COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly become a part of society today. Due to this, the means of commuting to different places, admissions and the complete academic field are brought to a halt. Amidst this epidemic, students are muddling to understand whether they should opt for studying abroad or not.
In adaption to the pandemic, some notable changes have been in making, like, the admission process has accelerated with fewer hassles, entrance exams are being waived off and no physical documents are required. All of these were once an important part of the admission process. Apart from this, keeping in mind students’ safety, in-person classes are temporarily cancelled, and online learning is supported.
Besides, applicants are also worried about admission to their desired institution, deadlines, fee structure, mode of instruction and most importantly, their safety.
The first concern any student might have is meeting the deadlines, be it for admission, document submission or scholarship. Although the campuses are shut down, the admissions are rolling via telephone and emails. All the countries welcome international students as they are a major part of the country’s economy. Thus, most of the institutions across countries have extended their deadlines to June or later. There is a list of institutions that have postponed their deadlines in the US.
Additionally, the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK eased the application process, by accepting online copies of degrees or certificates considering that the original ones might be delayed, thus allowing provisional admissions. However, to know specifically about your desired institution, you should follow the National Association for College Admission Counselling who has a tool to find out about the updates.
Fees and Scholarships:
The admissions strongly depend on the fee structure and the scholarships available. Consequently, universities and colleges have made several relaxations for international students. Deakin University in Australia has announced up to AUD 25 million support for international students. Also, LaTrobe University in Australia is proposing scholarships up to 30 percent of the entire tuition fee of the program, including for students who start courses online. The institute also claims to have invested AUD 6.8 million to support international students. In the UK, the University of Portsmouth is offering various scholarships for Indian students to cover £1,600 and a £5,000 fee for the first year. Furthermore, Canada, for the first time has also introduced more scholarships and reduced tuition fees for international students which encourages them.
Mode of instruction:
COVID-19 epidemic has restricted in-person meetings or learning, thus the mode of communication is either via telephone, emails or through online platforms. Whether it is an information session, a tour of the campus or any event, everything is postponed or delivered through an online dais. US universities like Yale, Princeton and Duke have opted to teach online. Columbia University in the US has also stated that taking online classes will not affect visa status.
Some institutions, like Arizona State University, offers selections of either studying in-person, attending classes online, postponing the semester or merging on and off-campus learning. Moreover, some universities are beginning to resume in-person classes. Most of the UK and Australia will be in-person for the Fall semester
Safety for students:
Safety is the utmost concern for both the institutions as well as the students. All the universities and colleges enforce safety standards. Few measures are put in effect, like, not more than 30 students are allowed during in-person teaching. If there are more than 30 students, then, online teaching is preferred. Additionally, international students are quarantined for 7 days before joining classes, and free COVID tests are also arranged for them. (Need to be specific that this is for the USA. you can use the university example of SJSU)
At last, aspirers should keep in mind that admissions in the year 2021 would be more competitive. Fee structure, as well as scholarship advantages that are provided today, would not be in effect later. Moreover, COVID cases in India are slowly advancing, and with the uncertainty of vaccine till date, the future here is going to be unreliable as well. Knowing this, would you still prefer postponing your plans for studying abroad? At last, it can be said that universities are well prepared to begin in August 2020 with safety in place and a mixture of online and offline classes along with quarantine and medical facilities. For more COVID updates click here