9 Must-Know Things For Indians Who Wish To Study In Europe/USA
Every year, thousands of Indians leave home for higher education – during 2014, nearly 1,34,300 Indian students were enrolled in graduate programs in the USA and nearly 50,000 students from India were pursuing higher education in Europe.
In some cases, the decision to pursue higher education is based on better job prospects, be it Europe or the USA. While in other cases, the quest of quality learning and self-development drives the decision.
Whatever be the reason, most students are not prepared for life abroad and that results in frustration and in some cases monetary loss as well.
Here are some words of advice from Indians who study abroad as shared on public forums:
1. Master of One, Jack of Some
The best part of education abroad may well be the credit based education system – which allows a student to take courses outside his/her current field of specialization.
You may be taking a music course in the same semester, in which you are learning core computer science courses.
2. Living Expenses!!
While living expenses vary with the area, you are certainly going to pay more than what you used to pay in any Indian city for an average meal, a bus fare or a haircut.
If you manage to score a part-time job then even though you fall in a low socio-economic class, you will still be able to manage a decent lifestyle.
You won’t need to convert everything into rupees and bang your head when you go to the local grocer.
3. Trouble for Vegetarians
“People assume that if you are a vegetarian then you must eat only salad. Non-vegetarianism is the norm and not the other way around. Things are changing a little now. But I miss all the easily accessible and diverse vegetarian food, gol gappe, samosa, pav bhaji, dosa, uttapam, pakode, paranthe, … :'(“ – Anurag Bishnoi, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium
4. Educational Dilemma – Choosing your Courses
“Your guidance counselor and your own interests are the only two sources you should look up to, while deciding on what courses you want to take or labs you might want to join.” – Anonymous in Europe
5. Friendly Professors
“You can treat a professor like an equal here. Talk to them openly about everything, go out for drinks with them, and crack jokes.” – Anurag Bishnoi, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium
6. Go to Germany for FREE Education
“As people might already know, there is no tuition fees for MOST courses in Germany. Some courses do charge a pretty high tuition fees but I don’t know how or why they charge money. If the course of study is free then virtually education up to any level is free. “ – Ajay Mandyam, Germany
7. Be Prepared for the Cold Weather
This holds true for Europe and most states near the east coast in the USA.
“The winters are cold, dark and mostly rainy as well but hey, you always have Christmas markets in November and December. They also have a few local festivals to lighten the mood during winters. “ – Ajay Mandyam, Germany
8. Don’t Blindly Follow the $$$
Well, the job prospects and the salary are definitely things you wish work out well after your degree is complete. But, make sure you don’t end up making these as the sole deciding factors to decide the courses you take.
“Most Indian students discuss salary. People say things like “he got a job that pays him 100k USD a year”, “he got a 40$/hr internship”, “he got four offers” and they become hot topics for discussion in the Indian community which is just like the way it was in India. Sigh! As far as I can see, anything above 50k USD a year is great if you are working on something you are passionate about.” – Nischint Pamadi, USA
9. At Last Don’t Forget India
Assuming you watched a lot of Hollywood movies before your finalized your pursuit of the “American Dream”, you may be expecting a bit too much before starting your journey.
It might be a good idea to re-evaluate your decision based on things you are expecting to gain from your education abroad and the things you are going to lose/miss back home.
“Don’t be dazzled by the exterior charm of a foreign country. Just because their trains run on time or there is a high level of digitization, doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own problems. Juxtaposing India against a tiny European country is a fairly wrong comparison. This will help in mitigating the “re-entry” shock.” – Anonymous in Europe
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