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Craze among Indian students to go abroad
There is a craze among Indian students to go abroad for their higher studies. It is probably due to reasons like better opportunities and lifestyle. But they do not realise that this could turn out to be a one-way street.
IT IS a fact that the ultimate aim of most Indian students is to go abroad for higher studies. I have never understood this craze. It is probably due to a variety of reasons. This craze starts right from the beginning when they first start thinking about higher studies and a career.

Most parents I know would love to see their children studying abroad and finally settling there. They do not realise that this is a one-way street and that their child could well be lost forever. There are many complications to the motivation of parents who want to send their children abroad. India is unfortunate in the sense that a majority of our educated citizens feel that there is no future in our country. Thus they psyche their children into believing that the best thing they can do is to go to the United States of America, United Kingdom, Singapore, etc. Children are quite malleable in their younger years, and they readily accept this outlook. Thus, this craze for going abroad gets ingrained in their thinking.

It is surprising that many teachers and tutors also put a high premium on their students going abroad. Teachers make statements like: "The good students usually go to foreign universities for further studies" or "You are such a good student, you must sit for the SAT or other similar examinations and go abroad to finish your studies". Children generally accept what their teachers say and thus take such statements at face value.

In general, Indian society gives high regard to a person who has studied or is working abroad. The tags 'NRI', 'foreign returned', 'green card holder' etc, are held in high esteem in our country. Even in the marriage market these tags are valuable!

With this sort of mentality, it is not surprising that our children dream of going abroad for higher studies, jobs, etc, little realising the pitfalls that they have to face.

There are no statistics available on the success rate of students going abroad for their studies. But indications are that many of them falter along the way. Some of them fall prey to the negative aspects of Western lifestyle and take the familiar path towards alchoholism and drugs. Some of them cannot take the intense pressure of multinational competition and settle for lesser degrees and sub-standard jobs. Obviously a good number do come out with flying colours.

Studying and working abroad is no piece of cake. We are all witness to the racial hatred towards Indian students in so-called developed countries such as Australia, UK, Canada and the USA. Indian workers have quietly borne the brunt of racial animosity in these countries for many years.

I have no issues at all with students pursuing their studies abroad and settling down for good in the country of their choice. What I find distasteful is the absolute craze and the eagerness to go abroad, anywhere as long as it is out of the country.

My request to parents, teachers, students and others who may have a say in these matters: Please do not demean our great country by being in such a rush to get out. The Indian education system is still one of the best in the world, and India is still a great country to live in. Think about it.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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