2018 Open Doors International Report –The Indian International Educational Experience

While some might believe that Indian students no longer aspire to pursue their college education in the United States, the facts do not bear this out. As the 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data, released by IIE and the U.S, clearly showed – the number of international students in the US rose by 3% from last year. Along with that, the number of Indian students studying abroad rose by almost 12% this year, totalling almost 186,000 international young achievers.
For the second time in a row US colleges and universities have hosted more than 1 million international students, with China (32%) and India (17.3%) leading the pack. With the Undergraduate (14%+) and OPT (35%+) programs being the most popular programs among Indian students this year, the Graduate program still holds its reigns as one of the most popular career choices among Indian students (104,899).
What are the trends driving growth in Indian students choosing the US as their preferred mode of higher education? Some of them are related to the growing economic opportunities in the US, higher quality of educational experiences, and a rise in the demand of highly qualified individuals from India. These, and many more factors contribute to the steady growth in the Indian student numbers rising abroad.
From an economic standpoint, international students have greatly benefited the US economy, and it has become one of their goals to encourage more students to apply. In 2016 alone, international students brought in $39 Billion to the US economy (up from $35Billion in 2015), in total spending on tuition, living expenses, and other expenses. They’ve also contributed directly, in terms of value added, by becoming research assistants, teachers and contributors in various areas of project management. Along with working with some of the biggest projects in their universities, students get to explore the myriad of options that best suit their skillset.
Multinational organizations are vying for the best talent that India has to offer, more so in the US. With high-growth tech companies and fast paced financial firms seeking the best and the brightest, the US certainly is an attractive option for many Indian students. The diverse experiences, higher quality education, and rigorous course structure allows students to become well-rounded leaders in the industry they choose to flourish in. The opportunities are plentiful, for hard-working Indian students, and the US has opened all doors for all eligible students to study in the country.
What were some of the more popular fields that students opted for? Around 25% of all students who studied abroad, chose the STEM fields as their most desirable option, followed by Business Management, Social Sciences and the Arts programs. The trend was similar for students coming from India, who opted for STEM and Business Management fields as their preferred major.
Some of the benefits of studying abroad may be clear and consistent, while others may only be uncovered once the student arrives at his university of choice. The US hosts a multitude of nationalities, thereby enhancing the overall student experience and providing them global insights. While the US is an attractive destination for many international students, the rise in Indian students coming to the US is only going to grow in the coming years.