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According to recent data from the Institute of International Education, over 270,000 Indian students were studying in US higher education institutions in the academic year 2022–23. The data stated that the number of Indian students who went to the US in the 2022–23 academic year showed a 35% growth over the previous year, marking an all-time high.
Indian students also comprise 1/4th of the overall number of foreign students studying in the US.
For the first time since 2009–10, India has eclipsed China in the number of graduate students studying at US schools. Clearly, the United States is an alluring destination for Indian students, and this year many of them want to pursue a high-quality international education and maybe an international employment in the US.
However, the wider process of studying abroad is not always easy. Students generally deal with several questions: What makes the US the finest study destination? How can I ensure preparation for applications to my preferred universities? What does the visa process comprise, and how should I handle it? What financial alternatives are open to me?
How can I manage my finances effectively? And how would a US education combine with my long-term goals?
To address all these challenges and more, MPOWER Financing and the Economic Times presented MPOWER Financing’s presentation, ‘ET Career Day: Study and Live in the USA’. This session took place on December 19 and covered three themes: study in the US, live in the US, and manage your study abroad expenses. The workshop had three professionals discussing these challenges, and students were able to directly engage with the experts via a live Q&A session. The specialists were: Anand Cavale, Chief Growth Officer of MPOWER Financing; Rajika Bhandari, Principal of Rajika Bhandari Advisors; the author of America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility; and Yudi, Senior Product Manager at Auto Approve and a content creator.
MPOWER Financing sponsored ‘ET Career Day.
Study and Live in the USA’. This session took place on December 19 and covered three themes: study in the US, live in the US, and manage your study abroad expenses. The workshop had three professionals discussing these challenges, and students were able to directly engage with the experts via a live Q&A session. The specialists were: Anand Cavale, Chief Growth Officer of MPOWER Financing; Rajika Bhandari, Principal of Rajika Bhandari Advisors; and the author of America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility, Yudi, Senior Product Manager at Auto Approve, and a Content Developer.
When speaking about the main criteria that students should consider when deciding their universities, Bhandari stressed “fit.” Bhandari continued, “What I’m going to emphasize is that the impact is not so much the brand of the institution, but how well has the institution done to prepare you for your outcomes when you finish your education.” According to her, during the process of application, students tend to get hooked on the concept of rank, position, and the brand of the school; nonetheless, she underlined the diversity that US higher education gives and urged them to select schools in which they would fit the best. Both Yudi and Bhandari agree that various elements affect a student’s choice: location, curriculum, brand, and the quantity of international students.
However, for Yudi, his last concert was price.
Yudi said, “I knew my budget; I knew this is what I could afford. So individuals who are shopping for or considering institutions also need to look at what they can afford and don’t just go because the brand is there.” Many Indians like Yudi may not be able to afford all of the institutions in the US, but once you know what you can afford, then it is vital to start looking at the other aspects. Yudi stated that relocating to the US was one of the best experiences of his life, and not only did he improve technical skills, but he also evolved as a person.
The US educational atmosphere forced him into uncomfortable regions and allowed him to meet people with whom he has built wonderful friendships. Cavale confirmed Yudi’s comment, stressing that no matter where a student chooses to study and live in the US, they will gain a comprehensive experience. Cavale stressed the necessity for all students to find out how they would pay for their education.
For those without family aid or their own cash, scholarships or assistantships are possible possibilities. However, if a student cannot acquire those, borrowing becomes an issue. “For those who aren’t able to get an assistantship or lack adequate means of support and even partial means of support,borrowing is an option if you’re confident about your ability and the field of your study and that it is going to enhance your future career in a certain way,” said Cavale. The Chief Growth Officer of MPOWER Financing went on to describe
How POWER can aid in assisting students.
At MPOWER, for example, we’ll provide you with a really clear, easy-to-apply digital experience that theoretically will give you up to $100,000 on a fixed rate basis, which means you will know what much you’re going to pay throughout your schooling, and it doesn’t alter.” Cavale also spoke about the necessity of managing finances once you have made it to the US. Since many Indian students have stayed at home their whole lives, Cavale argues that most of them misunderstand the price of living.
I think what one needs to understand is that, by and large, people underestimate their living expenses because they have lived in their hometown, under the auspices of their parents. When you move abroad, you’re entirely uprooting yourself, and you’re moving to a new environment.” Anand thinks that it is better to have a concept of all the stuff you would need to pay for, including phone, transportation, and apartment rent, and have a general estimate of how much it would all cost.
That is the only way one can start budgeting in advance.
The mental change Beyond applications and institutions, moving to the US demands total social integration that students need to be prepared for. Bhandari noted that students are often well-educated about the application process as they undertake intense study for it, but what they are not taught about is the change in mentality they need to adapt effectively to the US.
One of the things I often talk about is that it’s also about really shifting your mindset, and one of the challenges and opportunities you will be confronted with right away when you land in the US, especially if you are going at the graduate level, is that there is a huge amount of independence expected of you… You will be drowning in the quantity of options, the decisions that you have to make, and how autonomously you will have to make them in the classroom from the get-go,” said Bhandari. Owning your learning, speaking for yourself as an individual, and thinking more freely will require a revolution in your viewpoint.
According to Bhandari, these are attributes that may not be spoken about frequently but are vital to determining success when you go to study abroad. Although the US is known for the flexibility of its higher education, and many say that it is one of the primary strengths of the US higher education system, Yudi acknowledges that one of his biggest regrets looking back is not having professional assurance from the get-go. Yudi pushes kids to have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish and then work backward.
Pick the courses, gain the skills, and do the internships based on your career objectives. Yudi feels that a lot of students take classes solely because everyone is doing it, and he concerns that students could get lost doing so. “Visas are very stressful for students,” says Bhandari. Her primary recommendation to students is to prepare for a brief interview. You have to be incredibly comprehensive and accurate, and you have to continually remember that the visa you are seeking is expressly for study. That should be your key focus throughout the interview.