Year after year a large number of students from India travel across the world for higher education. As per the data released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, nearly 7,53,000 Indian students travelled abroad as of July 2018.
Studying abroad not only opens you up to a plethora of new experiences but also makes you more employable. While your foreign degrees are of course taken into consideration, your courage to leave the comfort of your home to seek education in a new country is also taken into account. The most sought-after destinations for higher education among Indian students are the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia
For several Indian, the US is their dream destination. The country is synonymous with excellence; think NASA, Google, Microsoft and Apple. Data shows that three out of every four students opt for the US as their destination for higher education. And this is not without reason. The US is home to some of the most renowned educational institutions of the world. As per Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, which includes almost 1,400 universities across 92 countries, seven out of the ten top universities are in the US. These include California University of Technology, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University and the University of Chicago. Moreover, the US is also known for its technical and research advancement. While studying in American educational institutions not only allows international students to access the state-of-the-art facilities while studying but also their degrees, certificates and experience are recognized and considered in other parts of the world.
The United Kingdom is the Mecca of literature and accountancy students. Some of the theories and writers they learn about have their origin in this country. Added to this is their lineage of the good education system. The number one institute as per Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 is the University of Oxford and is closely followed by University of Cambridge on number three. Several students, especially those of arts and humanities, from India move to the UK after they finish school. This is because the UK has a large number of art galleries, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Besides, many universities boast world-class libraries on their own campuses. Moreover, the UK government supports the arts and humanities through the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which each year offers about 700 new research awards and 1,500 postgraduate awards worth more than 60 million pounds. In addition, students can access a huge online research archive for free.
Are you thinking Justin Trudeau or maple syrup or ice hockey? Well, Canada also has some world-renowned educational institutes such as the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, University of Montreal and the University of Alberta, its primary attraction is its ease of living. The country is home to a culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse population and French and English share official language status. Moreover, while tuition fees might be high, the living cost in Canada is fairly cheaper when compared to other countries. The crime rate, too, is low when compared to other countries. It is hence of little surprise that as per QS World University Rankings, the Canadian cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver made the list of the top 50 student cities in the world. Another factor which plays in favour of students is that they are allowed to take up part-time jobs both on-campus and off-campus and no work permit is needed to work on campus. Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week.
Australians are amazingly competitive. In a very short time, the country has managed to break into the traditional group of world leaders and carve out a niche in several arenas, which includes education. Australian universities are known for their wide range of subjects they offer their students to opt from. While you could study law, medicine, accounting, which are some of the most popular subjects among international students, you could also go for, what one would call, ‘unconventional’ courses. These would include, the National Institute of Circus Arts, which offers Australia’s only Bachelor of Circus Arts and the course is accredited by the Swinburne University of Technology; pursue a career on the high seas — be a master on a certified commercial charter boat with internationally recognized degrees. You can also take up an online course titled Zombie Apocalypse Survival Course or even get yourself a graduate certificate and graduate diploma in brewing and short courses in malting, brewing, and distilling or even do a bachelor’s in sports management from Victoria University. The point is, no subject is too weird to be pursued in Australia.
The decision to study abroad
If you have decided to travel abroad for higher education, you must first zero-in on a subject of your choice. This choice should not be influenced either by what you think you are good at or what your family and friends want. Rather it should be a subject that you really want to pursue and turn it into a career option.
The second would be to undertake thorough research on which universities in which countries offer the best course on your subject of choice. Then take into account the tuition fee and the cost of living.
The third step, which many Indian students skip, is to look for a student support system. Either it could be one set up independently a student community or the government. Prior knowledge of who to approach in times of crises is of utmost importance.
The fourth step would be a proper understanding of the kind of part-time job, which can be pursued without hampering your work-life balance.
The fifth step would entail collating details on what you want to do after the completion of your job. Would you like to stay on or would you prefer to return to your home country
The last step would be to ensure that you have all your documents and they are genuine.
While the prospect of studying abroad is exciting, proper planning will allow you to mitigate minor problems and make a smooth transition from one step to the other.