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Why are Indian students still flocking to the US?

The US remains the most popular study abroad destination for Indian students. Source: Brandon Mowinkel/Unsplash

The United States continues to be the most popular study abroad destination for Indian students due to the high quality of education, international recognition of qualifications and networking opportunities, according to the US India Education Foundation (USIEF).

Indian students make up 17 percent of the international student community in the US, with a total of 186,000 students studying in the region – a number that has more than doubled in a decade, according to a statement from US Embassy and Consulates of India.

Ambassador Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State, visited the USIEF over the weekend.

“The US welcomes Indian students to take advantage of the diversity of higher education institutions, as well as the world-class research at U.S. universities across the country,” Ambassador Galt said in the media release.

Overall, the US issued 6,000 fewer F-1 and M-1 study visas in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Reports of diminishing job opportunities for international students, changes to the H-1B visa that allows students to live in the US after graduation, and concerns inspired by Trump’s travel ban may have contributed to lower international enrollment rates.

Despite this, India sent 2,300 more students to the US in 2018, making it the second biggest student market to the country after China.

Indians also make up 93 percent of people living in the US as the spouse of a H-1B visa holder, meaning that US residence doesn’t always have to be a short-term arrangement while you study.

“Prospective applicants report that they are most attracted by high-quality of education, the international value placed on U.S. degrees, the opportunity to form a lifelong connection with the United States, and the personal and professional links offered by U.S. university and college alumni networks,” said the release.

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