You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Study Abroad » Going to the US
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

Study UK: The other side of the story
A Get Ahead reader
Get news updates:What's this?
July 27, 2007

With departure dates rapidly approaching, Indian students are booking tickets and preparing to leave for international universities.

To ease their concerns and answer their questions, we've asked students who are already studying abroad to share their experiences.

Yesterday, we highlighted the experiences of Mayank Singh, who gave his account of the wonderful education he received in the UK. Today, we contrast Mayank's experience with an anonymous Get Ahead reader's opinion on the topic.

read so many glowing reports from students who have studied abroad. They all talk about how much it 'opened their minds' and 'taught them so much about the world.' It is only fair to provide the other side of the story.

With all the money going into these foreign universities, I hope Indian students know what their degree will be worth.

In my mind, the first thing you need ask yourself is, "Why do I want to study abroad?"

If you are doing it solely for employment and immigration purposes, you better think twice. Finding a job after graduation, especially in the UK, is nearly impossible.

In a UK university or college, the yearly fees are around �15,000 (Rs 12,00,000) depending on where you choose to study. While you are paying for a 'full year' of education, your contact time in the foreign country is only six months.

There is a one month break for Christmas/ winter. There is a one month break for Easter. There is a four month break over the summer.

Even during term time, you'll have classes for three to four hours a day; that is the maximum amount of time you'll spend in the classroom. Universities don't have classes on Saturdays and Sundays. So, including weekends, that's another month off, bringing the total to less than half the year spent going to class. Is it really worth spending so much money, energy and time?

On top of this, the professors hardly teach you! Most of your assignments require you to read by yourself and to independently handle projects. So, basically, you pay these exorbitant fees to teach yourself!

But don't think you are getting away with just your course fees. Take the student visa, for example. They are difficult to get and, most of the time, they are only granted for one year. If you are granted a three year visa for your three year degree programme, you're very lucky. Most of the students I came across were granted one year visas, and to renew them every year it set them back a whopping �250 - �500 (Rs 20,000 - Rs 40,000).

Let's now assume you've studied for three years, paid enormous fees and graduated. Congratulations!

Then, you start the job application process. Your university has its hands tied and can hardly assist you. Unlike for European Union students, unless your degree is top-notch, forget about even getting shortlisted for a job interview.

The official government rules state that a non-European should not be offered employment if there is a suitable European candidate for the same job.

A non-European only gets the job if there are first, no decent British applicants and, second, if there are no decent European applicants. This is exceedingly rare. Not only this, but the employer is required by law to prove that there are no such reasonable candidates, which is a big hassle.

If you need to be an exceptional student from an exceptional university to be considered for lucrative jobs, what does this say about the average student? Obviously, you'll invariably end up back in India.

If you truly desire to study abroad and can afford it without incurring debts, it's worth it. Otherwise, think twice.

The author of this article requested anonymity.


 Email this Article      Print this Article
© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback