made on the GMAT.

Spend at least 30 seconds reviewing the diagrams. Many implicit facts and numbers can be found inside these illustrations. Due to the computer-adaptive nature of today's GMAT, you will need to sketch out the diagrams on your scrap paper to deduce the implicit facts from the data explicitly given.

Graph Problems

Spend at least 30 seconds reviewing the graphs and tables. Graph problems are not meant to require hard math calculations. Instead, they are designed to test your ability to interpret and use information contained in graphs and tables. As a result, you will be well served by closely studying the structure and basic content of the graphs and tables. The axis labels, legend key, and units of measurement are more important to you in understanding and answering the question than the actual data presented.

Make sure you are familiar with bar, circle, and line graphs. These are the 3 graph types most commonly presented on the GMAT.

You can rely on visual estimates for bar graphs and line charts. The test writers will not use visual tricks to deceive you. In fact, you will often times have to trust a visual estimation to determine the correct answer. Note: Visual estimates will not work with geometry questions.

"Weird" Problems

Identification is half the battle. Train yourself to recognize when you're dealing with a "weird" problem, and deal with it accordingly. AdmissionsConsultants defines "weird" as problems that simply test your reasoning skills, not your quantitative skills. These questions are widely considered the most intimidating on the entire exam.

An excellent example of this genre of question is a problem that presents a function you never learned in school. You will greatly improve your odds of answering it correctly by calmly and methodically imitating the "logic" presented in the question. If this fails, you can always work backwards to solve the problem.

Word Problems

Build equations for word problems. When dealing with a word question (such as what happens if trains are traveling at a certain speed), build an equation that will help you understand the question being asked and find the answer. Use obvious letter symbols such a "A" for train A, "B" for Bob's age, etc., to stand for the values you need to calculate.

Don't waste time looking for subtle meanings. You can make reasonable assumptions with these questions. The test writers are not trying to trick you in this way.

GMAT Test Preparation Tips

You Can Easily Increase Your GMAT CAT Score by 50 to 100 Points
Despite the official statements of GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), you can improve your GMAT score dramatically simply by taking the time to become "streetwise" about the GMAT CAT. Quite simply, this is the easiest step in your test preparation, and should not be ignored under any circumstances.

Keep in mind that the GMAT is a game. Just as in chess, baseball, tennis, or any other sport, those who know how the game is played have a huge advantage over those who are ignorant of the game's idiosyncratic rules.

As a test taker, you should understand:

The computer-adaptive structure of the GMAT
The types of exam questions asked and their common fallacies
How to manage your time wisely
The computer-adaptive structure of the GMAT

The computer-adaptive test (CAT) version of the GMAT is designed to get a more accurate assessment of your skills while asking you fewer questions than its paper-based predecessor did. Here is how it works: the first question you see in any given section will be of average difficulty. If you get the answer right, your next question will be slightly more difficult. If you get the answer wrong, your next question will be slightly easier. The software will also ask you different types of questions in a rather unpredictable order, as determined by its algorithm, rather than clustering question types as the written GMAT did.

You can not skip a question or go back to an earlier question. Unlike the paper version, once you click the 'answer confirm' box, your answer can not be changed.

The types of exam questions asked and their common fallacies

Examples and explanations of these can be found in the pages describing the individual component sections of the GMAT posted on this website. We strongly encourage our clients to spend time learning these question types before brushing up on their verbal and math skills.

How to manage your time wisely


The main way to develop GMAT time management skills is to practice taking the test. You will repeatedly see us return to the theme of practice throughout this website. It is very hard to overstate its importance. Therefore you are strongly encouraged to take at least a few mock GMAT exams, in the computer-adaptive format and to try to simulate the actual testing environment. (That means refraining from taking food breaks, engaging in telephone conversations, etc. until you have completed a section.)

Spend adequate time on the first 5 questions

Earlier, we discussed how the GMAT CAT's underlying algorithm determines the difficulty of questions you are asked, based on your performance in answering previous questions. Difficult questions are weighted more heavily in scoring than easier questions. The first couple questions in any GMAT CAT section are used to determine the range of questions that the program 'thinks' you are able to handle. After you have answered these first few questions, the testing software will give you questions to fine tune your score within that rather narrowly predetermined range. Thus, your answers to the first 5 questions will make a HUGE difference in your final section score.

It is imperative that you answer these pivotal questions with extra care. Always double check your answers to these questions. Verify that the answer choices that you judged to be incorrect are indeed incorrect. If you are unsure of the answer to one of these first questions, at the very least, take a very good educated guess using process of elimination.

Prepare yourself to finish the test – at all costs!

There is a huge scoring penalty for failing to finish any section of the GMAT. For example, say you're in line to get a score that will put you in the 70 percentile of test takers, based on your test performance so far – but then run out of time and fail to answer the last five questions in the section. That failure will lower your score to about the 55 percentile. The lesson to take away from this is to prepare yourself to finish the test at all costs. Answering a question incorrectly will hurt you, but not as much as leaving the question unanswered will. Train yourself to work your best within the time limits of the exam. But train yourself, too, to be able to recognize when only a minute or so remains on the clock, and at that point to just answer "C" (or whatever your lucky letter is) for any remaining questions. As the GMAT's Chief Psychometrician put it to us, random guessing is like shooting yourself in the foot – but leaving answers blank is like shooting yourself in both feet.

Don't waste time

This advice probably sounds self evident. However, we mention it because we've had clients tell us how they inadvertently wasted test time by revisiting the help screen or requesting extra scrap paper after they began their test. These activities, if undertaken once the section has begun, will take time away from working on the questions.

Read the Questions Carefully
As silly as this advice may seem, it's worth remembering. An undisciplined test taker will feel the stress of the clock during the timed sections and will try to cut corners to save time, wherever and whenever possible. As a result, he or she often misinterprets questions. GMAT test writers are well aware of this dynamic, and happy to capitalize on it. We guarantee that you will encounter questions on the GMAT that include incorrect answer choices that were deliberately designed to exploit likely misinterpretations of what the question is really asking.

Avoid Random Guessing
The GMAT CAT does not allow you to skip questions and come back to them later, as you can on a written test. You must answer each question on the GMAT CAT before it will allow you to move on to the next question. Consequently, even if you don't know the answer to a particular question, you have to answer it. It is always in your best interest to take an educated guess rather than resorting to random guessing – even if you are running out of time on the section. Usually you will be able to identify at least one answer choice that is clearly wrong. Eliminating even one incorrect choice will improve your odds of answering the question correctly.

Eliminate the Deliberately Deceptive Wrong Choices
With practice, you will begin to learn how to recognize answer choices that are deliberately deceptive – and wrong. There are a few common patterns here that will become apparent as you proceed with your test preparation.

One recognizable pattern is commonly found in the Problem Solving section. It involves an erroneous answer choice giving a value that would result from following a common computational error. You can avoid these deceptive choices by using scrap paper, checking your answers and using estimation to at least judge the general range of the correct choice.

Practice, Practice, Practice
As we stated at the top of this page, there are a number of tips and techniques to taking the GMAT that will significantly raise your overall score. This is a test that you can prepare for, despite anything the test-makers state. We strongly encourage you to use actual questions from previous exams as you practice, as we have noticed a material difference in the nature and quality of test questions prepared by ETS versus those written by GMAT prep companies. We also strongly encourage you to practice taking the exam in its computer-adaptive format.

Finally, we encourage you to spend most of your preparation time studying and practicing questions in your weakest subject area. While we believe every test taker benefits by reviewing each GMAT exam section, focusing on your weakest areas will make the most efficient use of your test-prep time.

Don't Wait Too Long to Take the GMAT
Don't count on taking the GMAT at the last minute. Should you need to retake the exam, you will need time both to register for the test again and to have the new scores submitted to schools in time for the application deadlines. Scheduling the GMAT well into the admissions season is also bound to cause most test takers undue stress. With proper planning and insight, you can spare yourself these negative energies and instead focus on maximizing your GMAT score.

Top Five GMAT Study Mistakes by Manhattan GMAT

Let's face it--it's been years since you've studied for a standardized test. You have vague memories of filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil, but that's pretty much where your recall ends. Now, you've got the GMAT in front of you, and it's time to hit the books once again. Since everyone learns differently and has different study techniques, it can be hard to prescribe a universal method. However, having observed thousands of GMAT test-takers over the years, we at ManhattanGMAT have identified five common study mistakes that students make while studying for the GMAT.

Mistake #1: Believing that "more is more"
A common misperception is that the only way to truly master the GMAT is to see every problem in existence. And given the number of GMAT guides available at your local bookstore, there is plenty of material out there. Of course, you do want to see a variety of problems, so that you know which concepts are tested, and how. However, simply exposing yourself to all sorts of problems is not enough; you have to actually study the problems, and this may mean doing fewer problems. You are not done with a problem when you get it right. You should spend twice as long reviewing a problem as you spend doing it, whether or not you got it correct. (I'm serious on that one.) As a part of your review, ask yourself whether you identified the topics being tested. Did you do answer the question in the most efficient way? Was there another approach you could have taken? Does the problem or any of the concepts remind you of other problems you've seen? The goal is to find a lesson in each question and be able to apply those lessons to the next group of problems you do.

Mistake #2: Believing that "more is more," part deux
I once knew a GMAT student who believed that if he took a practice test a day for six weeks, he would be prepared when the actual test date rolled around. Prepared to jump off a bridge, I thought, but not prepared to take the test. Just like doing too many practice problems, taking unnecessary tests will not help you learn the material necessary to do well on the GMAT. Use practice tests sparingly. Use them to build stamina, get accustomed to the timing constraints and gauge your progress. Practice tests should not be your primary study tool. If you are fortunate enough to be using a test that gives you diagnostic information, use that information to guide your future studying. Focus primarily on your weakest areas, but don't let any particular topic or question type go cold. Whatever you do, DO NOT get hung up on your score. These are practice exams; for good or ill, the real exam will be a completely different experience.

Mistake #3: Believing that "more is more," part tre
It's a rare bird who did not, at some point during college, pull an all-nighter cramming for a nasty final exam. Remember when it was 3 a.m. and the room was littered with half-drunk cups of coffee, empty pizza boxes, discarded Twizzlers' wrappers and numerous rumpled cheat sheets? That was fine when you were 19 and trying to remember a semester's worth of human behavior biology; it won't cut it now. Studying for long periods of time is not effective preparation for the GMAT. Rather, pace yourself. Give yourself a good three months to prepare for the test, working about two hours a day. Mix up your study sessions so that you work a bit on verbal and a bit on quantitative topics. Do a group of problems (say, 20 minutes worth) and spend the next 40 minutes reviewing your work. Take a stretch break, come back, and do another group of problems. Review those intensely, and then call it a day. Longer work sessions lead to diminishing returns, a concept that all business schools care about.

Mistake #4: Forgetting about time
Time is your most valuable resource when you take the GMAT. Since you have only 75 minutes to answer either 41 verbal questions or 37 quantitative questions, how you allocate those precious minutes is crucial to your overall strategy and success. Too often, GMAT takers put too much emphasis on getting the problem right and not enough emphasis on getting the problem right in the right amount of time. Always, always, always do your practice timed. Give yourself a certain number of minutes to complete a set of problems. This way, you can see how well you balance those problems that take a little too long with those that you can do faster than the average bear. Always strive to find the most efficient way through the question.

Mistake #5: Doing only the stuff you're good at
It feels great to do a set of problems in the right amount of time and get them all (or nearly all) correct. When that happens, give yourself a sincere pat on the back. But then go in search of material you are less comfortable with. Working only on topics or problem types you already feel great about won't help your overall score nearly as much as making improvements in areas where you aren't quite up to snuff. Because of the GMAT's adaptive nature, your weaknesses create a ceiling for your strengths. You won't see a 700-level sentence correction question if your reading comprehension is down in the 500s. In order to take the most advantage of your killer grammar skills, you have to increase your RC level. So, bite the bullet and do the hard work. It may not feel quite as fun the first time out, but you'll love the improvements you'll make over time.

Conquering the GMAT can seem like a daunting task. But if you avoid these five mistakes, you'll be well on your way to victory. And if you get stressed, grab one of those old #2 pencils and start gnawing away on the end of it. I mean, it's not like they'll let you use it for the test, so you might as well get some use out of it.

About Manhattan GMAT

Manhattan GMAT is the nation's largest GMAT-exclusive preparation provider. Manhattan GMAT's mission is to provide students with a blend of the academic and test-taking skills essential for success, given today's higher standard for what defines a competitive GMAT score. Preparation options include nine-session courses, private tutoring, one-day workshops, and corporate classes on-site at many Fortune 500 companies. The Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides, the heart of our curriculum, can be purchased through our online store or major book retailers like Barnes & Noble.

Check out our website to learn more about our upcoming programs, curriculum and instructors.

*GMAT and GMAT CAT are registered trademarks of the Graduate Management Admissions Council, which neither sponsors nor endorses this preparation service.

For more B-school and GMAT insight from the experts at Manhattan GMAT, check out our MBA Resources.

Win a $2,000 No-Essay Scholarship

College Prowler, an information site for prospective college students is offering a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship that can be used for undergraduate or graduate level education. No essay is required. Simply fill out College Prowler's form by August 31, 2010 for a chance to win. Applicants must be a legal resident of the United States and planning to enroll in school within the next 12 months. International students are also eligible if they have a valid visa.

SP Jain wins Asia’s Best B-School award

Besides the best B-School award, S P Jain has also won the Best Industry Interface award.

Also, John Davis, Dean of S P Jain’s Global MBA program won the Best Marketing Professor Award.

The awards were conferred by the CMO Asia under the chairmanship of Andrew Kelly, and Stars of the Industry Awards under the chairmanship of Jonathan Peters.

CMO Asia Awards accolades organizations, Chief Marketing Officers, Professors from the greatest B-Schools of Asia and HR professionals who have shown leadership in their respective fields combined with consistent innovation.

The CMO Asia Awards have been represented by 25 countries across Asia.

Other recipients present at the ceremony included professors from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Insead, Australian School of Business, Melbourne Business School, Zayed University, American University of Sharjah, British University in Dubai, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIT Bombay, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Georgia State University and several other reputed schools.

100 Essential Resources for Doing Business in China

China has emerged as an amazing economic power that brings plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs and business people alike from outside China. If you plan to do business in China, there are several areas you should study prior to launching your business venture. The following resources include journals and newspapers, informative articles, blogs and podcasts, and free classes to help you learn about international business, Chinese culture, and even how to speak Chinese. Take advantage of these resources to get the best start possible on your business relationship in China.

Business Journals and Newspapers

Stay on top of all the news that affects business in China with these journals and newspapers.

1.The China Business Network. Learn about advertising, technology, cultural business strategies, and more as well as read interviews from important business people in this online journal.
2.China Success Stories. Take advantage of the experience of those who have gone before you and learn what these business people did to create a successful business venture in China.
3.China Economic Review. Stay on top of the economy in China with this journal.
4.The China Business Review. Find out about the supply chain, exporting, environmental issues, and more in this journal.
5.China Business Info Center. Read the latest news and headlines that pertain to doing business in China here.
6.Asia Times Online Greater China Business. Get all the news happening in China that may affect business there.
7.China Stocks, Companies, and Industry Analysis. Learn about the news that relates to stocks in China from this source.
8.China Briefing. Publishing in China since 1999, this business news publication offers news and information about doing business in China.
9.China Digital Times. The site sponsored by the Berkeley China Internet Project brings news stories about business, tech, and more coming out of China.
10.Wall Street Journal China Journal. Learn about Chinese business, economy, and culture with the reports from this respected news source.
11.China Business Market News. Get free articles on Chinese economy, investments, retail, pharmaceutical, technology, and more.
12.China Business News. Interfax China provides news that touches on telecommunications, metals, energy, commodities, and more.

Being connected with other business people can be important to the success of your business venture. From business associations to sustainable development groups, these organizations will help you make important connections.

13.The US-China Business Council. This non-profit organization exists to support and maintain positive US-Chinese trade practices.
14.American China International Business Association. Working to develop successful business relationships, this non-profit organization works closely with government and businesses in China.
15.The American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China. This non-profit organization works to provide solid business practices for its members.
16.Committee of 100. This group of American citizens with Chinese backgrounds has worked to secure important and respected positions in the community and work to better US-Chinese relations as well as provide a forum for specific issues faced by Chinese-Americans.
17.The 48 Group Club. This independent business network, with a heavy British presence, serves to promote good relations with China.
18.China Council for The Promotion of International Trade. Working to promote foreign trade, investment, and technologies, this group strives to create strong working relationships between China and foreign countries.
19.China Business Council for Sustainable Development. This organization of Chinese and foreign businesses work together to create sustainable development in an effort to promote environment health safety and social responsibility.
20.International Chamber of Commerce. This international business group works to strengthen the world economy, job growth, and overall prosperity in a global environment.
21.Business for Social Responsibility. This global network of businesses work together to create sustainable business practices. This organization also has a Chinese counterpart.
22.Transparency International. With a chapter of this organization in China, this politically non-partisan group works to end corruption in both public and private sectors around the world.

From learning what to do or not to do when conducting business in China to the importance of being in business groups, these articles will inform you on the best business practices in China.

23.7 Deadly Perceptions About Doing Business with China. Don’t fall victim to these misperceptions and you will be on the way to a successful business partnership.
24.China Tries to Solve Its Brand X Blues. This article offers insight to the importance of branding in China and the struggles currently faced by companies there.
25.7 Secrets to Business Success in China. These simple yet effective suggestions will have you starting off on a promising venture in China.
26.Starting a Business in China. Discover the procedures and costs involved with setting up a business in China with this table provided by Doing Business.
27.Business China. This interview with a European businessman working in China for 16 years provides insight to what it is like to do business in China.
28.Business Groups in China: Is Qiyejituan Membership a Guaranteed Advantage?. This article from the W.P. Carey School of Business explores the role of business groups to the success of firms in China.
29.‘Quality Fade’: China’s Great Business Challenge. Take a look at one popular theory as to why the quality of Chinese goods has deteriorated and how they can improve.
30.Business Travel in China. Learn invaluable tips from meals to dress code to business card etiquette to use while on business in China.
31.Why China Won’t Come to the Rescue. Looking at the recent financial history between China and New York, this article explains an important reason why China may not help America’s financial crisis.
32.Tips on Doing Business in China and China Sourcing. While this article is intended as a sales tool to use this company’s services, it nevertheless provides valuable information on doing business in China.
33.Inside the War Against China’s Blogs. This Business Week article describes the power of blogs when it comes to businesses and their practices in China.
34.Rough Guide to Outsourcing in China. Read this businessman’s journal documenting his experience while in China to visit suppliers. After the article, scroll down for tips on finding a supplier in China and survival tips while traveling in China.
35.10 Best-Kept Secrets to Selling in China Successfully. Two experts in Chinese business offer suggestions for successful business relations in China.
Government, Legal, and Non-Profit Resources

These resources range from governmental websites about exporting to China to Chinese laws to a database of important Chinese leaders.

36.China Business Information Center. Learn all about exporting to China with this resource from Export.Gov.
37.China Business Intelligence. This site from The American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China offers links to other sites ranging from legal issues to tax issues to human resources.
38.China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission. Find arbitration rules and news pertaining to arbitration at this site.
39.China Stands Up. This series from Project Syndicate examines China’s impact on world trade and the global environment.
40.Foreign Trade Law of the People’s Republic of China. With this resource, you will ensure you understand the laws in China regarding foreign trade.
41.Securities Law of the People’s Republic of China. Having a business in China may mean you become involved with investors, public stock in your business, or other securities issues. Know the Chinese law before you begin.
42.China Commodity Net. Find Chinese suppliers with international certification or browse by location within China or product name to find suppliers at this government site.
43.China Data Center. From the University of Michigan, this site offers statistics on China including information on census, agriculture, economics, and more.
44.China Watch. A part of World Watch, this organization monitors safety, health, and environmental issues in China as they pertain to policy-makers, businesses, and non-governmental agencies.
45.China Vitae. This site keeps information on over 3000 Chinese leaders from several sectors including government, politics, business, education, and the military.
46.Global Institute of Logistics China Report. This organization works to connect academia with the business world, and this page is devoted to business in China.
47.Business Library 2.0: Doing Business in China. These links provided by the University of Florida offer articles, advice, and resources for doing business in China.

Blogs hold an important place in the business culture in China. Follow these blogs to learn what you need to know and help you become a part of the Chinese business community.

48.Asiabizblog. Learn about the latest news about doing business in China with this blog that is updated twice weekly.
49.ChinaSolved Blog. The blog at this site offers great advice to help you improve your business relations with your Chinese counterparts.
50.China Business Blog. From the financial markets to trade surplus, learn what is affecting businesses in China at this blog.
51.China Business SEO Marketing Guide. Find out how to boost your online presence for your business in China with the advice on this blog.
52.All Roads Lead to China. Get a better understanding of China through the posts offering strategic insight and advice on this blog.
53.Business and Finance on Danwei. From Chinese labor laws to technology policies in Asia, learn about the details of doing business in China here.
54.Best Practices China Blog. This blog offers "international business skills for China’s professionals" with advice and suggestions to improve your business relationships.
55.China Business Law Blog. Written by a Chinese man attending law school in Texas, this blog offers insight and news analysis of China and business law.
56.China Environmental Law. Keep up-to-date with Chinese environmental and energy laws and policies with this blog written by an international lawyer in China.
57.China Financial Markets. Written by a business professor in China, this blog offers important information about the financial markets.
58.Experience Not Logic. This blog states its purpose to "explore the business and legal culture of China."
Videos and Podcasts

These videos and podcasts can help you stay on top of the news, culture, and even learning the language in China.

59.ChinaOnTV Business Videos. Watch video clips featuring business news from China at this site.
60.China Business Blog and Podcast. Listen to podcasts from this consulting firm offering information on doing business in China.
61.China Talk Radio. Get podcasts here that deliver speeches from some of the top business people working in China.
62.The China Business Show. These podcasts bring interviews from experts in the fields of advertising, business culture, entrepreneurship, and much more.
63.ChinesePod. Learn Chinese with these podcasts. One week is free, but then you will need to pay to continue the service.
64.Interview with Jill Buck, Founder of the Go Green Initiative. Listen to this podcast to learn about this organization and how it is working with China.
65.The Cool Aid . Listen to podcasts from bizCult about living and doing business in China from this site.
66.Danwei FM. Get podcasts from one of the most popular China blogs on the Internet.
67.Marketplace from American Public Radio. The Asia section covers all of Asia, but has a preponderance of podcasts on China.
68.Peace Corps Language Lessons. Get Mandarin lessons on podcast from the Peace Corps here.
69.CSLPod. These podcasts are intended for those learning Chinese as a second language.
International Business Schools

The business schools in China have gained a reputation as some of the best in the world. If you plan to pursue your MBA in China, check out these schools.

70.China Europe International Business School. Earn an MBA at this school located in China run exclusively for business people operating in or moving to China.
71.University of International Business and Economics. The first institute of higher learning for Chinese international business, this business school enjoys an excellent reputation as a leader in business education.
72.Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. The first non-profit business school in China, this school not only attracts top educators, it also promotes a strong sense of social justice in its education.
Free International Business and Politics Classes

Whether you already have an MBA or are just gaining more knowledge about doing business in China, these free classes will help you understand the economic, political, and business culture in China.

73.International Trade. Study current topics of international trade to determine the flow of goods across borders and what determines the flow of savings and investments between countries.
74.International Economics. Learn the basics in trade theory, policy, and international finance in this class.
75.International Economics I. This graduate level class from MIT explores the field of international trade and foreign investment.
76.FT Business School Growing Business Opportunities in China. From Financial Times, this course offers videos, online Q&As, and more to help you learn about doing business with China.
77.Global Markets, National Politics and the Competitive Advantage of Firms. Study the risks and opportunities available to businesses operating in a global markets.
78.Global Entrepreneurship Lab. Learn about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the global world of business in this lab class.
79.Global Strategy and Organization. This course teaches business owners and managers how to lay the foundation for a successful company in international business.
80.International Relations. This introductory course strives to teach students the basics of international relations including idealism and realism.
81.International Relations of East Asia. Explore western relations with East Asia both before and after the Cold War and examine how this history has shaped current relations.
82.International Environmental Negotiation. Learn how to successfully negotiate for sustainability when working internationally in this graduate level course.
83.Government and Politics of China. Examine pre-Communist and Communist China to discover how the current political system has developed.
84.Comparative Politics and China. Study contemporary Chinese politics and relate them to the wider field of comparative politics in this graduate class.
85.Analyzing & Accounting for Regional Economic Change. Learn about factors within regions that affect economic growth and development in a global economy.
Language Classes

Doing business in China means you will probably need to speak some of the language. These university courses are all free and will have you speaking Mandarin before you know it.

86.Chinese I. Learn the basics of Mandarin with these lessons specially created for open courseware. This is the first in a series of four classes.
87.Chinese II. The second course of the series, this class focuses on conversation, reading, and the structure of the Chinese written language system.
88.Chinese III. In the third section of this series, this class builds upon what was learned in the prior classes to strengthen conversation and writing skills.
89.Chinese IV. Continue your lessons in the final course of the series while focusing on strengthening your reading skills and gaining confidence with the spoken word.
90.Chinese V: Chinese Cultures and Society. This course combines text lessons with real-life explorations of Chinese culture.
91.Chinese VI: Discovering Chinese Cultures and Society. Sharpen the sophistication of your written and oral Mandarin in this course that explores various real-life resources to further your studies. Conducted in Mandarin only.
Culture Classes

Before you begin doing business in China, you should get an understanding of the culture there. These free classes will enlighten and educate you in the ways of the East.

92.Chinese Foreign Policy. Learn the history of Chinese policy from the Cold War era to present day with this class offered through MIT.
93.Traditional Chinese Literature: Poetry, Fiction, and Drama. Learn about the major Chinese genres in traditional literature in this class.
94.Cultural Performances of Asia. Examine the way traditional and present-day performances in Asia communicate culture in this class that utilizes text, video, audio, and online materials to teach the subject.
95.Smashing the Iron Rice Bowl: Chinese East Asia. Follows the lives of ordinary Chinese citizens as they experience enormous changes of 19th and 20th centuries in this course.
96.Race and Gender in Asian America. Explore the Asian American experience so that you can better understand the intersection of traditional Asia and America in your business practices.
97.Working in a Global Economy. Find out about practice and policy of doing business in a global economy.
98.Communicating Across Cultures. Learn how to bridge culture gaps in this class that focuses on communication issues.
99.East Asia in the World. Study the history of East Asia, most specifically China and Japan, and their relationships within East Asia and abroad.
100.Introducing Regional Integration. From the United Nations University, this course teaches about integrating regions both across countries and within countries.