India is a huge market to be ignored by any global players, including the education sector. In recent years, the country witnessed a visible trend of prominent foreign Universities opening their centers in its soil. On the other side, various studies are showing considerable reduction in the overall number of Indian students travelling abroad in pursuit of their higher education dreams. As per the reports, from 2000 to 2009 there was a massive growth of more than 250 percent in student's migrating from India to abroad. This rocket growth made India a leading place of origin for international students in the U.S. In the subsequent years, China overtook that position, as there was a slowdown of 3.8 percent in number students flying to U.S. from India. Not only U.S but also countries like Canada, U.K. and Australia experienced cumulative decline of 8 percent between 2010 and 2011.
While looking at the past years economic conditions of the country, it is evident that the arrival of foreign Universities is not the sole reason behind the downfall of students migrating to other nations. A devaluing Rupee from 45 to 60 against U.S. Dollar in the last 4 years cause life of students at abroad more expensive than ever. The changes in immigration laws in the top host countries along with global economic crisis also played their part to restrict students from packing their bags with warm cloths and dreams. At present, the future picture of Indian students travelling abroad is somewhat unclear, especially in light of struggling rupee against most major currencies.
However, the 'hope-for-the-best Budget' that recently announced by the brand-new government of India is shedding a narrow beam of promises for the student travelers across the country. The experts believe that the new budget will help the middle-class families to strengthen their financial stability. Consequently, the countries in the receiving end would be expecting immediate rise in traffic of Indian students travelling abroad. Even though the facts cannot be neglected easily by trusting the predictions blindly, studying in countries like U.S. and U.K has always been a fascinating dream for many students in the country.
A degree grabbed from a foreign University is a nice boost in the resume. It improves post-graduate employment prospects, particularly for the candidates who are considering a career in business, international affairs or government services. Apart from the perspective of a great career, studying abroad is a platform to build-up a new outlook about the way of life. It is a chance for the students to understand the culture of the host nation and about the different parts of the world from their classmates, roommates and rest of the others. Here we have listed to 10 countries where students can choose to pursue their educational dreams and hope this will make their career a little bit smoother.
United Kingdom: Through the Shores of Thames
From the shores of Thames River, Oxford and Cambridge are most familiar names for school kids in India. More than 70 Universities from UK are featured in World University Ranking done by various organizations. Surprisingly, the country falls next to the U.S. in receiving number of international students. Apart from Universities, there are a total of 29 UK higher education institutions in the global top 200, and 61 in the top 700. Finding the best of best is like rummaging through a candy box looking for the sweetest treat.
The education systems are fairly similar in the constituent states of UK such as England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Typical undergraduate degree in UK can be finished in three years, but in Scotland, it is four years longer. Some of the Universities also provide faster undergraduate courses, which can be finished in one or two years. The UK has a centralized University admissions service called University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), which handles all undergraduate applications. Students need to register on the UCAS website before completing and submitting their applications. The website has all the details on how to apply, what to include, how to track an application and how to respond to a chosen University. It also has a guide for international students, including information about visas, and student finance.
United States of America: The Global Destiny
With the presence of top ranked Universities like Stanford and Harvard, the U.S. remains the leading destination for Indian students to pursue their academic excellence. Even though there was slight dip in the number of Indian students choosing the U.S. as their study location, in the recent times, around 764,500 international students flew to this country. While majority of them opted to study courses like management, engineering, mathematics and computer science, the American Universities also provide courses in the fields ranging from Law to Agriculture.
The diversity of the Universities in U.S. gives aspirants the confidence of finding a suitable institution in their preferred surrounding. Even if the students feel that the institution that they picked was a wrong choice for them, then they can move to another University of their choice. The Universities also allow the students to earn a 'Minor Degree' in a subject of their interest while undergoing a 'Major Degree.' Studying in the U.S. may seem costly for Indian students with the fall of rupee against the dollar when compared to earlier years. However, majority of students receive financial aid, via various grants, scholarships, loan and work-study schemes.
The high standard of the U.S. Universities is not the sole reason that draws students in. How can a person refuse to visit the misty Niagara Falls, breathtaking view of Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and the wonders of Disneyland? With search light filled-fast-paced cities, miles of unspoiled wilderness, sun-kissed beaches; America has something for everyone.
Australia: Travel, Play and Study
For majority of Indians, Australia means a team of 11 cricket players in yellow jersey who are tough to beat for men in blue. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are familiar among the young lads of India, as these are the famous Australian cricket stadiums, where Indian cricket team goes to bleed the blue jersey. However, for Indian students looking to complete their higher education abroad, these are the places where infamous Australian Universities exist. University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of Adelaide are usual entries in the list of top 100 Global Universities. Only the U.S. and UK have more number of Universities in the global ranking than Australia. Universities in Australia are also known for internationalization, as it is the fourth largest industry there, which brings more money into the country.
Students can apply directly to any Australian University, as there is no federal or state-level application system for international students. From University to University and subject to subject, the cost of education will vary. At present, the average fees in an Australian University will be more than Rs. 12 Lakhs. Apart from fees, the country provides many other fun activities for their visitors to spend money. From large sandy beaches to a nail biting cricket matches at Perth Stadium demands a good amount of Australian Dollars. Living at Australia is also a chance to meet the brown jumping Kangaroos with inbuilt cradle on stomach, which is familiar to Indians in the form of a statue in public places with 'Use Me' boards.
Germany – Grabbing onto the hanging branch
Every time a student thinks about pursuing his/her study abroad, the thoughts come to a complete standstill due to the finances. For these students who usually are forced to take huge amounts of bank loan and find it difficult to pay back, a new paradise has been discovered. Over the last couple of years, Germany has been offering various courses to the international students for tuition fees ranging from 0 to 500 Euros per semester.
Although these fees depend institute to institute, the country offers its students plenty of choices to select from. The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and Technische Universität München are the top two Universities in Germany. However, almost every major German city has at least one University ranked among the world's best. While most Indian students move to Germany to pursue Masters or PhDs in Science or Engineering, the Universities also offer courses in Arts, Managements and other streams. Students who intend to pursue their courses can apply directly to the Universities or through the German Academic Exchange Service. It is advised that students obtain a part time job where they can work for 120 full days or 240 half days in a year.
In addition to world-class Universities, students studying in Germany can enjoy its various cities such as Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg, Cologne and Frankfurt. Students are able to immerse themselves in the culture such as art, music and dance, nightlife and a variety of other beautiful aspects of these cities come together.
Canada: A Second Home for Indians
In 2011, Canada hosted the prestigious International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA awards) at Toronto. One of the major reasons to host such a 'Desi event' was the dominating population of Indian community people in this region. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to more than 500,000 Indo-Canadians. Concreting this fact, the government officials of Canada says that over one million Canadians can trace their roots back to India. Consequently, the Canadian government has taken several initiatives to bring more students from India to their several high ranked Universities. The Student Partners Program (SPP), implemented in partnership with Canadian visa offices in India and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), was one among them.
With more advantageous to Indian students, Canada has more relaxed immigration rules for international students in comparison with the U.S., UK and Australia. The relaxed visa policies allow students to work and repay their education loans. Students can work off campus for 20 hours per week apart from working on campus. Post graduation students are allowed to work for three years in Canada. They can also become a permanent resident of the country under the Canadian Experience Class policy, if they choose to. With an excellent education system, Canada is a safe, peaceful, affordable and attractive destination for international students, especially for Indian students. The natural beauty of this country is only added advantage. Notwithstanding the fact that, only few nations in the world can boast anything close to Canadian wealth of forests, lakes and mountains and for its multicultural diversity.
Singapore: The Research Hub
Spiting pan masalas on the pavements and waiting for trains that never arrive on time are hard to remove from the Indian culture. However, on the eastern side, for the country called Singapore, these are intolerable offences, as is chewing gum. The small and highly populated country is known for its cleanliness and punctual trains. The strong economy and high quality life style accompanied with high cost of living made Singapore one of the most expensive Asian countries to pursue higher education. However, when compared to international education hubs like U.S., UK and Australia, the fees at Singapore Universities are inexpensive and more than 50 percent of international students will receive financial aid.
Singapore has 34 Universities including six national Universities. Among those Universities, University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are ranked within the top 50 in the world, offering courses in wide range of subjects to their student populations of over 30,000 each. Both Universities focus vastly on research and innovation and played the lion's share in lifting Singapore into a world leader in research and innovation over the past few decades. Offering a more specialized range of subjects, the Singapore Management University is also among Singapore's best known institutions, ranking among the world's leading providers of education in the fields of accounting and finance, computer science, economics, law and statistics. With south Indian language Tamil as one of the official languages, Singapore has many migrants from India, especial from the southern region.