Challenges faced by students with study abroad plans during COVID-19 crisis

A significant transformation in the education industry has been observed during the last decade as a large number of Indian students every year are flying to foreign lands for earning international degrees and building careers in diverse sectors. According to a statistic, released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in 2019, around 7,53,000 Indian students are studying overseas, whereas the number was around 66,000 just a decade ago. India is now the second country after China as the source for international students across several global institutions. But these numbers might see a change in 2020 due to the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, popularly known as the Coronavirus. Traveling to foreign lands is the biggest challenge for everyone right now after this recently detected virus started causing severe illness in humans and restricting them from socializing.

Due to the unending uncertainty of the pandemic and strict restrictions imposed in different countries, study abroad aspirants are in a state of confusion in planning for their future goals. Many students this time have deferred their admission for January or February next year, while many students are looking for alternatives to minimize the damage as much as possible. Some of the major reasons for the indecisiveness taking place among several students’ study abroad plans are Visa rejection and class suspension due to the unavoidable lockdown restrictions imposed across various countries. Most of the students are facing the challenge of their Visa deadlines going against the lockdown dates along with financial strains of repaying education loans within the deadlines. It is a difficult situation for students who have already enrolled for courses abroad and are in their final year of studies with no certainty about when to complete their courses and get jobs.

Beside all these qualms prevailing at this time, online classes have now become the new form of studying to maintain social distancing for health safety. This is an advantage in a way as this model of learning is enabling students to balance their time and learn according to their own suitable pace. However, many students face a lot of challenges in attending online classes for not having computer access or uninterrupted wi-fi connections which is limiting their studying and obstructing them from staying updated with the curriculum. Striding with all these challenges, this new approach of studying online is the best way to continue and complete courses within the scheduled timeline. Physical attendance at colleges will eventually again set back but before that happens the education sector is all set to practice the innovative aspects of learning using new-age technology.

On the other hand, transfer programs at this time are also the most effective set of studies offering students to pursue their desired courses by staying in India without bringing much difference to their planned future. International Centre for Applied Sciences (ICAS) offered under Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) is a unique international engineering transfer program offered to Indian students. The program allows students to experience engineering studies for the initial 2 years in India and the remaining 2 years in any premium universities in the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, UAE, Malaysia, and Australia. ICAS is thus one of the most flexible programs to consider at this critical time where students can opt to stay and study in their own country instead of traveling to a foreign land. If you too are looking for a study abroad course for engineering, check out for ICAS, Manipal.

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