Dear Mentor:

Can I visit India and take some college course while there?

Are there any schools in Banglore that take international students for non-degree courses, just one or two per semester? By the way, do most schools go by the semesters as they do in the US? When do most schools take applications for undergraduate [Bachelor's degree] and graduate [Master's or Doctoral Degree] studies in India?

Mixing Pleasure and Studies, NC, USA

Dear Mixing Pleasure and Studies:

Let's deal with the most critical issues first, because the rest of the information would be academic, no pun intended, for your situation. Just like every other country in the world, unless you are a citizen of India you need a visa to enter. The visa is granted for one specific purpose at a time. You can not hold multiple visas for a country at any given time. You can go to India on a visitor visa, in which case you can not attend any academic institution. You can go to India on a student visa, in which case you must be enrolled in an academic institution as a full-time student. These restrictions are not peculiar to India; they are the rules by which all nations of the world play the visa game.

Then there is the issue of being "admitted" to a school. Even if you were willing to attend a school on a full-time basis, for one or two semester, no school would offer you "admission" for that purpose. Sure, you can enroll for one or two course in a US school, but you can not attend with full-time course load without appropriate admission into a particular program. The only exception would be an exchange program with a school in which you are already enrolled in a particular program. You need a letter of "offer for admission" for full-time studies from a school to apply for your student visa. No school would write such a letter unless you are enrolled in a program. Again, this is the situation worldwide and not peculiar to India.

As an Indian citizen, you can of course pursue anything you choose, be it travel, studies, employment, or even nothing. Even if you could get past the visa hurdle, assuming that you are an Indian citizen and you can do in India whatever you choose, you run into the lack of flexibility of the education system in India. The process of enrollment in India is not only extremely competitive, it is systematic and strict. No variations to the process and requirements are allowed; all i's must be dotted and all t's must be crossed. You must enter a program at the beginning and exit the program upon graduation; no ifs, ands, or buts. You may not realize it but courses, sections, and schedules are assigned to you; you can not just pick and choose the sequence and schedule you like. So parachuting in for a course or two for a semester or two is something too far out for the system to handle. By the way, most admissions require school-specific entrance exams, and some require standardized exams as in the US.

While the semester system is becoming more common, most undergraduate programs are on a full-year basis. The final exams and new course assignments are conducted once a year. The semester system is more common at the graduate level.

We appreciate the spirit in which you asked your question and the desire to spend some time in India. Unfortunately, mixing pleasure and studies for foreigners is difficult not only in India but in the rest of the world as well, the US included.

Dear Mentor: Mainpage More Questions and Answers


   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!