Sachika Balwani, 17, opted out of the Indian education system after Class 8 and has been studying at the Taft private boarding school in Connecticut, in the US, for the past three years.
“We wanted to get her away from the limited Indian education system,” said her mother, Ramila. “When we saw the fabulous campus and the infrastructure at the US school, we decided we had to send her.”
There are more than 1 lakh Indian students in the US at the undergraduate and post-graduate level, but going abroad to finish secondary school is only now catching on.
“A lot of people now feel that they can benefit from going earlier,” said Alisha Mashruwala, 23, who graduated from a private school in Connecticut, studied at Harvard, and now helps students apply to schools abroad though her consultancy, Collegify. Since last year, her company has seen a 10% increase in enquiries.
Elsewhere, EF International Academy, a prep school with campuses in New York and Oxford, selected five Indian students this year after screening 30 applicants and receiving 600 enquiries. “We expect more in the coming year,” said Sunitha Perumal, admissions manager for India. Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massa-chusetts received 18 enquiries this year, up from eight the previous year, and will be in the city next month to recruit students.
And a consortium of boarding schools, most from the US, UK and Canada, under The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) banner, held its first fair in Mumbai last November.