students’ hope to keep their American dream alive


The latest flurry of deportations from various entry points in the US has left students back home in the city -aspiring an American education -jittery. While Hyderabad, for years, has seen a thick population of candidates make their way to US universities, this time they are scepitcal. Several of them are looking at other overseas destinations.
That this is happening only a year after a staggering 550 students from the city were deported, following a controversy over the credibility of certain US universities, has only made matters worse. “Last year, I put off my plans of travelling to the US after many of my friends were sent back by the Department of Homeland Security. But then that was largely related to two universities. This time, the problem seems more serious. I am now mulling deferring my plans of seeking admission there,” said Nikhil Reddy, who wants to pursue a MSc in chemical engineering from the US. Nisaar Ahmed, chief operating officer of People’s Career, an overseas education and visa service consultancy located in Lakdi-ka-pul, said, “Let’s not panic as the law is yet to be passed. I feel that the fear among students is rooted in the ambiguity over the optional practical training (OPT) that allows them to to take up full time jobs in the US post completing their masters. There is fear that like the UK, OPT will be scrapped in the US too.”OPT allows foreign students on F-1 visa (student’s visa) to work between 12 and 29 months after they graduate from a higher education institution in the US. OPT extensions allow graduates with STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to stay in the US for as much as three years after graduating.
“It is the non-technical students who are likely to feel the pinch more as companies prefer Americans over foreign students to save on huge salaries.Many students may have to come back with their degrees and work in Indian firms,” said spokesperson of top level overseas education consultancy.