Caught in dire straits

Changing scenario
Last Updated 10 March 2017, 18:40 IST

I am pretty lost at this point. It is a difficult time for me as I have for the longest time dreamt of studying in the US,” vents Kshiti Mudnur, a final-year student of Jyoti Nivas College.

   Kshiti is one of those students, who had long term plans of pursuing higher studies in the US, but is now confused after the restrictions on  H-1B visas.

Being a psychology student, Kshiti says the scope in this field is limited in India and this is the reason why she opted to study there.

“Universities in the US provide a two-year course. It’s a one-year course in European countries but this is not valid in India, so even if I come back after my education, I will have to do my Masters again. This leaves me with no other option but to study in the US. I have my GRE exam in a month’s time and I don’t know what exactly to do,” says Kshiti.

Canada, she says, is in her backup plan though she is not very keen on going there. “I am not the only one. Some of my friends too are unsure about their further studies and there is no one to tell us what to do. Even professors  there are confused on whether the revised restrictions will affect students in any way. We are left in the lurch literally,” she adds.

She hopes that the situation will improve and that the chances of good educational opportunities are not denied to anyone based on their community and nationality. Caught in the same whirlpool is Sheryl Bettina, a final-year student of Mount Carmel College.

Though she has already got through the GRE, her parents are now worried  about sending her there. But she seems to remain determined to pursue her studies in the US.

She says, “Every place has problems these days, this doesn’t mean we give up our dreams. I am  adamant on pursuing my education there and if not to the US, I will go to Canada where I want to do a PG diploma course and then my Masters.”

She points out that every country wants to increase employment opportunities for their own people. However, the US being a developed country, should utilise their
resources well and  give room for others as well to live the American dream based on talent and not nationality. 

Pointing out the fact that there have been no official changes made for H-1B visas as of now, educationist Uma Aswani  says, “H-1B visa is for immigrants who are already there or the ones looking for a work permit. However, there is no need for our employees to panic. As much as the world needs the US, they need the world too and they cannot keep alienating themselves from the world,” says Uma.

So what are the things that Indian students should keep in mind for now? “They should keep in mind that they are a lot more secure than President Trump himself. And they should be confident and realise that they are the best asset for any country and are required everywhere in the world,”  says Uma.

   “My cause for concern is the probable racial attacks that they might face in the long run. Until the present government came in, racism was considered politically incorrect, but now certain people feel it is absolutely fine. I fear this attitude of individuals will stoop down further.” 

 She points out that Indian and Chinese parents are the only ones who sponsor their
children’s education fees which is important for the universities.

“They understand the importance of our students in their universities. And they are going out of their way to come and explain that there is nothing to worry about. Above all, universities there offer a four-year course and we don’t know what the government will be like in the next four years” adds Uma.                  

(Published 10 March 2017, 15:47 IST)

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