Are you an Indian student aspiring to study abroad and wondering how and where to start? We are here to provide you with all the essential details on how to study abroad from India, through simple and easy-to-follow steps.
Why Study Abroad?
Firstly, let’s answer this fundamental question. Simply put, global universities are undeniably the best for imparting excellent quality education in a wide range of subjects and specialisations. The perks are many. From improving your academic profile and career prospects to gaining a global perspective in a multicultural setting, you will be transforming your life for the better. An international degree is widely recognised and appreciated by employers worldwide. If you wish to broaden your horizon and improve your credentials, go out there and earn a global degree!!
The article below will give you a deeper insight into why you should seek overseas education.
Can Indian Students Study Abroad?
Absolutely yes! There is no reason why Indian students cannot study abroad. In fact, Indian students make up the second-largest population of international students! Around a million Indian students are currently studying abroad in over 85 countries worldwide.
What are the admission requirements/eligibility criteria to study abroad?
All international students must meet the entry requirements or eligibility criteria to study abroad. Let’s go through them in detail.
You must fulfil the credit requirements to enrol for an undergraduate or a postgraduate program abroad. For a Bachelor’s degree – If you have completed 12 years of formal education, you are eligible to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in your selected stream. For a Master’s degree – Most global universities ask for 16 years of formal education as the basic requirement for a postgraduate degree. However, if you have completed a 3-year Bachelor’s degree but satisfy the credit requirements, some universities do consider your application.
You must also fulfil the GPA (grade point average) requirements outlined by the university/program. You can find the average grade prerequisite for your chosen program listed in the university admission portal.
English Proficiency Tests
Since India is a non-native English speaking country, all Indian students must prove English language proficiency at the time of application. The widely-accepted language tests are The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Pearson Test of English (PTE).
You must also take certain standardised entrance exams to prove your technical, analytical and critical thinking abilities, or domain knowledge in some cases, depending on the program and university. The most common entrance tests are GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT and LSAT.
Other University Requirements
The admission portal of the university website will specify all other program requirements, which you must thoroughly read through before finalising the course.
How to study abroad from India? Step-by-Step Application Process to study abroad
Coming to our main section on how to study abroad from India, here are some quick and easy steps to help you with the process.
Step 1: Research & Finalise/Shortlist Universities & Programs
Research in-depth on the courses/programs of your stream offered by the top global universities. Thoroughly review the entry requirements outlined for the program and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Finalise/shortlist at least 5 to 8 universities that match your preferences. Please note down their application prerequisites, deadlines, the timeline of activities and other particulars. Plan and prepare for the next stage accordingly.
Step 2: Clear Language Tests & Entrance Exams
Prepare and attempt language proficiency tests and other entrance exams required for the program.
Step 3: Organise your Academic Documents
Get all your documents in order, i.e., your academic transcripts, marks sheets, certificates and other pertinent academic documents. If you have work experience, arrange for a work experience letter/certificate from your employer.
Step 4: Prepare SOP/CV/LORs
Most universities ask you to submit an essay, a Letter of Motivation or a Statement of Purpose to convince them about your motivation for their program. Curriculum Vitae (CV) is also a mandatory requirement, which you should prepare according to the country’s format. Arrange for academic Letters of Recommendation (LOR) from your professors/HOD and professional LOR from your employer. Every university has pre-defined guidelines for each of these documents. Make sure you check the “Required Documents” section on the university website (according to the program) to understand their requirements and prepare the document copies accordingly.
Step 5: Begin to Apply
Once you have the required documents in order and have fulfilled all the entry requirements, start applying to the universities as soon as the application portal opens. While most global universities accept digital applications, a few still require you to send hard copies (duly attested). Arrange and organise all the documents meticulously along with the filled-in application and complete the application process. You have a greater chance of admission if you apply well before the stipulated deadline.
Step 6: Receive Admit Letters/Confirmation of Admission
If your application is accepted, you will receive an admission offer letter or a confirmation of admission from your university. If you have multiple offer letters in hand, choose the program that best meets your long-term career goals. Acknowledge the offer by sending an offer acceptance email or a letter to confirm your enrolment.
The next step is preparing for post-admission activities, which we will discuss in detail in the following section.
Post-Admission Checklist: Things to do after getting an admit letter
Hooray! You have secured admission for your dream degree at a global university!! Once you are done celebrating, start preparing for a series of activities that need to be taken care of.
Apply for a Student Visa
First and foremost, apply for a student visa for the country you are moving to. Gather all the necessary documents, admission/enrollment letter, proof of finances, etc., and apply for the study permit.
Arrange for Financial Aid (Student Loans/Others)
Studying abroad is more often not easy on the pockets. Arrange for the funds either by applying for a student loan or other means, based on your financial situation. Many public and private banks in India offer student loans at a nominal interest rate. GyanDhan, HDFC, Axis Bank, and SBI are some of India’s best education loan providers.
Apply for Scholarships to Study Abroad
There are several scholarship options to study abroad – government-funded, private or corporate-funded or university-sponsored. Research thoroughly and apply for a suitable scholarship, ideally the one that covers all of your study and living costs. Most scholarships support not only tuition fees but also living expenses.
Look for Student Accommodations
The next important activity is to figure out your stay or living situation. On-campus accommodations like student dormitories or student hostels are the most economical and convenient. There are off-campus accommodation options like rental rooms, shared apartments, homestays, private homes, etc., but they are considerably expensive and come with the hassle of commuting. You can apply for university dormitories after securing admission.
Apply for Travel Insurance/Health Insurance/Travel Cards
Each country has its own insurance obligations. Apply for necessary insurance coverage before you embark on your journey abroad. Get a travel card (preloaded cards) that lets you access money in regional currency. These cards will come in handy at the airports and during your initial stay period until you settle down and decipher how to use the local currency.
Book your Flight/Pack your Bags
With study permit in hand, funds covered, stay sorted and other essentials taken care of, you are all set to fly! Look for good flight deals and book early, as fares are cheaper if booked well in advance. Make a checklist of things you need and start packing for your big move.
Best Study Abroad Destinations for Indian Students
Choosing the destination for your higher education is a vital step in your study abroad journey. Let’s look at the most popular study abroad destinations for Indian students:
- The United States of America (USA)
- The United Kingdom (UK)
- New Zealand
Top Universities to Study Abroad for Indian Students
As an overseas education aspirant, learn about the top global universities and their credentials. We have enlisted the top 10 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings 2022 for your reference.
|University Name||QS Ranking|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts, USA||1|
|University of Oxford, United Kingdom||2|
|Stanford University, California, USA||3|
|University of Cambridge, United Kingdom||3|
|Harvard University, Cambridge, USA||5|
|California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA||6|
|Imperial College, London||7|
|ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich, Switzerland||8|
|University College London (UCL), England||8|
|University of Chicago, USA||10|
For more details, please read: Top 10 Universities in the World for MS Programs
If you have landed on this page and managed to read till here, you have genuine aspirations to study abroad. The motive of this article is to guide you in a simplistic yet holistic way on how to study abroad from India. Please take the time to research, read up and ask questions whenever you are at a standstill. We are here to guide and help you achieve your academic milestone.