For the thousands of Indian students pursuing college degrees abroad, the thrill of starting a new chapter in their lives is being doused by the crash in the rupee, which has dramatically pushed up academic fees and the cost of living.
Shyam Mehta, a 26-year-old national from Mumbai who recently began a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Insead in France, said this could not have come at a worse time.
"The one year you do your MBA is when the rupee is at an all-time low, it feels horrible," said Mehta, who has taken out a euro-denominated loan to fund part of his 60,000 euro MBA fee.
Plans to return home to find work after he graduates next year have also been put on hold, as it would be much more expensive to pay back the loan on a rupee-denominated income. The rupee has fallen 28.4 percent against the euro over the past three months.
"Initially, I thought I would return home and work after completing the program. But since I have to pay back a loan in euros, the plans have to be reassessed. It's an extremely weak option at this point," he said.