Lakhs of Indian students migrate to study abroad every year. What sparks the intrigue, and is it truly warranted?
The fascination with studying abroad among Indian students is a phenomenon that can be attributed to various factors, both societal and practical. While there is much to gain from a foreign degree like global exposure and quality education, a lot is lost, such as family and culture. How does one navigate the trade-offs and decipher how to make the right decision?
One factor driving this fascination might be how studying abroad is considered a mark of prestige and quality education in Indian society. Another contributing factor is the perception that they offer better academic opportunities and could lead to higher earning potential. From another perspective, limited domestic options due to low availability and high competition for seats in Indian institutes drive the youth to look for options abroad. Moreover, most education systems abroad curate their programs in a way that allows for variety and flexibility in the subjects and structures offered. This is appealing to Indian students.
I have always looked forward to pursuing a Master’s degree abroad because it’s hard to find career advancements domestically in my field, especially since it’s not of professional nature.” – Seher, a third-year student
Apart from these, there exist factors that seem to be rooted in no solid reasoning. Historical migration patterns in the family or social expectations can create a sense of normativity and peer pressure. The idea of studying abroad, which may have been limited to a certain social class earlier, has become a more common goal due to changing societal norms.
However, when reaching an age where the future seems too close, hesitations creep in. The potential difficulties regarding adapting to a new culture with different social norms and values, leaving family behind and the financial burden may contribute to students rethinking their decisions.
On not being able to receive a scholarship for the program I was accepted into, I dropped the idea of moving abroad. I would not have been able to handle the expenses.” – A DU alumnus.
Thus arises the need to introspect and assess your goals, both personal and professional. Navigate this decision by reflecting on your priorities regarding career and life goals. Get to know yourself better, try gauging through self-reflection and conversations with well-wishers on what suits you the best. Seek guidance from counselling services, college seniors or family members abroad to better understand the challenges and benefits of international study.
Due to these complexities, it’s essential to make informed decisions keeping in mind your ideals as well as practical considerations. Studying abroad can be an enriching and transformative experience only if guided by mindful intentions.
Read also: The Right Time to Study Abroad
Featured image credits: Unsplash