India is a fast developing country in the world. You will see that lately many executives from renowned multinational enterprises (particularly tech companies) are Indian descents. India may not have the most known world-class educational institutions. However, more Indian parents are interested in sending their children to study abroad to receive better quality education than the one they would get in their home country. Seeing that there are more Indian students studying abroad, it might be interesting to see how the friendship dynamics go for those students.
When learning that a student comes from India, lecturer or non-Indian students may think that the student will know about other Indians in that school. If the school size is small then it is likely to be the case. However, it would be difficult if the school size is large and there are just so many Indians studying abroad in there. Besides, the Indian students may come from different backgrounds that their social circles will have low chance to interact.
Indian is a vast country with so many different ethnicities, languages, and traditions. Because of this difference you will find that even between Indians, it would be difficult to maintain conversations because there are differences. Naturally, when Indian students are studying abroad, they will gravitate towards friendship circles with similarity to them. It might be with the one’s speaking the same language as them or the one who observes similar traditions. As an example, you will likely to see Tamil students hanging out with other Tamil students. Punjabi students will also hang out with other Punjabis. This part of cultural aspect is often neglected by the teachers or school executives.
Another reason would be related to political issues. Although India has been independent for quite a while, there are still cases of political instability within the country. It might be that two groups who live in certain area are conflicting with each other. This political issue also affects how the Indian students are making friends abroad. Sometimes, when abroad, this issue would not be brought up and students from conflicting cultures will interact as normal. It is still a possibility, though.
There are also some issues related to the students’ ceme online background, particularly in relation to social and economic status. Students from more well-off background will tend to gravitate to their own circles. They also tend to be more fluent in English because their past schooling in India accommodates them to do so. These students also have easier time to adapt to international environment. This is often not the case for students who come from humble background. They may not have similar English fluency level. It is also possible that they have never encountered international environment before.
What school should do to accommodate Indian students studying abroad based on their friendship circle? It may not be wise to categorize Indian students as just “Indian students”. Even between Indians, particularly with different cultural and SES backgrounds, it is difficult to foster friendship.