Advantages of learning in a global classroom

Advantages of learning in a global classroom

Lifelong Making friends and acquaintances across the world is perhaps the best reward of international education.

Over the last 10 years, India has seen a steady rise in the number of students flying abroad for higher education, be it a Master’s programme, PhD or an MBA. The education spending by Indians in the US alone stood at $ 6.54bn in 2016-17. This does create a sense of curiosity about the need for international education and its benefits for an average Indian student.

Here are some aspects one could consider while deciding between a local v/s international degree:

Overall costs: The cost of higher education in most of the Indian B-Schools has more than doubled since 2010. The tuition fee in Indian B-Schools is now comparable with those of the international schools. But, most of the international colleges offer handsome scholarships to deserving students. The cost of living can be offset through student discounts offered within these countries. Thus, international education has become more affordable as compared to the pre-2000 era.

Visa options: While finishing studies from a particular country, international students get a chance to apply for stay back visas. This visa helps the students continue their stay in the country while building their professional career. Some of the countries require a resident permit applicant, to have studied within the host country for a certain duration.

Better opportunities: While India boasts of some of the best educational institutes in the world, they are far too less in numbers to satisfy the thirst of our growing student base. Access to better research facilities and highly specialised courses tailored according to the corporate requirements have been the main attractions for students to seek international education. For a developing country like India, the currency conversion is skewed in favour of the Western world. You will end up repaying that education loan in no time. 

Diversity: Most of the advanced countries in the world follow a single-culture. They put the special impetus on training their children in classes that are culturally diverse and academically aware. Most of the top ranking colleges boast of 50+ nationalities studying within their campuses. This entails their students to experience different cultures thus broadening their worldviews, making them a global manager. Learning a new language makes these students sensitive to the culture of the host country and opens up a new set of jobs that they were previously not eligible to apply.

Life experiences: Life in an Indian institute is pretty straightforward – you attend classes, complete assignments on time, clear your exams etc. Basically, follow the instructions to the dot and you will sail through! This is where life in an international set-up is challenging and exciting. At 18 years of age, the Western world treats you as an ‘informed-adult’. Thus, you will have the freedom to herd your career in the direction of your choice and there will be a plenty of choices available. This struggle ­­‑ successes and failures alike, will teach you important life lessons. Now, some of the heads of multinational companies are Indians. This would not have been possible with a linear line of learning!

Networking: Making lifelong friends and acquaintances across the world is perhaps the best reward of international education. Most of the time, these contacts will act as a reason to visit their countries post your studies. As you grow professionally, this network will help you hone and expand your knowledge about businesses and cultures across the spectrum.

(The author is with EDHEC Business School)