One often wonders how 20-25-year-old students have the courage to move to a new country. Adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, working part-time to pay bills and brainstorming 24/7, all while living over 5000 km away from your family! Sounds like a task that’s not for the faint-hearted, doesn’t it?.
Studying, or rather living, abroad is not a cakewalk, and yet a plethora of Indian students travel to their international university ever year, to begin their first year of MS, MBA, etc..
We often hear a foreign degree aspirant claim, “Because my friends are going abroad to study.” Or, “Because my parents really want me to attain a degree from the US.” While these reasons may be valid up to an extent, the real motives are hidden behind the facade of these trivial reasons..
One reason is because there are more opportunities in your field of choice. Take for example, biotechnology. You may want to advance in this field with your knowledge of bacteria and clones, even when biotech and biomed are in their initial stages in your region. There are numerous breakthroughs in these so called ‘non-conventional fields’ such as aeronautics, architecture, actuarial science, behavioral economics, etc. in several countries..
You may be attracted by the Big Ben, or by the Empire State Building. You may dream of walking through the tulip gardens in Ontario, or imagine yourself savoring some dim sum in Singapore. Rather than a brief tour, you may want to explore a country’s heritage and may be attracted by their lifestyle. Studying abroad allows you to get a closer look at a country’s culture and teaches you to live independently. (Rather, without your parents managing your pocket money!)
Among 11,80,000 students who appear for the IIT-JEE exam, only 7000 seats are up for grabs at these coveted institutes. That means the chances of one acquiring admission into the IITs is only 0.0059. And the criteria for admission is based purely on a student’s IIT-JEE rank and board examination results. For postgraduate degrees, 7,81,854 students appeared for GATE in 2018, for around 4000 seats in the IITs.
In sharp contrast, international universities consider all school/college transcripts, along with SAT/GRE/IELTS/TOEFL scores, foreign language proficiency, essays, letters of recommendation, extra-curricular activities, etc. They select students on a more holistic basis, for nearly all degrees. While education in India is currently more inclined towards theory, a foreign education is known to focus more on projects and practicals. In addition to studying information from textbooks, a foreign degree requires the student to think innovatively and to implement that information.
A foreign education broadens your perspective of the world, and trains you to think out of the box. The challenges of living abroad seem like an endless sea, but your ambition is enough to keep you afloat.