The Travails of Studying Abroad in the Current Global Scenario

You’ve always had this dream of studying abroad, far from India, in a developed country, earning in dollars, saving some of it, investing the rest of it in your homeland and getting richer while also having a higher quality of life. To that end you’ve always studied well, been among the top students in your classes to make sure you always stand out, and generally done smart work to turn your dream into reality, and now after completing your bachelors, you, like most others, are ready to pursue the dream.

Indian students

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Time to fly high like a free bird, the world’s your oyster and nothing can stop you now!

But wait, what’s that you hear?

War in the middle-east? A refugee crisis? Western countries closing their borders to outsiders? Foreigners being given the evil eye?

Sounds unfair, but the world is changing at a very fast rate and you had better make sure you are ready for the travails you will be facing in the country you plan to go for your studies. Make sure to know the ground realities otherwise you are going to be for quite a culture shock!

To aid you, here’s a list of the hurdles one often encounters in their quest to study – and then work – in a foreign country.

Visa Rules

Make sure you know the Visa rules of the country you plan to emigrate to. Do you only get a study visa, or do you also get a year or two to find a job? How easy or difficult is it to get a job and a work visa on graduating?

This is the most important thing you need to keep in mind. Remember, you will be investing money in dollars or pounds for your education, and the only way to get proper return on investment is to be able to work in the said country for a at least a couple of years and break even. Spending in dollars only to come back to India and earn in rupees is not a smart choice unless you happen to have inherited a lot of money, or are quite rich. If you take a loan and end up having to earn in rupees to repay it then you will be in quite a pickle.

So make sure you find out the process of getting a work visa after studying – as well as the prospects of working while studying (to build your resume) – so that you have enough information to take a well informed decision.

Remember, debt can change a person’s outlook on life and turn them into a despairing cynic. Best avoid that!


This equates with the Visa decision, but it deserves a separate point to hammer in its importance. Make sure you know how long you have as a student to find a job in the country of your origin. Some like USA give you at least a year to find a job, while others like England where the conservative party reigns supreme, you won’t get more than a few months to find employment, after which you have to leave its shores.

Make sure that Time is on your side.

Racism & Other Differences

This may sound like an oft repeated statement in today’s age, but white privilege is a thing, and you may find that it is not as easy to find a job or working environment in a place where you are in the minority. Once you leave Indian shores, be prepared to face at worst, intentional racism, or at least an unintentional disparaging comment. This is of course, but a warning, and you could end up in a workplace and college where your differences are respected, but it is always better to be prepared for the worst and be pleasantly surprised, instead of being under-prepared.

As always, the intention here is not to scare you off your dreams, but to provide an insight into the reality of the situation, so that you are well prepared to take it on and succeed against all odds. After all, from the hottest of forges is the strongest sword made.

Go forth and conquer, padawan!

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Pritesh is a writer, reader, photographer stricken with wanderlust, Football aficionado, Demon-slayer, Monster-hunter, entrepreneur supreme. He creates worlds with words and he is currently working on three novels and a collection of short stories. When he isn't writing, he can be seen inhaling copious amounts of coffee and arguing with the many voices in his head.

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