What’s it like studying in the country with the second-highest population, the country with the most populous democracy, and the country that has six total national religions? Probably unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Is it possible to get an overload of culture? Let’s hope not, because that’s precisely how it feels to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s in India.
For decades, students from all over the world have imagined themselves swimming in this endless stream of diverse music, food, and art that exist together in India’s massive landscape. Such an environment also makes studying there both exciting and hugely enriching.
In India, there are over 800 universities, so it's not surprising that tuition fees vary significantly. Still, as a general rule, they are much more affordable when compared to fees at Western universities.
International students usually pay anywhere between 150 and 5,000 EUR per academic year. Living costs are also very low, usually between 150 and 300 EUR based on your lifestyle and habits.
Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Shantanu Narayen (CEO of Adobe) — these are only some of the successful Indians who, at the time of writing this, are in charge of some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
What else do they have in common? They first graduated with a degree from an Indian university. Now, we're not trying to say that by studying in India you'll one day be like them.
But maybe there's something in the Indian education system and culture, something that helps or motivates people to achieve success, especially in the field of Engineering and Technology — and maybe you can also benefit from that by studying at an Indian university.
India is among the top 10 largest economies in the world based on the GDP (gross domestic product). Its economy has actually been growing at a rate of 7–8% in the last years.
Now, this doesn't mean all is fine and dandy. A large part of the population is still struggling with poverty and lack of education or proper healthcare, especially in rural areas.
What we're trying to say is that India has a lot of potential, both economically and socially. You can be one of the people who bring positive change by staying and working in India, at least for a while after graduation.
The Indian history and especially culture are very rich and colourful. India is often referred to as "The Land of a Thousand Gods", because in addition to big deity names like Brahma, Vishnu, or Shiva, there are literally hundreds of other gods and goddesses with different roles and importance in their culture.
It is often said that in every village they worship (or at least used to) a different god. That's because in the traditional Indian culture, gods were only seen as a stepping stone, a way to achieve something much more important: enlightenment or ultimate liberation.
Fun fact: there are over 2 million Hindu temples still standing nowadays!
The Western world largely views yoga as a form of physical exercise.
However, in India, this ancient practice in considered a powerful system for general wellbeing and health on all levels: body, mind, emotions, and energy. Even modern-day science is slowly discovering more and more benefits to practising yoga regularly.
Unfortunately, there are many yoga variations out there that have been altered too much (e.g. beer yoga) and have moved too far away from the initial purpose of the practice. So if you want to learn real traditional yoga, the way it has been taught and preserved for thousands of years, finding an ashram (e.g. Isha Yoga Centre) or an Indian yoga master is your best bet.
Several students who have studied in India talk about the method of learning that they are not used to. In India, professors commonly apply what is called rote learning; it’s a method of memorising a series of facts, terms, and equations, word-for-word, by repetition. So, rather than asking students to offer their own explanation for something, testing is based on how well you took notes and remembered precisely what your professors taught you.
This could be a challenge to students who are used to a more discussion-based setting, or a setting where they are asked to understand more conceptual knowledge. So, be prepared to have a lot of definitions or terms thrown at you, that you will simply have to parrot back in precise form.
Universities in India also place a strong emphasis on leadership. That is, they’re interested in creating managers, CEOs, teachers, and mayors of the next generation. So, your classrooms will be largely devoted to giving you lessons on how to be an effective leader who knows how to take charge.
In India, students can find pretty much any subject they are interested in. There isn’t necessarily a rule for picking a discipline that you’re interested in; but we can share some of the options that are quite popular among international students.
India is quite a massive, diverse country, with a lot of regional differences, traditions, and customs. There are some big cities and some smaller villages. But, major cities that come to mind are:
Universities in India have quite a long history, and many of them follow the old British models. There are several dozen options to pick from. But here is a list of some universities we like:
When you’ve selected the programme that you want to study, you merely have to use the official website from the university of your choice, and submit your materials there.
Be sure to prepare the following materials ready for your application:
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
If you’re attending a degree programme in India, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
To apply to study in India, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.
The certificates generally accepted by the universities in India are:
Still, you should always check on your university’s website, just to be sure what the exact requirements are.
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in India:
India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world, with over 800 universities and 39,000 colleges. Given the vast number of institutions (both public and private), it's not surprising that tuition fees vary significantly.
Still, Indian universities are quite affordable when compared to similar institutions from other popular study destinations. On average, students usually pay:
Even at public universities, some programmes in Engineering or Medicine can cost 6,000–7,000 EUR/year.
India is amazingly cheap to live in, even if you find yourself in one of the big cities like Mumbai or New Delhi.
Here is a breakdown of prices you’ll find in India:
The Republic of India is a country in South Asia. The name 'India' is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. One of the earliest civilizations, the Indus Valley civilization flourished on the Indian subcontinent from c. 2600 B.C. to c. 2000 B.C.
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in India, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
To apply to a university in India you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in India so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in India are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.