Indian graduates look to homeland

Arun Mishra came to the US in August 2010 with hopes of landing a successful job and making money, though he eventually hopes to return to India and settle there.

A recent study conducted by Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences revealed that more and more Indian international graduates are returning to India.

According to the survey, 74 percent of the respondents said they would like to eventually return to India, while 8 percent said they had no desire to return.

Of the 998 respondents, 53 percent said they would like to return to India after spending a few years working in the US.

Mishra, a computer science graduate student at UH, falls into the latter category. He says he would like to stay and work in the US for 7 or 8 years before returning to India.

He came to the US with dreams of working at either Google, McAfee or Cisco.

“In India after I completed my undergraduate, I could get a job, but I was not satisfied with that because of the money,” Mishra said. “Money is always an important factor in doing anything.”

UH is home to 3,278 international students, 797 of whom are from India, according to numbers posted on the UH website.

The Graduate Indian Students Organization works with international students from India by providing support for those who are far from home.

“We help them get accommodated here and acclimatized, give them orientation, walk them through how to get an on-campus job,” said GISO president and network communications graduate student Avinash Ranganath. “These are just a few of the things we do in the first few days when a graduate student comes from India.”

Ranganath is also an international student who plans to return to India in the future.

“I want to work for a couple of years, because after graduation it doesn’t make sense to go back to India without any work experience,” he said.

Ranganath has seen his friends leave the US in recent months for various reasons. Among those friends, Ranganath said, two went back to India soon after graduation after accepting positions at Haliburton and Schlumberger in India. Others returned for personal reasons, such as getting married.

“There are a lot of opportunities in India right now. All my friends in India are in very good positions right now after two or three years experience here,” he said.

Raganath says that the job market in India is very competitive and that having a graduate degree and work experience in the US helps in landing a good job back home. But it has not been easy for students to obtain jobs in the US.

“Right now, for international students, getting a job in the US is a bit difficult. Most (employers) ask for sponsorship or you have to have a green card or citizenship,” he said. “Getting an H1 visa is very difficult right now.”

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