What does studying abroad looks like for Indian Students in the post-pandemic world?

 

By accepting a ‘new normal, we have conformed ourselves to the post-pandemic world. It will not come as a surprise if anyone claims not to remember the scenarios that prevailed while everything was in its ordinary course before the pandemic. The industries and lives have been majorly impacted due to COVID-19, even while there is now a vaccine amongst us. It is hard to consistently keep living under the dread of infection or even risk of death.

Following the news and social media every day has put us through utter misery, especially to those who dream of pursuing higher education in foreign countries and are currently holding offer letters to various prestigious universities abroad. In the past years, the government overseas implemented and modified many policies and guidelines to view citizens’ health and safety amidst COVID-19 across the globe. While the education sector has been explicitly impacted in Indian Universities, it has also trickled down in some of the significant universities beyond the Indian Subcontinent.

COVID became an obstacle to the ideas and aspirations of diverse Indian students who dreamt or are still yearning to enter into their choice and scope of foreign universities. The prolonged period of wait past one year has constrained the possibility of following the strategies made by millions of Indian students for their overseas education. On top of a major natural calamity, there was a hindrance waiting from a political and economic perspective. The previous US government restricted the F1 visa category for Indian students, which shattered millions of dreams.

Earlier, many students who applied for the student visa after getting enrolled in their choice of course in Universities abroad for the Fall Session in the year 2020 had a hard time figuring out the next step forward COVID-virus began spreading throughout the globe with nations going on lockdown mode. Hence, the student visa application for international students had been put to hold for the time being, along with a country-wide restriction on traveling since the border to various countries was sealed. It negatively influenced students who were planning or aspiring to step into foreign universities and pursue a course/career of their choice.

All the US, UK, and other recognized foreign universities sought to shift all the classes online for their winter/spring semester. With all the hap-hazard situation in the overseas regions, students who were already part of a program and were studying in foreign universities had to decide between either moving back to their home country or continue to live in terror in a foreign country amidst a natural crisis.

The Student Testimonials

An interview conducted by The Indian Express on students who were stuck/remained in their respective universities tells the tale of their hardship and how it felt mentally and physically draining. These students speak of the time in their degree-pursuing universities during the time of crisis.

Roshini Bahri, University of East Anglia England

Roshini currently pursues her medicine in the university and told The Indian Express about how she decided to stay on her campus, presuming that the disease was just a matter of concern for two weeks. However, when the situation began turning worse, she enrolled herself as a healthcare worker being a medical student herself in the country. Bahri managed to work four days a week as a healthcare worker in a local facility and took her online classes. She also talked about her struggle and discomfort to work in PPE kits, informing about the scarcity of the same.

Tithi Gandhi, Pursuing Biomedical Sciences in New Zealand

Tithi talks about her decision to stay back on her campus during the lockdown period due to the nature of her degree being more research-oriented. She speaks of losing her job, which led to her hardships due to an early investment in her rent and miscellaneous expenses. She mentioned that New Zealand is a region with a small population that can recover faster than other parts of the world. Online classes do not seem a wise choice than practical learning, and it made more sense viewing the nature of her degree.

Gandhi mentioned that things are returning on track, the other student and researchers, along with her, returned to pursue their research work on campus.

Soumil Roychowdhary, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, 

A resident of Kolkata, Soumil talks about his one-year stay in the home town due to the lockdown situation globally. He mentioned that due to the beginning of the research assistant phase, he needed to move to the university to attend face-to-face classes rather than online learning. He speaks of having a hard time managing the time zone difference and juggling with low bandwidth internet connectivity during classes.

The upcoming session and present situation

Things in the present look a little on the bright side for the Indian students who currently withhold offer letters from universities in several renowned regions like, US, Canada, UK, Germany, Ireland, and many more. A significant relief factor also involves the future possibility of US President Joe Biden’s removal of the ban on F1 visas for Indian students, which might indicate good news on our ways.

All the Indian Students who are aspiring to study abroad must consider some facts post the pandemic situation. The universities in the US, New Zealand, Australia, or Germany are open to accepting international students’ applications. The universities abroad attempt to implement a step towards the hybrid mode of learning where off-line and online learning would be part of the new session.

The visa ban has been lifted, especially in countries like the UK, which continued extending their admission invitation to international students throughout the pandemic. Students are demanding the beginning of face-to-face learning since abroad education is all about exploring opportunities via physical presence on the campus. Universities in all these countries closely work with their governments to find a solution for the online studying situation.

These universities have been diligently taking safety measures to add back the value of on-campus studying for students across borders. The universities claim difficulty in teaching every course via online mode. Understanding the universities and the government moves towards keeping the international student’s safety in check and organizing a hassle-free learning experience on the campus premises, students are willing to quarantine themselves if face-to-face learning is offered to them by the universities, who extended the opportunity to enroll these students in these colleges abroad.

All the students who aspire to go for higher education to various countries overseas could register themselves on the university’s official website and be in close touch with their administration for any newer updates. The universities are preparing and gearing up to look after their staff and the health of a fresh batch of students. The latest information about enrollment, mode of classes, and visa application reflect all the positive sides of the situation, welcoming the new batch for new sessions and beginning face-to-face interaction with proper healthcare measures, guidelines, and much-needed modification in the system.

{Visit studentcover.in, to know the steps post/ pre-application to your choice of university and get an expert’s on the options available for financial aid, visa, and Health & Travel Insurance for International students and more.}

Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.

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