Studying in a prestigious American university has always been “the dream” for many Indian students. But this dream is slowly converting into a dilemma for them. Before we talk about the dilemma, let’s talk about the American dream! The number of Indian students studying in the US is second only to the Chinese. In fact, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange Data, the number of Indian students in the US has doubled over the last ten years. Why?

Why Do Indian Students Love The Idea Of Enrolling In American Universities?

Indian Students are highly dissatisfied with the Indian Education System. In America, a student can pursue a double major in both engineering and music which is an impossible idea for Indian students here.
Indian Students are highly dissatisfied with the Indian Education System. In America, a student can pursue a double major in both engineering and music which is an impossible idea for Indian students here.

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There are two-fold answers to this question, one rooted in India and the other in America. The admissions to India based institutes are way too competitive. The total number of seats at prestigious Indian Institutes is very limited as compared to the number of aspirants. On top of that, the admission majorly depends on the CBSE board exam results and the entrance exams. In other words, if you didn’t do well in one subject of your board exams because of a silly mistake, you have probably lost every chance of getting enrolled in any of the top Indian colleges. This creates an environment of fear for the young students.

On the other hand, the American institutes have a much fairer way of analysing student performances. They have a much more holistic approach as compared to India’s narrow minded process. American Institutes believe in the complete picture and hence, they evaluate grades and assessments of students from class IX itself. This allows them to track and judge 4 years of student’s performance instead of a single exam. In fact, these institutes also give significant weightage to the student’s participation in extracurricular activities and volunteering roles.

Apart from these two major reasons, there are several other factors like world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, excellent curriculum etc offered by the American Universities.

Why Is There A Decline In Enrolment Of Indian Students In America?

If there is no promise of employment and visa, Indian students have much less motivation of pursuing an American University.
If there is no promise of employment and visa, Indian students have much less motivation of pursuing an American University.

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There are two major reasons behind this decline in growth, one is the rising cost of tuition and the other is the political uncertainty because of the phenomena called Trump. The US government has no regulations in place for the skyrocketing tuition fees of its universities. As a result, the cost of studying in one of the top 20 American universities such as Yale, Princeton, or Harvard is about Rs. 53 lakhs, or $76,000, a year. Indians also have to face the issue of weakening Indian currency against the dollar on top of this.

Secondly, the visa problem! Most Indian students enrol in American Universities with an aim to get employed and settled in the US itself. But this dream has slowly become just that, a dream. Since President Donald Trump occupied the oval office, anti-immigrant sentiment has been rising in the country with unpleasant consequences on job opportunities as well as visa availability for Indian immigrants. The main reason behind this problem is strict regulations for the H1-B visa.

What is the H1-B visa? The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101 that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Basically, it allows foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary period.

Now that we have talked about both, the dream and the dilemma, it is time to decide on what to choose. Should you as an aspiring student still believe in your American dream? Well, it actually depends on what your American dream is. If your dream is to benefit from American Universities’ unparalleled level of education and academic opportunities, if your dream is to watch yourself grow as you enjoy the amazing faculty and practical education, then by all means YES. But if your dream is anywhere on the lines of “settling down in America”, I am afraid it is a NO. At least as long as the current administration is in power. Good luck!