Deciding to study abroad can be an extremely difficult decision for many, given that the next 30 or 40 years of their life depend on that decision. So, when evaluating options to study abroad, it is important for prospective students and their parents to know that the country that they are choosing is the best option for them. This becomes especially important in the current times, with the constant changes in the student visa and work visa process in popular locations like the US; students are turning towards a country that will not only provide quality education, but also offer a sustainable working and inhabitation environment. There are various key factors that every student considers, while planning their overseas education.
Factors influencing the decision-making process
One of the key factors influencing the decision to choose a country is the Post-Study Work (PSW) visa; along with other critical aspects of the country like the political willingness to attract and retain international students, quality of education, climatic conditions, food, availability of Indian diaspora, career prospects, average salaries, better standard of living, quality healthcare and so on.
More up and coming education options
With the usual options abroad flooding with students from across the world - more students are looking for alternative options that are better suited for their longterm career prospects and short-term Return-on-Investment (ROI) proposition. In these terms, the US was a favourite option for many. However, with the recent struggles that international students in the states are battling; as well as the economic conditions overall, students are more cautious in making this choice.
The numbers stand definitive to this trend of swaying away from once popular locations like the United States. In the academic year 2015-16, about 3 Lakh international students enrolled in the US universities. Fast-forward three years - to academic year 2018-19, that number has dropped to about 2.7 lakhs, according to the report released by the Institute of International Education.
UK and Ireland open doors to international students
Both the UK and Ireland offer a 2-year PSW. This is one of the most important signs of the willingness to attract and retain international students. Along with this, both these countries tick all the right boxes when it comes to deciding on the best country to study aboard; including very high quality of education, reasonable climatic conditions, availability of Indian diaspora, stable career prospects, decent average salaries, better standard of living, quality healthcare and last but not the least - availability of Indian food.
Numbers don’t lie
“We have been witnessing consistent double-digit growth in the UK & Ireland markets for the last three years. Students are comfortable with the 2-year PSW and understand the ROI benefits of 1- & 2-year courses that these countries offer. The availability of jobs for highly-skilled workforce hasn’t been a problem as well”, says Suneet Singh Kochar, an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta and the CEO of Fateh Education. They have been offering consultation on international higher education for more than 15 years.