Undergrad in India or in the USA: does it matter?

  • The variety of undergraduate (UG) programs that the US universities offer and the amount of flexibility a student in a top US university has is mind blowing. University of California, Berkeley offers over 350 UG programs as against over 80 offered by Delhi University. You will easily find US students with major in Maths with a minor in music or psychology.
  • The classroom sizes are smaller in the US that allows for better interactions between the teachers and the students. A typical student in a US university is driven primarily by his interest in the field of study he wants to pursue. Hence school applications and program selections are very diversified, reducing number of people applying for any specific program or to a university. In India its pretty much hierarchical with majority of students choosing engineering with IITs at the top of the list. Even among IIT aspirants, Computer Science becomes top choice, broadly followed by Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering.
  • In the US universities, there is lost of emphasis on research at the UG level. Many students work on sponsored as well as independent projects in their field of studies. Freshmen get a chance to explore and work on problems prevailing in the industry, within months of joining the college. Unfortunately, this is not the case in India.