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Indian students are in deep mud in US as they struggle to land summer internships



Indian students studying in the US are facing huge challenges securing internships this summer amidst a major slowdown in job growth in the country.

The US Issued more than one million visas to Indians in 2023 and currently hosts 270,000 Indian students. (HT file photo)(HT_PRINT)

Nowadays, internships are considered crucial for gaining on-the-job experience before entering the highly competitive job market, but many students, including those from prestigious Ivy League universities, are struggling to secure offers, according to several sources.

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The thing is, the global economic slowdown has led to a decrease in entry-level job opportunities, as reported by several students, education consultants, and Indian-American professionals in the US.

Companies’ preference to hire local students in an election year has exacerbated the situation. High inflation, rising cost of living, local unemployment rates, and sponsorship issues have further compounded the challenges faced by Indian students graduating in the US this year.

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Expert reveals why the students are struggling

Adarsh Khandelwal, co-founder of education consulting company Collegify told Economic Times, “There were about 400 undergrad students in the final year in the East Coast and West Coast, including in Ivy League schools, whom I counselled over the years, who have not got any internship offers this summer.”

The Ivy League, consisting of eight renowned private universities in the northeastern US, such as Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania, is known for its academic excellence and social prestige.

Khandelwal highlighted, “Indians, even in top US colleges such as NYU Stern, UC Berkeley, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Texas at Austin, are struggling. A lot of these kids have reached out to us seeking help to get placed in India”

He shared the example of a 22-year-old final year undergraduate student at Harvard University majoring in economics and psychology, saying, “He has applied to numerous companies in the last six months but has yet to land a summer internship.”

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Even students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, who were previously in high demand, are facing challenges.

Companies in technology, consulting, and new-age industries are either laying off employees or hiring freezes, “There are hardly any jobs for vanilla coding skills, unless there is an element of AI (artificial intelligence) or emerging technology in it” he shared.

Despite American colleges continuing to attract foreign students, including Indians, the number of Indian students studying in the US is at an all-time high.

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