This is a short guide to international study and research opportunities with URL’s of some organisations that facilitate or administer international programmes. Some basic information is provided about each organisation. Their websites are good starting places for planning your own international learning or research experience. They will inform you about specific study/research grants and programmes: application deadlines, eligibility requirements and conditions, specific financial and other benefits. These are only a few of many hundreds of organisations around the world concerned primarily with internationalisation of education and research. Mentioning these organisations instead of others implies no special preference or endorsement by AUD. International study advisory organisations (and private companies) can help students find the best opportunities, initiate their applications and assist them in acquiring visas. Most private ‘student placement’ agencies will charge a fee for such assistance, or they will receive a commission from the higher education institution (HEI) in which the student enrolls. The organisations listed below are public and/or non-profit organisations that exist in order to promote internationalisation and mutual understanding through education activities.
Most HEI’s around the world have an ‘international office’ concerned with admission of students from other countries, international exchanges of researchers (and the institution’s own students), and other aspects of internationalisation. They will provide you with important information about opportunities at that institution. HEI student admission offices typically provide special instructions for aspiring international students, including estimates of costs and expenses for studying at the institution. These days there are many exciting opportunities to earn ‘joint’ and ‘dual’ degrees, whereby students may study in more than one location and more than one country over the whole period of learning engagement. Some learning activities even in conventional (single-site) study abroad situations involve electronic classroom interaction among learners in different places of the world. The AUD International Affairs Division can advise you about international study and research opportunities. The IAD web page announcements section is here to keep members of the AUD community informed about such opportunities. Note that for AUD-sponsored international programmes—that is, where there are formal agreements (MoU’s) between our university and foreign HEI’s or internationalisation programmes—the selection of the students, faculty or non-teaching staff participants in the activities begins with an open call for applications that defines eligibility conditions and outlines the process of selection.
The financial cost to you of an international study or research opportunity will depend on many factors. HEI’s use the term ‘self-financing’ to distinguish between students who pay the main costs of their education (including tuition and living costs) and those who are directly awarded scholarships by the HEI or by an external agency (scholarship programme). As mentioned, AUD has official partnerships with foreign institutions that cover all or some expenses of short-term engagements; in most cases these are funded academic visits of between a week and a semester. AUD has resources for assisting students, faculty and non-teaching staff in bearing costs of international engagements, but these resources do not extend to paying student tuition and fees. . . By and large, an international academic experience—whether for weeks or for years—will entail some financial contribution even from the scholarship student. Some international study programmes involve a practicum, professional internship or ‘employment’ situation. However, such shorter programmes seldom enable students to earn money in the host country, and that possibility might be specifically prohibited. In many countries foreign students enrolled in a full degree programme (for a year or a longer period of time) are permitted by law to engage in part time paid employment and/or to work in the host country for some period after completing their degrees. Your dream of international study might include working and gaining professional experience in the country post completion of a degree. Just bear in mind that laws of those countries regulate or limit the paths from study to employment of foreign citizens. Your financial plan for an international study experience should not depend on the possibility of recovering all your education costs by earning money while you are abroad.
Students aspiring to study abroad should plan carefully and be well informed about requirements of international travel and living in the host country. For many institutions and for specific kinds of programmes (for example, Master’s in Business Administration), applicants will need to take standardised proficiency exams (for MBA, GMAT) and report their scores at time of application to the HEI. With GMAT, GRE, LSAT and other tests of academic ability and potential, ‘practice makes perfect’. Many takers of such tests can benefit from advance preparation of weeks or months or by taking an exam more than once. In most cases it will also be necessary to demonstrate proficiency in the language of the host country or the HEI medium of instruction. Even English-medium students from India who apply to institutions in English-speaking countries are required to report scores of TOEFL, IELTS or other standard tests of English language usage. It is a good idea to begin exploring your options and taking concrete steps to realize your plans at least a full year before you intend to commence a study programme.
For students and university faculty alike, international experience can be rewarding and life changing. In recent decades opportunities for international academic exposure have become a lot more common and manageable, financially and otherwise, than before.
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI)
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) is a bi-national initiative between India and Canada. It aims to further the bi-national ethos through different programmes facilitating scholarly research and exchanges between the Indian and Canadian Universities, cultural organisations, government bodies and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. SICI manages a wide variety of grant programmes, for short and long-term engagements, from the undergraduate to the post-doctoral and faculty levels.
United States – India Educational Foundation (USIEF)
USIEF promotes mutual understanding between the nationals of India and the United States of America through the educational exchange of outstanding scholars, professionals and students. In addition to fellowship support, USIEF services include advising Indian citizens on higher education opportunities in the U.S. USIEF also consults with Indian and U.S. universities interested in developing linkages and exchanges. In India, USIEF is the nodal body for managing the prestigious Fulbright exchange programmes
The DAAD is the world’s largest funding organisation for the international exchange of students and researchers. In addition to providing grants and scholarships, the DAAD supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy
The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. In the sphere of higher education in India, the British Council facilitates policy dialogues and partnerships, promotes scholarships, student mobility and alumni engagement. Its programmes aim to enhance educational links between India and the UK by supporting partnerships across all thematic areas.
International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands
IIAS is a global humanities and social sciences research institute and knowledge exchange platform that supports programmes which engage Asian and other international partners. IIAS is based at Leiden University in the Netherlands and works to encourage dialogue and link expertise, involving scholars and other experts from all around the world in its activities. IIAS thus acts as a global mediator, bringing together academic and non-academic institutes in Asia and other parts of the world, including cultural, societal and policy organisations. Its annual Asian studies conference is the largest regular academic meeting of Asian studies scholars in the world.
International Association of Universities (IAU)
IAU, with more than 130 member countries, is an independent, bilingual (English and French), non-governmental organisation. It acts as the global voice of higher education to UNESCO and other international higher education organisations, and provides a global forum for leaders of institutions and associations. Its services are available on the priority basis to members but also to organisations, institutions and authorities concerned with higher education, as well as to individual policy and decision-makers, specialists, administrators, teachers, researchers and students.
Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
ACU serves the member states of the British Commonwealth in a way similar to that of the IAU for the world. Since the Commonwealth has some of the world’s finest educational institutions, and since English is the institutional medium of instruction, many students from India find it advantageous to explore institutions of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and 45 other countries of the Commonwealth in addition to India. ACU has more than 500 member institutions and communicates effectively about academic programmes and opportunities for students and faculty of those countries.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
The ICCR is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people, and to develop relations with nations. ICCR has grants and scholarships for outward-bound and incoming students and scholars.
The Japan Foundation, New Delhi (JF)
The Japan Foundation promotes cultural and academic exchange between India and Japan. It aims to deepen dialogue among experts in Japanese Studies and international relations, in addition to supporting institutions and individual scholars for their study in this field and research work. Its work focuses in the areas of arts and culture, Japanese language education, and Japanese Studies.