Like several students across the globe, 20-year-old Rhea Munjal dreamt of going to the US for higher studies. Her dream turned into reality when she enrolled at Ohio State University (OSU) this year.
"I am pursuing a master’s in law at OSU. There are 10 students from other countries at Ohio and I’m the only Indian. I thought of heading to the US for further studies as it is home to some of the best institutions in the world," she says.
Munjal is among the surging number of students heading to the US in pursuit of a qualification from an American institution. In 2010, Indian students constituted the second largest group of foreign students studying in the US, with nearly 1.05 lakh students.
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The US, with more than 4,000 accredited institutions of higher learning, offers access to high quality education to students in a broad range of fields. Thirteen of the US institutions have been ranked in the top 20 of the recently- released QS World University rankings.
American institutions are also trying to reach out to Indian students through education fairs and other events. Recently, officials from 21 institutions from more than 15 states in the US, visited India to interact with prospective students as part of the US Department of Commerce US Education Mission to India.
These included officials from the Arizona State University, West Virginia University and University of Pennsylvania. Students were upbeat after learning about the new study options.
"I want to pursue a master’s or a PhD in biological sciences for which I have zeroed in on the University of Pennsylvania and University of Illinois. I plan to go to the US because it has the best of faculty and teaching methodology," says Patiala-based Madhu Smita, who holds a master’s in biotechnology.
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Sankalp Choudhary, who hails from Dhanbad in Jharkhand, plans to study for a law degree. "With the large number and variety of colleges and universities in the US, I’m trying to find one that matches my needs and interests," he says.
* Harvard University
* Massachusetts Institute of Technology
* Yale University
* University of Pennsylvania
* Columbia University