Students abroad and their parents in India find it difficult to budget for their expenses as the rupee looks like being in a free-fall zone vis--vis the US dollar.
Indian students aspiring to study in the United States or those already studying there are unsure about what they should be prepared for. While some quoted the falling rupee value as a major reason for abandoning plans to study in the US, some who had plans to fund their studies on their own are now looking at loan options. Those studying there are worried about finding a part-time job to survive.
Rashmi Saha from Pune has stopped thinking about her dream degree from a US university after acquiring a visa. While she cites three important reasons for cancelling her plans, the falling rupee rate figures at the top. The college I got admission to is not very popular. It will be difficult for me to look for a job there after my programme is over or even during the course of my studies. The dollar has become so expensive, that it will be difficult for me to sustain myself there. So I have dropped plans for the time-being, said Saha.
A resident of Koparkhairne, Swaroop Narayanan, who is aspiring to study MS in electrical engineering from a US university, now plans to seek a loan for his studies.
My family planned to finance the first year of my education in the US. However, now with the falling rate of the rupee, I plan to approach a bank for an education loan. Even daily living expenses will go up. My parents work in the service sector. Initially we agreed on them funding the first year, but now we dont know how much it will come to by the time I start with the course. So we may look at the loan option, said Narayanan.
Since the rupee value is falling every day, we do not know where we are heading to, he added.
Parents of another student from Ghatkopar, Bhavin Shah, had plans to keep Rs 5 lakh in store for additional costs the family may incur due to the falling value of the rupee. However, when they started applying for a course in July, the fees and living expenses were coming up to Rs 19 lakh. Five months later, their expenses have gone up to Rs 22 lakh.
We do not know where it will stop. The Rs 5 lakh we kept for variations may be used up if the rupee falls to Rs 55 vis-a-vis the dollar. We are expecting it to reach that level by the month end, said Shah.