A semester abroad at a different college is something a lot of us consider at least once in our time in college. The prospect of spending...

To Exchange, or not to Exchange

13:30 Sagun Pai 3 Comments

A semester abroad at a different college is something a lot of us consider at least once in our time in college. The prospect of spending an entire semester at a foreign university can be equal parts tempting and terrifying - exploring a brand new country and way of life versus leaving early everything familiar behind for nearly half a year, not to mention the expenses involved. So, how many people do go for it?

The answer: definitely more now compared to a couple of years ago. The number of outbound students across the years has shown a generally increasing trend, in large part due to more and more people getting to know about exchange programs and students having more options to choose from, given the increasing number of MoUs being signed. When it comes to universities, Singapore based National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are the most sought after, together accounting for a third of outbound exchanges probably due to the TFlearn funding available for exchange to Singapore.

That was a general overview. Here’s a look at the department-wise and program-wise representation of students.

The number of exchange students from EE and Mech are almost equal to all other departments combined. While this could be attributed to the large number of students enrolled in these branches, the number of exchange students have been small from similar-sized departments such as Chemical, Civil and CSE. Across programs, nearly 90% of our outbound exchange population comprises of UGs, out of which Dual Degree students make up more than two-thirds.

Considering an exchange yourself? Odds are, you’re trying to figure out which semester would be best for it. We investigated to find out historical trends, shown below. The vertical axis indicates the semester of exchange and the horizontal axis tracks the percentage of total students (in the specific program) on exchange in a given semester.

During 3.1 (the first semester of third year) and 4.1, most BTech students are occupied with career decisions and therefore, the even semesters (3.2 and 4.2) have a large chunk of students going on exchange. On the other hand, Duals tend to highly favour 4.2, followed by 3.1 which is a close second. The more interesting part is that historically, 2nd year is the least preferred, often because students are late to realize that such an opportunity exists.

For those of you who are interested to know more about these programs, there’s ton of resources available online. For starters, here is a compilation put together by the International Relations Cell, IIT Bombay.

1. The data was sourced from the IIT Bombay International Relations Office
2. The source code used to create the visualizations is available on Github


The IIT Bombay alumnus is a rare creature, native to the marshy swamps of Powai. But over the last few decades the IITB alum has migrated...

IITB Alumni and Where to Find Them

20:34 Unknown 10 Comments

The IIT Bombay alumnus is a rare creature, native to the marshy swamps of Powai. But over the last few decades the IITB alum has migrated to all parts of the world, constantly adapting to its new-found habitat. As avid zoologists enthu punters data scientists, we’ve foraged through the wilds and mapped out the creature’s nesting habits across the globe.

Let’s start with the country they reside in. Preferences have changed over the years, and the specimens who graduated in or before 2000 have been dubbed ‘pre2000’, while their newer counterparts, ‘post2000’.

As we can see, a significant percentage (~40%) of our alumni who graduated before 2000 have settled abroad. This number drops down sharply to <16% post 2000, which seems surprising.

But ‘abroad’ is a big term. Let’s look at exactly where in the world our alumni live.

As expected, most alumni live in India. USA takes up a good chunk of the second bar. In fact, four in every five alumni living abroad live in the United States.

But, over the years, has the brain-drain problem really changed for the better?

In recent times, alumni seem to prefer US less and less. Most of the slack has been picked up by India. This can be attributed to the rising opportunities in India, research and industry wise.

Here’s how the global distribution of alumni has changed over the years:

While the US dominated the charts in the past, recent times have seen a significant increase in the number of alumni in other nations. The main beneficiaries of this attrition from the States have been countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Let’s have a better look at the scenario back home.

Mumbai is clearly the city of choice for the IITB alum within India. 29% of all IITB alumni who have graduated till date are currently residing in Mumbai. Another surprising element is Pune’s third position in the charts. As a matter of fact, more than half of our alumni living in India currently are settled in Maharashtra. Cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad have also gained good numbers in the recent years due to the IT boom.

Some other interesting facts that we found out

A majority of the Alumni in Kolkata are from the departments of Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Energy, which is unsurprising considering the fact that the cityscape and its surroundings are dotted with relevant industries.
• Considering the Middle Eastern countries are among the global hubs for infrastructural development and innovation, it is not surprising that nearly 30% of our alumni there are Civil engineers.
Around 50% of our Chemical Engineering alumni who are in India have settled down in Mumbai.We will soon be releasing another analysis of the work-sectors and job-profiles that our alumni are currently in.

We would love to hear from you on what more insights would be of interest pertaining to the alumni community. As for our alumni, we wish you the best, wherever you are. Remember, we know exactly where to find you.


1. Data from close to 20,000 alumni was used. All data used was provided courtesy of the institute.
2. All data obtained is through voluntary self-reporting, and may contain some inaccuracies or biases.
3. We have taken utmost care to ensure anonymity and privacy of all the individuals involved. Please share your concerns if you have any.


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