‘The grass is greener on the other side’
Alright, perhaps I am being facetious with the above quote, but it still has a ring of the truth. There’s a number of reasons that Indian students choose to study abroad, and as one who is currently infatuated with the same thought, and yet tethering on the edge of the precipice, unwilling, or rather, tensed to make the final leap, I can easily enumerate some of them.
Image courtesy : HindustanTimes
Disenchanted & Tired of the Indian Education System
This is one of the key reasons why students chose to move and study abroad. Many are the students who get tired of the old tried and tested system of education here, of rote learning and remembering data and then spewing it out in exams without understand the concept or the real world applications behind the same. Recently, some colleges – especially the B schools – have taken to changing this, but old habits die hard, and the focus on remembering and writing long answers at the detriment of true understanding is still prevalent far and wide across the country. In fact, in most schools and junior colleges (11th and 12th standard), and for entrance exams, knowing the answer is stressed, even if one does not truly understand and grasp the concept behind it, and this does not a good student make.
Writing brief answers is preferred, and the true meaning of ‘brief’ which is concise and to the point, is lost as students are forced to write long, meandering answers, taught to be verbose at the expense of brevity.
Whereas in most countries with higher literacy rates and better education systems, understanding is key, and not the length of an answer. Some of them even prefer MCQ type exam formats to test knowledge and understanding instead of the usual long answers, or a combination of the two. After all, schools should develop a student’s intelligence and not merely test a student’s powers of memory.
An International Experience
Universities in foreign countries provide a holistic experience not just in terms of the education itself but in immersing a student in the nation’s culture, while also getting in touch with peers and colleagues from different nationalities, promoting exchange of ideas, cultural tolerance and understanding, bridging boundaries and building friendships across boundaries. Getting in touch with people of different nations also helps students understand each other’s problems and find creative solutions for them by sharing of ideas, creating a healthy exchange. Moreover, it can also lead to the formation and growth of partnerships, both personal and professional.
The Lure of the Dollar
One of the most important reasons why students go to foreign countries is to get jobs in those nations and earn better salaries than they can command in India. For reasons of professional growth, for better working hours, to be well respected cogs in their organizations and not be exploited as happens often in a densely populated country like India.
Another important reason for emigration is of course to enjoy a better and healthier standard of living in those places. Of course, it is an uphill task and the ground realities are often different than the golden dreams in our minds, but with hard work, they do become reality.