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Rural Indians join rush to study abroad as prospects dim at home


Active member
When 19-year-old Sachin failed to score the grades he needed to get into a good Indian college, his father, a small shopkeeper, took a loan and dug deep into the family savings to help him secure a Canadian student visa.

The 2 million rupees ($25,035) they scraped together covered the fees for English language tuition provided by Western Overseas, one of dozens of visa consultancies in Ambala, about 250km from of New Delhi, that promise better lives through study overseas.

"My dream is to settle abroad as I see no future in India," said Sachin, who uses only a single name. He now plans to fly to Canada where he hopes to complete a two-year diploma in business management and eventually secure a longer work visa.

While middle-class Indians have for decades sought better prospects in other countries, worsening economic conditions are now driving families from poorer rural areas like Sachin's to make big investments to set up new lives for their children overseas.

Sachin says his two friends now in Canada earn about C$1,200 ($918) a month through part-time work while studying for diplomas.

With many countries now lifting COVID restrictions, the number of Indian students heading to places like the United States, Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland and New Zealand was almost one million in early 2022, roughly doubling from pre-pandemic levels, according to government and industry estimates.

Several foreign universities and their local partners are organising education fairs at costly five-star hotels and through virtual sessions in small towns to woo students.

At one such event, over 500 students gathered recently to explore opportunities with over 40 universities from Australia and Canada at a luxury hotel in Chandigarh, about 40 km from Ambala.

I seriously wonder how good life is at Canada?
Isnt it freezing cold most of the time?
Not necessarily.

Then again if it means 3 square meals, then any weather is good.

The OP post said that they are opting to go anywhere for a decent life.

Personally I love visiting Canada. I live in the USA, I am planning to move to sunny Florida.

Why Canada has emerged as one of the top choices for Indian immigrants​

According to Statistics Canada, Indian-Canadians are one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, making up the second largest non-European group after Chinese Canadians.

Canada contains the world's eighth largest Indian diaspora. The highest concentrations of Indian Canadians are found in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, followed by growing communities in Alberta and Quebec as well, with the majority of them being foreign-born.

According to a Forbes report, the number of Indians who became permanent residents in Canada increased from 39,340 in 2016 to 80,685 in 2019, an increase of more than 105 percent.

With such high numbers, it is no surprise that the community also has good representation politically.


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