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Study Abroad: What Indian Students Want?

A detailed study of search preferences of Indian students aspiring to study abroad.

Mahesh Ramani

A survey conducted by Hotcourses found out that over 50 per cent of Indian students were willing to study in American Universities that offered courses at satellite campuses in other countries.

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For quite some time Hotcourses has been helping Indian students find their preferred ‘study abroad destination’.
 
In our continuing efforts to improve user experience and helping students find the information that they are looking for – we conducted a survey of ‘user-trends and preferences’. 
 
The survey had a total of 23 questions with multiple answer-options from which one option was to be selected. The questions covered a wide array of topics ranging from – institution choices, fees, online courses, location, research, campus life, etc. 649 individuals participated in this survey and this article offers an analytical view of our findings.
 

Search Parameters

 

How does the ‘search’ start?

Most students who land up on Hotcourses for the first time search for information based on the following parameters:
  • By program / course – 50.4% 
  • By location – 19.7%
  • By the name of the institution – 29.9%
 

Salient features:

 
  • 78.4 % students were sure about which country they wanted to study in and 53.9% students were sure of which city they wanted to study.
  • 38% students felt that reading about institutions in their own language was important while 30% students did not think that this was an important aspect and it did not impact their decision in choosing an institution.
  • 60% students felt that student reviews by students from their own country were important and extremely helpful.
  • 50% students felt that videos about institutions, especially videos that focused on university facilities, campus-life and alumni interviews were helpful and informative.
 

Study Options

 
  • 50.6% students were willing to study in American universities who offered their courses to students at satellite campuses in other countries.
  • 45% of those students who were not willing to study in satellite campuses said they might reconsider their decision if there was a significant reduction in fees.
  • Online degrees do not find much favour with students and nearly 64% students feel that an online degree is inferior to regular campus-based full-time degree.
 

Family Matters

 
  • Nearly 48% students opine that their parents and family members play a major role in influencing decisions on which college and course to choose. 
  • This once again establishes the fact that in Asian countries and especially in India parents still hold the upper hand in the choice that their children make – ‘Family is all important!’ 
  • Only about 15% of the students said that their parents / guardians did not influence their choices.

 

Applying to one University or many!

 
  • A major portion of the survey respondents - 41% students said that they applied to one or two universities.
  • 22% students applied to four institutions.
  • 36% students applied to more than four institutions.
  • Students felt that an email reply from an institution within 4 weeks of their application was a fair response-time.
  • Nearly 50% students began actual research on short-listing their institution just six months before their course start-date.
  • About 15% students started their research work a full two years before their course start-date.
  • Nearly 45% students felt comfortable in researching and finding a suitable course online and about 50% students felt comfortable applying to a course online. 

The Way Ahead

 
As the impact of the online medium keeps increasing we at Hotcourses are devising new services that will help you find your dream course and institution. Over the course of the past year - we have worked a lot on improving user-experience – creating a Q-n-A forum, a strong blog section with useful articles, Google hangouts and assisted application services to help you reach your goal! 
 
We promise to help students pursue their dream of studying abroad and ensuring that they get to pick an institution that matches all their needs.
 
Hotcourses – Turning your study abroad dreams into reality!
 

Looking to study abroad?

Jenifer G Jenifer G,
Study abroad expert.
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