For Indian students going to countries such as UK, US, Australia etc. where English is spoken as the first language, it may be difficult to overcome the language barrier. Students may find it difficult to speak fluently in English and find it hard to clearly understand what the native students, professors etc. are saying. The use of English words and phrases may also be different in different countries abroad. Although there are standard examinations such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS,GRE, GMAT that a student has to clear before getting admitted in a foreign university, matching the pace, accent and tone of the foreign counterparts may be very challenging.
- Culture shock
Students going abroad from India for higher studies abroad may find a mismatch of culture due to differences in food habits, attitudes, life-style, relationships, and similar elements. This may lead to a culture shock. Although, Indians, mostly in the urban locations are largely inclined towards Western lifestyle, way of dressing, working schedules, and even food habits, there may be differences in the various other elements which may be difficult to adjust with.
For instance, the amount of pressure a person puts into handshake varies considerably from country to country. In United States, a firm, if not a painful handshake is customary. An individual giving a ‘non-bone-crushing’ handshake can be perceived to be weak.Apart from this, Indian students may have to deal with different value systems, signs and symbols relating to social contacts, different communication pattern, and interpersonal relationships. Indian students may also face behavioral norms towards different time in different cultures abroad.
- Financial/Monetary problems
Pursuing higher studies abroad is expensive and students may face monetary problems at some point or other. While considering the cost associated with studying abroad students have to take care of tuition costs, accommodation costs, living expenses, books, cost of traveling etc. it may also be necessary to purchase a personal computer, laptop etc. to help oneself in studying. During a financial emergency it may be difficult to arrange the necessary funds needed to take care of expenses.
- Facing Prejudice
There might be instances where the Indian students may face prejudice and discrimination from their foreign counterparts in the social and academic lives. Students going abroad to pursue higher studies may also suffer from exclusion, lack of involvement in groups and biased behavior from the foreign students. Although social discrimination is not supported by universities abroad, there may be incidents where Indian students may feel humiliated due to neglect and being ignored by the local students.
Indian students may also feel home sick staying far away from family and friends.Students who are brought up in a way that they are very close to their parents may find it a tough time to stay alone. Such students may feel lonely and have to learn to manage their emotions in the absence of any close companion. Other petty issues such as variances in time climatic conditions, not finding the Indian food that suits themmay make them feel stressed.In such cases, students can indulge themselves in their interest areas such as listening to their favourite music, partying or chatting with their beloved ones during moments of leisure.
- Learning style
In India, students are usually familiarized to lecture based classes. Universities in the foreign countries, particularly in the West involve lot of practical exercises such as seminars, work-shops, groupdiscussions, role plays, and many interactive learning techniques. While this may be a wonderful experience for most of the Indian students, few may not be comfortable with it. Indian students who prefer and/or are used to passive learning may find it difficult to adjust with independent and self-directed learning which is a practice in most of the foreign universities.
- Academic expectations
Indian students getting high grades in the examinations in the home country may find it difficult to get such grades in initially in the new learning environment. Students from India may also find their performance to be discouraging and depressing. This may be due to difficulty in learning, understanding the foreign accent of the professors, and also due to adjustment problems.
Indian students may find it difficult to find suitable accommodation in a foreign location while staying abroad to pursue higher studies. It may also be difficult to find an accommodation that is near to their university campus, has a good infrastructure and suits their budget. In such cases, students can visit websitesand search for the best accommodation arrangements by filtering their search according to their requirements.
- Living an independent lifestyle
For an Indian student it may be difficult to manage the entire cooking, cleaning, washing etc in the beginning unless accustomed to do these jobs along with studies. Unlike India, it is very expensive and difficult to hire a maid to get these jobs done. In overseas countries such as UK, USA even domestic servant charge on an hourly basis which may be very difficult to afford. Hence Indian students may face problems in managing household work with studies. However, with time the students will be able to adopt such as lifestyle and maintain a balance between the two.
- Social abuse
In the past there have been many instances where the Indian students had been abused and beaten up by in Australia. Most of the attacks were identified as due to differences in culture and race. Claims were also that these attacksonIndian students were motivated by robbery, or mugging. There have been such incidents not only in Australia but other parts of the world which have made it difficult for students to visit such overseas destinations. Whatever are the reasons, such acts are serious threats for the Indian students looking forward to pursue higher education in a foreign destination country such as Australia.