Deciding to leave your home country for studying abroad is a very big step, one that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, we come across far too many that do not clearly understand the benefits of international education. However, ask anyone who has studied in the US, UK, or other foreign destination, they wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s not just anyone thing that these people relish about studying abroad: it’s the overall experience.
Studying abroad is not just about getting a degree – it is much more than that. The exposure to people from different countries, representing various cultures, is very rewarding. The curriculum, in most instances, is much broader than in India, opening one’s eyes to sociology and philosophy along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Many international students do part-time jobs or research, learning responsibility at a young age, something that is not easily available in India. Some colleges abroad offer a semester of study in a different country, thus exposing a student to global issues and developing a new level of understanding and tolerance. In this blog post, I am going to discuss a few reasons why studying abroad remains an excellent option.
Quality of Education
While education in India is improving and evolving, there remain two major hurdles: first, it is still very concept focused; second, the number of high-quality colleges is very limited, making it extremely difficult to gain admission. But in the United States, for example, there are at least 100 universities that offer outstanding education. Another key difference in favor of study abroad is the culture of innovation. If one wants to major in computer science or AI, it would be difficult to find a better place than colleges in Silicon Valley. Similarly, for those interested in finance or investment banking, New York City, or London is the place to be.
In order to gain admission into IITs or other such premier institutions, Indian students must start preparing as early as from 7th grade, sacrificing a “normal” childhood while enduring unnecessary stress. Even then, there is no assurance of admission, since close to a million applicants are competing for a few thousand seats. The admissions process abroad, on the other hand, is more holistic and not based on a single entrance exam. More importantly, there are far more seats available across 100’s of universities.
Universities abroad have much more access to research opportunities compared to those in India. The infrastructure and resources at the colleges afford even undergraduate students to participate in cutting-edge projects, allowing them to test classroom knowledge in the real world. Some universities even have internships built into the curriculum, while others give students an option to study one full year – the first year, sometimes – in a different country and gain hands-on experience. Several companies do campus recruiting for summer internships, which often leads to permanent jobs once the student finishes college. Finally, a number of universities abroad have partnerships with local companies and conduct joint research, giving the students yet another opportunity to get their feet wet and a chance to show off their creativity.
None of us can ignore the havoc being caused by Covid-19 on the economy of every nation. While nobody has a magic wand to read the future, the world has faced economic downturns before, although this one is a little different. Still, looking at a horizon of 4-5 years of undergraduate study abroad and 2-3 years in case of a post-graduate program, one must assume that things will turn around. For most students who study abroad and want to gain valuable experience in that country, the opportunities will be there. And for others, who want to return to India, perhaps after a couple of years of working, many companies in India value the education and experience from abroad. These individuals can look forward to at least a 30-50% premium when it comes to salaries, compared to those educated in India. Many who return to India opt to become entrepreneurs, having been exposed to the innovation culture that is so prevalent in the west.
Is Study Abroad for Everyone
The main impediment continues to be the financial ability to pay for four years of college or 1.5 years in case of a post-graduate program. Fortunately, some countries do not cost as much as some others, and there are loans available from various organizations in India in addition to banks. Outstanding students can get some form of scholarship at the undergraduate level, while it is somewhat easier to obtain a teaching assistant post or a research assistant job if one goes for a post-graduate degree – not guaranteed, though.
Your Next Move
Whether you’re ready now to study abroad or have questions, your best bet is to get in touch with Uwezo Learning Counselors, who have completed their undergraduate and graduate studies abroad and worked for Fortune 200 companies. In the last few years alone, we’ve sent more than 500 students in top universities around the world: our placement rate is 100 percent! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and get a free 20-minute appointment. These just might be the most important 20 minutes of your life.