Covid-19 has undoubtedly turned the way we interact and deal with our surroundings. And education is no less spared from it. From social distancing to online classes, this pandemic has presented the entire world with so many new normalities & uncertainties that the only thing we can do now is moving forward and prepare for the best. While you should not let this pandemic crush your career goals, as things are looking better with vaccines already rolled out, giving you a chance to fulfill your study abroad dream once again.
Universities are working closely with the government to ensure the conventional on-campus study programs while some are moving to an online & hybrid education model, so there can be a smooth transition to on-campus studies once the situation gets better. If you choose to travel now, make sure to research & understand the country to the core. Seek as much information about the country, like its culture, economy, employment opportunities (part-time, full time, work-study), rationing system & residency policies. Understand different policies going on in your chosen country that include mandatory quarantines upon arrival, Covid tests & more.
And, while you have a choice set on a particular country, you may have to explore other options, with some universities temporarily suspending or deferring admissions for selected fields for 2021. Programs related to Arts, Business Administration, Science are available in most universities. However, if you are looking for a specific course, chances are it might not be available at your desired university. So, check the course availability before selecting any university. Get details of your chosen program, their teaching methods on & off-campus, what resources included for the same, the scope of your course in the country, the frequency & mode of examinations, etc. Check the safety measures being taken by the university.
Also, broad studies are expensive, so you have to be careful in your planning right from the tuition fee to accommodation & daily expenses. Look for options to gather finances. You can use some of your savings in the form of FD & PF to finance your study or take an education loan. If you wish to take a loan, learn the types of education loans available, their amount, interest rates, processing fees, additional features, and benefits. Understand the property mortgage process if planning to settle abroad.
As an international student, you must look into the traveling side as well. Considering the situation, there have been alterations made in the Visa application process. Various immigration departments prepared checklists enlisting the essential documents a student needs to present to back their visa application. You will be required to pass some Medical tests & may need to show proof of certain vaccinations that your host country outlined. A negative RRT-PCR test report is made mandatory by several countries that one needs while traveling. Make sure to file those medical records and keep them up to date before applying for a visa & traveling. Also, keep your medical insurance in check. You may need to show it during the Visa process that you are covered for medical bills while staying abroad. Also, the primary insurance company or university may not give any medical cover while you are abroad. So it’s better to be prepared for future situations.
Accommodation is another consideration you have to make. You may decide to live on-campus, off-campus, or as a paying guest. But most importantly, consider the location, security of the area, if it has accessibility to the necessities or not, and how much you can spend on your stay. Connect your study abroad consultants or friends residing there to get deets about Forex exchange, guidance on accommodation, getting a sim card, etc.
Students aspiring to study abroad may have to go through the quarantine policy of their host country. You must talk to your university in advance and ensure you have enough resources and support to manage the quarantine requirements. Some facilities you can expect – airport pickup, private accommodation, meals, a connection to campus, and health services. Use your time wisely for research and prepare yourself for entrance tests that various foreign universities seek. Stay updated with the happenings around, so you do not miss anything important. Plan well & make your dream to study abroad a reality.