Studying in America and Canada

Introduction

Culturally, Indians place a high value on formal education. The employment environment in India also validates the view that education is the key differentiator in the marketplace. Employers in India often prefer formal education to experiential learning. Thus formal education is considered the de facto salvation for individual economic success. While high-quality education in highly-regarded disciplines is obviously preferred, any education from any institution is deemed better than no education and is thus desirable.

It isnít much of an exaggeration to say that a huge number of Indian students of college age at least think about America or Canada for higher education. Higher education from some other countries is also held in high regard, but education from America or Canada has a very special and particular appeal. Many students dream of and others pursue aggressively what they perceive to be a potentially life-altering opportunity. This urge is fueled further when they hear stories about friends, classmates, neighbours, relatives, or people they donít even know who have either gone or are getting ready to go America or Canada for higher education. These stories abound and the chatter about them goes on ad infinitum, and so does the desire to study in North America.

This chapter addresses the fundamental question you must answer before you begin the research and preparation for studying in America or Canada: Could you and should you study in America or Canada?

This high-level decision is the first you should make before investing more time and emotions. Accordingly, we deal with the fundamental requirements, demands, and constraints in this chapter for whether you could study in America or Canada. If you conclude that you could, we help you decide whether you should using both rational and emotional criteria. If, on the other hand, you conclude that you could not, we address what you can do, if anything, to alter the situation. We also address the issue of studying in America versus studying in Canada.

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