Armed with a foreign tag

Armed with a foreign tag

Varying Degrees

Armed with a foreign tag

Ashika Thusu

There are over one lakh Indian students in the US alone and thousands in countries all over the world in search of that elusive ‘foreign degree’, that will set them apart from their peers and give an edge in the job market if and when they return. Good education certainly helps broaden one’s horizons and expand one’s marketability. But having said that, do foreign degrees often obtained at exorbitant costs really benefit students who return home. Does it give him an edge over the competition or is it an expensive exercise in futility?

Varun Aiyappa went to Winnipeg in Canada after his twelfth grade to obtain his commercial pilot’s license. “I studied there for a year-and-a-half and it was an amazing experience.The faculty was excellent and I learned a lot on so many different levels. Now, I am back here and in order to work in India, I have to pass two qualifying exams which I am preparing for rigorously,” he says. Varun wants to get into a company to gain experience and start earning a living as soon as possible. He feels that having qualified abroad has given him a definite edge that will stand him in good stead.

Ashika Thusu holds two masters. An MSc from Bangalore University and an MA from Columbia University, New York. After returning in August this year, she teaches in a pre-school and some might say is a tad overqualified for the position. “I get that a lot,” she laughs. “But after I returned to India and took up this job, it showed me what a lot can be done in the field of developmental psychology with regard to children. We had access to superb course material and cutting edge academic tools in the US. A lot of what I learnt can be implemented in India and I see myself at the start of an exciting career that combines teaching and research work. Many of my ideas took root when I went overseas,” she explains.

Errol Rebello did his MBA in Sydney and returned to Bangalore with a very positive experience behind him. “I chose to travel overseas to do my course mainly for the exposure and to experience a different culture. I wanted to live on my own for a bit and become really independent, something that is hard to do when you live with parents in India,” he says.

Foreign students at a graduation ceremony.Mixing with a host of international students was a richly rewarding experience and he feels, he has become more confident, more aware and well-rounded person after his stint in Australia.

Joseph Rasquinha runs a consultancy service. He visits post-graduate colleges and recruits students for companies all across the country. He himself obtained a Ph D in Economics from Scotland at the age of 27 and returned home to run his company.
“First of all, it’s very important that you join a recognised college. There are hundreds of second-rate universities that don’t really benefit the student in terms of academics or research. Employers will not favour a degree from an unheard of university compared to well-known local institutions like St Joseph’s or Christ University. So beware of the course you are opting for and the college you join, it’s far better to study in a recognised Indian college rather than an expensive unknown foreign college,” he cautions.