Why students travel abroad for higher education
By Piyush Kumar,
Every student wants to enjoy a great lifestyle and build a career in their area of interest. In order to explore those opportunities and reach their true potential, students take the path of international learning. According to data released by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), more than 133,000 Indian students have left India for higher education this year. Despite epidemics and other travel bans, foreign education only gained popularity. BOI data shows that 2,59,655 went abroad to study in 2020 and 4,44,553 in 2021. Increasing numbers show students’ global aspirations for a degree that can help them successfully launch a career driven by a rich network of global exposure and cross-border.
Countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have been gaining popularity since the onset of the epidemic due to their flexible student-friendly admissions policies, visa regulations and vaccination guidelines. However, there are various factors and decisions that students need to consider in their study abroad. Capturing the true essence of the factors that affect students’ dreams of international learning, IDP Connect released a detailed report in October 2021 entitled “New Horizons”. The study highlighted that demand for on-campus education remained strong throughout the epidemic, with 79 percent of students liking it. The study further reveals that students strongly consider migration incentives, post-study work rights and employment opportunities when choosing their study destination. In addition to these, many other factors influence students’ choice of country and institution. These include:
Multiple course options offered by world-class educational institutions
Graduating from a reputed foreign institution equips students with quality education, valuable and recognized in every corner of the globe. These world-class institutions, which offer a well-structured open curriculum, rank among the top institutions according to QS and Times Higher Education. Graduates from these institutions are taught by the best faculty members and have access to rich world resources. Thus, these students may have better prospects in their professional journey. Such institutions with a more fluid subject coordination policy allow students interested in literature to study mathematics even as their principal. This progressive learning approach transforms students’ lives personally and professionally and helps them develop their interpersonal skills such as self-confidence, self-awareness, analytical thinking and problem solving. Studying in such institutions makes the students more efficient and employable than the rest. In addition to studying at a world-class educational institution, students look forward to the availability of specialization in the course of their interest. Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, Cybersecurity, Ethical Hacking and Ecotechnology are just some of the top current choices for students. A recent survey commissioned by NielsenIQ by Western Union, entitled “Education Overseas-An Evolving Journey”, highlighted that 52% of Indian students tend to study abroad to pursue specialized courses on traditional general education.
Future career opportunities
One of the main reasons why students choose international education is the wide range of careers and the availability of employment opportunities. For example, Canada offers the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP), the United States Optional Training Program (OPT) and the UK New Graduate Pathway (GR). These pathways offer good placement opportunities for students after graduation. It is a major attraction and the most popular way for Indian students to advance their careers.
Students are interested in studying in first world countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. These countries promote a culture of part-time employment while studying. It allows students to explore not only their interests, talents and strengths, but also financial freedom, enabling them to learn both on the job and on the path to what it takes to get a job. International institutions also have internships and training as an integral part of their curriculum, providing a better understanding of various work-related elements and helping students improve their professional and social skills. According to a survey conducted by Masters Union, 45% of students see ‘self-reliance’ and ‘being able to live on their own terms’ as the main motivation for exploring international learning opportunities.
Students with international exposure excel in this highly competitive environment. Studying abroad introduces students to new cultures, diversity, languages and geographies, adapting them to different environments. It helps them develop a sensitivity to other cultures when working across borders. Studying in an international environment prepares students to independently manage and solve their problems independently. They learn to manage all the elements of their life, be it money, health, social life, career or education. This, in turn, helps them develop intelligence and develop a global outlook on the challenges of the career and the modern day of life in general and pushes them to come up with innovative solutions.
Networking and quality of life
The experience and richness of studying abroad further emphasizes life, which allows students to acquire excellent skills and build meaningful connections, a strong professional network and lasting friendships. In addition to studying together, internships, training, attending annual events, and field trips bring together many people from different backgrounds. It helps them in their overall growth both personally and professionally. Beyond that, the impact of freedom of choice on career paths, along with world-class healthcare facilities, good learning infrastructure, advanced educational technology, and course content, cannot be overstated.
One of the most entrepreneurial features of the international education system is the value it places on understanding individual student characteristics. It offers their separate programs accordingly to meet their needs depending on their talents and interests, giving even seemingly disadvantaged students the opportunity to change their academic and career paths. So in order to stay ahead of the game in the current era of throat cutting competition, students choose special courses supported by personalized learning methods for which international education is known.
(The author is the Regional Director, South Asia, and Mauritius, IDP Education. The opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)
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