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Sep 01 2014 : The Times of India (Delhi); Education Times


Planning to go overseas for undergraduate studies but confused about your options?

Read on to learn more about Indian students' favourite programmes abroad, and to see country-specific details



With an increasing number of undergraduates (UG) interested ininterdisciplinary courses that give them an opportunity to sample various disciplinesbefore deciding on their academic focus, Bachelor's degrees offered at universities abroad are gaining significant popularity among Indian students. An undergraduate (UG) education pursued overseas opens avenues for myriad options while helping students identify their strengths and preferences. Furthermore, it negates the common practice of opting for subjects merely because one did not qualify for their first or second choice of course.

THE POPULAR PATH

Some of the Bachelor's programmes popular among Indian students are economics, engineering, robotics, business management, video graphics and special effects, animation arts, gender studies, ecology and environment studies, food science, nanotechnology, energy studies, hospitality management, internet security, sports management, counselling psychology, marine biology and oceanography, construction management, fashion design, ergonomics and occupational therapy, music, commercial pilot's licence, culinary arts, pharmaceutics, nutrition science and dietetics, forensic science, music, photography and performing arts.

Undergraduates abroad also opt for interdisciplinary programmes that allow them to combine subjects like engineering and management, history and art or linguistics and speech therapy. Other than universities, a number of liberal arts colleges also offer high quality programmes with enhanced student-teacher interaction and a more participative curricula.

DESTINATION MATTERS

The most popular destination among Indian students is the US, followed by Canada, UK, Germany, Australia and Singapore.

United States

The stiff competition for seats at coveted Indian engineering colleges, like the IITs, and the presence of US universities on global university rankings proves to be a major trigger for students going to the US. Secondly, the cross-disciplinary nature of instruction that focuses on the major subject area while providing elective courses and more industry-friendly academic exposure scores well with Indian students.

The curriculum, giving students ample opportunity to work on assignments, projects and theses independently, is a good precursor to developing those skills for a higher level of study and research. Good marks in high school and a consistent academic record, combined with good SAT general and subject test scores, open doors to substantial tuition fee waivers, thereby reducing the financial impact of studying abroad. High school students receive admission offers before their class XII board exam results are declared, excluding one from the tedious college admissions process in India.

CANADA

When compared to the US, Canada has fewer universities. However, it offers a good academic environment and opportunity. However, there are not many scholarship options. The SAT score is not a mandatory requirement.

GERMANY

Germany is a buzzword for most students aiming to pursue engineering and biological sciences. Although the programmes for international students are largely taught in English, knowledge of Deutsch (German language) is advisable. High living costs and the documentation and financial requirements for a student visa are a cause of concern.Many programmes under DAAD offer full tuition fee waivers, most of which are fewer and, consequently, competitive.

United Kingdom

The UK has been a popular destination until the two-year post study work visa was withdrawn in April 2012. Oxford and Cambridge universities continue to be big draws for Indians, while applications to other universities through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service or UCAS system are user-friendly and seamless.Students have to wait for the class XII board exam scores to receive unconditional admission offers.

SINGAPORE

Although there are essentially three universities that one can target, Singapore is still considered a preferred study destination.This is in large part due to the proximity to home, which is never more than a five-hour flight.Of the three universities, the SAT score is a mandatory requirement for two. Class XII exam results are needed for a final admission offer. Academic scholarships are rare, although the Singapore government offers a tuition fee waiver of almost 75% upon one condition: signing a bond to work in Singapore for at least three years after graduation. Students are responsible for living expenses.