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6 Key Factors for the South Asian/Indian Studentsí Study Abroad Decision

By Ajit Motwani, CEO of Education Business, Salwan Media

The South Asian and Indian students’ decision to study abroad is guided by various financial and non-financial factors especially the following:
  1. Brand Value:  Students’ across South Asia are known to seek value for money but they are also equally conscious of the brandof the institution/academic program and the destination country.
  2. Family &Peer Group: The decision to study abroad is seldom taken by the students alone. The family/peer groups have a major role in the process. Past students from the same institution also provide valuable feedback either to the students directly or through the school counselor/ teachers which help the next batches in their decision making. Another important source to refer to is elder siblings or cousins in the family studying abroad.
  3. Online/ Offline Interaction with University Representative: Opportunity to interact/meet the university representative is comforting factor both for students and their parents to help clarify many doubts and anxieties. Increasingly, web chats/ webinars are substituting personal interaction as a cost and time effective alternative for the university representatives as well as students.
  4. Scholarship: This in any form including tuition waiver (full or part), teaching/research assistantship also has a significant positive impact not only as a financial incentive but also through prestige associated with scholarships award.
  5. Employment Opportunities/ Visa Issues: Perceptions regarding the ability to find suitable employment (at least for a year or two) after completion of the course as well as difficulties associated with the visa process are becoming factors that can no longer be ignored.
  6. Cost Advantage and Geographical/Cultural Proximity: Singapore now for many years is considered an attractive alternative to western destinations for its cost advantage and geographical/cultural proximity. With China and Hong Kong also joining the global race for top ranking universities, it is only a matter of time before these East Asian neighbors will start to attract a large number of Indian/South Asian Students. Increasingly, traditional favorite destinations such as US and UK are perceived very expensive to afford with Indian currency’s devaluation and simultaneous increase in the Higher Education costs in these countries.