For as long as possible, India has been seen as a country that sends out rather than receives international students, but a substantial number of international students from countries across the world are now trooping to study on low tuition in India, with the country attracting more than 30,000 international students every year.
Are you keen to study in India?If yes, please read on for information about top universities in India, how to apply for a student visa and admissions process.
How to applying to universities in India
In order to apply for either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in India, you are expected to apply directly to your chosen university using the official website, well in advance ahead of the start date for your degree program.
Alternatively, undergraduate and postgraduate engineering, architecture or planning students can apply to selected National Institutes of Technology and other centrally funded universities using the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme, a centralized admissions service for foreign students to apply to more than one Indian university at the same time. By virtue of this scheme, only students who are 25 or under at the start of their program are eligible to apply for undergraduate studies; please note that there is no age limit for postgraduate programs.
For both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, you’ll be charged an application fee (currently US$4,300) which will go towards your university’s non-refundable registration fee ($300) and the tuition fees of the first semester ($4,000).
Foreign nationals from other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries such as Pakistan or Sri Lanka are eligible for a 50% tuition waiver in the DASA scheme, provided they’ve passed the admission test in their home country – meaning they will also pay half of the application fee.
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Tuition Fees and Living Expenses
Tuition fees vary, as Indian universities set their own fees, but you could study a degree for as little as US$3,300-7,800 a year at an Indian Institute of Technology. Living expenses in India are super cheap compared to other countries, with a three-course meal unlikely to go beyond the equivalent of US$10, while local transport can cost as little as 30 US cents one way.
Many universities will also avail you of low-cost student accommodation, but you can also rent off-campus fairly cheaply if you’d prefer, with a one-bedroom flat in a large city such as Mumbai likely to cost about US$500 a month. It’s possible to live as a student on as little as US$4,600 a year, but you may wish to budget more depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.
Say you hold an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card, you will be able to study, work or conduct research in India without requiring a student visa. Residents of Nepal and Bhutan can also study in India without a visa (unless entering from China).
However, the vast majority of people looking to study in India are expected to apply for a student visa and pay the appropriate fee, which varies across countries. Student visas for India are typically issued for the duration of your course of study or for a maximum period of five years. Visas that are issued for less than five years can be extended if you obtain permission from the local FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office). You can also alter your course of study and/or the educational institution if circumstances determine you do. You can easily apply for your student visa by visiting the nearest Indian embassy (find yours here) or online.
Do well to take full advantage of studying on low tuition in India and let us know if you have any questions.