Every year, lakhs of Indian students apply to universities in USA, Canada, UK, EU, China, Singapore, etc. The fall admissions for 2020 were almost complete, when COVID-19 struck.
While many choose to believe that the Corona virus pandemic has ruined study abroad plans for students, findings of few studies in India have been optimistic. An estimated 70% of Indian students who had planned to study abroad still want to continue in the next 6-10 months (September or January intake). About 15-20% have yet to make a decision and are likely to do so after reviewing the situation in the next few weeks, and about 10% are considering deferring the decision due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Advice for students whose study abroad plans have been affected by Coronavirus:
Stay in touch with your university admissions officer
Interact with your university via email or any communications that have been sent to you in your offer letter
Check up about GRE/GMAT waivers offered
Confirm which English language test scores will be valid for confirmed admission
Ask all your queries – Make sure to include questions about likelihood of deferring admissions to next Semester or next year
Enquire if the first semester will be online
In case of distance learning, ask the admissions committee questions about your OPT/work Permit/ Post Study Work Permit eligibility
Check if the university has online webinars to address student queries and attend them
Attend virtual open days or tours to give you a feel of the academic and campus life
Take the opportunity to do more detailed research into your shortlisted universities. Take a closer look at the clubs and societies, and consider new sports or opportunities you may wish to try
Do not reject offers from any universities until you weigh all your possible options
Most of all have faith that the universities also stand to lose if they do not reassure the students. Almost all higher educational institutes across the globe are working on ways to offer applicants and offer holders as much reassurance as the situation develops. They will exercise as much flexibility as possible when considering the grades of applicants specially in cases where the final exams were not held or marksheets/transcripts have not yet been issued.
Reach out to a Study Abroad Counselor
Once your mind is at ease about all your queries, reach out to a study abroad counselor to guide you and help you arrive at a final decision. Be prepared to act quickly if and when decisions are made about start dates. Pay your deposit to secure your place- Many universities in UK will refund your deposit in case of a cancellation of admission or amid extenuating circumstances including not being able to travel here due to COVID-19. After checking refund policy, book your accommodation.