Deportations fail to curb US dream of Hyderabad students | india | Hindustan Times
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Deportations fail to curb US dream of Hyderabad students

US immigration officers handcuffed and imprisoned an Indian student at the Dallas airport before deporting her home. Still, her American dream is so strong that she is determined to go back for her master’s degree there

india Updated: Jan 13, 2016 23:47 IST
Prasad Nichenametla
Deportation
The deportations continued but the insult and uncertainty haven’t deterred the glut of graduates from going to US education consultancies — a thriving industry in Hyderabad and other towns that help students identify a suitable university and help with the paperwork

US immigration officers handcuffed and imprisoned an Indian student at the Dallas airport before deporting her home. Still, her American dream is so strong that she is determined to go back for her master’s degree there.

The 23-year-old student was among several Telugu students who were sent back to Hyderabad on January 3 with a brief and curt explanation that the California-based universities they applied for — Northwestern Polytechnic and Silicon Valley — were blacklisted.

“It was an awful experience for me and for no fault of mine. But I am determined to pursue my higher studies in the US. I would reapply to another US university for my MBA for the fall intake,” she told Hindustan Times.

Read more: 16 students deported from US, ‘hassled’ at Hyderabad airport

She has her reason. The US consulate in Hyderabad that issued visas to the students didn’t say these universities were on the blacklist, though immigration officers routinely asked their “intention of taking the US flight” when so many of them were sent back.

The deportations continued but the insult and uncertainty haven’t deterred the glut of graduates from going to US education consultancies — a thriving industry in Hyderabad and other towns that help students identify a suitable university and help with the paperwork.

“We held a well-attended information session of a US university. Of course, students were concerned and we advised them to be better prepared than before to go to the US,” said BS Sekhar, the director of IAEC Consultants.

Fellow consultant GV Madhav of ustudent.in found a slight dip in the number of students looking to apply for higher studies in the US. “They are in a wait-and-watch mode to get a clear picture of the situation. In fact, the episode has made students more aware of qualifications and other credentials needed to study there. They are now keen on getting good GRE scores.”

Reports of ill-treatment prompted Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao to contact American consular general Michael Mullins last week while the Andhra Pradesh government appointed a nodal officer to guide US-bound students and those aspiring to go there.

“An information centre was set up where students can call 24x7 for any clarification,” Andhra Pradesh minister for NRI affairs Palle Raghunatha Reddy said.

The girl deported from Dallas said she would make the right choice this time. She was ticking all options — universities and courses — through education consultancies and the Internet as well as seeking guidance from the US consulate and state government.

Like her, two more students — one sent back from Abu Dhabi and another stopped at Hyderabad airport — were exploring options to go to the US.

“I wish the US authorities would realise their mistake and reinstate our visas, allowing us to join the spring semester,” one of them said.

On engineering college campuses in and around Hyderabad, deportation has become the new buzzword. But the ordeal suffered by the seniors has not deterred many.

“Their issue is different. I would definitely go to the US for my higher studies,” said Gayathri N, a first-year BTech student.