One of the most culturally rich countries in the world is India. Known for many things in the world, it is also among the fastest-growing developing countries, which is continuing to attract the attention of international applicants. Pursuing higher education in India is a great choice if you are looking for good opportunities in the Indian subcontinent. However, before anything else, let us familiarize ourselves with what we should expect when studying in India.
I have compiled a list of 7 essential things about India one must know. Take a note of them, and you should get a fair idea of what it means to pursue higher education here.
- India can overwhelm you
Yes, no exaggeration here. India is a country that is beautiful, bizarre, crowded, quiet, modern, and rural. It is the land where a thousand languages thrive, a thousand communities operate together, and a thousand beliefs and rituals survive—even more. There is so much to digest here that it may take you a while before you grasp everything. Whichever institution you become a part of, you will be studying among this level of diversity. So, you must mentally prepare yourself.
- You stick out
India has gained infamy over its people staring at the foreigners as if the latter is different. Yes, you are different from most of the Indians and hence, the stare. Not that it is justified to stare at someone because it is invasive of personal space, but assuredly, the staring is generally harmless and out of wonder. The stares will bother you like it would bother any normal person, but you should get used to it.
- Traffic can be brutal
If there is one thing you can never anticipate in India, it is the traffic. Indian streets can be as congested as hell, and as quiet as heaven. When you are unlucky and are stuck in traffic, you have to be patient because that is the only thing you can do. Also, in India, the only rule Indian traffic follows is that there is no rule. So, buckle up because you will most definitely get to sit in a local taxi driving its way through a jammed street like a snake—and you will still survive.
- The Education System
The University Grants Commission (UGC) is the central body that oversees university education in India. All matters concerning technical and professional education are handled by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and medical education by the Medical Council of India (MCI) which is scheduled to be replaced by the National Medical Commission (NMC) in the future.
Make sure that the institution of your choice has been affiliated with any of these agencies, or else your degree will be of no consequence to you here and elsewhere in the world.
- Know the Type of University
In India, there are 4 kinds of universities to which you can apply: Central, State, Private Universities, and Religious Minorities Institutions. International students are most likely to join Central or Private Universities considering the large number of funds and facilities offered. This being said, the other two institutions are not necessarily unsuitable but their international appeal should be considered before joining.
- Readily Available Cheap Food and Accommodation
The reputation of Indian food is ubiquitous. Its rich flavors have dominated the world for decades, and there is no doubt why it does. Your time in India will feature remarkably inexpensive but delicious food, which means you will have to spend less to feed your stomach. Even the multinational fast-food chains from abroad are reasonably priced and carry the Indian touch.
Also, the accommodation facility is easily available and reasonably priced. From PGs to flats, you can find all the options at competitive prices. There are even student colonies where, as the name suggests, students live in dormitories and PGs and socialize with one another.
- Lots of paperwork
Yes, if you enroll in any Indian university, you will be signing documents after documents and submitting documents after documents. Even locals go through a lot of paperwork so it is quite natural to expect an international applicant to bear an extra burden. But, you can’t help it—that is the Indian way, and it will grow on to you eventually.
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