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USA: The Preferred Destination for Indian Students

Over 102,000 Indian students were studying i n the United States (U.S.) in 2014, nearly double the 55,000 students from India in the U.S. in the year 2000. Indian students account for approximately 11.8 per cent of the total population of foreign students in the U.S., the world’s largest economy. India is also the second leading source of international students for the U.S. after China.
BY Harjiv Singh |   26-01-2015
There are five major reasons that make the U.S. an attractive destination for Indian students.

Globally Recognised University Brands: A degree from an American University, whether one of the eight Ivy League universities, or one ranked highly by the well respected surveys such as the Times Higher Education ( California Institute of Technology) or the QS World University Rankings (MIT), creates a brand for life! Indian students see it as the first step towards realising their ambitions.

Variety of Courses & Flexibility: There are approximately 4,600 degree granting institutions in the U.S. These may focus on vocational, professional, business curricula, or a liberal arts education. There is no limit to the options available from archaeology to zoology! The courses are flexible in structure and credit based. This allows a student to make up their mind about his or her degree major at a much later stage. Most courses prioritise industry training and experiential based learning, giving qualifications the vital edge.

Option to Work: Studying abroad is a significant investment of a student’s time and money. And it is natural to expect returns, especially in terms of employability. Student (F1) visa holders in the U.S. are eligible to stay on for another 12 months after the completion of their degree for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This time period is further extendable by up to 17 months for graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) fields. The academic approach of the U.S., oriented as it is towards research and practical experience, rather than learning by rote, also enhances the value of a student’s investment substantially.

The Indian Diaspora: The large Indian diaspora’s presence across the U.S. is a major pull factor. For one, the support of a local group in a foreign country is a significant advantage. Secondly, a professional network of immigrant entrepreneurs, serve not only as a great channel for personal advancement but also as mentors. The Indian diaspora, which has made its mark in the U.S., is a great inspiration.

Originally Published by: | Hindustan Times (Delhi) | 26 Jan 2015 | Harjiv Singh, Founder & Publisher, Braingainmag.com

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