The popularity of studying abroad is now a well known fact with over 5 million students studying internationally from all over the world (according to the research at study portals). And, it’s not that difficult to guess the reason as to why so many students aspire to study abroad every coming year. Talk about better opportunities and a better future, studying abroad increases the scope of translating dreams into reality.
Students from around the globe travel abroad from their home countries to achieve an under or post grad degree, a vocational qualification or better employment opportunities. According to Ministry of External Affairs, around 752,725 students studying abroad are Indian, which makes India the second largest source of international students after China.
India, second largest source of international students:
The demand of foreign education is strong among Indian students. However, it has been seen recently that political turmoil occurred as a result of UK’s referendum and American Presidential elections has created an environment of restrictive immigration and VISA policies in the two popular international education destinations i.e. UK and USA. Will India still thrive to be the second largest source of international students?
The aggregate of Indian students studying abroad increased from 66,713 to 301,406 between the duration of 2000-2016. Besides the rise, the overall count also faced a fall around 2013, when the total Indian student count dropped from 210,649 to 190,358; 2010 being the initial year of consideration.
Talking country-vise, between 2000 and 2016 the share of Indian students in the US dropped from 59%-45%, whereas UK remained stagnant at 6%. Countries like Australia and Canada zoomed from 7%-15% and 1%-7% respectively.
What is the cause of such a shift?
One of the primary reasons of this shift of Indian students studying abroad from USA to Australia, Canada and other countries is influence of immigration policies. Indian students are beginning to prefer Canada and Australia over USA because of the pro-immigration policies and post study work rights in Canada and Australia.
The Indian students that aspire to study abroad are mainly of two types’ i.e. value maximizers and experience aspirants. Majority of the Indian students belong to the value maximizers group that is seeking value for money. Hence, they tend to be more sensitive towards immigration and work policies because they are trying to search for options that provide maximum career opportunities at a comparatively lower cost. This is the main reason why, when UK came up with the abolition of post study work rights the population of Indian students studying in UK underwent a steep decline, such that 2016’s population was same as that of 2005.
Reasons why Indian students study abroad:
Keeping rise and fall to the side, there is still a huge number of Indian students studying abroad. The reasons for the same are as follows-
The main reason why students opt for studying abroad is because it helps them stay one step further in comparison to students who decided to stay in their home country and study in local colleges and universities. Studying abroad gives the students global recognition because it shows just how you succeeded in an endeavor outside of your level of comfort.
Quality education and better employment prospects– it is a long known fact that Indian education lacks a little as compared to international education, keeping in mind the cramming prospect of Indian education. Students have noticed that the Indian education system stresses more on learning than understanding which isn’t that helpful in the long run. It’s not that the education system in India is not evolving, it’s just the students tend to go for the already evolved systems. Studying in prestigious Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Oxford, Yale or Stanford gives you an unbeatable recognition.
Also, if a student has planned to come back to their home country after the completion of international education, they will be swamped with job opportunities because of their international qualifications.
Studying abroad also expands your horizons, by living in a foreign country you adapt to their lifestyle better than when you simply visit for a week or two. Your daily interactions and personal challenges of a better survival make you a person who is well rounded, confident and full of potential. You get firsthand experience of sorting your life from your own hands on your own terms.
Improved language flair– studying abroad dawns you with an opportunity to better your language skills. The practical application of language makes you fluent in it and provides you with an experience of one of a kind. Most of the countries have English as a primary or chosen language. So, you get to polish your English speaking skills while doing as basic a work as making daily conversations with people around. Not only do you get more fluent but also get the chance to improve your accent.
Network enhancement: when you travel to a new place and live there, you get to meet a whole lot of new people. This helps the students going abroad to build relationships and contacts with people from around the world. Some of these contacts and connections can also lead them towards great career opportunities, jobs, internships and business proposals. You also get to learn new cultures and explore new social latitudes.
Top 10 study abroad countries:
When deciding to study abroad most of the students look for the country first and then the university. If you are someone who does the same, here is a list of top 10 study abroad countries, which are popular among students.
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
Most preferred foreign universities by Indian students:
Besides world class education and strong Asian communities, these universities are equipped with variety of research centric science and technology courses. Also, a large number of scholarships and fellowships are offered by their respective governments and institutions which make them a great host and study abroad destinations.
Top US universities
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
• Harvard University
• Stanford University
• Yale University
• University of Chicago
• Princeton University
• California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Top UK universities
- University of Cambridge
• UCL (University College London)
• Imperial College London
• University of Oxford
• King’s College London (KCL)
Top Australian universities
Australian National University
• the University of Melbourne
• the University of Sydney
• the University of Queensland
• the University of New South Wales
Top Asian universities
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
• University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), South Korea
• Nan yang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
• Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Hong Kong
• The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong
• Peking University, China
• Seoul National University, South Korea
• City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
• Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH), South Korea
How to choose the right university?
Just how overwhelming it can be to choose the right university when planning to study abroad. The difficulty is mainly because of the huge lists of options available. It cannot be easy manage such confusion and make a sound decision simultaneously. so, here is how you can choose the right university which suits you while catering all your requirements;
- Research carefully
Research is the key to make the correct decision. Without proper understanding and knowledge it is impossible to make the right choice. Go in depth of everything that comes to your mind, any doubt, any confusion should be cleared. Explore all the prospects of studying abroad and then conclude your understanding to a decision. Also, don’t just stay focused on internet research, talk to people who are already studying abroad or consult with a knowledgeable counselor who can guide you and help you to decide what’s best for you. Study abroad programmers are quite expensive; you really need to make sure that you are putting your money in the right place.
- Come in terms with your requirements
Plan and organize, know what you want and search accordingly. Choose your subject if you already haven’t. It is easy to do a choice of subjects if you already know what skills do you want to gain during your studies, what subjects do you find interesting and want to learn or do you want to get a degree specifies job?
- Check international rankings
After you have made the choice of subjects and segregated a few universities accordingly, check the rankings of all those universities and then choose the best amongst them. You can also attend various university fairs and seminars to gain more knowledge about the same. You can check the rankings of universities through various ranking systems like Times Higher Education World University rankings; QS world university rankings etc. only trust a reputed and reliable source.
Lastly, make sure that the career aspects post grad is well in line and the university has post-grad licensing which can make it easier for you to be employed globally.