13 Unconventional Study Abroad Destinations for Indian Students

Over the years, the number of Indian students who seek to study abroad for higher education has increased to a significant proportion. Now more than ever, a lot of Indian students have great desire to feel and do things differently, seeking to have a taste of what it feels like to have a first-hand knowledge and experience of educational systems in other parts of the world.

Usually, USA, UK, Australia , Canada, Germany used to be the preferred choice for students who wanted to pursue their educational dreams, but now times have changed, and international students have decided to explore other study abroad alternatives.

Let's take a look at some of the unconventional study abroad destinations for Indian students.

1. Netherlands
The Netherlands, also informally known as Holland is one of the most stable economies in Europe and also ranks joint third highest in the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, along with Australia. Its popular cities are Amsterdam (capital), Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven. The languages spoken are Dutch, German & English.

It is also home to some of the famous companies like Unilever, Randstand, Heineken, ABN Amro, Robo Bank, Philips, Royal Dutch Shell and many more. 

Studying in the Netherlands offers you a significant number of academic choices and also allows you to explore Europe. By studying in the Netherlands, you get to explore things on a much broader scale than other European study places.

Electronics, engineering, computer science are some of the popular courses and opportunity for postgraduate researches in these areas are high. Few top ranked Universities in The Netherlands are Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, Leiden University, Utrecht University, University of Groningen, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, University of Twente, Maastricht University.

2. Austria
Neighboring Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria is a bridge between east and west. Vienna, Capital of Austria has diverse student population and an incredible cultural landscape. The other popular cities among students in Austria are Innsbruck, Graz, Linz, Salzburg.

Austria is often preferred by many international students worldwide because it is one of the most accessible and affordable countries for studying abroad. Austria provides an alternative for German language students who want to speak the language, but study in a place with a similar culture and academic set up to Germany.

Compared to many other nations, you will enjoy not only low tuition fees but also low living costs if you decide to study in Austria. Focusing on fields of Science, Engineering, few Universities to pursue your higher education, some of the top ranked universities are University of Vienna, Vienna University of Technology, Universitat Innsbruck, Johannes Kepler University.

3. Finland
Located in the far north of Europe, stability and prosperity are just a few of the words that characterize this small but stunning Scandinavian country.

Finland praised as having one of Europe's finest systems of higher education, is an attractive destination for Indian students thanks to internationally acclaimed universities, a thoughtful infrastructure, a breadth and depth of study abroad programs, security, and hospitality.

Forest improvement, materials research, environmental sciences, neural networks, low-temperature physics, brain research, biotechnology, genetic technology and communications showcase fields of study where Finnish researchers have had a significant impact. Some popular universities are University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Turku, University of Jyvaskyla, University of Eastern Finland.

4. Denmark
Often regarded as the happiest nation in the world, Denmark has one of the best educational systems in Europe and the world in general. The country is renowned for its high quality English taught courses, high standard and relatively low cost of living and affordable tuition fee.

Some top ranked Danish universities are University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus University, Aalborg University, University of Southern Denmark. Many programmes are taught in English, including Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, exchange and summer school programmes.

5. Lithuania
Bordered by Poland, Belarus, Russia and Latvia; this landlocked country is one of Europe’s smallest but makes up for its size with its rich cultural heritage. Due to its location, in the geographical center of Europe, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of international students seek to study in Lithuania.

The universities there offer many courses making it a suitable choice for Indian students. The academic year starts in September and ends in mid-June and is divided into two semesters – spring and autumn. Bachelor degrees and professional qualifications are offered at universities; professional qualifications, but not degrees, can be taken at colleges. Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Kaunas University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University are some of the popular Universities in Lithuania.

6. Latvia
The educational system in Latvia is structured on interactive learning and practical experience. Latvia is part of European Union and offers world-class education in different educational fields such as; Engineering, Medicine, Business, Tourism, Public Relations, Banking, Nature Sciences and Social Sciences.

Latvia offers modern and safe study environment; internationally recognized academic staff; very competitive tuition fees, reasonable living costs and the degrees obtained in Latvian institutions are acknowledged in all European Union countries and beyond.

Latvia has a wealth of both public and private higher education opportunities – 59 universities and colleges. Programmes taught in foreign languages (mainly English and Russian with a few German and Scandinavian language programmes) cover a wide range of fields, from architecture to social sciences. In particular, medical studies and qualifications in the aviation industry are the most popular study options in the country. The Riga Technical University, University of Latvia, Latvia University of Agriculture are well known universities in these fields of study.

Most of the universities in Latvia provide accommodation facilities, besides giving students facilities for making their meals.

7. Cyprus
One of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, very popular for its scenic tourist attractions, Cyprus also has one of the fastest growing educational systems in the world.

Tuition fees and living expenses are very affordable when compared to other European nations and students can easily earn between 500-600 Euros per month in a part-time job.

Education, Business Administration, Computer science & IT, Public health, International Relations, Psychology, Biomedicine, Accounting are some of the courses to explore in Cyprus. There are also great career options for students who are doing a course in Hotel Management, Travel and Tourism, as they have a chance of getting a job in other European countries (EU). Universities to consider in Cyprus are University of Cyprus (EUC), University of Nicosia.

8. Sweden
The land of the Vikings, Scandinavian nation, Sweden has a rich cultural heritage and an ancient society, also the third largest country in the European Union. Often regarded as one of Europe’s finest countries, Sweden has an excellent educational system that suits the Indian students.

Sweden spends nearly four per cent of its GDP towards research and development, one of the highest rates in the world. This gives Sweden the leading position in areas such as nanotechnology, cancer research, and environmental technology. The courses offered are often in close collaboration with industry which prepares the students for future employment. A major portion of the research conducted in the country (around 75 per cent) is funded by companies. Volvo, Ericsson, Electrolux, Sandvik, IKEA, Atlas Copco, Securitas are some of the globally known Swedish companies.

Here are the list of some popular universities in Sweden - Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, Chalmers University of Technology, Stockholm University, University of Gothenburg, Umea University

9. Belarus
Every year, Belarus receives approximately 7000 international students from different countries all over the world. This small nation from the Soviet bloc, offers students many unique incentives, including low crime, one of Europe’s finest transportation systems, and the chance to meet thousands of other international students from different nations all across the globe.

There are 48 universities within Belarus, the majority of which are located in the capital city of Minsk or in Brest, in southwest Belarus along the Polish border. Some of the larger universities in Belarus include: Belarus State University in Minsk, Minsk Institute of Management, Belarus State Technological University in Minsk, Brest State University in Brest, Belarusian State Economic University in Minsk.
Degree opportunities in Belarus include a wide range of four-year undergraduate programs and two-year post graduate programs. For instance, Belarus State University offers 56 degrees and 250 specialties. Emphasis in Belarus tends to be on science and technology fields.

10. Poland
Poland has some of the best ranked educational institutions in the world today. The country is fast becoming an attractive, affordable option for students who want to combine working and studying abroad.

It's strategic location that spans from the Baltic coastline to the Carpathian Mountains, gives it a unique identity. Poland is one of Europe’s largest countries, and the educational system is well suited to cater for the requirements of the average Indian student.

Poland’s oldest university, Jagiellonian University is also one of the oldest in Europe. Some of the other popular universities are University of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Technology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan University of Life Sciences.

11. Mauritius
Mauritius is a mountainous Indian ocean island nation, famed for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs. This small island state has a rich blend of Indian, African, Chinese and European cultures.
English is the lingua franca, though the workforce is bilingual split between English and French.

Studying abroad in Mauritius can indeed be a transformative experience, with hundreds of course offerings and a country-wide imperative to become the intellectual hub of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is truly a one-of-a-kind destination for international students. The countries rich blend of Indian culture makes it an excellent choice for students from India who want to study abroad. Health care services and public transportation are free, and cost of living is relatively low and within reach.

Middlesex University Mauritius, Unicaf University, Aberystwyth University, Mauritius are some of the renowned universities in Mauritius.

12. Czech Republic
Geographically located in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic considered as one of the most beautiful countries in the eastern Europe, is an increasingly popular destination for international students.

The cost of living, affordable tuition fees coupled with the peace and tranquility makes the Czech Republic a popular destination for international students. Country’s capital Prague, Brno, Ostrava are among the popular student destinations.

Some Popular Universities in Czech Republic are Charles University, Czech Technical University in Prague, Masaryk University, Brno University of Technology. The higher education Institutions offer a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, art history, sculpture, theatre, theological studies, engineering, information technology, chemistry, physics, natural sciences, business, social sciences, forestry, education, and many others. Many private institutions focus on specific areas of study such as business.

13. South Africa
Widely regarded as the most developed African nation, South Africa offers vast opportunities for international students. Nicknamed the "Rainbow Nation," The country is famous for its multicultural setup and diversity. It also boasts of a strong Indian presence, with a sizeable proportion of the population having Indian ancestry & roots.

South African institutions have continued to do well in the world rankings for institutions of higher learning, and the facilities are excellent, the environment is conducive to learn, and the support systems for international students is one of the best found anywhere.
Programs are offered in most academic disciplines, and master’s degrees in business administration, economics and finance are especially popular. University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria are some of the popular universities.

For most international students, the quest to study abroad is fueled by an innate zeal to acquire knowledge in an environment far different from their comfort zone. It affords them the opportunity to have a feel of cultures from various parts of the world, meet new people and impacts positively on them.

However, before choosing a destination to study abroad, it is advisable for students to do a proper research about their country and the preferred institution of choice. By doing so, they will have valuable insights and first-hand information of life over there.

Best of Luck!

What's Your Reaction?