Confused about studying abroad during Corona virus?

Every year, lakhs of Indian students plan and file applications to top universities in USA, Canada, UK and many European countries as well as in China, Singapore, etc. The fall admissions for year 2020 were already completed. However, this year, with the outbreak of Corona virus and the impact of the same on USA, and many European countries have left many Indian students confused.

Fall Academic Session usually begins late August or early September in most of the Top Universities abroad. This is usually the time when students would have been applying for their visas. However, now with COVID 19 outbreak, many are confused, wondering if it would be a good decision to defer their plans.

According to our survey taken done with the students who have already applied and secured an admission in one of the universities abroad. Contrary to the general believe, 69.9% of the students who have initiated the process still want to go ahead with preparation and get funds ready. 19.48% students said it was too early to decide and only 9% wanted to defer the admission, 1% wants to go ahead in India.

Apart from these, there were many questions regarding Study Abroad in the uncertain times of COVID19. Compiling the list of such questions, Times Now reached out for the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions. So should you defer or should you go ahead with you Study Abroad plans? Here’s what Experts have to say.

Q) What should we do with the fall 20 intake is it advisable to still go for it or defer our plans to fall 2021?
A) It is too early to take a call in haste. We can take that call nearer to the joining date. Some time around June start would be a good time to take a call. There are chances that semesters would get delayed, in that case, we should wait for universities to give some info.

Q) Have got admits from 3 universities which one should I prefer?
A) This is a very subjective question. Depends on the student’s profile, the course they are looking for, career objective. Depending on various factors we need to decide the best fit.

Q)The university that I have an admit from is providing online classroom is it worth it?
A) Online courses can be really helpful depending on the course. The courses which don’t require a lot of engagement, they would be well suited to start online. Also students need to understand if it is just the 1st semester which is being offered online or the complete course. If it is just the 1st semester, I certainly think it is worth it. They would save a considerable amount of living and tuition. They can go on campus to complete their course.

Q) Will taking online classes affect OPT requirements?
A) We need to wait for a notification from the US Govt on this. If they do 9 months course in the US they are eligible for an OPT. So if they are doing just one semester here, that should not be an issue. But we need to wait for DHS to give notification on the relaxation on OPT.

Q) Can I defer my plans to fall 2021 directly?
A) A lot of universities are offering deferment of their admission. Many are offering Spring deferment and some are offering a direct Fall deferment as well. It is best to check with your school. Even at each university, there might be different rules for different programs.

Q) What if I take an online class and my visa gets rejected after that?
A) That is a risk you have to take. Taking online classes should make a stronger case for your Visa. This will show that you are interested in studying and your primary purpose is education. Your grades can also help to show how good a student you are building a strong case for you.

Q) Will the COVID-19 situation affect job opportunities?
A) In the short term yes. Students who are applying now will graduate only after 2 years and that might be the best time to apply for jobs. The economy will be booming and the job opportunities would be aplenty. Recession is the best time to study.

Q) Should we defer our plans to spring intake?
A) Too early to take a call. You need to wait till June to assess the situation and then take a call.

Q) What is the process to defer the intake?
A) You will have to write to your university, your program coordinator. There would be some stronger process which universities will set up in case a lot of students are deferring. So check with each university what is their process.

Q) Will we get a summer internship if we opt for the online classroom?
A) According to the current laws, that might not be possible. But if you see the notification which has been released for the current students who are taking online courses during spring and summer, they are eligible for CPT. In case the situation gets worse and students have to start online courses, I am quite hopeful that the US govt would relax a few norms. This is a global crisis and not just for a few students.

Q) My university is asking for payment of deposit fees but I don’t know the exact scenario for fall 20 intake, if I pay now will that be carry forwarded if I defer?
A) Many universities have now relaxed deposit payment timelines. Most of them should carry it forward. Again each university has its own rules pertaining to these deposits and it is best to confirm with each one separately.

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