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Common concerns for students amid coronavirus: Poll results

It's not an easy time to be a student with so much uncertainty. However, being able to talk about concerns and how to deal with things can go a long way in helping.

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As an international student, you may be feeling the effects of coronavirus on your study abroad plans. To better advise you, we got in touch with international students to find out what they’re most worried about right now. We’ve outlined and identified the key concerns students expressed in relation to both their studies and the COVID-19 pandemic.  We also asked students to share their key questions about COVID-19 and international study.

 

“Will I be able to start studying as I planned this year?”

International students revealed that this is one of their major and most important concerns. Due to the uncertainty of the situation, there is no clear-cut answer and it really depends on your specific situation. If you are due to start this year, you may find that your course will be available to you online or dates for starting your study adjusted. As the situation is constantly evolving, universities are preparing for every possible scenario. With closed borders and travel restrictions, online learning is a likely option for many international students starting their studies in 2020.

 

Want to know more about online learning?

 

If you are unsure about how you will be affected, you should contact the institution you are planning to attend. They will be able to provide the necessary information about your next steps. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date with travel information, including visas, for the destination you are planning to study in as well as your government’s current travel advice.

 

“Will the start date change?”

A lot depends on the development of the virus and how safe it is for countries to return to normality as per government advice. Universities may adjust start dates to give greater flexibility to students or courses may be moved online until students can return to campus. Some universities are offering reduced tuition fees to accommodate for delays and for students not being able to access campuses. Get in touch with your university or check their website for further clarification. Many universities have set up dedicated portals and communication channels for international students.

 

“Will I be allowed to travel overseas?”

The answer to this question may depend on which country you are leaving and where you are planning to study abroad. Some countries have stricter regulations around entering and leaving the country and there is no clear idea of when this is expected to end. This is also affecting the application for, processing of and granting of visa. In the UK for example, the government is advising a ban on all non-essential travel, as is the case for many other regions. Understandably, you may be frustrated with the restrictions, but these unprecedented measures are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus and help save lives. At this stage, only time will tell but universities are doing all they can to help students.

 

Has coronavirus affected your decision to study abroad?

The majority of international students remain hopeful and felt that their choice would remain the same. Students did acknowledge that their decision has been impacted by various factors, including a delay to IELTS, visa complications, fear for safety and uncertainty around travel. These are all very real issues that institutions and governments are currently trying to resolve within the context of the current pandemic.

 

Hopefully these results have provided some reassurance that other international students are facing the same or similar challenges. Equally, universities are working hard to ensure that their students can receive access to higher education and the related services, despite the challenges.

 

However, if you’re still unsure about your next steps and how the coronavirus situation may affect your study abroad plans, check out our article on frequently asked questions.

 

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