2017 wasn’t a good year for the American education industry because the number of Indian students enrolling in US universities dropped by 17 percent. Despite the decrease and Donald Trump’s plan to make H1B visa system more difficult, the United States is still a preferred choice for Indian students for higher education. According to US India Education Foundation (USIEF), Indian students make up 17 percent of the international student strength in the country. The US welcomed 186,000 Indian students in 2018, which is double the number it welcomed 10 years ago.
Jennifer Zimdahl Galt, ambassador, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State, visited USIEF last weekend to emphasize the importance American government places on improving educational exchanges between the United States and India, two of the world’s largest democracies. Ambassador Galt visited India and Bhutan a week prior to the visit to USIEF. During her visit to India, Galt met with American students studying in India, Fulbright Program students, and Indian alumni of American universities and colleges.
Indian alumni shared their experience of studying in the United States and also mentioned how it benefited them. A statement published by the ambassador’s office mentioned that EducationUSA advisers informed Galt that despite the drop in Indian students in the US, it is still a preferred international study destination. Prospective applicants reported that quality of education attracted them the most as internationally US degrees have the highest value.
Opportunity to change
One of the prospective applicants also mentioned that studying in the United States gives them the opportunity to build an identity for themselves and form a lifelong relationship with the country. It also gives them an upper hand against their colleagues back home and even if they decide to stay in the US, then end up having an excellent career.