(This blog has been published in Dhaka Tribune blog)
When Siam Mosharraf Hossain founded Higher Study Abroad (HSA) Bangladesh Chapter, he did not know that it would create such impact. Now, with more than 70000 Facebook members in the group and a website dedicated to help students all the time, Higher Study Abroad stands as a bridge between Bangladeshi abroad and students willing to go for higher studies abroad.
It all started in 2009, the whole history of this organisation can be found here. A lot of effort have been put into the group and website. Anyone who joins the Facebook group can see this. The whole process of application for higher studies in different countries, preparation for tests like GRE/IELTS/GMAT and experience of people is well documented by HSA and maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers. What makes the group so effective is that, people share problems, opportunities, questions regarding higher studies and solutions are provided by the group members themselves which makes HSA a hub. If an inquiry is placed in the group, it is answered by many experienced and helpful people, who are termed as ‘Altruist’ by HSA.
HSA has tutorials and two published books for IELTS and GRE which is helping many students to perform well in the tests. It has 1300+ hours of video content and has plans to prepare tutorials for GMAT as well. The website contains 200+ articles about higher studies abroad. It recently has published its first online magazine ORKO. Additionally HSA is working on ORKO to make it a multimedia project on the website so that it can feature video and audio interviews among other things.
It also has offline activities such as organsing seminars in universities where students studying in different universities abroad share their experience and the process they went through to be where they are now. More than 30 seminars have been organised in different parts of Bangladesh.
Recently, Saleh M M Rahman and Ragib Hasan has joined as advisors of HSA. “I think HSA has a very positive impact on the students seeking higher education. Lack of information and guidance have prevented many students in the past from getting admission. HSA has filled this gap and has successfully formed a bridge between current students studying abroad, and those seeking admission. Students from other countries have been doing this for a long time, and that is a big reason why they have a big presence in universities in the US and other places. It’s great to see Bangladeshi students and altruists coming forward to help other students,” said the founder of Shikhok and Advisor of HSA Dr Ragib Hasan.
The first time I came to know about Higher Study Abroad was in 2011 through the Facebook group. I joined the group and I was really amazed to see the amount of help people got from this group. Later I found out that it had a website. Effort is ongoing to make the website more organised and effective. And needless to say all of this will be done by volunteers. For the last 5 years, Higher Study Abroad is playing a significant role yet not advertising their activities which is unique.
President and Founder Siam Mosharraf Hossain says, “”When I’d started HSA I just wanted to inspire students about higher studies. I, myself, had to go through hard times when I was applying to universities abroad- so wanted to share the knowledge. Now, HSA is the largest expatriate connection of Bangladeshis with people from academia and industries abroad. Through this network, we dream of uplifting Bangladesh by reinvesting our skill sets in different areas which require development.”