What is study abroad?

When students attend a foreign university, the programme is termed as “study abroad”. A study abroad programme allows students to pursue education in an intercultural global environment.

Reasons to study abroad

  • International study experience: Cross-cultural competence holds high value today and studying abroad will equip you with the skills. Studying abroad will offer you the opportunity to pursue education in a global setting.
  • Global career opportunities: Pursuing studies in a foreign country lets you look at the world and the challenges it presents with a different perspective. This makes way for better career opportunities, more so, as you will have global education experience and the willingness to learn. Employers, all over the world, consider these qualities important.
  • Experience new culture: Apart from training in an international environment, you will also get the chance to experience a new culture in close proximity. You will have a whole new world to discover – food, traditions and social atmosphere.
  • Become part of a global network: Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and walks of life. This can help in your personal development as well as in building a strong network of professionals.

Types of study abroad programmes

  • Student exchange programmes: In order to help students get global exposure, many universities in India partner with universities overseas. In a student exchange programme, students from local universities travel abroad to study at a partner institution.
  • Faculty-led programmes: Usually a short programme with a duration of about four to six weeks, faculty-led programmes are designed to help students acquire specialization in a particular topic. In this type of study abroad programme, students work in close proximity with the faculty in order to get a deeper understanding of a discipline.
  • Language learning programmes: The focus of these programmes is on aiding students to acquire extensive language skills. Language learning programmes are highly interactive and offer students a lot of insight into the target culture.
  • Direct enrolment: In some cases, students have the option to apply for a student exchange programme directly. However, in order to make the most out of this opportunity, students must have a clear idea of the university they want to join and the courses they want to opt for.
  • Research programmes: Some universities offer students to pursue research activities along with their coursework. Research programmes help students deepen their knowledge in the field and develop strong investigative skills.
  • Internship programmes: Wouldn’t it be great if you could do internships that give you essential on-the-job training and also account for academic credit? These internship programmes are usually unpaid, however, help you learn professional techniques and even gives you the opportunity for potential placements in future.
  • Service learning: The opportunity to earn experience and goodwill at the same place comes to few. Service learning programmes are aimed at helping students acquire professional skills while they are working towards serving the community.

Programme Lengths

  • Year-long programmes
  • Semester-long programmes
  • Summer programmes
  • Short-term programmes

Types of student accommodation

  • On-campus housing: This is the most convenient accommodation option for students who want to study abroad. The advantage of living in the university campus is that you won’t have to spend anything on transport and most facilities will be readily available for you. However, on-campus accommodation, in some countries, could be more expensive than off-campus housing options. Moreover, your familiarity with the local culture will be limited if you opt for on-campus housing.
  • Leasing an apartment: Well, this is one option that demands a lot of research to go into it. Before you lease an apartment, ensure that you have all the information about the location of the apartment, accessibility and distance from the university you are going to study at, availability of services such as grocery, medical, etc. and whether the area is safe to live in. You can look out for classified advertisements or ask your friends at the university to help you find an apartment on lease.
  • Homestays: One of the best experiences of studying abroad comes with homestays. This accommodation option offers a safe and friendly environment wherein students can experience the culture first hand. If you are opting for a homestay, you will be living with a local family, in their house.
  • Student Halls of Residence: With the principle of first-come-first serve, student halls of residence are usually located near the university campus. This accommodation option is available at an affordable price and offers a great opportunity to socialize with fellow students.
  • Off-campus hostels: This is one of the cheapest accommodation options available for international students. Off-campus hostels offer rooms on rent on a sharing basis, helping you find friends and cheap accommodation at the same place. You will get to socialize with people from all around the world.

Types of scholarships

  • Merit-based scholarships: This type of scholarship is awarded depending on the academic, athletic or artistic merit of the student. If a student has excelled in an extra-curricular activity, it factors in when the decision of offering this scholarship is taken.
  • Student-specific: Student-specific scholarships are awarded on the basis of gender, race, religion or ethnicity.
  • Destination-specific: Many organisations offer scholarship programmes to students who belong to a particular country, in case they want to study abroad.
  • Program-specific: These scholarship programmes are offered to students who want to pursue a particular course abroad. Program-specific scholarships are generally awarded by universities that students want to pursue the course with. The criteria for awarding this scholarship includes academic and/or personal achievements.

Cost of studying abroad for Indian students (per annum in Rs.)

  Germany United Kingdom Canada United States

Tuition Fee (average)

(per annum in Rs.)

6,90,000 approx. 29,00,000 approx.  8,70,000 approx. 18,00,000 approx.  


(per annum in Rs.)

8,10,000 approx. 7,20,000 approx. 6,60,000 approx. 7,80,000 approx.


(per annum in Rs.)

90,000 approx. 1,60,000 approx.  53,000 approx.  40,000 approx.


(per annum in Rs.)

1,60,000 approx.  1,90,000 approx. 1,90,000 approx. 40,000 approx.

Requirements to study abroad

  • Academic requirements: In order to pursue study abroad programmes, students must meet the entry requirements of the university and course they are applying for. The basic academic requirements that most colleges ask for, are – good GPA, language-proficiency test scores (depending on the country/language you are planning to take the course in) and proof of any extra-curricular activities you have shown excellent performance in.
  • Document requirements: Letters of recommendation, Statement(s) of Purpose (SOPs), Resume, entrance test results (ex: GMAT/GRE), higher/secondary education certificates, essay (topic varies depending on universities).
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