Collette Cummings, associate dean of students and director of Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA), said degrees in the U.S. are highly coveted in other countries. She said many students will come to the states for higher education and return home with skills that will help them improve their communities.
Webster University graduate student Debhuti Roy is from Kolkata, India. She said coming to the United States to further her education was not a hard decision. When weighing the pros and cons she could only think of one con.
“Having a job here is like a dream job,” Roy said. “The work ethic, the pay, the location, everything is a pro, I can’t really make a con. The only con would be staying away from family.”
Her dad is a retired international cricketer and her mother is a stay-at-home mom, but Roy deviated from both of their tracks to become a healthcare administrator. She came to Webster to earn her master’s degree in healthcare administration and business administration.
Roy received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She said she knew since fifth grade she was going to get her higher education in the U.S. Her parents told her it would help her survive in the real world because it would give her more exposure and independence.
Roy is not the only Indian international student seeking additional education at Webster. International graduate student Sandeep Barhanpure arrived in the U.S. on Aug. 3 to pursue his second master’s degree at Webster as well.
Barhanpure received his first master’s degree in banking from the Institute of Banking in Mumbai, India in 2011. He said he was not able to work while he was in school in India, so coming to Webster and being able to go to classes as well as getting hands on work experience has suited his needs better.
Barhanpure is now pursuing a master’s degree in finance. He said he found classes difficult at first because they don’t have any programs like Webster’s in India.
“In India we just have to study for a final exam,” Barhanpure said. “Here we have to write a paper, give a presentation and study for the midterm. It’s been difficult, but I think this is the best curriculum.”
Cummings said international students who come to pursue higher education in the U.S. allow themselves to have better job opportunities when they go back home. She said as the world is becoming more diverse, the more global experience they have the better.
“Even if you’re working for a Fortune 500 company or a global company that doesn’t mean you’re always going to be in India, or that you will always be working with people from your home country,” Cummings said. “The more experience you have working with diverse cultures, the more marketable your skills will be.”
Cummings said the majority of international students at Webster are in the graduate program. She said there may be more flexibility and opportunities to experiment with master’s degrees depending on the country the student comes from.
Roy said companies in India want students who are global and diverse. Obtaining any degree, especially a master’s degree, from the U.S. is held in high esteem she said.
“The Indian government is looking for students who are educated in the U.S.,” Roy said. “A U.S. degree holds a lot (of importance). It’s like a badge you wear when you go back home.”
Roy said she is aware that finding jobs in the U.S. as an international student will be hard, but she hopes her global education will set her apart from other job candidates. However, she said she knows if she cannot find work in the U.S. she can easily find a job in India with her U.S. education.