How the Covid pandemic can shape the future of study abroad
I can understand the dilemma of students who still don’t know how to fulfill their dreams of pursuing an education abroad. But to their relief, institutions around the world have restructured their admission policies and guidelines to help students in these unprecedented times. For example, with just proof of visa application, institutions offer a blended learning model for students. They can take part of their course online and continue the rest on campus as soon as the borders open. To make life easier for international students, institutions offer synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) courses. Students can choose any time slot depending on their preference and time zone. This prevents them from disrupting their sleep-wake cycle and allows them to study well and send personalized requests to their teachers.
The second wave of Covid-19 delayed exams affecting student applications to various international institutions. As a result of this postponement, many institutions have already extended the admission deadlines. American universities have even decided to issue offers to students without submitting the last semester’s grade sheets (since they will submit them as soon as they receive them). Until then, institutions assess student performance based on their grades in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th (pre-admission exam). To further help students submit their applications, various US universities have waived standardized tests such as the GRE / GMAT score for masters and SAT / ACT for undergraduates.
Visa Application Centers (VACs) have also been affected, causing delays in visa approval for various students. As a result, many Canadian institutions have allowed students to resume classes on campus in the middle of the semester as soon as they have received their visas and international flights have resumed. For now, this relaxation applies to courses that require on-campus learning. Many UK institutions are also giving students an extended deadline to collect the Biometric Residence Permit Card (BRP). A BRP is the documentary proof of UK immigration clearance issued by the Home Office.
To enhance the safety and convenience of student travel, most institutions offer various types of support, including airport pickup, well-run self-quarantine facilities, discounts on airline tickets , food, etc. Many universities even organize vaccination campaigns for international students. All of these facilities have been in place since countries like the UK, US and Ireland announced they would be open to hosting international students for the next session.
Several institutions in Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland have also revised their fee schedules and added more scholarships, exemptions and scholarships to their existing list. Many institutions even offer students the choice to postpone their course to the next promotion without any financial repercussions if they do not wish to opt for online sessions and wish to postpone their study plans. Beyond that, different types of relaxations and aids are offered to students to plan their future and make the right decision without compromising their learning.
On the bright side, this might be the best time for students to realize their dream of studying abroad. With so much slack on the part of governments and institutions, students will be able to complete their studies with great savings on their budget. Plus, there are already positive signs of prime destinations that may soon meet students’ desire for on-campus classes. Without further ado, they should start their application process now so that they can be ready to go to their dream destination when the time comes. And whenever needed, students can always contact an international education specialist for advice or clarification on their cards.