Dollar dreams turned down

February 19, 2009 at 2:38 am (news) (, )

In a state like ours, where every family could boast of at least one member studying in the US, UK or Australia, recession has changed everything. The situation is grim for many city students who are pursuing their MS, MBA or PHD abroad and are finding it difficult to find work there. Their dollar dreams have turned sour with many even unable to bag odd jobs to pay off their tuition fees. Moreover, with no promise of a job back home in India, these students are feeling stranded. Lured by the “one-year work permit,” many students started applying for overseas education. But for most who haven’t found a job, even with that one year coming to an end, the future looks bleak. K. Phaninder, a student studying his MS Biotechnology at New Mexico State University, says, “There are no jobs here. If we don’t manage to get placed within a year after graduation, we will be forced to come back to India. After spending a fortune and taking a loan to support my course fees, it hurts to come back. Even if I do get a job in India, it’ll take forever for me to repay the loan.” Hyderabadi students in the UK too have the same sorry tale to tell with a new rule being introduced. Unlike before, where students could stay back for a year to find a job, students are now being asked to go back to their homeland, apply for a work visa from there. Only if they do manage to get a job, they are allowed to come back. This rule has made it all the more difficult for Indian students, who have to wait for months before they even hear a word from prospective employers. “There is a shortage of jobs in the UK and most of my seniors are still unemployed,” exclaims Abhilash David, a student from the city pursuing his Masters in Cardiff University, UK. “Some are even forced to take up door to door marketing. Most students who have completed their MBA this year still don’t have permanent, professional jobs. They are surviving with jobs in restaurants or departmental stores,” he adds. Australia, which emerged as the hottest educational destination, has gotten stricter than ever. With locals themselves struggling for jobs, the government has made it mandatory for overseas students to return to their home countries and apply for jobs. “It has been six months since I finished my course and I am still looking for a job. Students who will pass out this year will have to go back to India. Fortunately, the old rule applies for my batch,” says Sreelekha P., who finished her masters from NSWU, Sydney. Consultancies in the city too have a word of caution for students who want to study abroad. Kaval Preet Singh, executive director of Vings Consultancy says, “We explain the situation in US and UK to the students clearly before they apply. We tell them not to have too many expectations in the current situation. Only after we have given them the necessary statutory warning and brief them about new rules, we continue with the application processes.” Many consultancies are trying to stem down the tide of rising panic. “We tell students that this grim situation will not remain the same for long. As there aren’t many jobs here in India too, it makes sense for them to earn a masters degree which will make them more employable and come back,” says V. Balakrishna from Ace Consultancy


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