Indian students turn to Sweden and other alternatives: Rising cases of Covid-19 in the US, a favourite destination for Indian students looking to pursue higher education, has benefited smaller nations such as Sweden which have managed to stave off the coronavirus. Countries such as Sweden and Israel, have seen a sharp rise in college applications from India. This is in line with a decline in international applications to colleges in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The number of applications for undergraduate courses in Sweden from Indians has soared from 3,526 in 2019 to 6,811 this year, according to the Swedish embassy. Post-graduate applications too have registered a small rise to 2,111 applicants from 2044 in the year 2019. Israeli universities also have seen a similar jump in applications from Indians. The University of Haifa, Israel alone has seen a 25 per cent jump.

The Swedish government too has withdrawn its recommendations for remote studies but the return to campus is still limited. “Individual Swedish universities have actually taken a few different approaches during the pandemic, but most university campuses have been open, albeit with some restrictions, for both domestic and international students,” Douglas Washburn, marketing manager, Swedish Institute told indianexpress.com.

Swedish Institute believes that the country’s “lifestyle and the open, progressive values” are attracting more younger people. “The focus on equal rights, LGBTQ-rights, and sustainability is as important as excellent education at an affordable cost. Sweden as a study destination has become more appealing to young people. A safe and modern country with a unique work-life balance, as unique as the lack of hierarchy and sense of equality, which is often reflected in classrooms,” an official statement read.

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