Ready for uni?
The US Embassy has launched an app to help aspiring students find the right university. Two collegians, who try it out, pronounce their verdict
With multiple boards and degrees in this country, starting your application process for a university abroad can be quite the hassle. Where do you start? You begin by seeking the advice of friends who have successfully pulled it off — because you can't always trust the Internet. But if you aren't lucky enough to have such people around, you might as well Google it. And that is still quite a hunt. So, when the US Embassy launched an app last week to help aspiring students find the right university, it reflected the need for official information to be relayed on one platform.
But how effectively do they manage to solve this? We ask two collegians in their final year — Shardul Deshpande from St Xavier's College and Piyush Sharma from KC College — to put the app to the test.
It's called EducationUSA India and is available for free on both iOS and Android. You can either create an account using your email address and phone number, sign in using Facebook or Google, or log in as a guest. The interface of the home page is simple. It features four buttons, namely Inspiration, US Higher Education, Social Media and Find an Advising Center. Tap on the first button and a couple of pieces of inspirational news, like that of a father-daughter duo going to study in the US together, will pop up.
The home page features four buttons but isn't too interactive
"It reminds me most of a WikiHow page where there are steps laid out. It's not particularly interactive. But it's user friendly to an extent, and an excellent resource for people who can't afford to go to counseling centres," Deshpande tells us.
"I'm an outstation student, originally from Silvassa. So, through the app, I got to know that there is no advisory centre in my native place, but I learnt that I could set up a virtual appointment," Sharma adds.
The 5 Step comprises a checklist that aids the application process
There's also a chat bot called Answer Bot that might need an upgrade according to Sharma, who experienced the app slacking initially. When he would click on the 5 Steps tab — a checklist that starts from short-listing universities to planning finances — it would keep rerouting him to the home page.
But regardless of the glitch, he says that the app does a good job of providing country-specific information. Deshpande corroborates this, saying, "The low resolution of the application is also a drawback, but that's just me nitpicking. It has streamlined the application process in my mind and I would recommend it to my friends who are interested in studying in the US."
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