Top study abroad destinations for Indian students

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As students become more aware of the overseas education opportunities, the top countries to study abroad have also undergone changes over the period of time. A decade back, the list of top destinations to study abroad for Indian students had only countries like the UK, the USA, and Australia. But today, with the changing trend, the students are experimenting with new countries and courses to get a degree.

Here are the top countries to study abroad:

United Kingdom:

The UK has been an all-time favorite for Indian and international students making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. The country boasts of having the oldest and best universities in the world such as Oxford and Cambridge and offers a range of courses- right from various undergraduate degrees to one-year postgraduate degrees across domains like engineering and management. Around 5,00,000 international students are, currently, enrolled in universities in the UK of which over 25,000 are Indian students. One of the major factors that draw students to study in the UK is its wide range of scholarships which provide partial to full study waiver to students. Commonwealth, GREAT, Rhodes are just a few of the fee paying scholarships available to international students in the UK.

Top 5 courses to study in the UK:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 138,335
2 Engineering 59,015
3 Social Sciences 45,620
4 Physical and Life Sciences 42,505
5 Fine and Applied Arts 41,095

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2013-14)
China 92,915
USA 26,975
India 21,000
Total students ( including all countries) 493,570


After the UK and the USA, the top destination to study for Indian students is Australia. The Australian education system has earned good reputation globally and a number of Australian Universities feature in the top 100 in global university rankings. The country has more than 12,000 higher educational institutions that offer vocational training courses, English Language Training to University courses like business, finance and sports management at undergraduate and graduate levels. What is Australia best known for is the group of 8 universities, which are research intensive universities along the lines of the famous Ivy leagues in the USA.

Top 5 courses to study in Australia:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 120,476
2 Engineering 26,845
3 Mathematics and Computer Sciences 21,271
4 Health Professions 19,380
5 Social Sciences 18,625

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2014)
China 91,089
India 26,433
Malaysia 14,446
Total students ( including all countries) 269,752

New Zealand

Another major emerging study abroad destination, New Zealand has witnessed 400 per cent increase in the number of Indian students in its universities and institutes in the last five years. Around eight universities from New Zealand are listed in the top 500 universities in the world by QS making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. Some of its popular universities are the University of Auckland, Auckland Territorial University among others. In addition, the country is also home to 20 institutes of technology and polytechnics and many private training establishments(PTE), where students can hone their vocational skills. That said, New Zealand’s popularity among international students has only multiplied in the recent years. Currently, India is one of the largest sources of international students in New Zealand with over 20,000 students enrolled in the country.

Top 5 courses to study in New Zealand:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Business management 23,637
2 Engineering 4,919
3 Social Sciences 14,629
4 Physical and Life Sciences 7,499
5 Maths and Computer Sciences 6,975

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2014)
China 3,179
India 20,227
Korea 7910
Total students ( including all countries) 46,659


Another one fo the top countries to study abroad, Canada is an emerging study abroad destination as the country has witnessed a manifold increase in the number of international students in the recent years. The students flock to Canada for various courses such as Engineering, Business, Animation, Biotechnology, and Hospitality. In 2014 itself, nearly 30,000 Indian students were enrolled in universities across Canada which was a four-fold increase in the number of students traveling to the country to study. “This is primarily due to the advantages that Canada offers to international students in terms of quality education, cost advantages along with a safe and multicultural environment,” says Marie-Josee Charbonneau, Counsellor & Head, Advocacy Program, High Commission of Canada in India.

Top 5 courses to study in Canada:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Computer Sciences
3 Life Sciences
4 Hotel Management
5 Liberal arts

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2012-13)
China 87,329
India 37,399
France 17,693
Total students ( including all countries) 268,659


Germany is one of the top study abroad destinations in Europe. It provides quality education and with an increase of more than 70 percent Indian student population, the country proved to be a hotspot of higher education. Germany is touted as one of the top 5 destinations for international students by UNESCO. One reason why Germany is emerging as a favorite destination is that public universities in Germany charge low or no tuition fees, which automatically brings down the cost of studying in Germany. The country is most popular for its MS degrees. The best part is German degrees are internationally recognized, with many universities available in English. Over 9,000 Indian students are currently studying the country.

Top 5 courses to study in Germany:

No. Top courses No. of students
1 Engineering 71,352
2 Business management 52,168
3 Humanities 37,619
4 Maths and Computer Sciences 29,748
5 Fine and Applied Arts 24,412

Top three sources of international students:

Country No. of students( 2013-14)
Turkey 33,004
China 30,511
Russia 14,525
Total students ( including all countries) 301,350


With over 27,000 international students studying in its various universities, Ireland continues to steadily rise in the ranks among the top study destinations in the world. A network of research institutes with a focus on innovation is the major reason behind Ireland’s popularity among international students, including those from India. Around 1000 Indian students are enrolled in Irish universities making Indian students one of the top international student’s communities in Ireland. “The number of Indian students studying in Ireland has risen particularly in the last five years due to an increased awareness of Ireland, its culture, and the strong post-study employment opportunities,” says Barry O’Driscoll, Marketing Advisor, Education in Ireland.

Top courses to study in Ireland:

No. Top courses
1 Engineering
2 Computer Sciences
3 Data Science and Analytics
4 Physics
5 Information and Communication Technology


An unlikely contender among the top countries to study abroad, UAE still manages to attract a fair amount of international students, especially, from India. Needless to say, the country is most popular among Indians who want to explore work opportunities. However, in the past few years, UAE has witnessed a sudden spurt of Indian students willing to explore the education scenario of the country which offers many popular courses. Of course, it is Dubai which attracts the largest contingent of Indian as well international students. And why not? Dubai is not only known for some domestic highly ranked universities but is also home to branches of international universities like the University of Wollongong and Manchester Business School, among others. Currently, there are over 2000 Indian students studying in the UAE.

Top courses to study in UAE:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Banking and finance
3 Engineering
4 Medicine


Known for its diverse population, Singapore is abuzz with hyperactivity and enjoys its reputation as the financial center of Southeast Asia.  A rapidly growing economy, the island country is home to a slew of institutions which includes its own highly ranked universities in addition to subsidiaries of international universities.  In terms of studies, it is most known for its management programs which attract a sizable portion of international students. The fact that the country happens to be a center for businesses with MNCs like Unilever, DHL, IBM or General Motors, is enough to generate a buzz among management aspirants, hence, making it one of the top destinations to study abroad. Given a large number of exchange students from Europe, the country is the perfect place to experience global education. The country has over 1,00,000 international students currently.

Top 5 courses to study in Singapore:

No. Top courses
1 Business management
2 Banking and finance
3 Engineering
4 Computer Sciences
5 Law


As the world’s largest country, it’s hardly surprising that Russia is home to so many universities — 950 of them, to be exact. What may come as a surprise? How many of its higher education institutions offer world-class, globally recognized educational opportunities. Russia now participates in the Bologna Process, and many of its premier universities are members of the European Universities Association. A whopping 22 Russian universities, meanwhile, earned spots on the QS World University Rankings 2016-2017.

Russia recently earned a plum spot on Bloomberg’s roundup of the world’s most innovative economies, but its innovative spirit is not limited to the financial sector. A Russian education uniquely fuses traditional academic rigors with a commitment to innovation in the form of competency-based education across a breadth and depth of areas of study. And while we’d be lying if we didn’t say that studying in Russia was demanding, a degree from a Russian institution is highly prized by the world’s employers — making it well worth the effort.

No. Top courses
1 Engineering
2 Law
3 Economics
4 Medicine
5 Information and Communication Technology

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Applying for scholarships to study abroad? Quick Guide


scholarship_applicationGetting a degree from a foreign educational institution can open up lucrative global career opportunities for deserving Indian students by giving them the kind of holistic education that is hard to access in India. However, the financial burden of studying abroad is prohibitive, especially if one opts for leading universities in developed countries. The high costs associated with day-to-day expenses and the tuition fees make scholarships the best way to afford such an education for many Indian students. But finding the right scholarship to suit your specific needs can often be a difficult and intimidating task.



Scholarships or financial aid can be received either from the university you’re applying to or from a foundation that has such funding programs. In many cases, such opportunities aren’t as well advertised as they should be. Finding out which scholarship and which institution is the best match for you, given your interests, achievements, and academic record requires you to research for them in detail. This can help you in finding the right scholarship for a quality overseas education that you deeply desire.


After reviewing all the potential opportunities, you should filter through them based on your interests. Try to select across a spectrum of choices: one should be aspirational, a great scholarship to the best university in the world, that you know might be difficult to get; one should be a safe bet. This ensures that at the end of this process, you haven’t either settled for too little or aimed for too much with nothing to bank upon.


There are few (if any) instances where there is a separate examination or interview for a scholarship. Most students have to follow the basic application protocol, and the scholarships are generally handed out on the basis of previous academic credentials and essays. Even in instances where there are specific scholarship interviews — usually when a public or private foundation is providing generic aid for students looking to study a specific course or in a specific country — the interviewers are looking to evaluate the same aspects of a candidate as in generic admission interviews. Make sure you brush up on your subject knowledge and prepare to answer questions that test your confidence, that ask why it should be you and not someone else getting the scholarship, and what your future aims and goals in life are. Base your answers to these questions on the background information about the scholarship, which will likely inform you as to what the foundation or institution is looking for in terms of ideal candidates.


If you are applying for a number of different scholarships or grants, as well as applying for the study abroad program itself, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different deadlines and application requirements. This may seem obvious, but make a calendar specific to your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline clearly marked. Staying organized is crucial when applying for more than one scholarship (or even just one!).


With the continued growth in the number of Indian students looking for foreign education, many institutions have come up to help students write out their applications. With their expertise, knowledge, and experience, these institutions often provide the insights and information that can mean the difference between being rejected and getting the scholarship. There is no reason to let ego play a role — these experts have helped write more applications and understand the systems far better than you do. Look around to find the right institution for you, given your background and interests, as well as where you’re planning to apply. These experts can help you strategically plan your application and can provide coaching for interviews that can help boost your confidence.

Applying for education abroad is often perceived as the sole privilege of the rich in India, who can afford the expense of foreign education.

However, with a large number of scholarships and with Indian students being seen as a great resource, many foreign universities are making it much easier for Indian students to gain access to their courses through scholarships.

Don’t let this opportunity go by — at the very least, consider the wonders of being educated abroad, along with all the opportunities it will bring to experience a new culture and a new perspective on education.

Source: India Today

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StudyAbroad: STEM students may have better alternative than Trump’s USA

where-to-study-abroad-800x500_cIndian science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students planning an overseas higher education are losing sleep over reports that US President Donald Trump may roll back the extension of optional practical training (OPT). During the OPT period, students can work on a student visa. Currently, in America, about 1.6 lakh STEM students are allowed to stay on for up to three years, after they graduate, to work or look for jobs.

When the period was extended for STEM graduates from one year to up to three, during former President Barack Obama’s administration, it became a bigger attraction; students often banked on it to gain experience and in the hope that US companies would sponsor them on the H-1B work visa thereafter.

Studies followed by OPT followed by H-1B followed by green card is the route taken by many international students, especially from India, to the promised land. Thousands of kilometers away, however, one country, Ireland, has slightly different plans from those of Trump. Recently Ireland announced a decision to double the “stay back option” for master’s and Ph.D. students from 12 months to 24. “By increasing the window, we are moving in the opposite direction to other overseas education destinations.

There are many attractive job opportunities in Ireland, and the Irish government is the view that many bright Indian students will now find a compelling option to gain post study work experience and join the diverse workforce in Ireland in sectors such as software, biopharma, engineering, ICT and finance,” Rory Power, director, India & South Asia of Enterprise Ireland, an economic development agency, told ET Magazine.

In 2015, over 2,000 Indian students went to Ireland for higher education; the figure would have gone up by at least 10 percent in 2016. Declan Coogan, an international student recruitment manager at Trinity College Dublin, felt that the announcement of the two-year stay back graduate visa will reinforce Ireland in the minds of Indian students as a welcome destination for world-class education and research along with career opportunities.

But clearly, it’s the US that has the maximum appeal. “The STEM OPT extension in the US is especially appealing to Indian students in master’s programs in engineering and computer science. Data from the Student Exchange & Visitor Program indicates that in 2016, 83 per cent of Indian students were enrolled in STEM programs,” says, a US-based provider of career services to international students.

Better Alternatives

That may result in advantage Ireland — now the only English-speaking education destination in the European Union — even as non-English speaking destinations are emerging as alternatives.

“The German federal foreign office grants students an 18-month extension of visa after studies for the purpose of seeking a job. Considering that most of the students would like to shift to the industry after studies, this extension gives us ample time to explore opportunities.

In terms of employment opportunities, especially in the field of IT andEngineeringg, Indian students certainly have an edge over others with a majority of them holding engineering degrees. “This combined with Germany’s constant demand for engineers is a win-win for both Germany and Indian students.

Read|Click Here: Steady growth in foreign enrollment in Germany 

Read|Click Here:  Why Germany Educates International Students for Free

Read|Click Here: Study in Germany: Courses, colleges, eligibility, how to apply and cost details

The German parliament has also implemented an EU Blue Card and an unlimited work and residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market. India ranks second in countries of origin of international students enrolled in Germany. Some 83 per cent of Indian students going to Germany opt for STEM programs and, in 2015-16, around 14,000 students were enrolled.

Likewise, Indian students who graduate from French business and engineering schools can extend their stay in the country for up to two years in order to acquire work experience. Every year, 4,000 Indian students go for higher studies in France, a number that the French government hopes will increase to 10,000 by 2020.

Procedures for Indian students wishing to study in France have been simplified. Furthermore, Indian alumni who hold a degree at the master’s or higher level from a French higher education institution are being granted tourist or business visas with a five-year validity period. Finally, the talent passport, a newly created long-term residence permit (four years), is designed for highly skilled foreigners (researchers, scientists, artists) wishing to settle in France,” says Anne-Laure. first counselor at the French embassy in India.

Australia too has emerged as an attractive destination. Current regulations allow all graduating students (bachelor’s and master’s), who have studied for a minimum of two years in Australia, to get what is referred to as a post-study work (PSW) visa for two years irrespective of the specialization. Research students are able to get a PSW for up to four years. Many Indian students in Australia opt for studies followed by PSW followed by work permit and then permanent residency (PR).

“Some students are able to apply and get the PR directly after the PSW without the need for the work permit. The minimum salary required for the work permit is A$54,000. Besides, Australia has just introduced additional points for permanent residency for STEM graduates in a bid to attract talent,” says Ravi Lochan Singh, MD of an educational consultancy firm.

Canada, which is the other huge draw for Indian students, offers a post-graduation work permit for up to three years. Postgraduate work experience in Canada may potentially make Indian students eligible for permanent resident status. In 2016, over 40,000 study permits, or student visas, were issued to Indian students.


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StudyAbroad:MBBS:Compulsory Rural Service only for Government quota medical students


The Karnataka Health Department has decided to crack the whip on specifically on government quota students for mandatory service in rural areas after having been unable to push medical students at large to work in the less developed regions of the country. This decision comes in the face of the department struggling to fill 1400 posts in the village health centers.

Soon, the mandatory rural service rule will be only for those who have secured seats under the government quota. The state cabinet has approved the proposal to amend the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012, during the ongoing legislature session. Earlier, this service rule was applicable for all medical graduates including the management and NRI quota candidates. Later students obtained a court stay on it.

Principal Secretary, Health, and Family Welfare said the amended rule would not act as a hindrance in doctor recruitments in rural areas. “The vacancies are high in the specialist’s category. It will be a problem of plenty if all MBBS graduates are made to take up rural service. That is why we are amending the rule so that there will be a regular flow of doctors as government-quota students cannot forgo rural service,” she said.

An absence of a conducive atmosphere that includes assault by patients’ relatives and harassment by followers of local politicians has created a sense of fear among doctors,” said a senior official of the Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association. It is reported that doctors are willing to work on lower pay scales in smaller urban hospitals rather than taluk hospitals or primary health centers. Poor infrastructural facilities in rural areas and specialists having to function as medical officers are primary reasons that keep doctors away said the official. The Health Department in a special employment drive will recruit 3,274 paramedics, 736 nurses with Diplomas, 245 Nurses with B.Sc. Nursing qualification and 1,659 junior health assistants report in The Hindu News.

As studying medicine in India gets tougher due to limited seats and high capitation fee, a number of medical aspirants check out the options abroad to become qualified doctors. Although taking the overseas route in the healthcare industry has been in prevalence for quite some time, over the past few years there has been an average increase of about 10-15 percent increase in the number of students going abroad for studying medicine.


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