Should I study in India or abroad for my Bachelors degree?
This is a question we keep getting from lot of students and parents of students asking us where to study for their undergraduate degree after their Plus Two.
We would ask them back, saying can you afford education in say country such as US? If they can, we recommend them to study abroad. There are many reasons for such a blunt answer from us. Firstly, Indian undergraduate programs including IIT s don’t provide a holistic education. Technically, premier institutes such as IITs are on par with top Universities abroad. But, they still don’t provide General Education courses. Having done undergraduate studies both in India and in US, I can say I never heard of General Education classes during my college years, let alone taking them while in India. My perception of things and the world has changed dramatically after taking general education classes. I was better able to understand issues and put things into perspective which I would not have learnt if I had not taken General Education classes.
Secondly, education just doesn’t mean just learning some technical skills. It is all about shaping an individual for the society and the world in general. It is like taking a stone and turning into a diamond. Issues will be discussed and Universities encourage students to form their own opinions in US. Such discussions will make students think from what is right vs what is wrong. If an individual is not able to deduce and analyze things, he or she will believe what others say and is written in papers, which we believe is detrimental to the society and the individual.
I also feel technical skills are taught better because of better facilities and the way they are taught there. Indian system of education teaches one to understand and reproduce, while American system not only does that but able to think and analyze.
Thirdly, students in India are not expected to work and don’t understand the hardships of parents in bringing them up. Whereas, students are encouraged to work from very young age at least to earn their own pocket money or save for their college. This will make students understand the value of money and dignity of labor. A rich mans son or daughter will not work in pizza shop in India as they think it is demeaning and below their dignity to work. There are no such inhibitions in US or other western countries. These traits will make an individual a better and compassionate person and respect a fellow individual. They will also see, how difficult it is to earn money and begin to respect it. Money not respected will not only stay with you but also lead you to wrong friends and bad habits. Generally, all students from India, at least do a part job to supplement their expenses over and above what is given by their friends.
Finally, an Indian student studying abroad will have an opportunity to meet students from other cultures and societies. Meeting and working with such a diverse group of people will make one a tolerant and holistic individual capable of handling complex situations in the workplace. Also, the relationships which one develops may stand test of time and could open doors because of strong Alumni network.
As such attending college abroad is a once in a life time opportunity, which should not be missed at any cost. Again, if circumstances prevail and can afford it.