Beat the top four hurdles to Foreign Education!
The world economy is becoming so vacillating that every year there is a new factor that affects Indians pursuing foreign education. However, since this is an on-going feature, there are always ways to decrease the burden of expenditure while studying abroad. Here’s a checklist of common hurdles faced by Indian students before or during their studies abroad and what are the back-doors to escape these hurdles.
1. Rupee falling: The plummeting Indian currency has adversely affected the cost of tuition fee and living in the USA, UK and Australia – with Australia being the most expensive. The postgraduate course tuition fee in USA is between Rs7,00,000 to 10,00,000 per year in public universities and Rs18,00,000-27,00,000 per year in private institutions. In the UK, it is Rs7,40,000- 20,52,000.In its bid to arrest the free-falling rupee, the Reserve Bank of India has brought down the amount of dollar one can take out of the country from $2,00,000 to $75,000 in a financial year. Education loans and remittances related to overseas studies are a part of the $75,000 limit, but if someone wants to remit a higher amount, they can do so with prior permission of the central bank.
2. US shutdown: Since most government offices are shut down in the USA at the moment, it will affect the research grants given to universities by government agencies like National Science Foundation. Indian students who were getting their salaries from NSF or such government offices may have to adjust their budgets since they will not be paid till the shut-down lasts. As per academic consultants, the shutdown may also lead to a decrease in part-time jobs, which will adversely affect students already facing a crisis due to the rupee plunging against major currencies.
3. Inflation: Inflation hits the foreign education market in two ways. First, the value of the rupee goes down that affects the savings of the students for their education. Two, foreign education loans become expensive. The rate of interest goes up that discourages many students from taking up any courses outside India.
4. Expensive Education loans: With each passing year, education loans are becoming more and more expensive. The rate of interest has been steadily increasing. There are conditions in which all or part of your tuition fee will be covered.
- First, market experts say that almost 60-70% of students who go abroad will not find it difficult to adhere to the limit set by RBI. However, in case of several programs, particularly the MBA courses, the course fee itself will exceed the $75,000 limit.
- Two, this too needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Loan funds are released on a per-semester basis. As a result, the current state of the rupee will affect only the first tranche of the loan now; whether the costs for students will go further up or down entirely depends on the future rupee-dollar movement.
- Three, if you start paying off your loan as soon as you begin your studies, there’s fair chance you can minimize your living expenses abroad and still save enough to start the loan repayment. In the USA, students get RAs/TAs of as much as $400 (Rs 26,000) per month that easily affords them to bear their monthly expenses and save money.
- Four, while the inflation does affect the ability to spend on foreign education, the rates of interest vary from one bank to another. They are currently between 10-15% on the actual loan amount while the repayment begins in one year or 6 months of getting the job. The average salary of MS graduate from a US university is anywhere between $30,000 and $80,000 per annum. The US government offers Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and allows undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status to work for one year on a student visa. This means even before their loan pay-off is due, Indian students can start paying off their education loan.
- Five, US shutdown will not affect any Indian student’s visa or admission process since universities have their own management. However, to some extent many Indian students getting a salary as Research Assistants may find a delay in payments. At the same time, their usual part-time jobs or the teaching assistantships funded by the universities or private industries will not be affected at all.