India Study Abroad Country Profile

India Overview

India study abroad participants will be immersed in a fascinatingly diverse, large, and growing nation. India has a long and colorful history dating back to its first settlers along the Indus River. The country is most well known for, among other things, its lively, people-packed cities and famous landmarks. India exhibits a mixture of old traditions and new technologies – no where is this more apparent than the country’s push to grow its economy through research and development. India is one of the BRIC countries, which means that it, along with Russia, Brazil and China, has a rapidly growing economy and will have a larger role to play in the international political and financial arenas in the coming years.

Cultural Highlights

Many factors have contributed to India’s current cultural atmosphere. The country is quite diverse, in part to its large size and variable geography. India is the birthplace for a number of religions, including Hinduism, the country’s most widespread religion, Buddhism and Sikhism. Islam is also a dominant religion in India.

India has a strongly hierarchical society with a caste system. Arranged marriages have long been the tradition in India and continue today; the role the caste system plays can be very apparent here. The food in India is generally divided into five categories to differentiate it by region. Indian cuisine is very vegetarian friendly; dishes that include meat commonly have chicken, goat, lamb, or fish.

One of the most commonly exported aspects of Indian culture beyond its cuisine is its films. Known as Bollywood movies, the term Bollywood is used to describe the Mumbai-based film industry. Bollywood films are characterized by their vibrant musical scores and lively dance numbers.

Popular Fields of Study

India has many offerings for students interested in studying abroad. India has many strong fields when it comes to technology and the sciences. India study abroad programs in medicine, nuclear energy, engineering, biotechnology, and business are all excellent, as are programs in computer science and the like. You can participate in a program studying any one of India’s religions. Study India’s national identity by examining its creative works, from architecture and fine arts to music and theater. Because India is a BRIC country, it is also a great place to study sustainability, the environment, international affairs, and the green economy. Regional studies and history are also popular topics of study.

Why Study Abroad in India?

India has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons why you should consider studying abroad in India.

1. Size

Simply put, India is incredibly large. With such a wide diversity of people, traditions, religions, and foods, students will constantly be discovering something new.

2. Cost Of Living

India’s cost of living is relatively low for students from the United States and Western Europe. A meal at a proper restaurant is less than $2 USD.

3. Food

Indian food is bursting with spice and flavor, exhibiting unique variances depending on your location in the country.

4. The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Take the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit this famous site.

5. Natural Areas

India is home to a number of beautiful natural areas and landscapes, from its national parks to the sweeping magnitude of the Himalayas.

6. Ayurveda

Considered more of a spiritual, holistic science than a medicinal therapy, Ayurveda is one of the oldest parts of Indian culture. Kerala and Rishikesh are two of the top ayurvedic destinations in the world.

7. Tigers At Kanha

130 tigers roam the preserve in Kanha National Park. Take the opportunity to see these rare and majestic animals.

8. Amritsar and The Golden Temple

The spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion is home to the Golden Temple, the most significant place of worship.

9. Hospitality

Indian people are friendly and welcoming – as an India study abroad participant you may even get invited to an Indian wedding with your homestay family!

10. Festivals

Festivals in India are a great way to get a taste of the various religions and regional cultural traditions you will encounter throughout the country.

India Study Abroad Statistics

India Country Ranking: 17

(based on estimated total outbound U.S. students)
  • % of U.S. students: 1.2%
  • Total US Students 2006/07: 2,627
  • Total US Students 2007/08: 3,146
  • Yearly 2007/08 Trend: +19.8
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