India is a country in South Asia with a total land surface area of 32,87,590 square kilometers. It is the second-most populous country after China. It is bounded by Pakistan on the west, the Indian Ocean on the south, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Burma and Bangladesh on the east and Bhutan, China, and Nepal to the northeast.
After the introduction of new economic reforms in 1991, India slowly became an industrialized country. India is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and diverse topography. From mountain ranges in the north and east and deserts in the west to lush vegetation in the south, every region is different.
In addition to this, four major climates are recognized in India - tropical dry, tropical wet, subtropical humid and montane. India is also home to varied range of wildlife and diverse protected habitats.
India has a human population of 1.2 billion. It is a multi-ethnic society where Indo-Aryans, Dravidians, and Mongoloids co-exist. Hinduism is the most prevalent faith in the country. However, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism are also practiced.
The education system of India is as vast and diverse as her rich history, with a wide array of options available to international students. A right blend of tradition and technological revolution provides an enriching environment. The Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management have been constantly ranked within world’s top 50 higher education institutes.
Hindi and English are the official languages; English is the medium of instruction in educational institutes. Studying in India is an affordable and rewarding experience, with the fee structure for different courses represented below :
Humanities Course: The fee is between $2150 and $4600.
Science and Engineering: The fee is between $3000 and $8500.
Medicine Course: The fee is between $8000 and $20,000.
In last few decades the Indian government has realized the importance of education; therefore, new programs and initiatives have been launched to improve and sustain economic growth. A major part of the $7.1 billion education budget is invested in improving the infrastructure of many public institutes and more public-private partnership institutes are being opened. The literacy rate, which was around 50% in early 1990s, has improved to above 75% today because of these constant endeavours.
International students from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the UK, among others, come to India to pursue their higher education. The sound and practical educational foundation they achieve here motivates them and also helps them to become socially aware.
Prior to independence, India followed the ‘Gurukul Model’ of education, where the pupil lived with the teacher for years as their followers, learning various skills, but since the colonial days, the British higher education model was adopted, and programs offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees were introduced.
India has about 343 recognized universities and approximately 17,000 colleges offering various programs of Engineering, Humanities, and Medical education . The Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management are considered on par with global standards, with thousands of applicants from abroad. The private sector in the Indian higher education is also strongly involved, with institutes offering programs ranging from certification and diploma, to doctoral. Presence of many Fortune 500 companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft, among others, provide good job opportunities to international students. Many Indian programs are recognized all over the world and students can adopt courses under ‘Student Exchange Programs’. Admission to a Management program is based on GMAT scores and English proficiency tests like TOEFL and IELTS for applicants whose native language is other than English.
The government of India offers many scholarships like the General Cultural Scholarship Scheme, Commonwealth Fellowship Plan, SAARC Fellowship Plan, ICCR Scholarship Scheme, among others, to deserving students . These scholarships provide many benefits like tuition fee exemption and /or the supplementation of living expenses and free health insurance.
All students who wish to study in India have to apply for a student Visa which is valid for 1 year and renewable at the end of the year. Students are not permitted to work while on a student Visa.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA:
1) A copy of letter of admission from the concerned University.
2) One passport size photograph.
3) Passport with minimum validity of 6 months.
4) Previous mark sheets and certificates.
The Visa fee is between $102 and $237 depending upon the country from which an individual is applying.
Normally it takes around 3 to 5 days to process the Visa. For cases where reference check is required, the processing time varies from 3-6 weeks.
People in India are welcoming and friendly, their ideology reflect the Sanskrit verse “Atithi Devo Bhava” which means “The Guest is equivalent to God”. With its cultural and historical diversity, the sheer size of India makes it an attractive place to explore. Students from abroad find it very easy to accommodate to the culture and the tradition of India.
ACCOMODATION: Every university provides on-campus accommodation to the international students. The cost of accommodation on-campus is around $150 per month. One can also choose to stay off-campus; although the cost may vary from $200 to $400, depending on the type of accommodation chosen.
TRANSPORTATION: India has one of the largest rail and road network. All major universities are located in or around metropolitan cities where transportation facilities are good and very economical. For example a monthly railway pass can be bought for as low as $10. Additionally, students can obtain a temporary driving license, which is valid for the period of stay in India.
FOOD: The food in India reflects the diversity of the country’s cultural heritage. Indian food is famous for use of spices and oil to enhance the flavor of food. One can find a plethora of cuisines while travelling across the country. Fast food chains like KFC, McDonald’s, Subway, among others, also are present in almost all cities. The average food cost is around $200 per month, depending upon the lifestyle.
MEDICAL & HEALTH: It is mandatory for every foreign applicant to pass a medical test before applying for a student visa. After enrolling with a university, every student has to buy a health insurance plan which costs around $100.