Education

How study abroad candidates can address the Covid-19 challenges

How study abroad candidates can address the Covid-19 challenges

How study abroad candidates can address the Covid-19 challenges

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced universities globally to rethink their higher education strategies, but it has little or no impact on aspiration of international students who are still gung-ho about their overseas education plans.

Risks notwithstanding, over 91% Indian scholars say they are keen on studying abroad as soon as the situation mitigates. Though many still reassess their study-abroad plans, students worldwide claim the outbreak could not change their plans to get a degree from a top-notch university abroad.

In more ways than one, the VUCA scenario has reshaped the way universities present higher education to students. Not just the curriculum modules and use of online technology platforms, they are going out of their way to offer support services to make life easier for those planning to travel abroad for a degree.

How study abroad candidates can address the Covid-19 challenges

How Covid-19 impacted student choices
When Covid-19 pandemic raged last year, universities had to take quick action to move to virtual education to safeguard student as well as community safety. Amidst travel bans, curbs and restrictions, students were forced to re-examine their choice of countries for higher education.

With global student mobility severely hit, universities worldwide made the swift shift to online education. As vaccination programmes are rolled out and hope emerges, universities are taking actions that will allow students to join their on-campus classes again.

However, complete health safety and minimum risk are going to be key determinants when a student selects his/her study abroad destination.

How has Covid-19 affected international students?
By 2019, more than 8 lakh Indian students were registered in universities around the world.

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Now that higher education is going through a transition that would shape learning as well as teaching across campuses, students will have to take a fresh look at their study plans, be it at graduation, post-graduation, or research levels.

How study abroad candidates can address the Covid-19 challenges
1. Stick to the plan: Can’t wish the pandemic away, hence stick to the plan. There could be temporary restrictions and/or curbs for international students depending on their country of origin. It’s prudent to move on with the submission process and stick to the current plan of action.

2. Explore universities with great Covid-19 response: Nearly every campus across the globe has re-oriented its actions to respond to the unique conditions. These actions vary from one country to country another and every school or university customises its approach.

In general, schools and universities across the world have tried to accommodate as many international students as possible; France is a very good example of such policies. Bottom line: You may be spoilt for campus choices.

3. Defer admissions by a year: If you are not comfortable with online or phygital offers a safety-first approach could mean postponing admission to a foreign university by a year.

This means you’d also be joining the work market later and might not take advantage of an economic rebound. Hence, this is a very personal decision and no general advice can be given.

Is studying abroad despite Covid-19 worth it?
Absolutely! A recent survey says, only 5.4% of aspirants wished to pull out of their study abroad plans in view of COVID-19. This pandemic will pass and one must anticipate the next phase.

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What is sure is that this situation has tested the resolve and mindset of many. Many foreign universities and institutions have reported a rise in the number of global applications.

The real question is how have institutions responded to the crisis, and what steps have been taken to ensure quality education and employability?

Reasons why studying abroad is still a great option
1. Career expectations: Foreign university graduates have an edge over their contemporaries when it comes to employability.

The current crisis has had a cascading effect on job prospects and migration routes but countries in Europe and US seem to have a V-shaped recovery which augurs well for graduating students.

2. The value of education: It’s not just the job, is it? A degree from top institutions prepares a student for the whole life.

Studying in a foreign country does not mean just academic exposure, but a whole new range of opportunities to grow as a person.

It’s not just about the degree, it’s about the life, the culture, the language, the change in mindset and the surge in confidence.

3. Life experience: Whether it’s an online or individual program, graduating from a foreign university changes a student’s life forever.

We, at Emlyon Business School, prepare our students not only for situations like the present Covid situation but most importantly for lifelong challenges and life-changing scenarios.

We offer them a strong knowledge base at one of the best learning platforms in Europe; the way they learn and the skills they acquire along with the impeccable intellectual grooming have always made our students “earlymakers”.

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4. Global perspective: You can’t miss the big picture. A foreign university brings a multi-cultural melting pot where the perspective changes for life.

Studying with people from all over the world makes you think and believe differently and prepares you for a whole new world that is brave, creative and inclusive.

There are lessons to be learned from the pandemic. You can choose to put on hold your study abroad plans for a while because your health, safety and well-being are the most important things. But so are education and life skills. You will have to make your choices and they need not be exclusive in nature

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