In the post-COVID-19 world, there has been a paradigm shift in the way the education sector works. Schools, colleges and universities have been forced to move to the online mode. This situation is even more complex for students who are pursuing or planning to start higher studies in foreign countries. While universities world-over have reacted differently to the situation, students are trying to figure out the most feasible way of saving their academic year.
Research reveals that almost 8 lakh students from India opted for admission in foreign colleges during 2019-20. The highest percentage of students going overseas was from the state of Telangana. Now, in the changed circumstances globally, the students have either postponed the plans for online admissions or are forced to study online, which somehow spoils the charm of opting for a foreign university in the first place.
Universities Open for Global Students:
More than a year after the pandemic stuck, many universities are now getting back to normal, restarting physical classes, and calling students back from breaks. However, there are several travel restrictions and precautionary guidelines that students must follow. The COVID test is there, along with mandatory isolation for 14 to 21 days. In most cases, students have to arrange and pay for the isolation before they can attend college. Health certificates and travel history documents are also required at some colleges.
The United Kingdom, a highly popular educational destination, had earlier announced the opening of its universities. But after the recent detection of the new strain of the virus, followed by another lockdown, the permissions had to be revoked. It seems that it will still take some time for Universities in UK to start full-fledged classes. Taiwan also had to cancel its plan to reopen universities in January.
Canada, a preferred hub for higher-education by students across the world, had opened its gates for foreign students in October 2020. The universities have been quick to formulate a plan to handle the situation by taking the requisite precautions for isolation, distancing and health checks. Permits are being issued again to study in Canada. Hong Kong has also resumed the colleges and is calling foreign students back, with a condition that they must not have visited China, UK or South Africa in the last 21 days. Plus, a compulsory quarantine of 21 days is advised to returning students.
France is another country that has resumed the entry of foreign students. They must not be from red zones that are identified as pandemic hit and must show a valid negative test report. Malaysia has started the classes in its universities but is not allowing students from the UK after the COVID cases increased there. 10-day isolation is compulsory, and students need to take the COVID-19 test twice, once three days before taking the test and again on arrival. Singapore has also allowed the entry of students from other countries and is even providing government-designated facilities for 14-day long isolation.
Top Questions that Overseas Student must ask:
If you do not want to waste the academic year, it is a wise decision to go ahead with your plans and take admission in your chosen college. Most colleges are allowing delayed application and fee payment for undergrads from other countries. Here are some important points that you must enquire about when deciding on your course of action:
- What’s the last date for application and fee submission?
- Has the college resumed regular classes or is conducting online/ hybrid classes?
- In the case of online classes, what is the mode of instruction, what resources are available for self-study?
- Will the faculty be available for live queries and discussion online?
- In the case of on-campus studies, what are the specific rules regarding the COVID-19 test, isolation, and other declarations?
- Is there any additional cost to be borne because of the changed rules?
- What are the accommodation facilities now available on and around the college?
- If you plan to get a student work permit, make inquiries about the possibilities
- Which colleges have accepting students without GRE or GMAT scores?
- Whether all aspects of the course chosen by you are being covered as previously, or is there any change in practical training, research or fieldwork because of the restrictions?
Once you have got satisfactory information for all these questions, you can make the optimum decision and realize your dream of attaining world-class higher education.