Top destinations for Indians to study abroad

Top destinations for Indians to study abroad After a student and her family have spent a fortune on overseas education, most expect the former to get a high-paying job in that country and gain permanent residency, if not citizenship. But with most popular destinations, barring Canada, imposing tougher work visa norms, Indian students are now exploring newer destinations. Two categories of Indian students go abroad for studies. The first hopes to use a foreign degree as a means to emigrate. In the second category, there are students from affluent families who want quality education and international exposure, but plan to come back once their course ends.

For the first category, the UK is no longer attractive as job opportunities have become scarce after Brexit. Tighter visa norms mean students cannot stay back to hunt for a job once the course gets over. In the US, Trump’s policy of ‘America for Americans first’ is making the environment less welcoming for international students. For students who plan to study abroad and then return to India, the UK is still fine as a destination. But most students are now becoming wary of going to the US owing to Trump’s aggressive rhetoric
Indian students are hence exploring newer destinations now. After finishing her BTech degree, when Avantika Singh began to apply abroad for a Masters degree, her priorities were a reputed institute and a course that offered sound job prospects. The US universities that offered her admission were very expensive. So she opted for an 18-month Master of Science (MS) course in Integrated Circuit Design in Singapore, offered jointly by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

Singh spent the first nine months doing her coursework in Singapore. She had the opportunity to finish her internship and thesis while working with Fraunhofer Germany for the latter nine months. The course fee was quite attractive. While the total fee was Rs 1.5 million, she was promised 50 per cent scholarship at the beginning.

The cost of living in Singapore was high at around 1,000 Singapore dollars per month (around Rs 50,000). But she received a stipend while working at Fraunhofer, which not only took care of her living expenses but also allowed her to repay a part of her education loan (Rs 7,50,000). She found a job in Germany right after completing her course. Let us now look at a few emerging destinations for Indian students.

Hong Kong: It has globally renowned universities like the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). It is one of the few countries where international and local students are charged the same fee. Hong Kong is also quite liberal in offering scholarships based on marks. Studying there can be cheaper than studying in some of the private colleges in India. Engineering is a much sought after course. Universities also let students do a semester in another country, thereby enhancing global exposure.

France and Spain

France is emerging as a magnet for students who wish to pursue business studies, humanities, and fashion design. French is one of the most commonly taught international languages in Indian schools, so many students are familiar with it. Campus France, a French government initiative, has done a good job of spreading awareness in India about French educational institutions. “Bachelor courses at public universities in France have low tuition fees,” says Vibha Kagzi, chief education officer,

Two of the world’s top management schools — HEC Paris and INSEAD Business School — are located there. Other globally reputed institutions include The Paris University of Political Studies (popularly known as Sciences Po), ESSEC International Business School and The American Business School. However, scholarships are not common, and job opportunities scarce. It is suited for students who wish to return to India when their course ends. Most students go to Spain for degrees in business management, economics, and other liberal arts courses.

Colleges also allow students to complete a couple of semesters in another country. Both France and Spain now have universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, which allow students to apply for Masters degrees in US and Canada.

Singapore and China

Both are cost-effective destinations, and they also offer scholarships. Singapore is popular among students who wish to pursue a Management or MS degree, while China is attracting students who wish to study medicine. “China is setting up joint venture universities in its effort to reach its target of attracting 5,00,000 international students annually by 2020,” says Gurinder Bhatti, chairman and managing director of ESS Global.


The Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University are among the popular universities. Lithuania is known for courses in laser technology, agricultural and medical sciences, engineering and arts. “It’s also much cheaper to study in Lithuania compared to other popular destinations,” says Ajay Sharma, president, Abhinav Outsourcings. The country offers plenty of work opportunities. Countries like Germany continue to be popular for engineering, Italy for design and Russia for medicine.


Your guide to becoming a DevOps engineer starts with these six online courses

Take these six courses and you'll be on your way to becoming a DevOps engineer.

The DevOps approach has helped businesses all over the world speed up their development processes, deploy more frequently, and ensure a high standard of quality with every release. In other words? Be more successful.

In fact, businesses that hire for DevOps skills can often see a boost in deployment frequency and fewer failures. Despite this tremendous boon, the companies that have DevOps engineers on staff are still in the minority. While that’s bad news for them, it might be good news for you if you’re considering a career in this booming field. The demand is high. The competition is low. It’s time to take the leap.

To get you started, we’ve laid out six crucial DevOps competencies — first defined by The New Stack — that you’ll need to get your foot in the door. And once you know your trajectory, you can start training towards it with the Pay What You Want DevOps Bundle, $834 worth of online instruction for the price of your choosing. Here are the skills:

1. Collaboration

DevOps was born out of the historically terrible working relationships between development and IT operations teams. But DevOps practitioners consider it crucial to collaborate with not just IT, but multiple teams across an organization, from QA teams to business teams. If you want to make a dent in a company’s productivity as a DevOps engineer, you best learn to tear down the silos and make inroads all across the office.

2. Automation

A crucial part of the DevOps ethos is simplifying and streamlining the end-to-end development process with the help of automation. Two of the most commonly used DevOps tools for aiding automation are Docker and Jenkins, so be sure to bone up on both in preparation for your DevOps job hunt.

3. Continuous integration

The larger a dev team grows, the more likely it is that defects will be introduced into a large code base, and the harder it becomes to identify and fix those mistakes. Continuous integration solves for that by creating a “security checkpoint” wherein any change must undergo immediate testing and reporting, every time. If you want to “integrate” with your new DevOps teammates, you should get used to providing thorough documentation and rapid feedback on any contribution, and familiarize yourself with the tools used to build continuous integration pipelines (like the aforementioned Jenkins).

4. Continuous testing

Remember when we mentioned collaboration with QA teams was a tenet of DevOps? Continuous testing is why. Thorough testing can’t be done in a vacuum. More errors can be caught early when developers double-check their own code before sending to QA, provide test data sets, and help to configure testing environments. Because of this, successful DevOps engineers must be meticulous and willing to offer assistance to test engineers whenever possible.

5. Continuous delivery

Due to the continuous integration and testing practices inherent in a DevOps workflow, all code should be in a consistently deployable state during any given step of the process. This vastly reduces the complexity of an individual release and thus allows much higher release frequency. In other words, a steady stream of reliable, iterative updates, instead of one unwieldy update that’s only been tested on the way out the door. The practice of continuous delivery calls for engineers who can move quickly and finish what they start without sacrificing accuracy.

6. Continuous monitoring

Even though DevOps enhances overall quality and lowers the rate of release failure, nobody is perfect. Glitches are inevitable — the process actually counts on it. Continuous monitoring aims to find and fix errors in real time. Once the underlying cause of an error is understood, that information can be used to monitor development and other steps in the process, filtering out errors long before they can make it to production. A savvy DevOps engineer should always be ready to correct mistakes and know how to spot them in all other stages as well.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to put this DevOps theory into practice, grab the Pay What You Want DevOps Bundle now.


London School of Economics Announces First Online Cryptocurrency Course

A student loan would obviate the need to disturb your own investment portfolio and help preserve your financial goals, including retirement plans. Photo: ThinkStock

Education is expensive, be it in India or overseas. However, as a parent, you are always in a quandary whether to tap into your savings or avail an education loan. In India, good quality higher education can cost anywhere from ₹10 lakh to ₹30 lakh, while sending your child overseas can cost at least ₹30 lakh.

For those who maintain significant fixed deposits, it’s an easy choice: to not take an education loan priced at, say, 13% and to re-allocate a portion of bank deposits (yielding 7% per annum) towards children’s education. For a vast majority, however, it isn’t quite so straightforward. Most have to disturb retirement or emergency funds or liquidate assets like real estate, equities and gold. So, it is important to be familiar with the available options.

Education loans

Education loans or student loans are applied for by the student, along with her parent, guardian or a third-party guarantor. The purpose of the loan is to cover all expenses incurred while studying, which typically include admission, tuition, examination and library fees; boarding and lodging; cost of computers, books, and other equipment; travel expenses and health insurance.

Click here for enlarge

At public sector banks, for a loan up to ₹4 lakh, parents serve as co-applicants; between ₹4 lakh and ₹7.5 lakh, parents are co-applicants and a third-party guarantor is also required; while for loans over ₹7.5 lakh, banks additionally ask for collateral. Women applicants are entitled to a 0.5% interest rate concession.

Being a priority sector lending, most banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are keen to disburse education loans but the loan application process, along with terms and conditions, vary between institutions. Some private banks and NBFCs offer a wide selection of high-ticket unsecured education loans for up to 15 years. Normal credit appraisal criteria notwithstanding, the maximum loan amount is predicated upon ranking of the college in which admission has been obtained.

Why choose an education loan

Protects savings: A student loan would obviate the need to disturb your own investment portfolio and help preserve your financial goals, including retirement plans.

Contingency: If unprecedented events prolong the course’s duration, your funds can be a back-up to safeguard your child’s education schedule.

Tax deduction on interest: Under Section 80E of the Income tax Act, you can claim unlimited tax deduction on interest paid for 8 years. There’s no tax benefit on principal repayments.

Moratorium on repayments: EMIs can be scheduled to commence 6-12 months after completion of the course. That can be a relief for young professionals.

Build credit history: Timely loan repayments build the child’s credit history and enhance her ability to access credit facilities in years to come.

Teach responsibility: Managing loan repayments will impart financial discipline in the child.

Alternate options: Education loan approvals are not a cakewalk. Student loan (unsecured) portfolios have not been performing as envisaged. Banks and NBFCs are facing high delinquencies. So, prepare for a robust evaluation process which could result in either rejection or downsizing of the loan. You can explore personal loan or loan against property too, but they have their own pros and cons (see graph).

When to use your own funds

For children’s education many of us have been regularly investing. Unless you are anticipating any other major call on your money, go with your own funds instead of creating the attendant stress of managing loan liability. Accordingly, at a rate of return of 10% or less, use own funds.

Both my children studied at American universities, and I went for a judicious mix of own and loan funds, retaining the option to react adroitly in any situation. For more funds, one could negotiate an increased loan amount and a longer tenor. If nothing came up, one could prepay the loan and rest easy. With the benefit of hindsight, I must confess that the combo route worked well.

Your own funds or loans or a combination, there is no one-size-fits-all. Assess your own priorities and personal financial landscape, and do seek professional advice, if necessary.