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Study in India: Everything You Need to Know

Keywords: Study in India for International Students, Study in India as an international student Located at the heart of South Asia, India is a country of rich history, cultural diversity and fast growing economy. It is the melting pot of various cultures. International scholars looking to broaden their horizon and explore new learning opportunities will find their ideal study destination in India.

Know Why Study in India

One of the best parts of studying in such a diverse and dynamic country as India is that international students get introduced to a multicultural society and have an experience of their lifetime. What is more, they will get the standardized higher education that has stood the test of time.

In India, the diversity is just not limited to languages, festivals, food and culture; it extends to the education sector as well. Right from STEM courses like Engineering and Technology, to non-STEM disciplines like Commerce, Business Management, Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, the range offered by Indian higher education institutions is vast.

As the world is evolving, India’s educational institutes are keeping pace by evolving their teaching methodologies on a continuous basis. Not limited themselves to classrooms any more, institutes have broadened their teaching methodologies to incorporate blended learning where equal focus is given on the theoretical aspects of education as well as debate, discussions and practical learning.

The colleges regularly organize seminars, exchange programs, industry visits, and summer internships. The teaching style is curated to encourage students to develop logical and analytical thinking. Eventually, students become academically trained and fully skilled to make their mark in the professional world.

In today’s globalized professional world, English is the primary medium of interaction. It is the much needed common medium for communication between people belonging to diverse backgrounds. One of the most important features of Indian institutions is the fact that English is used as the primary language for teaching and academic exchange; this helps international students to take advantage of higher education in India, regardless of the different language ethnicities they hail from.

Apart from quality education, higher education in India is also popular because of its affordability. Many Indian institutions offer concessions in fees making quality education affordable for students coming from financially weak backgrounds. So, students who wish to study abroad but shy away from due to financial hurdles can come to India and receive exceptional education at budget-friendly fees.

The higher education system in India is not limited to the pre-set curriculum but it spreads to 360-degree learning that goes beyond classes. Ultimately, it enables holistic development at academic and personal level.

Indian Student Visas Requirements

All international students require a visa to study in India. The Indian Student Visa is issued by the Embassy of India, that permits a foreign national to enter India for the purposes of studying at a recognised educational institution in the country.

The Indian consulate/embassy grants a student visa for a period of five years or for the duration of the course of study (whichever is less), to international students on the following conditions:

  1. They will pursue regular, full-time academic courses in India.
  2. They have a valid passport that does not expire during the period of their studies in India.
  3. They have proof of admission to a full time regular academic course in a recognized educational institution in India and evidence of financial support.

If there is any dependent family member/spouse accompanying the student to India, they will need to apply for an Entry Visa (not the same as Tourist Visa). The expiry date for this visa will be the same as that of the principal visa holder.

Documents required for Indian Visa:

As soon as a student has proof of admission to a full time regular academic course with a recognized educational institution in India, they may collect the visa application form by downloading it from the website of the Indian embassy in their country. The completed form can be either mailed or submitted in person at the office of the Indian embassy in their respective country.

The documents required for visa processing vary from country to country. So, do check with the Indian High Commission in your country for specific requirements, if any. That said, you would need the following documents to get your visa:

  • Signed copy of completed visa application form
  • Recent passport size photographs (2 in nos.)
  • Verified admission offer letter from a recognized university
  • Signed and verified proof of financial support with documentary evidence showing the availability of the equivalent of a 1st-year college fee plus US$ 2,000/- in the bank account.
  • Copy of passport

Eligibility for Study in India

Today, India holds an important place in the global education landscape, welcoming young minds from around the world to attain higher education in top-level institutes. All that the students need to do is meet the eligibility criteria set by each institute, and they can easily secure admission to begin their learning journey

Indian higher education is broadly divided into four program levels, each with some general eligibility conditions. The specific eligibility varies across different institutes, disciplines, and courses, and international students can check the same through their individual websites.

Following are the eligibility conditions for different levels of academic studies in India:


The undergraduate courses take 3-5 years to complete. For certain professional courses such as medicine, pharmacy, engineering, or architecture, the bachelor’s degree is conferred on the student after four or five years of education, respectively. The minimum requirement for admission to these courses is 10+2 years of schooling with good academic grades. Some institutes may also require applicants to clear an entrance test and interview.


Students can apply for a postgraduate course in India only after completing a Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree. The duration of postgraduate courses in Indian universities is usually 1-2 years. Admission may be granted on the basis of a minimum qualifying percentage in Bachelor’s and/or entrance test and interview.


Students who want to step into the world of research and wish to explore a subject or course in depth can opt for doctoral studies. Doctorate (PhD) degrees can be completed over a span of 3 to 6 years. The minimum eligibility for pursuing a PhD course is a postgraduate degree. This is followed by a test and interview to assess suitability for admission.

Diploma/Certificate courses

Diploma/Certificate courses are short-term regular or niche courses for students who want to pursue vocational education after schooling. The minimum eligibility for such courses is 10+2 years of schooling. Diploma or Certificate-based courses are provided across many disciplines such as Computers, Yoga & Naturopathy, Indian Dance & Music, etc. and their duration varies from 3 months to 1 year.

While these are the standard requirements, students must make sure to check the basic eligibility criteria for any course at a particular institute before applying in that institute and see if they fulfill the criteria.

Note that all offer letters for admission are given to only those international students who hold valid passports. So if you are planning to study in India as an international student, but do not have a passport, you must apply for one at the earliest. The time taken to issue passports varies from country to country; it may take anywhere between three to 30 days.

Requirement to Study in India as an International Student

Any student going to a foreign land to pursue higher education wishes to have a hassle-free experience. The admission process in Indian institutes is simple, effective and easy to follow for students

India has more than seventeen thousand colleges and universities and foreign students can pick their choice of university and course from them. Every institution has its series of steps for applying for a specific program. So, make sure to check the website for your university of choice and go through the admission process for your desired course which is explained there in detail.

In India, there are four types of universities and admissions criteria as well as procedure may differ by each type. The four types of universities in India are:

Central Universities Administered by the government of India
State Universities Administered by state government
Deemed Universities Same academic status and privileges as a university given by University Grants Commission (UGC)
Private Universities Privately owned UGC-approved universities

Do check the important dates and deadlines for submission and submit all the relevant documents. Going through the guidelines meticulously can save you time, money, and hard work.

As expected, you will be required to show your academic transcripts and certified proof of the level of studies completed when you apply. Some universities ask you to write an essay,especially for graduate and postgraduate programs, and submit letters of recommendation or a declaration of purpose. You may also add any other documents/proofs that you consider relevant to your application

Application Process for Foreign Students

Admissions requirements vary by discipline or academic major. When you apply to colleges and universities in India, go through the institution’s website for their particular admissions requirements and procedure

Verify if direct admittance is available to your chosen universities. For most courses in India, international aspirants can submit their application directly to the university. Students who aspire to enter engineering, architecture, or planning study programs of the National Institute of Technology and other centrally funded universities (excluding the Indian Institutes of Technology), can apply through the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme.

Students from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are entitled to a 50% waiver on tuition fee under DASA scheme. Check the DASA website for the latest updates and application deadlines.

Documents Required for Indian Student Visa

You will be asked to submit your academic certificates and some other documents whenever you submit your request for admittance to a university to study in India. Following is a list of the specific documents you may be required to submit:

  • Photocopy of valid passport
  • Duly completed admission application form
  • Certified copy of academic transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae or comprehensive resume
  • Language proficiency test scores (for non-native English speakers)
  • Letter of Motivation or Statement of Purpose
  • Proof of financial capability (bank statements or letter of sponsorship)
  • Recommendation letters (from former professors or employers)
How Indian universities use College Board test scores at par with individual college/university entrance test scores

Some academic institutions in India ask for your test scores in standardized tests, for certain courses. Check with your chosen Indian university about such requirements and if you need to take any one of these exams to study there. Accordingly, you can prepare and take those relevant tests a few months ahead in time before application for admission opens. The top educational institutes in India usually ask for scores in the following exams, as applicable: GRE (Graduate Record Examination) GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

If you want to apply to one of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) universities, then you take the JEE or Joint Entrance Examination. The IITs take into account your score and rank in this exam for admittance to undergrad programs. Usually, JEE is conducted between January and June each year.

Although most Indian universities have their individual entrance tests for undergraduate admissions, the SAT is being increasingly used as an alternative. A growing number of universities in India accept SAT scores as part of their admissions process. SAT scores can be sent directly to Indian university members of the College Board (USA) free of charge through its online portal. SAT scores are also used to award merit-based scholarships to both Indian and international students.

Read more: GRE Centres in India

Admission Timeline for Foreign Students in India

Admission windows for many undergraduate courses begin in April and end in June before the academic year begins. Some institutions open their application process as early as October, with entrance exams given as early as December. Do check your preferred university’s website or contact its admissions office to confirm their dates and deadlines for the application process.

Quick glance at the general admission timeline for foreign students

November Take the required standardized tests (IELTS/TOEFL/GRE/GMAT/SAT/JEE)
December Collect the relevant exam scores and results for application
January Start applying to selected universities
March Submit completed application before closing date
April Expect to receive responses on your application
May Successful applicants can start arranging for their finances, student visa, accommodation and travel to India
July Academic session starts

Study in India Scholarship

Every year thousands of international students from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, Afghanistan, Middle East, Gulf countries, African countries, Latin American countries apply to study in India. Many of them are not aware of the scholarships offered by the Government of India and Indian educational institutions.

Following are some of the well-known scholarship facilities to ,study in India for international students:

General Scholarship Scheme

The government of India offers scholarships under the General Scholarship Scheme (GSS) for undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs at Indian universities. It is provided to the foreign students under ICCR norms. Scholarships are provided for studies in any field except medicine. As the mode of instruction in Indian universities is English, candidates should have good proficiency in the language to qualify. Selected candidates get a grant that includes monthly living allowance, house rent allowance, medical benefits, a yearly Contingent Grant plus, thesis and dissertation expenses for once in the entire duration.

SII Scholarship

SII Scholarship is a partial or fully funded scholarship for international students to study in India. It is awarded by the Government of India. International students may take advantage of this scholarship by appearing in an Ind-SAT examination. This scholarship awards USD$ 3500 per year for each selected student.

AYUSH Scholarship

International students wishing to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy in India may apply for the AYUSH Scholarship. It is a fully funded scholarship given by the Government of India.

KIIT University International Scholarships

The International Students Scholarship Scheme is funded by KIIT University directly and aims to provide financial assistance to students from overseas who are applying to study at the University of KIIT. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit including English proficiency, relevant work/research experience and ability to contribute to the university’s development.

Indian School of Business (ISB) International Scholarships

To reward exceptional applicants to postgraduate courses and support deserving candidates with limited financial resources, the Indian School of Business awards several tuition fee waivers. These waivers are awarded at the time of admission on the basis of merit, candidate’s financial needs, and cultural background if it is a minority.

Sikyong Professional Scholarship Program in India

The Sikyong Professional Scholarship Program (SPSP) aims to support talented Tibetan students from India, Nepal, and Bhutan who wish to pursue professional degrees at top colleges, institutes, and universities in India.

Check out : Scholarships for Indian Students to Study Abroad

Top Universities in India

India is home to some of the best international universities specializing in multiple disciplines, from science and technology, to the arts and social sciences. Join ranks with tomorrow’s leaders by studying at one of these top institutes. Following are some of the most renowned universities in India:

  1. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
  2. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay
  3. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi
  4. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras
  5. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  6. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
  7. University of Delhi, Delhi
  8. Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
  9. Jadavpur University, Calcutta
  10. Calcutta University, Calcutta
  11. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  12. DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai
  13. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore
  14. University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun
  15. Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi
  16. Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore
  17. Regional College of Management, Bangalore
  18. Lovely Professional University, Punjab
  19. New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM), Delhi
  20. Uttaranchal University, Dehradun

You can find more information about universities inIndia and courses offered here.

Best Courses to Study in India for International Students

India is known for its high-quality education and affordable tuition fees. The best courses to study in India for international students are Science, Engineering, Medicine, Social Sciences and Business Administration. It has some of the top international universities and institutes such as the IITs and IIMs teaching these courses.

Liberal Arts Science & Technology Medicine Management Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi, IIT Bombay, Jadavpur University, IISc Bangalore, IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Bombay, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, ISB Hyderabad University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadavpur University

Overall, India offers a wide range of courses and disciplines for international students. It is important to research and choose a course that matches your interests and career goals.

Tuition Fees in India

Tuition fees in universities in India are variable. While the central universities administered by the government have low tuition fees, other privately-owned Indian universities are permitted to set their own tuition fees.So, the fees will vary at the different institutions. For an academic year, an international student can expect to pay between INR 250,000 and INR 600,000 per year for degree courses. Some institutions offer low cost student accommodation. Renting privately is also affordable.

Approximate tuition fee ranges for different courses:

Undergraduate courses INR 2-8 lakhs per year (approx. USD 2,500 to 9,500)
Postgraduate courses INR 3-15 lakhs per year (approx. USD 4,000 to 20,000)
MBA courses INR 5-30 lakhs per year (approx. USD 6,500 to 41,000)
Medical courses INR 5-20 lakhs per year (approx. USD 6,500 to 26,000)

(Please note that these are approximate ranges and the actual fees may vary depending on the institution and the course of study. It is recommended to check the website of the specific institution or contact them directly to obtain accurate information.)

International students also need to take into account the cost of health insurance. International students must have a valid health insurance while studying in India. If they already have health insurance in their home country, they must check for its validity in India. If it’s not valid, then they will need to purchase one.

While the tuition fees and living expenses are relatively low, students coming from financially weak backgrounds may avail scholarship, funding and grants to ease their burden. Moreover, international students coming to India on a student visa will not be permitted to work during the course of their studies, so they will need to plan their finances accordingly.

Average Cost of Living in India

The cost of living in India is steadily rising, but it is still less than the cost in other popular study destinations like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany. That said, it is relatively high in the two major cities Delhi and Mumbai where most international students go to study in India. The following are some average costs to give a prospective international students an idea of the expenses and plan accordingly:

  • Monthly rent (1 bedroom apartment): 15000
  • Utilities (monthly average): 5000 INR
  • Monthly public transport pass: 3000INR
  • Food: 4000 INR

Renting at less posh neighborhoods and cooking food at home may reduce the cost of living slightly. Majority of international students choose to live in student residence halls and avail scholarships or grants to the extent possible.

Jobs in India for Foreigners

While the country offers an array of programs across various subject fields, the Indian government does not allow international students to work during their study period. However, they are allowed to take up training and internships when they are on student visa. The student visa does not carry any right to work in India.

International students can work under the employment visa scheme. They can find jobs in various sectors including technology, education, healthcare, hospitality, and more. To be eligible, they need to have a job offer from a registered company and a permit from the immigration office. The salaries tend to vary a lot depending on the industry, job position, location, skills, and experience.

Popular job sectors for international students and their estimated salaries for foreigners in India:

Information technology (IT) INR 10 L - 30L
Teaching INR 5 L - 20 L
Hospitality & Tourism INR 3 L - 15 L
Medicine & Healthcare INR 5- 30 L


A country which is fast on the rise and deep-rooted in culture, India has a lot to teach to eager students. Here, tradition, culture, heritage exist with modern technologies, infrastructure, and globalized economy. Studying in India promises to be a unique experience to cherish forever. So when you get the opportunity, make sure to utilize it to the fullest by mingling with the local people and culture, traveling and learning with an open mind.

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Why Study in India?

Students from all over the world are welcome to study in India. India offers a wide variety of educational opportunities to students from around the world. The experience of studying abroad in India can provide students with a fresh perspective and a new challenge.

Top Ranking Universities

Apart from its fascinating cultures, breathtaking natural beauty, and varied history, the nation has a lot more to offer students. There are thousands of universities and colleges from which international students can pick. In fact, the majority of the Indian Institute of Technology and All India Institute of Medical Sciences are available for students to enrol in on the ranking list. One of the best reasons to study in India is unquestionably the opportunity to study abroad at a prestigious university.

Popular programs

There may be a number of factors influencing international students' decision to study abroad in India. International students can experience India's extensive education system, which is distributed over a variety of courses, in addition to its renowned universities and vibrant culture. The nation is home to a number of top-ranked colleges in the globe, but one of the main draws for overseas students to study in India is the wide variety of programs on offer there.

Work Opportunities

Despite the fact that India has a wide range of programs in many different subjects, many international students come to the country in search of employment prospects, both during and after their studies. The Indian government prohibits international students from working while they are enrolled in classes. International students may, however, participate in training programs and internships. Even though India prohibits international students from looking into employment options while they are studying, this normally does not prevent them from working there once their program is through. Students cannot, however, extend their stay in India while employed under a student visa. There are no rights associated with employment with an Indian student visa. However, international students with employment visas can work in the country.


India's affordable cost of education is a steal when compared to several of the best universities in the world. There are also a number of financial aid programs, loans, and scholarships available to help with the expense. However, there are other factors that make learning in English a wise financial decision in addition to lower tuition costs. Additionally, India has a low cost of living.

Great opportunities for global networking

The connections you develop while studying abroad in India need not be limited to your Indian peers. As an international student in India, you have a variety of chances to get involved in the public or private spheres and obtain real-world experience in a very rewarding workplace. A fantastic opportunity to network, effect change, and plant the seeds for a future international career is to volunteer or intern in your subject of interest while you are pursuing your studies.

Cultural diversity

Living in a foreign country can be an amazing experience! Getting to know the culture will be a great experience for you. Additionally, studying abroad can help you develop your own cultural identity.

Advanced technology

In terms of research and innovation, studying in India is excellent. This is a good place to be if you are interested in technology and engineering! It will give you the opportunity to explore new technological frontiers. Additionally, almost every college/university uses advanced technology to improve teaching regardless of traditional classroom methods.

Scholarships Opportunities

There is a wide selection of scholarships offered by the Indian government for international students interested in exploring higher education in India. Scholarships for overseas students include the Commonwealth Fellowship Program, the Reciprocal Scholarships Scheme, and the Cultural Exchange Program.

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