Overseas Education in 2021: COVID-19 and its implications

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented conditions all over the world. It has affected thousands of students all over the world, including those who wish to travel abroad for education. As per the recent survey, some students are reconsidering their plans of foreign education, while most of the students tell that this pandemic has hardly shown any impact on their dreams of studying abroad. Foreign colleges and universities are working hard to minimize the impact of this pandemic.

Most of the foreign colleges and universities are reshaping their admission or other curriculum structure. A large number of universities have started online sessions for students instead of physical classroom lectures. Job interviews of students are also conducted online. Many students are still confused whether they should opt for studying abroad or not in this pandemic situation. All the students aspiring for foreign study can go through this article in order to understand the current scenario of foreign education in COVID-19 pandemic and how one should plan for studying abroad in this situation.

How has COVID-19 pandemic affected the students aspiring to study abroad?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for students aspiring for foreign education to decide whether to study abroad or not? There is no doubt that the drive of students for foreign studies has been tremendously affected. However, students can still apply for international education and pursue their dream of studying abroad. Most of the colleges and universities have minimized the number of students for physical classroom learning; most of the lectures are conducted online and so on. Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford have informed their students that they can start the academic year after going through quarantine period and following national public health norms.

The exams such as SAT, GRE, TOEFL, etc. are now administered by the respective authorities offline or online depending on the pandemic situations. The students should be in contact with the respective exam conducting authorities and college departments for necessary exam service details and updates.  

How to plan studying abroad during and after COVID-19?

The hardest part for foreign education aspiring students is to understand how one should plan for their studies during this uncertain pandemic period. As per the latest survey, almost 70 percent of the students still want to opt for international education through online mode, 20 percent students want to defer their plan of studying abroad almost by a year and remaining 10 percent students are looking for studying options in foreign countries where there are less travel related and Visa restrictions. Due to pandemic situation, Visa processing time has been increased, as respective embassies are shut due to lockdown and they also have to follow the COVID-19 norms strictly. Despite all these difficulties, students can follow below mentioned guidelines in order to have a smooth transition towards their new journey of studying abroad.

It’s advisable for students to apply for a foreign study Visa 3 to 4 months in advance. Students should keep contact with the respective embassies and college departments having direct contact with such embassies in order to be updated regarding the Visa office timings, processing steps, forms, submissions etc.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also imposed travel restrictions, but international travel is not completely stopped. Students can travel to the desired country for studies by following the COVID-19 norms properly, carrying all the required travel documents, staying notified about the duration and structure of curriculum, etc. Before travelling to the desired country, students should get all the information related to respective college campus COVID-19 restrictions, whether travel is allowed in the respective country or not, whether college or other accommodation is available or not, etc.

Most of the students have queries whether the international college scholarships, fee structure, etc. will remain same in this pandemic time or will defer. Most of the students want to ease their financial pressure through college scholarships and other funding’s. So, it’s better to get all your queries resolved by contacting the respective college department.

Once students have cleared all their doubts and decided to proceed further for foreign studies, they should stick to their plan. They should keep preparing for English-proficiency exams such as GRE, SAT, TOEFL, etc., which are prerequisites for foreign college admissions, understand the admission process for selected colleges and check whether there are any delays in any of the process. One can check the college or university official website for exam score criteria, latest admission process, college fee structure, etc.

Later on, it is important to understand the COVID-19 norms in the selected universities. One must check which all universities provide a good response for the student’s admission even in such unprecedented pandemic times and apply for these universities or colleges. Most of the universities in UK, US, Australia, etc. have reduced their fees in response to novel coronavirus outbreaks. So, it is worthwhile to check the official website of the respective universities and then apply for such foreign universities which will minimize your financial burden.

What all changes are adopted by the foreign universities in COVID-19 pandemic?

Below are some modifications embraced by overseas colleges or universities in response to novel coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Most of the universities and colleges have started online lectures for the students. Very few classroom lectures are conducted with less number of students.
  2. Particular universities in UK, US, Switzerland, Australia, etc. have reduced their academic fees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This reduced fee structure is to welcome students to join foreign universities even in these uncertain times.
  3. Due to pandemic situation, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, etc. exam centers are shut so it’s difficult for students to appear in pre-requisite exams. In response to this issue, some colleges are conducting their autonomous English language and other required tests to allow students to take admission in the foreign universities and colleges based on their respective test score.
  4. Alternatives to classroom teaching are being adopted in the form of pre-recorded lectures, online exams, video calls etc.
  5. Some UK universities also have started accepting digital copies of degree certificates of the students as submitting the hardcopies is difficult.
  6. Many universities in UK, US and Australia are providing favorable scholarships, concessions and counselling to the international students.

As foreign studies provide valuable education, increase in career prospects, huge employment opportunities, global perspective and much more, it’s advisable for students to opt for foreign studies even in this COVID-19 pandemic times in order to have a bright future at earliest.