The recent public health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a clampdown worldwide. Every sector is suffering, fighting, and trying best to emerge victorious out of their dilemmas.
Impact on Student Life
Amid the pandemic, the education system shut down completely. This step affected students’ lives in an unprecedented way. Students who go abroad for education consider it an exhilarating experience. But, the ongoing crisis turned the tables with traveling abroad for education almost impossible.
The educational system foresees the following changes:
To practice social distancing, schools, colleges, and universities stopped on-campus operations. There are no face-to-face sessions. Teachers are delivering lectures virtually, via different tools and software. Moreover, students are warming up to the idea of attending classes from the comfort of their homes.
Colleges also deferred theses and exams, which may result in the delay of the completion of their degrees. Students who are interning abroad are now doing so remotely, without being physically present on site. This way, the students can continue with their pursuits without any hindrance.
Many surveys are analyzing the impact of COVID-19 and remote learning on students. A growing percentage of students are facing trouble adjusting to the new routine. As a result, they face extreme anxiety and stress, especially for adjusting to a different culture. Virtual sessions may reduce this to some level. Universities in Austria, UK, and Finland suspended face-to-face learning altogether.
Adjournment of Degrees and Awards
COVID-19 impacted the educational system in ways that might result in a substantial delay in the completion of degrees. This means that when you are applying for admissions, you will not be able to fulfill all requirements. It can become a huge problem for first-year students. Colleges may change admission procedures, postpone application deadlines, and delay the semesters. Students should frequently check their websites for relevant updates.
Domestic Study-Away Programs
Even when the pandemic wanes away, there might be a probability of students wanting to stay in their home countries. Keeping this in mind, many institutions start a domestic study-away program. This program allows students to engage in experiences similar to studying abroad. The difference is that they stay in their home countries.
The program caters to diverse communities in the US. The aim is to mobilize their minds and enhance their perspectives by interacting with various people. This idea seems to be much safer and will gain more popularity post-pandemic.
Education Abroad At Home
According to a study, 85.1% of the current students are taking online classes. Only 5.4% of the students plan on canceling their plans on studying abroad, though the eagerness to go back is very much alive and kicking. Educational institutions are seeking different ways to help students’ continue their studies abroad.
The innovative push led to a global curriculum. Students will take part in education abroad through online classes without traveling. The university partners in different countries can jointly pursue the approach. This way, they can enhance course topics and inculcate a better understanding of the course. Students have an interest in studying through virtual classes, and the idea seems to take the heat. This will be facilitating the students financially as well as academically in the future.
Inculcating Global Responsibility
Amidst the global crisis, while there have been various intricacies, we have seen clearer water in the oceans and less polluted air. This can be our chance to instill a sense of responsibility that every individual has towards the environment. Students traveling abroad are a source of connection between cultures and countries. Therefore, it is imperative to bring to their realization that they are the caretakers.
This is possible by dedicating a part of our education courses to this cause of bettering the environment. Every student, faculty member, and teacher engaged in education abroad has an active role. They have to adopt the best practices for making the world a better place to live in.
Limitation on Immigration
Many countries imposed restrictions on their borders. Only the nationals or their permanent residents can enter. They do grant exceptions for people who want to enter the country for genuine reasons. This might affect international students in autumn of 2020. But, assessing the impact of this move will require some time.
The pandemic led to many fears in the minds of students. They worry about finances, travel restrictions, and the obstacles in finishing their studies. They can see their travel prospects limited and their savings diminishing over time due to COVID-19.
Students studying at home can afford to postpone their studies. However, the ones who are studying abroad are already looking for alternatives. They are also open to the concept of online courses, individual tutoring, counseling, etc. contrary to ones in home countries.
The global catastrophe has indeed resulted in a paradigm shift for all students. Studying abroad allowed students to connect with people of various mindsets. They broadened their horizons by embracing a different culture and living in a new place.
The current situation indeed shattered a lot of dreams and demands great sacrifice, but students should learn and move on. Educational institutions need to embrace this challenge and help students in the most efficient way.