The metros are a big draw for many students – and it’s not very difficult to fathom why. Top class universities will obviously offer you top class education.
A degree from Delhi or Mumbai University definitely holds great weight for employers who automatically assume that graduates or postgraduates from prominent institutes make better employees, given the high standards of education they have been exposed to. Metro lifestyles are also supposed to add a certain urbane polish to your persona, making you a smarter, more employable person than your competition from a Tier-II or III city.
But what about the smaller cities? What happens to students who want to give the busy and buzzy lifestyles of the major metros a miss? What about those who do not make the grade in the top colleges in their home cities and are compelled to move out for lack of better options?
Cities like Bengaluru, Pune and Chandigarh (the latter two being educational towns) are great places to study in. They also boast of great lifestyles, with malls, discos, movie theatres and fun-loving locals who are quite fond of shopping, eating out and long weekend trips out of town.
All three have major academic institutions. An IIM figures prominently in Bengaluru’s list, apart from Christ University, Bangalore Medical College, Dr B R Ambedkar Medical College, and National Law School. Pune has its Film & Television Institute, National Film Archives, Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR), MIT Institute of Design, and College of Engineering, among others.
Important educational institutions in Chandigarh include Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), and Panjab University.
Living in a non-metro city also has its advantages. You don’t have to live in a placewhere the infrastructure is stretched at the seams. The power situation in the three cities is also under control. Bengaluru and Chandigarh are green cities – and all three offer students a fairly safe environment.
But before you leave...
Moving to a new city, however, is not easy – especially a smaller one, if you are more than used to a metro’s advantages. But those planning to move out must remember to keep a few things in perspective.
. Do your homework thoroughly before applying to a college or university outside your home town/city. It should not be a fly-by-night institute that makes you waste your time and money. Will you be comfortable with the programme you are taking up? Are you sure you won’t get bogged down by it midway?
Remember, you will be on your own in the city and not able to get regular advice or support from family members.
. Leaving home for the first time can be tough on anyone. The transition from school to city (in a new college) and then from home to a hostel or probably paying guest or rented lodgings, can come as a shocker. Those likely to be homesick should make sure they have a good support system in the new town. Any aunt or uncle or grown-up sibling or cousin should be on standby should you be in need of any kind of help.
. Wherever you rent/live, make sure your parents/friends visit and take a good look around the place. Ask about neighbours, power and water situation, make sure your college is close by or at least has proper bus connectivity. Taxi services should be good but try not to travel alone and always keep your cellphone charged and connected to friends or relatives in town.
. Lastly, as soon as you join up, make sure you familiarise yourself with the faculty of your college and befriend your batchmates. That’s the best way to ensure that this new city starts feeling like home to you.
Profiled students on the move
Meet our students who have moved from the warmth and comfort of their homes to explore new vistas and educational opportunities in other cities (and country)
Studies in: Bengaluru
Belongs to: Calicut, Kerala
I used to never like participating in extra-curricular activities before I came to Bengaluru. But here, every student was compelled to participate in one activity or the other. This was a nice opportunity for all-round development and I gradually developed an interest in these
Current city: Pune
Belongs to: Bhubaneswar
Pune is a very relaxing place. Unlike other small towns where it seems that everyone knows you and judges you, I felt very much at home and free in Pune
Mohd Hakim Haider
Current city: Chandigarh
Belongs to: Kabul, Afghanistan
I visited Chandigarh for two months (before I moved in).
I was overwhelmed by the hospitality, the structure and beauty of the city and the standard of education here. This helped me adjust better during my second visit and now during my stay. I hope I can gain as much possible from this university