Indian students for long have targeted higher education opportunities in English speaking countries like USA, UK, Australia etc. Off late, there has been a growing trend of students looking towards non-English speaking countries within Europe. This shift can be attributed to a multitude of factors. While USA & UK are scaring away international students, European countries like France, Germany, Italy, Sweden etc. have taken the exact opposite route.
Pursuing higher education abroad leads to the possibility of building a career in that country. This, along with more focused learnings within advanced fields has been the key reason for Indian students to travel abroad. The election of Donald Trump and a vote in favour of Brexit, has made one wonder if nationalist values are throttling the existence of globalization. In the midst of all this, other European countries have managed to grab the attention of the knowledge-thirsty Indian students. Students are being offered highly specialized curriculum, which allows them a foot-in to Europe. Emmanuel Macron, President of France – in a heartfelt speech, culminating his India visit in early 2018 had rolled out the red carpet for Indian students wishing to gain higher education in France.
Europe, the birthplace of many world-class industries, has for long emphasized on the need for quality education. If you take one look at the Financial Times 2018 rankings, you will realize that European Institutions easily cover 60% of the table. No matter which field you wish to pursue, you will find a European university occupying a position in the top five. The curriculum design allows a student to spend an equal amount of time learning theory and practicing these learnings. Thus, an alumnus from a European Institution is better equipped to handle the professional challenges.
Members of the European Union recognize each other’s degrees. As internships are a key requirement within the European education system, this allows for smoother acceptance of interns within EU. Study programmes on multiple campuses are a boon for Europe. A student may start from campus in Europe and finish the studies in a different region. The European flair for inter-continental studies has led to the coming together of diverse Institutions to create a cohesive study-experience. Indian students seeking to adapt themselves at a global level benefit from such programmes.
Visa Norms within the European countries are relaxed for highly skilled labours. For eg. – Staying back in France for a maximum of 2yrs post-studies gives Indian students a distinct advantage over other countries. Germany has been attracting many students from India for its Research Assistantship positions in Engineering Schools. There are similar visa policies within other European Nations.
In recent years, the cost of higher education in India has increased exponentially. Public Universities in Europe provide cheaper education, while the Tuition costs for private colleges in the majority of Europe would more or less be similar as in India. Europe is also famous for rewarding quality students with jaw-dropping scholarships. These scholarships can sometimes be as high as a full-tuition waiver. There are other kinds of scholarships offered by the education ministries of the respective countries. As these scholarships carry a lot of premium on them, Employers are quick to recognize scholarship winners during their job search. Some of the famous scholarship options are: Erasmus Mundus, Eiffel Scholarship, Amsterdam Merit Scholarship etc.
The European way of life in many ways emphasizes a lot on the quality of life. It is far away from the honking and dense streets of an Indian city. Europe is an ideal location that gives a wholesome ‘student-life’ experience – be it the outstanding research facilities, student discounts on extra-curricular activities, cheaper travel options, varied cuisines, diverse weather and of course, the ever-welcoming people. No wonder then, that Europe has turned into a go-to destination for the youth of India seeking greater learning experiences.