Study Abroad: Indian students staying back in the US for 3 year work training

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OPT is an increasingly popular choice among study abroad aspirants to obtain real-world experience while pursuing their degree.

According to a research report by the United States State Department and the nonprofit Institute of International Education, the majority of study abroad aspirants in the United States opt to remain in the nation to enroll in its three-year job or training programme. Over 30% of the 1.99 lakh students who are enrolled in higher education in the United States have enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT) programmes


OPT enables international graduate students with student or F-1 visas to engage in paid or unpaid labor for up to three years. OPT is a well-liked alternative for students outside of the United States to obtain real-world experience while continuing their education or after graduating. While students can typically choose the same for one year, certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Despite accounting for 52% of all international students in the United States, just 17% of the 2.9 lakh Chinese students who applied for OPT programmes in 2021–2022 were Chinese.

Workers’ unions in the United States have made the OPT programme a point of contention, claiming that many people utilize it as a stepping stone to obtaining an H-1B visa. Although Covid may have initially prevented students from attending US universities for higher education, the study abroad aspirants have returned ever since the national limitations have been lifted or relaxed. 

Earlier, a report surfaced that Indian students are very likely to continue working in developed countries. Indian students are more likely to obtain work permits while studying abroad than other students, and they are also more likely to stay in developed nations on extended visas.

Indian students are highly in demand across the globe. Recently the French minister during her visit to India said that she wants more of Indian brains in her country. Due to such high demands Indian students have outnumbered all the other nationalities in various countries like Australia, the UK, Canada and Emirate city Dubai in the UAE.

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