Top Myths About Studying Abroad that Indians Believe


In India, the prospect of a study abroad is a cherished dream for many Indian students. The trend of going abroad for higher studies has picked up in the last decade in India. According to a report titled ‘Beyond Beds and Boundaries’ (published by India Today), the number of Indian students studying abroad was over 1 million in 2019. And this number is likely to reach 2 million by the year 2025.

Studying in a foreign country brings many advantages including quality education and state-of-the-art infrastructure. It is the idea of travelling to and staying in a new country, in a new culture and exploring horizons that drives many students to apply to a foreign university.

However, the process of applying to a foreign university is not that simple and requires expert knowledge to ensure a smooth journey. Moreover, when it comes to the Indian social fabric, there are quite a few myths associated with the idea of studying abroad. Many aspirants hesitate and take a step back due to these myths. 

For instance, many people believe that studying abroad is extremely expensive and can only be afforded by rich people. Another prevalent myth is that it is a herculean task to get a student visa. While in reality, this is far from the truth. 

In this blog, we will dispel these myths and shed light on the truth.

Myth 1: Only the Rich can Afford to Study Abroad

Fact: One of the most prevalent myths about studying abroad is that it is super expensive. Many people believe that when it comes to study abroad, it is only the rich people who can afford to pay the exorbitant tuition fee and other study expenses in a foreign country. However, contrary to this, one can easily accomplish their dream of studying in a country of their choice with the help of numerous scholarships and financial aids provided by global universities. Many of these are available to international students on a merit basis as well as on a need basis. These scholarships are meant to help students with diverse economic and financial backgrounds, and are provided to deserving candidates by organizations, universities, and governments of different countries.

Thus, if you have a strong academic profile, or have a genuine case of financial need, you can avail these scholarships to turn your study abroad dream into a reality.

Let us look at some of the prominent scholarships offered by different countries. These are categorized into government-funded, university-funded, and institution-funded.

Government-funded Scholarships

Fullbright Scholarship

This scholarship is provided by the United States of America and is a student exchange program between the US and 155 countries. This scholarship is meant for students who want to pursue a master’s or PhD program and it covers tuition, textbooks, stipend, health insurance, and airfare.

Chevening Scholarship

This is a global scholarship program provided by the British government. This scholarship is awarded to students from over 130 countries who wish to pursue a master’s program. It covers tuition fees, monthly stipends, and allowances.

Australia Awards Scholarship

This was formerly known as Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) and helps students from developing countries, particularly from the Indo-Pacific region to pursue full-time undergraduate or postgraduate studies at Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.

Eiffel Excellence Scholarship

This is provided to meritorious international students who want to pursue postgraduate or PhD degrees. It includes monthly allowances but does not cover the tuition fee.

University-funded International Scholarships

Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

This a very prestigious scholarship and is provided to students from all over the world. This scholarship allows students to pursue graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge, and covers university fees and allowances. Each year, around 100 new scholarships are granted.

Knight-Hennesy Scholars Program at Stanford University

This scholarship is provided for full-time master’s and PhD degrees in any subject available at Stanford. It covers tuition fees, stipends, and travel grants.

Institute-funded International Scholarships

Rotary Foundation Global Study Grants

This scholarship is for students who want to pursue graduate studies or research and applies for 1 to 4 academic years. The minimum budget for this scholarship is $30,000.

Joint Japan World Bank Scholarships

This is meant for students from developing countries and allows them to pursue a master’s degree from leading universities around the world.

Make a Budget

Another important point you need to focus on is preparing a budget. By planning ahead and making a budget based on your program and university choice, you can secure admission to a good university abroad.

Myth 2: Student Visas Are Not Easy to Obtain

Fact: Contrary to this popular belief, which is nothing but a misconception, the student visa process is not difficult to obtain. Yes, the process is a bit long and tedious, but with expert knowledge and professional help, study abroad aspirants can easily obtain a student visa for their preferred country.

Visa Application Process

  1. Apply for the visa by booking an appointment.
  2. Pay the visa fee.
  3. Upload the relevant documents.
  4. Visit the visa office for your interview (if required).

If you do everything alright, start in advance, and collect all the supporting documents, you can easily apply for your visa and get one.

The visa application process and time taken by the consulate to issue a visa differ from country to country. This is where study abroad experts at Manya can help you. The window for applying for a visa is short and dates are usually disclosed a little before the process starts. Thus, with professional help, you can ensure that you do not miss out on applying for your visa.

Myth 3: Studying Abroad is Only for STEM students

Fact: Though it is a common perception that only students from science and engineering streams can go abroad to pursue higher studies, the fact is that anyone from commerce to humanities background can pursue higher studies abroad. Many top global universities offer a diverse set of programs that cover many non-traditional and non-mainstream areas. 

The unconventional study programs are different from the usual conventional courses like Engineering and Management.

Here are the top 5 non-conventional study programs

  1. Cartography
  2. Marine Engineering
  3. Game Design and Development
  4. International Relations
  5. Oenology

Additionally, here are a few other unconventional programs and the universities that offer these courses

Comic Art

If you love to show your creativity through drawing and sketches, then this program is for you. Some of the universities that offer this program are Otis School of Art and Design; School of Visual Arts, New York; and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


This field deals with the origin of life, evolution, and future of life. It involves many areas of science. Some of the top universities that offer this program are the University of Washinton, Arizona State University, and Florida Institute of Technology.

Bakery Science and Management

If baking is more than just a hobby for you then you can turn this hobby into a business by pursuing a program in Bakery Science and Management. This course not only teaches you baking but also the management and business principles related to food products and production. This course is offered by the State University of New York, Southern New Hampshire University, and Kansas State University.

Motorsports Management

If you are intrigued by the sound of engines and want to make a career in this field, then you can pursue a Motorsports Management program. It involves business operations of racing tournaments. This course is offered by Oxford Brooke University, and Brunel University London.

While there is no dearth of non-traditional courses offered by many global universities, as a student, you need to understand your interest and find out how it aligns with your career goals. This will help you select the right course for yourself.

Myth 4: New Culture and Place are Difficult to Adjust to

Fact: Most countries like Canada and the UK have a huge percentage of Indian students and are warm and welcoming towards international students. One may experience a bit of a cultural shock as the customs, traditions, food habits, and lifestyles are different, but this will also be an experience of a lifetime for you. Travelling and living alone makes one independent and broadens one’s perspective on life, people, cultures, inclusivity etc.

You can make this culture exploration thing a fun time for you.

  1. Find out about the local festivals and traditions.
  2. Try out the local cuisines.
  3. Visit the scenic locations.
  4. Learn a new language.
  5. Make new friends in a new place.

Myth 5: It is Not Worth It to Invest in a Study Abroad Program

Fact: Studying abroad and earning a degree from a foreign university gives your career an immediate boost, giving you an edge over other job applicants in your home country.

When you pursue your higher studies from a foreign university, you not only get a globally recognized degree, but also global exposure, state-of-the-art facilities, and excellent resources to hone your skills and grow holistically.

It also gets you a plethora of job opportunities if you build the right network amongst peers.

It is also well-known that a foreign degree increases your chances of getting a higher-paid job. 

Tips If You are Planning to Study Abroad

Research well

It is important to start at least six months in advance and research well on the course and college you would like to apply. This helps you make a well-informed decision by looking at all the amazing opportunities out there, and selecting the right course and college.

Make a budget

You must get your finances right, ensure you have the required amount in savings, and also make a budget plan so that you do not end up with wasteful expenditures.

Reach out to current Indian students and alumni

It is highly recommended that you reach out to the Indian students studying in foreign universities and gain information about the university, faculty, course, resources etc. from them. You can also reach out to alumni associations for the same.

Go with open arms

The best way to enjoy your study abroad experience is to embrace the new place and its culture. This will help you get along with your peers and neighbours.


This blog has dispelled some of the most common myths related to studying abroad, particularly among Indian students. Keep the points discussed above in mind to make the most out of your study abroad dream.

Manya The Princeton Review is a one stop solution for all your study abroad queries and help needed right from applying to a university to the visa application.

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Is studying abroad only for the wealthy?

This is a common misconception. There are numerous scholarships, grants, and financial aid options available specifically for Indian students.

Do you need to be fluent in the local language to study abroad?

While knowing the local language can be beneficial, it is not always a requirement. Many programs around the world offer courses in English. Universities also provide preparatory course services to help international students adapt.

Are international degrees not valued in India?

An international degree can be highly valuable in India, especially if it is from a recognized university. Global exposure, diverse educational experiences, and the development of a wide range of soft skills are highly sought after by employers in India and worldwide.

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