Experiencing an Education Fair
By Navya M S, Coordinator – Academic Relations & Projects, May 2015
A few years ago, I was a student who wanted to pursue my studies abroad. I came across The Hindu International Education Fair, a platform for students to get first-hand information on courses offered by Universities abroad. It seemed like a great place for me to explore opportunities to pursue my dream.
And today, the time has come again for me to participate in the fair. But this time, I will be helping students explore their dream of studying abroad, or to be specific, help them pursue their dream of studying in Switzerland.
I was at the Hindu International Education Fair to represent Swiss Universities. As I was preparing for the fair, I recalled that as a student, Switzerland was always my dream destination for its picture perfect beauty like I had envisaged in the story of Heidi, and for the Swiss Chocolates. As I prepared myself for the education fair with promotional activities such as emailers, e-newsletter, ad page, and university brochures, I realized that Switzerland has a lot to offer to the students.
The fair began and I was prepared to answer questions on academics in Switzerland from prospective students and parents from three cities, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. In Hyderabad, the fair went on well. Students asked questions on the application process and scholarship opportunities. Next up was Chennai which took me by surprise as parents and students came with the ‘acceptance letter’ from ETH Zurich’s Department for Computer sciences and UNIL’s Molecular life sciences. They read about swissnex India’s participation in the fair which was covered by the local newspaper and attended to ask detailed questions on visa procedures and admission fees and housing.
We also had a lot of queries for PhD programmes in this city for which the scholarship fliers were of great help. Last up was Bangalore, and here too, it was a completely different kind of an audience. We made an exclusive presentation on Swiss Education which mentioned low tuition fees and courses on engineering, life science, social science and art and design apart from the usual queries on Hospitality and Tourism Management courses. Soon after the presentation, students and parents flocked the swissnex India stall, enquiring about low tuition fees, opportunities on working while studying, living expenses and other questions that will prepare them to make the decisions.
Overall the responses were impressive and positive in all the three cities. Students who visited the Fair were encouraged to register their educational goals and contact information in student tracking system. As per the data collected, 44.5% of the prospective students who visited the stall where from an Engineering background and showed keen interest in courses from ETH and EPFL; 10.6% were interested in Life science courses like Biomedical, Biotechnology, Physiotherapy; 17.1% expressed interest in Management courses such as Business Administration, International relations, Finance, etc; 8.5% were for social sciences such as Law, Psychology, Developmental Studies ; 7% were interested in other courses such as Culinary arts , Design , Architecture and 11.6% were interested in PhD programmes. We were surprised to see a large number of queries on under-graduate programmes. As per the data collected, we had around 700 students visiting our stall.
It was three days of intensive, back to back interactions and information-sharing. I was quite sad to wrap up and head back. However, I returned with the satisfaction of having helped many aspiring students get closer to their Swiss dream.