Despite the fact that the whole world is facing a coronavirus crisis, there are many students who are still aspiring to pursue their education abroad. Many students are still interested in getting a degree from abroad despite dangerous viruses, current lockdowns and travel bans, according to recent research reports. Some of the most popular education destinations for study abroad of all time are Canada, USA, UK, Australia, and of course Europe. In this article, we will discuss a few tips to study abroad in 2021 along with the preparation you should do to move to another country and what are the safety measures you have to follow in order to be healthy.
Tips to study abroad 2021
Step 1: Understand your options
- Research and understand the options available or you to study abroad in this pandemic.
- Make use of digital learning platforms. Instead of waiting to get things normal and universities to resume, it is the best time to utilize digital learning platforms. Many universities abroad have started enrolment for online bachelor’s and master’s degrees due to the virus outbreak. So do proper research online by making use of your valuable time.
- Most of the international universities have given clear guidelines of admission processes and course commencement information mentioned on their websites. Check all of them and understand which option will be best for you.
- Each country and university have their own COVID 19 page to help you understand how the University plans to get along with the new normal, post-COVID 19 era, addressing social distancing at residential colleges, campus safety, measures taken, student services and help for international students.
- Universities are organising many webinars these days to discuss the options for international students and are giving an opportunity to interact with and learn from many academic and management staff which would not have been possible before. So take benefit of these and understand what will be the best option for you.
Step 2: Studying Online is a Better Option
International Universities have been offering online programs for several years and therefore have become ‘expert’ in the phase of teaching online and providing online resources. Who knew that one day these online classes will become so important to survive in the educational world. Benefits of starting the study abroad course online are:
- First and foremost you will be safe and can pursue your foreign education at your convenience by staying in your home country itself.
- There will be no wastage of time and also no study gap. You can start online classes after getting admission at the international universities.
- While all universities may not have started online classes previously but now as the situation demands most of the institutions have managed a swift and smooth transition online to meet the needs of international students. So future students are going to be served well after through their online learning as Universities maintain academic and experience standards.
- You can, later on, join the university physically when it is safe to move to that country.
- If you are committed to starting your program online and are able to manage your time and academics, you can considerably increase your study workload. For example, you can take five subjects instead of four or summer/winter courses which can help reduce your study load when you join the University campus and can help you finish the program earlier as well.
Step 3: Financial Considerations
Due to COVID 19 pandemic, many people have been affected financially. The International Student Community contributes a large share of the revenue for Universities, so many universities have kept these considerations in mind. So you should:
- Look for COVID 19 scholarships / financial aid for international students.
- Make individual appeals as these are being considered on a case-to-case basis in many universities.
- Many international universities have waived off their application fee and also reduced the tuition fee, do not forget to get benefits of these offers.
- You can also request to pay the fee in instalments allowing you to additionally break down your semester and deposit fee payments.
- And also keep in mind that studying online in the comfort of your home means no additional living expenses and this can contribute majorly to savings in your overall study expenses.
Step 4: Impact on Post Study Work Visa
Currently, most of the countries have agreed to accept all online learning as part of a full-time study course and assuming all other conditions are met, students who have started their course online would still be eligible for the Post Study Work Permit such as Canada, UK etc. This PSWP is subject to international students studying full time for a minimum period specified by the country.
Step 5: Visa Applications
Those students who are planning to start their courses abroad in 2021, should apply for their student visas keeping their options open to travel as soon as border restrictions are withdrawn. The countries currently processing student visa applications include Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada etc. However, they are not able to work in full capacity due to safety measures and therefore visa applications may take a little longer to process. It is better to start preparing a little early.
Read also: Canadian Government Announced a New Strategy to Help Former International Students to Continue their Work and Live in Canada
Preparation to move to another country.
There are lots of things you can do to ensure when you move to another country to be as safe as possible. However, the most important thing is to plan things properly. Try to think ahead of your move and make sure you are prepared. Having a plan will assure your move is a smooth and easy experience without much complications, especially important during COVID-19. Here are a few things you can do to make to travel safely:
Be in touch with your movers:
Rules, regulations, and requirements are constantly changing during COVID-19, so keep in touch with your movers to ensure you are on the same page.
Travel less to the stores.:
Try to get everything you want in just one trip to the market or store. By this, you will be able to keep the risk of contracting coronavirus as low as possible. Have all the supplies you need ready and close to hand, such as packing boxes, labels, toilet roll, and sticking tape, so you don’t need to keep travelling back and forth to the store.
While you are packing for your move take the opportunity to get on top of the cleaning. Clean all your items with disinfectant or sanitiser.
Finish packing 24 hours before your leave:
The coronavirus stays for a long time on the surface. For everyone’s safety, have your boxes packed and leave them untouched for at least 24 hours before you leave.
Safety measure for studying in abroad
- If you stay abroad for your studies you have to take care of yourself. There are some safety measures you have to follow in order to be healthy and keep the environment safe. They are:
- Use all the new items or anything you bring from outside after leaving it for at least 24 hours untouched.
- Use sanitisers and keep washing your hands as much as possible.
- Wear a mask if you go out anywhere.
- Don’t exchange notes or documents as much as possible, if you do then make sure to sanitize your hands after the work.
- Use only hygiene products
- Maintain social distance not only with your classmates but with each person you come across.
Moving to another country during coronavirus is, of course, a big challenge, but it is possible to do it safely if you take the right precautions and plan your journey in advance.