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More power to Indian women

Wednesday, January 03, 2018
By Vibha Kagzi

5 Compelling Reasons Why Indian Women Need to Go Abroad for Higher Studies

Speaking from a woman’s perspective, there is a whole bunch of benefits for the Indian women studying abroad. Back in the 80s, when going abroad for higher studies was fairly new and unfamiliar, women did not choose to go abroad. However, the current statistics of international student mobility proves that women are increasingly open to the idea of going abroad for higher studies. Here are some statistics.

l According to Open Doors (2002), the leading source of US national statistics on study abroad, twice as many undergraduate women study abroad as men.

l According to a report by UNESCO, more women than men travel overseas to study.

l In the US, research reveals that women account for two-thirds of participation in overseas programs.

As it is clearly seen from the figures above, women prefer to study in international schools. Women are more open to change, adapting themselves to new environment and the fact that they seem to have a natural flair to tackle challenges.

Here are 5 Reasons Why Indian Women Should Consider Studying Abroad

As you may have already realized that there is a greater influx of women in the international study abroad space. There is a higher percentage of women going for post graduate programs to countries like USA, UK, and Singapore.

According to some statistics, in 2014, for UK based colleges, 376,860 women had applied for a place at university in 2014 compared to 282,170 men. In the US, nearly 60% of university graduates are women, plus 60% of master’s degrees and 52% of doctoral degrees are awarded to women.

The growing focus on the women in the international education arena throw up interesting facts. Experts believe that new age women have the ability to combine studies and work with family life. In many western societies, discrimination against girls in families is reducing, and girls are increasingly being accepted for senior management positions in top corporates. It is also noticed that girls have higher aspirations to obtain degrees. In addition, the role of female teaching staff in the teaching profession makes it more conducive to girls social and cognitive dispositions.

How Does This Information Translate for the Indian Girl Seeking Higher Education Abroad?

The good news is that with the growing focus on educating the girl child even in India, government loan agencies, financial bodies and private institutions are keen to get women compete with men at higher posts. Companies also have begun to realize the potential and unique skills that female employees bring to the job. If you need 5 reasons why Indian girls should consider higher education abroad, here they are:
l Education Abroad Will Change Age-Old Beliefs, and Mindsets.

Gone are the days when women were restricted to household chores, and men went out to hunt. Today women are in the forefront of many businesses. They continue to break barriers, explore unchartered waters, and dive into male-dominated professions. Women who seek to further their career aspirations have a gamut of options available to them. This is the best way to break away from traditional molds and stereotypes that women cannot work outside the hearth and home.

l Women Feel More Empowered When They Have International Exposure

When women travel abroad, explore new geographies and absorb various cultures from across different continents, they feel more empowered. Especially for women who hail from conservative sections of the society, the international exposure is a eye-opener in many ways. When they return to their own country after acquiring international education, they feel empowered.

l Women Can See for Themselves How Other Women in the World Cope With Gender Issues.

While you are studying abroad, you get the opportunity, to meet, greet and interact with women around the globe. Whether you meet a student, teacher, colleague, or senior, there is a lot you can learn from personal interactions. Get to know how women cope with gender issues. Open your mind to new possibilities and change of attitude. If you want to see yourself as a progressive woman of the modern age, you can learn how other women have managed their progress by watching and learning.

l Women Who Are Seeking for a High-Flying Career Need to Compete With Better Education.

In today’s competitive industry, where men and women compete for similar jobs, women cannot afford to stay behind. Women seeking career growth in senior management positions require the additional push of an international education. The education helps women to see beyond their immediate boundaries, and explore cross-border corporate connections. They also develop the confidence to assert their views in a male-dominated business circle.

l Women Learn to be Self Reliant. They Also Develop Their Self-Esteem.

Most women coming from conservative or traditional family set-up are used to be chaperoned around by the protective male flock of their household. But when you are living abroad, you have no such protection. You learn to be independent, and take responsibility for your own actions. You appreciate the importance of self-defense, thinking on your feet, and acting maturely in every situation. Women who go abroad for higher studies, have a practical outlook towards life, with a higher degree of self-confidence. This change of attitude helps women to stay focused on their life goals.

The good news is that foreign universities offer extensive help and support for their women students. There are special groups and international student bodies that focus on women’s needs. If you run into trouble, contact the international student community immediately for help. Make sure to do your due diligence in order to ensure your safety. As a woman abroad, you have the opportunity to spread your wings. You can open the gate to unlimited possibilities. So, keep your common sense intact, and enjoy your study in the college of your dreams.

The author is Founder,, a study abroad and career advisory. Vibha holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors from Carnegie Mellon University.

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