Aspiration to study in US

According to the 2008-09 Open Doors Report, brought out by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with the Government of the United States of America, India sent the maximum number of students a total of 103,260 to the country for the eighth time in a row. This figure accounted for approximately 15 percent of the total international student population in the US. A number of Indian students are interested in pursuing their studies in the US and our university too continues to receive an increased number of applications. Students still have enormous research opportunities and scholarships will continue to be awarded.

Flying to the US to pursue a postgraduate degree in engineering or management has been the most popular trend among engineering graduates in India or over a decade now. In fact, according to the Open Doors report, business and management and engineering are the top fields of study in the US accounting for 21 and 18 per cent of the total international student intake respectively. The USA ranks high on the priority list of students going abroad for a number of reasons including quality, structure and system of education. Another major reason why Indian students opt to pursue their education in the US according to Andrew Simkin, United States Consul General in Chennai, is the comfort of vast Indian population in the country. The US is very accommodating towards immigrants and there is a lot of affinity for Indians in the country and vice versa. But no longer may be the case after President Barrack Obama’s recent declaration of ‘local talent hiring’ and ‘no out sourcing’. This popularity of the US has further increased due to the current racial unrest in Australia – the second most preferred destination for Indian students. Australia’s hatred of Indian students is now very evident.

Lastly, academicians insist that infrastructure ranks ahead of the temporary slowdown. Students in the US can avail of huge funding options for research. Additionally the inclination of most home grown students towards pursuing an MBA works in favor of Indians looking for opportunities in technical fields.

However, in spite of abundant opportunities that the country offers, the downturn has certainly impacted the employment options available. A number of recent graduates from mid ranked universities are scouting for jobs even months after the completion of their courses. Economies across the world are still reeling under the effects of the economic slowdown. Though securing a job is largely dependent on individual capabilities, placements are bound to be a problem for those who do not graduate from good institutes. Aspirants should target admissions to any of the top 200 universities as pursuing a degree from an institute that ranks below 400 could be problematic while hunting for employment. While students with a GRE score of 800 – 1000 could make it to well ranked institutes earlier, this is not the case anymore. A GRE score of round 1200 is crucial for admission to a good institute.

Students in the US too agree that though the scenario was disappointing a few months ago, this is slowly changing with companies slowly beginning to recruit fresh graduates. Though things did seem slightly gloomy during the last few months, the job market is gradually opening up. Pursuing your higher studies in the US, especially an MS, is a good option as a degree from a well reputed institute here makes a huge difference on your resume. The PG Program is not just as a gateway to a job in this country but as a chance to learn something new and experience life in another land.

There are as many as 4,000 colleges and many prestigious universities in the US. Thus, zeroing in on the institute where one would pursue his / her studies from is not an easy task. This is where students can avail of United States India educational Foundation’s (USIEF) aid, an organization that assists spirants in the application process. For those who are tensed about the visa interview students planning to travel to the US need not feel overly burdened or pressured as most often officials are only looking to strike a simple conversation with them. Apart from an acceptance from an educational institute, high school track records test scores and financial documents officials also gauge student’s preparedness to stay during the entire courses of study.

At the university Students should send in their financial documents along with their application materials so that institutes can issue an I-20 faster.