Bangalore accounts for 30 per cent of US student visas

Post-recession, American dream intact among students

Bangalore accounts for 30 per cent of US student visas

The United States of America (USA) continues to be the most sought after education hub for Bangalore students despite the recession of 2008-09.

Though the recession claimed plenty of jobs in the US and rest of the world, the Indian dream of studying, working and waiting for the green card and citizenship to eventually make the US their home is very much intact.

Around 11,000 students from South India have been given visas for the financial year 2013 by the US Consulate General at Chennai. Of this, Bangalore accounts for 30 per cent—3,500 visas, followed by Chennai 25 per cent—2,700 visas.

The race between Bangalore and Chennai is always tight in IT and number of students pursuing studies in the US. The bulk of Karnataka’s visa requests come from Bangalore, however, students from tier-2 cities like Mangalore, Mysore and Belgaum too apply to the US.

Karnataka’s share in the South Indian visa requests to the US is around 31 per cent. Travel patterns show that the number of applications has been increasing over the last five years from all major metros. While it hovered around 22 to 24 per cent, in 2010, it has crossed 30 pc this year. This can be attributed to the high demand for students, particularly Indians, at US universities, where US student numbers are in gradual decline.

The fact that India does well in engineering streams and has a recognised technical capability, Indian students are favoured.

Further, students from Bangalore have an added advantage as information technology and aerospace are thriving in the City.

This year the number of applications were highest in the April-June season and the rise compared to last year was over 30 pc.

August season preferred

Students would look for the August season more than the January one as the intake in that season is high.

According to an estimate one lakh Indian students are currently studying in the US. India is only marginally behind China, the world leader in student visas to the US.

Apart from a few students who make it to Ivy League institutions like Harvard, MIT or Princeton, scores of students study in well-ranked universities like Maryland, University of Washington, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, Austin, and many institutions in California.

Maximum number of students opt for engineering courses, while a few opt for social sciences, English and mass communication courses.

Even in engineering first preference is given for electronics and computer science, however, there are also applicants for disciplines like civil and mechanical engineering too. There are also others who change their courses mid-way.

Aerospace is a highly exciting field with high degree of specialisation. But only those who can make it through the tests that universities conduct can do the course. Even Medicine too is highly specialised and very few talented students make it for the five-year course there.

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