More and more Indian students are looking overseas to find a high-quality education which will help them to secure their long-term goals and achieve the life that they want. In 2016, there were 300,000 Indian students study abroad, making them the largest group of international students after the Chinese.
Making the decision to pursue a degree overseas is easy. Not so easy, however, is deciding which country to study in, because there are great opportunities to be found in many different places. We have therefore put together this article which compares the advantages and disadvantages of the biggest destinations for Indian students: the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the UAE and USA and Canada.
This should help you to decide where you want to study and put you one step closer to achieving your dream, whatever that may be!
The UK is one of the most established and well-recognised education systems in the world, with around 170 higher education institutions throughout the country, including some of the best universities in the world. Any qualification you gain in the UK will be highly regarded by employers throughout the world. High-quality institutions can be found in every major UK city, but particularly in London, an exciting metropolis and education hub with plenty of student accommodation.
The current political situation in the UK, including the huge upcoming changes around Brexit, means that it is becoming more difficult for foreigners to get visas for the UK, including students. It is difficult to tell how this will develop post Brexit, but it is more likely to get more difficult for immigrants rather than easier.
Australia & New Zealand
For many Indian students, getting an overseas education is not just about the degree itself, but the opportunities it provides to potentially secure work and residency in that country after graduating. Australia has immigration programs which encourage international graduates to pursue permanent residency there, making it an attractive choice for many.
The Australasian countries (Australia and New Zealand) offer some great opportunities for Indian students. Both countries boost strong economies and high and progressive education standards with a commitment to investing in their universities. Although they are a great place to study any discipline,
The cost of living is very high here, particularly in the largest Australian cities, Melbourne and Sydney. These two cities can be very expensive to find somewhere to live close to the CBD, where the majority of the universities are located. More affordable accommodation can be found further out, but these cities also have a very large footprint so travel times can be very long.
With the tightening of visa and immigration rules in previously popular destinations such as the UK and the USA, Indian students have started to look to alternative countries. One destination which has emerged as a popular alternative is the UAE, and particularly Dubai. This Middle Eastern city is a booming hub for trade, business and tourism, and offers great quality of life. Although not the cheapest city to live in, it is possible to live on a budget in Dubai if you know how, and arguably much easier to budget here than in the UK or Australia, for example. There are also lots of handy online tools that help you to secure a great lifestyle tool, such as real estate site Bayut.com which makes it easy to find a compare places to live.
Many foreigners coming to live in the UAE in the first time can experience some culture shock. Although very modern, it should be remembered that this is a Muslim country, and certain Islamic traditions are observed here. It is important to be respectful of Islamic culture as part of your daily life. For example, although there is no strict dress code and head coverings are not expected, women should dress reasonably conservatively in order to respect the local culture.
USA & Canada
The USA has long been the number one dream destination for Indian students, being by far the most popular destination for Indians studying overseas. A big reason for this is the range of quality master’s degrees in STEM programs to be found in the US. Additionally, many Indian students have been able to leverage these programs and turn them into employment through Optional Practical Training and the H-1B visa program.
Canada also offers great employment opportunities for Indian students. Since 2006 it has allowed international students to get work experience which can be counted toward permanent residency under their Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
Like the UK, the current US Government under President Trump is not exactly pro migration. This means that there are additional restrictions which can make it harder for foreign students, including Indian students, to get a visa to study here.
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