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According to Reserve Bank of India spending on tuition and accommodation fee by Indian students overseas has gone up by 44%, from $1.9 billion in 2013-14. Pixabay

Pondering over moving abroad for higher education? Finding a college or university to gain international education can be a herculean task as it is a layered process. Studying abroad gives an opportunity to explore the allure and culture of a new land altogether. Students envision themselves to explore new cultures, opportunities and an entirely fresh teaching pedagogy. Planning.

India right now stands at an inflexion juncture where two segments of aspiring study abroad students are emerging. One are those who are more traditional in approach with being price sensitive, value for money maximisers and the other relates to prestige consciousness and experience seeking.

  • According to Reserve Bank of India spending on tuition and accommodation fee by Indian students overseas has gone up by 44%, from $1.9 billion in 2013-14 to $2.8 billion in 2017-18.
  • AS per UNESCO Institute of Statistics, over 3,00,000 Indian students are studying overseas, making India the second largest source of International students after China.

Education is the focus point of any study abroad trip, hence choosing the right program and destination among other factors is of prime importance. Collegedunia Study Abroad provides wealthy insights to students aiming to study overseas by providing extensive profile evaluation, admission guidance, detailed test preparation, application documentation support with advice on Visa and interview process. Collegedunia counsellors are at candidates disposal, guiding them over Scholarship and Financial fid as well.

India right now stands at an inflexion juncture where two segments of aspiring study abroad students are emerging. Pixabay

Decide what course to study

What do you want to study has a big impact on the choice of your college. Decision on this can be drawn by analysing where your interest lies. Job prospects of the course opted for should be a prime point to be considered. In study abroad spectrum, STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have remained the top preference of Indian students. From Accounting to Statistics, Computer Science to Engineering these courses have always been in demand due to lucrative job opportunities after the completion of degree. Universities mould their curriculum as per the demands of global industrial sector making STEM soughted option.

Certain unconventional courses catch the attention of Indian students. According to Open Doors 2018 Report on International education exchange, Indian students are portraying a good deal of interest in off beat courses ike Marine Engineering, Geophysics, Game Design and Development, especially in the US. This demeanour in students choices is mainly because such interdisciplinary courses are neither widely available nor popular in India. With an increase in enrollment of Indian students in foreign universities, striking a chord with such coming of age courses can be a thoughtful idea.

Changing times demand specialised courses. The underway fourth Industrial Revolution has led to progress in Automation, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Traditional job profiles are evolving and new jobs are coming up. Hence specialised courses like Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics are gaining popularity. Additionally, Disability Programs and Infection Control courses too seem to be gaining popularity. Collegedunia, has detailed information on 3400+ and more than 150K courses.

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Consider the Eligibility Requirements for your Program

The process of going abroad for further education seems to be exhilarating but is a tedious one too. Apart from Visa and Immigartion complexities, candidates have to appear for various Aptitude and English Proficiency Exams to get eligible for admissions. Here is a list of top exams that Indian nationals aspiring to study overseas take:

  • Graduate Management Aptitude Test assesses analytical and problem solving abilities for admissions to more than 6,000 business and management programs. 2,100+ institutions accept GMAT score, validity for which is upto 5 years. There are 29test centers in India and appearing fee is around Rs. 16500.
  • Scholastic Assessment Test is undertaken to get enrolled in undergraduate courses by testing reading, writing and mathematical skills. Around 13,000 indian students appear for SAT annually mainly to get admission in the US, or Canada.
  • Graduate Record Examination is generally required by North American countries from prospective graduate and business school applicants. Fee for GRE registrations fr Indian students is Rs. 12, 000 with exam being conducted round the year.
  • TOEFL/ IELTS bare mostly taken by non-native english speakers to enroll in foreign universities. More than 9000 colleges in 130 countries accept TOEFL score, including top 100 US colleges. British council offers IELTS in 42 locations across India with appearing fee of Rs 11,100.

Choose your Destination and Desired Colleges

One are those who are more traditional in approach with being price sensitive, value for money maximisers and the other relates to prestige consciousness. Pixabay

Different destinations have different educational structures, that should sync with your thought process. Teaching methodology, entry requirements, lifestyle preferences all factors come into play while selecting a college and destination to study abroad. International university rankings should also be a threshold to consider. While the US, Canada and the UK have traditionally been key destinations, increased preference to Australia and EU is seen in recent times. Here are the top 5 destinations preferences of Indian students to study abroad:

  • Canada

With the introduction of Study Direct Stream by the Canadian Government there has been a significant rise in the number of Indian students applying to this Great White North Country. The provision of staying back and getting a work permit after completion of post graduate degree becomes a gratuity. For instance, there is an increase in Indian Undergraduate club at the University of British Columbia from 200 to 726 students in just four years between 2013-14 to 1017-18. Out of 494,525 international students studying in Canada, 25% are Indian nationals. Intake season for Canada are Fall, winter and summer.

CountryAverage Study CostAverage Living cost
USA29,231 USD/year22,670 USD/year
UK20,861 USD/year12,088 USD/year
Canada14,636 USD/year15,728 USD/year
Australia19,1353 USD/year25,743 USD/year
Germany6,904 USD/year11,388 USD/year

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  • USA

The States has a good acceptance rate of student visa around 80% with 1.08 million international students studying their. According to United States India Educational Foundation in 2019, 186,000 Indian are studying in the US forming 17% of all the overseas students in the North American country. Intake seasons are fall and spring.

  • Australia

Students tend to opt for postgraduate courses, as having a masters degree lays the path for permanent residency. Melbourne and Sydney remain favourite destination among the students. 2018, saw a noticeable shift to new regions such as Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth and Northern Territory.

The continental Nation has a starking high (90-95%) acceptance rate of student visa. Intake seasons are generally February and July. Availability of numerous scholarships for international students and 79% of individuals grab on professional careers after completion of their degree makes Australia a preferred destination amongst study abroad aspirants.

  • UK

Acceptance rate of Student visa is 85%. 458,520 international students are pursuing education. Intake seasons are October and January. But cancellation of post study via policy by cross party British parliamentarians has led to stagnation of feoriegn students intake. If reintroduced, UK has the potential of attracting foreign students due to 1 year masters course offered here that ensures relatively less expenditure and faster entry into the workforce.

  • Other European Countries

Germany, Ireland, Latvia and a few other european countries are becoming popular study destinations to accumulate quality education. Germany demands relatively low study cost (6904 USD/Year) compared to other european and american counties. Acceptance rate standing at 92% and no tuition fee makes Germany a sought after study location.

Consider the cost of living and explore Scholarship options

Exploring funding options is called for step when thinking about studying abroad. There are varied funding options that a candidate can take into consideration:

    • Grants are desirable as they are not supposed to be paid back. They are need based, avenues for which can be central or state government, college specific or NGOs. Grants are an excellent way to pursue overseas education without crippling student debt.
    • Scholarships are another way to relieve the financial burden. They can be a one time award or renewable. There can be country specific scholarships, national and some international organisations offering them.
    • Work Study Program is offered by certain foreign universities and colleges. It can help defray study costs. Students have to be vigilant about finding a job covered under the program.
  • Loans are the least desirable options with the debt they carry hence should be carefully considered. They are a financial commitment and grasping a good job to pay them off becomes utmost necessary.

Most of the times there is a gap between what grants and scholarships offer and what study/living cost demand. Hence loans can be an option to bridge this gap. Thus having knowledge of suitable funding options can be a tricky task. $2.1 million scholarships have been made available to students with the help of Collegedunia Study abroad Scholarship counselling program.

Acquire an Idea of Student Visa Requirements and Immigration Policies

Students planning to study abroad tend to be highly price sensitive, value maximizers and trying constantly to search for options with lower cost and increase career opportunities. Hance sensitivity to immigration and work policies is genuine among them.

There is a shift observed in preference of destinations to study overseas. In the year 2000, 59% of all indian students overseas were enrolled in US universities followed by 7 percent in Australia, 6 percent in the UK and less than 1% in Canada. Hence there was a clear preference for US as a destination among Indian students. The premise being popularity of Master’s degree in STEM program which also offers also offers prospects to work in the US through Optical Practical Training (OPT) nad H-1B Visa. But since 2016 there is a shift in the share of Indian students in US which dropped to 45 % while the UK remained stagnant at 6%. Much growth was seen in Australia reaching 15 % and Canada to 7%.

Political uneasiness triggered by Brexit and America’s restrictive immigration policies in recent times has led to growth in demand to study overseas is much absorbed by Australia and Canada. Biggest reason had been the pro immigration policies of these governments.

For instance, Canada’s Post graduation work permit program (PGWPP) introduced in 2006 allows students to gain work experience on the basis of which they can qualify for permanent residency in Canada. In the same way since 1999, Australia’s Point based immigration policies were designed to encourage international students to pursue a permanent residency in Australia. UK flipped its immigrants working policy by abolition of post study work rights. At times the unwelcoming Visa and immigration policies can pose a hurdle to translate the dream of studying abroad into reality.

New Segments of Students and Rising Aspirations

International education demand remains strong among Indian students. Studyportals in 2019, received 17.7 million searches for Masters degree and 5.7 million searches for Bachelors degree program overseas. Reportedly, an increase in 37% and 77% number of searches from users in India itself.

Students associating value for money to study abroad, explore alternatives apart from traditional destinations like Middle East, Continental Europe in universities which offer English taught programmes. In Germany the presence of Indian students increased threefold from 2010-1 to 1016-17 reaching 15,529 students. Likewise, 30% of all international students in UAE are from India which can be attributed to the presence of large Indian diaspora in the Gulf Region.

In recent times Undergraduate level study abroad experience seekers move beyond the rigid boundary of Engineering and computer science. Summing up the monumental growth of Indian students abroad relies on the economic growth of the country in terms of affording education abroad while liberal immigration and visa policies will ease the value for money experience. Aspiring study abroad candidates should browse through Collegedunia to have a thorough guidance right from finding university/course to travel and stay. Studying abroad is a life changing experience which more Indian students should aspire for and have access to.


Photo by Flickr.

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