Human Resources Development ministry surveys says that, 25% of expat students in India are in Karnataka pursuing higher education. More students in Bangalore, seems to be among the most sought-after education destinations in India.
A total of 32,318 expatriate students India, in which 10,462 students study in various colleges in Karnataka. Many foreign students study in institutions like Christ University, Dayanand Sagar College, MSRIT, Ramaiah Medical College and Bangalore University.
Most of these students are from countries like Africa, Middle East, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Mauritius with Humanities and Science being the most popular disciplines.
Omar Mohammed from Iraq, a final year B Pharm student from Acharya Institute of Nursing said, "Bangalore has the best higher education institutions. Job prospects back home are good with qualification from India."
He also said he found no difficulty in interacting with the locals during his three-year stay so far since most people conversed in English.
Gurunath Rao Vaidya, Principal, Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies said, "Foreign students prefer Bangalore as it is an education hub and for its hospitality. In AIGS, most students are from East Africa, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka." Gurunath pointed out that there are nearly 70 international students pursuing Humanities.
In Karnataka, there are more than 600 migrants pursuing higher education on fully funded scholarships sponsored by the government of India through Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), according to Sarala Unnikrishnan, Regional Director, ICCR.
"These students are from across 80 countries. Foreign students choose Bangalore for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, good climate and since they can get along without having to learn the local language," explained Sarala.
Shazzad Hussain Mukit, a final year B Sc Microbiology student from Brindavan College, who hails from Bangladesh is one such student, said "The college I am studying in has students from more than 40 countries. The city is cosmopolitan and international students get the right kind of exposure here. The quality of education here acts as a springboard to pursue higher studies in other countries," Apart from Bangalore, institutions in Mangalore, Belgaum and Mysore are also sought after for higher studies.
Edward Kasamba from Uganda, who works with Accenture, has been living in the city for the past three years. He finds Bangalore a safe place. "I believe in the security system here. Bangalore is conducive in terms of hospitality but the cost of living is high and the traffic is a worry,'' he says.
Professor Patrick from Kenya, who's been living here for over 10 years and teaches at Garden City College, came as a student in 1997 and stayed on to research. He's happy to see a lot of foreign students coming from at least 65 countries. He sees the terror threat as something we have to live with these days, irrespective of the country. "It can happen anywhere. It is a part of society and the world,'' he says.