Best Study Abroad Guide for Indian Students

May 15, 2024
study abroad for indian students

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Are you an Indian student ready to take the plunge and study abroad? Congratulations—you’re embarking on an amazing experience! But first things first: you need a guide that’s tailored specifically for Indian students. We’ve got you covered!

In this guide, we’ll provide key tips and advice to make sure you’re ready for the challenge of studying overseas. From selecting the right study abroad program to getting the right visa, we’ll make sure you have all the information (and inspiration) you need to become an international scholar.

We’ll also explain the pros and cons of studying abroad for Indian students. You will get an understanding of the various challenges you may face during your time abroad.

Let’s get started and make your journey overseas as smooth and successful as possible!

Study Abroad for Indian Students: Pros and Cons

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity. It can provide students with a unique and invaluable perspective on the world.
As an Indian student, you may be considering taking on this challenge.
To help you make an informed decision, here’s a list of the pros and cons of studying abroad.

Pros

Education

The quality of education you receive abroad can be world-class and make a real difference in your future. You’ll have access to great resources and have the chance to learn from some of the best minds in your field.

Culture

Studying abroad allows you to experience a different culture. This kind of exposure is invaluable and can lead to incredible life lessons.

Networking

The connections you make when you study abroad can be lifelong and highly beneficial. You’ll meet people from all over the world, and the skills, insights and friendships you gain will help you stand out from the crowd.

Professional Development

If you’re serious about advancing your career, studying abroad is a great way to do it. You’ll acquire new skills, knowledge, and experience that will give you a serious advantage when entering the job market.

Personal Growth

Leaping to study abroad can help you grow as an individual. You’ll come back a more open-minded, well-rounded person, more capable of handling the challenges life throws your way.

Cons

Expenses

The cost of studying abroad for Indian students can be expensive. And, depending on the country, you may have to pay more than what you would have to pay in India. Be sure to consider the cost before you decide to study abroad.

Language Barrier

Depending on which country you choose to study in, you may struggle with the language. This can make it difficult to settle in and can even affect your academic performance.

Cultural Differences

The cultural norms you’ll find in a different country can be quite different from what you know in India. In some cases, the customs and way of life in the host country may feel strange and uncomfortable.

Keep these factors in mind and talk to people who have gone abroad. You’ll be able to make a more informed choice and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

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Popular Countries to Study Overseas for Indian Students

You might be wondering which is the best country to study abroad for Indian students. Here are the top popular countries with the “why” exactly they are popular.

USA

  • The USA is renowned for its plethora of world-class institutions. It provides students with a vast array of degrees and course options across a range of disciplines.
  • QS’s comprehensive survey of 15,000+ subjects across 1,543 renowned universities shows the United States holds 239 programs in the top 10. It is more than compared to the UK’s 131 and any other countries combined.
  • International students who graduate from a US university are eligible to receive one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work in the US.
  • Students graduating with a STEM degree can receive an employment permit for up to three years

UK

  • Scholarship candidates searching for funding have a wealth of options available, such as the Chevening, GREAT, Commonwealth, Scotland Saltire, and Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships. All of these provide qualified individuals with the opportunity to boost their professional and academic careers.
  • Under the UK government’s revised post-study work visa policy, international students graduating after the summer of 2021 are invited to remain in the country and work for two years.
  • International students are allowed to have part-time jobs with a weekly cap of 20 hours while their school session is in progress.

Canada

  • Canada is a nation that provides an unparalleled opportunity for bilingualism, with residents often speaking both English and French. This is an excellent way to build language expertise that can lead to a successful career.
  • Canada holds the distinction of being the world’s most secure place for international students, topping the rankings for a safe and secure environment for study.
  • With more than 14% of students in Canada hailing from India, there is a high demand for educational opportunities at the country’s leading universities.
  • Canada is a hub to study engineering abroad for Indian students. Other popular courses include medicine, engineering, MBA, biotechnology, cybersecurity and data science.

Also Read: How To Get A Job in Canada From India

Australia

  • International students can combine their studies with part-time work. They’re permitted to work up to 20 hours a week while in school.
  • Australia is an inspiring destination for Indian students studying abroad. Plus, the job prospects after graduating make it an attractive destination for bright minds from around the globe.
  • Australia is the perfect place to visit and live, with its impressive track record of low crime and high safety standards.

Germany

  • With no tuition fee charged at public universities, Germany is an attractive alternative to expensive university fees found in the US and UK.
  • Germany is fast becoming one of the top destinations for Indian students looking to study overseas. All thanks to its affordability, strong job prospects, and unique cultural experience.
  • German universities are renowned across the world for their focus on research and the practical training they provide.

Admission Requirements and Application Process for Studying Abroad

Studying abroad from India isn’t as challenging as you might think, as long as you know the ropes. We’ve collected everything you need to know about the academic requirements for studying abroad from India.

Read on to make sure you’re on the right track.

Academic Requirements

Academic Marksheets

  • The most important document you’ll need for studying abroad from India is your Mark Sheets (Academic Transcripts). Generally, these grade sheets are issued in the form of a PDF or hard copy, and they must be authenticated by a notary.
  • Additionally, for those applying for an undergraduate program. You may need to submit your class 12 board certificate as proof of eligibility.

University Academic Requirements

  • It’s also important to make sure that you meet the minimum academic requirements for the university to which you are applying to as well.
  • In short, for studying abroad from India, you will need your academic transcripts or grade sheets and likely a passing grade point average.

English Proficiency Requirements

Most universities require that international students demonstrate proficiency in English. To prove proficiency, you will have to submit either a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

For example, if you are applying to US universities, they usually require a TOEFL score of at least 80 from non-native English speakers.

Entrance Exams

Generally, undergraduate programs abroad require one or more of these entrance exams:

  • SAT: Popular for undergraduate programs in the United States. The SAT covers Math, Critical Reading, Writing and Language.
  • ACT: Like the SAT, the ACT is accepted by most U.S. colleges for undergraduate programs. It covers Math, Science, Reading and Writing.
  • IELTS: This entrance exam examines an applicant’s fluency in English. It is available for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in some countries.
  • GMAT: Graduate Management Aptitude Test. This is a computer-based aptitude test. It focuses on quantitative and verbal skills required for business and management courses.

Some tests may require additional documents, such as visa or passport information. You need to submit it before appearing for the exam. So, make sure to check the instructions for your chosen exam first.

Application Deadlines

Generally, the application deadlines range from 6 to 12 months before the start of the academic year. For example, in the UK and the US, the application deadline is usually 12 months ahead.

While in Australia, the timeline is generally between 8 to 10 months. This is because visa processing and other paperwork are involved.

Ensure that you begin the preparations at least a year before the program begins. Make sure that you tick all the deadlines for sending documents and payments.

To ensure you don’t miss out on any of these, you can use reminder apps, write down important deadlines in your diary, or a to-do list.

Required Documents

Every university will have different requirements. You need to be aware of those before you submit your application. Here’s a checklist for documents required to study overseas:

  1. Application Form.
  2. SOP (Statement of Purpose).
  3. Official Academic Transcripts.
  4. LOR (Letter of Recommendation).
  5. CV/Resume.
  6. Scores in Standardized Tests.
  7. Essays.
  8. Valid Passport.
  9. Photographs.
  10. Photo-Identity Card.
  11. Proof of Work Experience.
  12. Proof of Funds.
  13. Health Certificates.

If you’re uncertain about the documents, we highly recommend you check the university website.

Visa Application Process

The visa application process for studying abroad is quite daunting and requires a lot of preparation. Before you can get started, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in order. These include:

  1. Passport
  2. Medical fitness certificates
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. Letter of acceptance
  5. Proof of financial ability to cover travel and living expenses
  6. Valid visa

Submit all the required documents on time to the Embassy or Consulate of the country of your choice.
After filing the visa application, you will most likely need to appear in person for an interview.

The Embassy has the right to deny your visa and reject your application. If this happens, you will need to reapply for the visa.

Visa application is a daunting process. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional visa consultant. They can help you make the right decisions.

Funding Your Education Abroad

Scholarships

The first step is to research the different scholarship programs available. Make sure to take some time to broaden your knowledge of the various scholarships.

Understand the eligibility criteria, application process, and particular details like language requirements.

Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to apply for the scholarships that are best for you.

Here are the 5 best study-abroad scholarships for Indian students:

  • The MEXT Scholarship
  • Goethe Institute Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Erasmus Mundus Joint master’s degree (EMJMD) Scholarships
  • Global UGRAD Program
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

If possible, be sure to get in touch with the concerned authorities. They can provide you with insights that might not be available elsewhere.

Education Loan

Getting an education loan for studying abroad may seem overwhelming and confusing.

  • Start by finding out if you’re eligible for an education loan by visiting the website of your chosen lender.
  • In addition, you may also want to consider alternative or private loan options. Private loan lenders typically offer more competitive rates and flexible repayment periods.
  • Some of these lenders also offer scholarships and grants to study abroad. Be sure to research all available options, as they could potentially save you money in the long run.
  • Also, make sure you read the fine print and understand all loan terms and conditions before you sign any documents.
  • Finally, be sure to apply well before you plan to depart from India. The loan approval process can take some time.

Government Funding

Getting a government-funded loan or grant could be an excellent way to finance your studies. Here’s exactly how you can do it.

  • First, you must decide on the country you want to study in. Grants and scholarship programs offered by the Indian government differ from country to country.
  • The next task is to research the eligibility criteria for grants offered by the Government of India. Do your homework here, as some grants are only available to certain students or are restricted by subject or program.
  • Familiarize yourself with the application process and document requirements. This way you can submit an error-free application.

And finally, research the various private players in the Indian student loan space. Several lenders are willing to be sponsors for Indian students to study abroad.

Remember – you don’t have to choose only one option. You can opt for a combination of government grants and scholarships, as well as private loans.

Personal Savings

There are many ways to save personal funds in India so you can make your international study dreams a reality:

Open a Savings Account

A savings account is a great choice to put emergency funds you can use for your studies. You can keep track of your funds easily and get interest on the amount you save.

Cut Down on Expenses

Big expenses like eating out and shopping can eat away at your funds faster than you think. Look for ways to save money on these big items.

Look for Extra Sources of Funds

Consider looking for extra sources of income, such as freelancing, tutoring, or taking on extra shifts at work. Be sure to factor in taxes when calculating your earnings.

Make your Money Work for You

Investing your money in derivatives, mutual funds, or bonds is one way to double your money. Consider the risk levels when considering an investment.

By following these simple steps, you can start building your personal savings. All you need is discipline, dedication, and a willingness to save!

Life Abroad as an Indian Student

We know that studying in another country can be daunting, and you want to make sure you are fully prepared. Let’s take a look at the cultural, social, academic and work expectations to be aware of when studying abroad for Indian students.

Culture Shock

You will inevitably experience culture shock when studying abroad. Different societies have different ways of viewing the world and it’s important to be aware of this.

To create an easier transition, make an effort to learn about your host country’s culture. Don’t just be a passive observer. Get involved as much as possible and make friends with people of different backgrounds.

Social Life

Being in another country doesn’t mean that you have to lose out on making friends. Make sure you join clubs, activities, and societies on campus to meet new people and make lasting connections.

Academic Life

Studying abroad comes with the responsibility of adjusting to a new academic system. To make the most of your studies, set well-defined goals for yourself. Be organized with your studies and timetables.

Also, make use of the abundance of resources available to you, such as classmates, professors, and graduate students.

Work Opportunities

After graduating from your studies abroad, you might be looking for work opportunities. Most countries have streamlined regulations for international students. They allow students to work while studying.

However, rules and regulations vary depending on the country. If you are looking to work after graduation, make sure you’re aware of the conditions in place.

We hope that this study abroad guide has helped reassure and motivate you to set off on your study journey.

Wrapping Up

With the right research, preparation, and guidance nothing stop you from pursuing your dream of studying abroad! We hope the above points have helped relieve some of the anxiety related to studying abroad, so that’ll you can enjoy this awesome experience. Get out there and show the world what Indian students are made of!

We wish you the best of luck in your study abroad journey. Don’t forget to make the most of every moment. Explore and create unforgettable memories that’ll stay with you forever.

Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive in to our guide on Career Advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is the cheapest country to study abroad for Indian students?

The cheapest country to study abroad for Indian students in Malaysia. The competitive tuition fees and scholarship opportunities make this country an affordable option. Plus, their lively culture and vast student community provide an exciting experience.

In which country can Indian students study abroad for free?

Norway offers free tuition for all international students, regardless of their nationality. The country boasts high-quality education. Norway’s universities are ranked among the top schools in the world. Plus, the cost of living is significantly lower than in many other countries, making it an affordable option.

Is studying abroad a good idea for Indian students?

Absolutely! Studying abroad provides unique experiences for Indian students that can’t be found elsewhere. It gives them access to world-class education and a wide network of friends. It also offers a chance to gain independence and explore the world. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons and open up to new cultures.

Which country accepts most Indian students? 

The United States is by far the most popular destination for Indian students! The US is home to some of the world’s best universities. It offers unparalleled opportunities for growth and learning. On top of that, the vibrant culture, diverse people, and delightful food make the US an ideal place to pursue education and follow your passion.

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