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Top 5 study abroad destinations for Indian students

Last updated on: July 26, 2013 20:50 IST

Top 5 study abroad destinations for Indian students

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Ansh Patel, Courtesy YouthIncMag

If you are planning to study abroad, here are some affordable and student-friendly destinations you can consider.

The usual options that present themselves while deciding to study abroad are the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

But with rising costs and stricter visa rules, Indian students are now choosing destinations beyond the Big Four.

Here are some really affordable destinations that are also student-friendly for international aspirants:

1. FRANCE

Popular courses

Liberal arts and humanities, fashion design, political studies, information technology, business and management

What works in its favour

France is the cultural hub of Europe; it offers the most variety in educational courses and has a mixed culture

What doesn't work

Language issues – the French are known to favour speaking their own language over English

Relatively costly -- Some industries have been affected by the Eurozone recession

General fee structure

Average annual tuition fee: Rs 28,000 (state universities), Rs 6.5 lakhs (grandes ecoles -- private institutes)

Accommodation and cost of living: Rs 70,000 per month

Top universities

  • Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
  • Ecole Polytechnique, Paris
  • Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris

Job prospects

While the recession may have affected certain industries like manufacturing, others continue to prosper.

In the fashion and luxury segment, France continues to dominate.

It has a well-established IT and technology industry which continues to offer new opportunities to graduates.

Liberal arts graduates can find employment as university lecturers, although learning French may be a prerequisite.

France is a Eurozone member, so business graduates may find employment in any Eurozone country.

Student opinion

"In my class alone, students represent close to 27 countries. With difference in culture, education style and overall lifestyle, you got yourself one of the most internationally diverse cohort of Master students."
- Sreehari Edamana, Master in International Business, Grenoble Ecole de Management

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Image: Ecole Polytechnique Paris
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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2. DUBAI

Popular courses

Engineering (particularly civil, mineral and oil exploration), business administration and finance

What works in its favour

  • Good job prospects
  • Tax-free salary on employment
  • Opportunity to interact with people from different cultures
  • Large Indian diaspora can help avert homesickness

What doesn't

  • Considerably more expensive than others
  • Students cannot work while studying, but the student visa can be turned into an employment visa on getting a job
  • Once you get a job, you can’t switch to another in the same sector for at least two years

General Fee Structure

Average annual tuition fee: Rs 8.19 lakhs

Accommodation and cost of living: Rs 65,000 per month

Top Universities

  • Dubai Men's and Women's Colleges
  • Zayed University
  • University of Wollongong in Dubai

Job prospects

Despite the recession, the civil sector continues to thrive with architects being equally sought after. 

With major financial companies shifting their bases to Dubai, prospects are bright for b-school students.

Mineral and oil exploration and research continue to be the most sought-after fields.

Student opinion

“What’s great about studying here is that you meet a lot of people from different nationalities making it a great place for networking.”
- Samuel Varghese, BCommerce (Finance), University of Wollongong in Dubai


Image: University of Wollongong in Dubai
Photographs: Courtesy University of Wollongong in Dubai

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3. CHINA

Popular courses

Ecology, computer science and economics

What works in its favour

  • Close proximity and similar cultural environment to India
  • Cheap in terms of tuition fees, accommodation and cost of living
  • Courses are more application-oriented than our universities
  • Employment opportunities galore as the job market is booming in China in almost every field

What doesn't

  • Food and Chinese cuisine may be an issue for many
  • Language issues as a majority of Chinese still cannot speak English fluently
  • Students may have issues living under an authoritative government

General fee structure

Average annual tuition fee: Rs 1.75 lakhs
Accommodation and cost of living: Rs 50,000 per month

Top universities

  • Peking University
  • Tsinghua University
  • Fudan University

Job prospects

Engineering and medicine lead the field in terms of job prospects, although qualified English language lecturers are also highly sought after in China’s top universities.

B-school graduates and financial accountants can find opportunities in major cities where the exponentially growing businesses have set their base.

Expert opinion

“With a higher quality of graduate education at a cost similar to courses here, it’s no wonder students are flocking to China.”
- Kamlesh Sajnani, managing director, IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd.


Image: The campus of Peking University in Beijing, China
Photographs: Ryan_xm/Wikimedia Commons

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4. NEW ZEALAND

Popular courses

Marine engineering, medicine and healthcare

What works in its favour

  • Safe environment to live and study
  • Fairly affordable
  • Additional 12 months to find a job after course completion

What doesn't

  • Isolated from the rest of the world
  • Change in its visa application process makes it more arduous and time-consuming

General fee structure

Average annual tuition fee: Rs 7 lakhs
Accommodation and cost of living: Rs 50,000 per month

Top universities

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Otago
  • University of Canterbury

Job prospects

The economy primarily comes from maritime trade and agriculture, but its healthcare is well-regarded.

Recent developments in the manufacturing and IT sector have opened up employment opportunities for engineers.

Student opinion

“The best thing about studying in NZ is the country itself. Nice environs, great accessibility to extracurricular activities, no dangerous animals, etc and the people are warm, hardworking and simple, fair-minded folk.”
- Ishaan Kovoor, BE Mechatronics, University of Canterbury


Image: The clocktower building at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Photographs: Ulanwp/Wikimedia Commons

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5. RUSSIA

Popular courses

Medicine and healthcare

What works in your favour

  • Globally recognised degrees with a high standard of teaching
  • Affordability
  • Courses are application-oriented

What doesn't

  • Prone to civil unrest
  • Long winters can be harsh for Indians
  • Most courses are taught in Russian in the first year, so the language must be learnt

General fee structure

Average annual tuition fee: Rs 2.8 lakhs

Accommodation and cost of living: Rs 30,000 per month

Top universities

  • Moscow Medical Academy
  • Russian State Medical University

Job prospects

Ample government research grants make Russia a good option for science students.

Russian healthcare is known for its high quality and affordability, so the country is suitable for medical students an graduates.

Graduate opinion

“Russia is very famous for its literature and students always find big libraries in whatever institute they are. The study atmosphere in those libraries is really amazing.”- Dr Chandresh Sudani, post from www.medwonders.com/medblogs


Image: Russian State Medical University
Photographs: Courtesy Russian State Medical University

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