Taking wing and some song
A lively and interactive programme that gives tips on academics abroad is making waves on AIR's FM Rainbow
Young people are increasingly tuning in to the radio for both information and entertainment. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
FANCY GEN-X today taking radio seriously. You would presume it's there somewhere in the background as they chat in a café, or barricade themselves in a room trying to study, or driving down with friends. Apparently not.
Mixing melodies and maladies, The Chopras have discovered, is a good way to get youngsters to tune in on the radio and SMS their questions for an interactive show.
The Chopras, a consultancy for students wanting to study abroad, have been hosting a show on AIR FM Rainbow that dishes out answers on an education abroad ranging from `What are the basic visa requirements for the U.K.' to `How necessary is it to take the TOEFL?'.
Bindu Chopra, regional director of the firm, co-hosts the show Study Abroad and All That Jazz. And while they did indeed start out playing jazz, they later switched to music "the kids wanted" hip-hop and retro.
Guests on the show
Study Abroad... has interviewed visitors from various foreign universities, done special episodes on application deadlines, and even country-wise reviews of education opportunities. Specific topics are picked during special seasons. "When the scholarship rush was on, we discussed deadlines and how to bag them. Around September, we did a series of shows on visas," says Bindu.
Around 15 SMSs are answered on every show that runs 30 minutes.
"We get many more for each episode. Those that we are not able to answer on the show, we get back to listeners the next day via phone or e-mail." Students also mail in or ring up to ask questions.
Time was when she was one of the biggest sceptics when it came to starting such a show on radio, Bindu confesses; more so, when it came to All India Radio. "But then I realised kids are more into radio. I get more response on the show than in a newspaper interactive column! Radio definitely has a reach."
The show discusses courses starting with undergraduate and going up to the PhD level. Work placements are off the show's spectrum, though high school education figures in it. Study Abroad... was earlier a live show, but is now studio produced by Radio Indigo.
Info on websites and links, what exams to take, what course to take after what, where to study the programme hopes to help students in such decision-making. And it's not difficult doing this on radio, says Bindu, who takes pride in the fact she can convince parents who can't see beyond medical and engineering that professional photography holds a good future for their kids.
"We don't charge anything for the advice on the show. At our consultancy, we charge for consultation on education in countries except the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Ireland," says Bindu, adding that the number of students making a beeline for American universities has really fallen because jobs in the U.S., post-study, are simply not available.
You can catch Study Abroad and All That Jazz every Thursday at 7 p.m. on AIR FM Rainbow 101.3 Mhz.
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