Public and private universities from countries such as the US, Netherlands organised an international study fair, for Indian students who wished to study abroad at Courtyard by Marriott in the city.
With India being one of the biggest markets for international students, the universities present in the fair pitched the speciality of their programmes, environment, benefits and much more to individuals who were interested in knowing more about what each university offered to them. Students from a wide range of educational backgrounds were present to get an idea of how pursuing education abroad would look like for them.
Daksh Sharma, a student in his tenth grade, who is preparing for his boards for the time being has his eye set on Biology or Microbiology programmes. "Even though I haven't got out of school yet, my aim is to eventually study abroad. I came to the study fair today to get an idea of which programmes would be the best for me. I was more interested in Microbiology at first but after I came here I understood that Biology probably has more scope than I had thought before," said Daksh who is looking forward to attend other international study fairs after his prelims. Another student, Reena Sawant, a post-graduation student at KC College said that she wants to pursue MBA or other business programmes despite having a background in Computer Science. "My choice in 2020, during the pandemic, was to either wait for a year to apply for a programme abroad or pursue Masters online in India so I chose the latter," said Reena who was at the study fair to be sure of her choices and was glad that it was helping her understand the process behind it better. Kannan Sundaram, who is currently working for an IT firm, was present at the event to explore his options with regards to studying and working in the US or Netherlands. "I think Netherlands offers some good options for someone who wants to study and work as the country offers a lot of choices with regards to the same. I want to see if I can pursue a course which caters to Marketing or Business and also provides flexible work opportunities," said Kannan.
The universities present in the fair had a wide range of options from Space, Film to Business, Gaming, Tourism, etc. Ayesha Sardana, the South Asia Regional Director of the Iowa State University of Science and Technology, said that since they are a publicly-funded university students will have more benefits with the cost and infrastructure of the institution while also having the ability to pursue top-rated research courses in the US. Iowa State University showcased their 100+ majors, STEM and other research based degrees to the candidates while also explaining its distinction of being a part of the Association of American Universities which recognises research universities that advance society. Google, IBM, Microsoft are some of the top employers who have associated with the University.
Private, non-profit Universities such as SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), and Full Sail also made their presence felt with courses that focused on Film and Television, Graphic Design, Gaming, Animation and much more. As India is one of the biggest markets for students wanting to pursue STEM courses, the universities are looking forward to finding more students from India who would be interested in Art and Design courses. "Students, especially from the city of Mumbai, have applied for courses at our university. With some now working with Xbox, Microsoft and other huge gaming and technological corporations. Full Sail takes in admissions every year in an annual year which is also beneficial for students," said Anu Kalhan, the Regional Manager of India/Middle East Admissions for Full Sail University, which is located in Florida. "There are currently 600 Indian students in our university, which is the most after China and many of our programmes are stem supported to said," Jeff Jones from Savannah College of Art and Design.
In a testament to the diversity of choices available for Indian students, universities that specialise in Aeronautics also pitched their programmes to students. "What we have observed is that students from India apply mainly for Space and Aviation programmes. Though we don't receive the most number of students from India, it is in the top 5 countries that apply for our courses. We have our locations in the state of Arizona and Florida while also having branches in Singapore and Brazil," said Lauren Humphrey, the Director of International Admissions in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Two of the biggest states in the USA were also represented as California Baptist University and Southern Methodist University in Texas also represented themselves. While SMU caters to everything from Art, Computing, Engineering, Journalism to Psychology, Theatre, etc, CBU has various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes along similar lines including Businesses Psychology. "Thousands of Indian students take up admissions in our university. We also indulge in merit-based scholarship programmes in our University and have a thriving non-academic culture on the campus," said Dinesh Rajan from SMU who added that since Dallas has become a primary location for immigrants to come in, it is a perfect city for the students.
From Netherlands, Tio University of Applied Sciences, which has establishments in the cities of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Utrecht, was the lone university from the country and offered courses in the fields of Hotel and Event Management and Tourism, which are primarily taught in English. "We are aiming to have more students from India as it is a huge market. When it comes to the neighbouring country Bangladesh, we have about 20% of our international students coming from there. We hope that Indian students will be attracted to the Culture, Safety, Tolerance, Work opportunities and much more that Netherlands offers. Post Covid we are also able to expand ourselves in all of Asia which will be a huge gain for us and the students," said Lotte Van Rijjen, the International Admissions head of Tio University.
The study fair organised by ISN (International Student Network) based in the US will have more events in the month of September for Indian students who wish to study abroad and want to know more about the same.