India is a diverse and growing country of 1.2 billion people, by population the second largest country in the world. It is the largest economy in the South Asian region, and is projected to grow over the coming decades to be one of the largest in the world.
India offers a rewarding and affordable experience for students interested in studying at a graduate or undergraduate level. Spending time in India, either studying or working, will equip students with knowledge, skills and networks to help them understand and engage with the opportunities that are emerging from this dynamic country, as it takes an increasingly prominent role on the global stage.
India’s education system is large and varied with over 10,000 recognised educational institutes which include universities, vocational institutes, liberal arts colleges, and technical colleges. Higher Education at both the undergraduate and graduate level falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Currently, there are around 700 universities and 35,500 colleges in India.
There are a number of resources for students who are interested in studying in India. All Indian university websites are available in English and contain information on student accommodation and support services for international students.:
Timing of study sessions
Study sessions commence between June and August and finish in March or April. Sessions in the northern part of India commence in March and end in December due to climatic conditions. There are typically three study sessions throughout the year.
Preparatory language opportunities
Higher education courses are delivered in English, and English is widely spoken. Thus, students are unlikely to require language preparation for their coursework. With the diversity in Indian languages, local language training could also be undertaken locally within the region.
Studying in English
English is an official language of India and is considered a primary medium of delivery for academic programs. An English efficiency test is required for some courses, but not for students from English-speaking countries.
Work and internships
Students are advised to contact the nearest Indian High Commission or Consulate for the latest information regarding work in India while studying.
Internships in India are available in a wide variety of fields in the private and non-profit sectors. A number of international organisations, including UN bodies, also have offices in India that may offer internship opportunities. Internships can be paid or unpaid, while any stipend provided can usually only be expected to meet minimum daily expenses. In the private sector, internships can be highly competitive, while internships in NGOs are readily available. Visa requirements for interns differ greatly and depend on the nature of the work. Interns may be required to have a Tourist Visa, Entry Visa, Employment Visa, Business Visa or Student Visa. Interns are encouraged to contact the Indian High Commission for further information.
The local currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). The cost of living in India varies depending on the location of study. Generally, the cost of living in major cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore will be greater than the cost of living in smaller cities and regional areas. The cost of living is also dependent on the type of accommodation and transport requirements. Typically accommodation costs range from AUD150 to AUD400 per month for a shared flat in a major city.
Fees and funding
Tuition and fees vary from university to university. Students should consult individual universities for accurate costs. Indicative average yearly costs of tuition fees for undergraduate programs are – AUD1,500-2,000 for science, arts, humanities, social sciences, commerce and management; AUD2,500 – 4,500 for hotel management, engineering and technology, and biotechnology; and AUD5,000 – 18,000 for dental and medicine. Admission fees and costs may differ between universities. Students are encouraged to contact their prospective university for more information.
Students who are doing a formal exchange through their home university may not have to pay tuition fees while overseas.
ATMs that accept international cards are widely available in India. International debit and credit cards are accepted, and foreigners are able to open accounts with Indian banks.
ScholarshipsA number of scholarships are available to international students for study in India, for example:
A number of scholarships are available to international students for study in India, for example:
- General Cultural Scholarship Scheme
- Cultural Exchange Programme
- Commonwealth Fellowship Plan
- Reciprocal Scholarships Scheme
- Technical Cooperation Scheme of the Colombo Plan
- SAARC Fellowship Scheme
- Apasaheb Pant Scholarship Scheme
- ICCR Scholarship Scheme
- Craft Instructors Scheme.
For more information visit www.educationsupport.nic.in.
Indian institutes generally do not provide scholarships for international students. Australian students may be eligible for scholarships under a number of Australian Government mobility programs. Institutions, not students, submit applications for funding under these programs, so speak to your institution's student mobility office to find out if you might be eligible.
Many Australian education providers also have their own overseas study assistance programs, including specific programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Australian undergraduate students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas can apply for an Overseas Higher Education Loan Program (OS-HELP) loan. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses. Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime. enrolled in a course of study at an Australian institution who study part of their course at an overseas institution.
Visas and insurance
Visas and entry
Universities and students are advised to seek advice directly from the Indian High Commission or nearest Consulate General in Australia to determine the most suitable visa category (e.g. visitor visa, entry visa etc). Indian partner institutions can provide relevant documentation as part of the visa process. Students and faculty are strongly advised to take out appropriate travel insurance, have relevant vaccinations. The Foreigner Registration Office is the primary agency that regulates the registration, movement, stay and departure of foreign nationals entering for a period greater than six month. Foreign Registration is required for those travelling on student visas. More information is available at www.immigration india.nic.in.
Healthcare and insurance
Students are advised to purchase health insurance before they commence their studies in India. Students are advised to receive the following vaccinations: diptheria and tetanus; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; Polio; Typhiod; Varicella; Japanese B Encephilitis; Meningitis; Rabies; and Tuberculosis. The standard of health care in India varies depending on the location. Adequate health care is readily available in major cities; however, in remote and rural areas facilities can be very limited or unavailable. Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance cover prior to commencing treatment.
Accommodation and transport
The majority of Indian universities provide on-campus accommodation options for international students. Alternatively, private rental off-campus accommodation is readily available and affordable, however the level of amenity may vary depending on the location and budget. International students are encouraged to contact their host institution to arrange accommodation before arrival.
India offers a range of transport options. Transport by bus, auto-rickshaw or train is the cheapest way to travel. Taxis are also widely available and affordable in large towns and cities. Students are advised to take the necessary precautions when travelling alone or at night. Delays in travel due to unforeseen events of security restrictions can be expected and should be factored into any travel times.