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Frequently Asked Questions: Coronavirus & your studies

We know that you may be anxious or worried about the current situation with Covid-19 and how this could affect your studies. We're here to help you navigate your way through with some frequently asked questions on the key issues.

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We are constantly monitoring and updating the below information depending on the how the situation develops.

 

During this uncertain time, we know that you may have many questions about how Covid-19 might impact your studies. Whether you’re currently at university or a prospective student, the below Q&A should clarify some of those queries.

 

1. Should I still be researching universities and study opportunities at this time?

Yes. You can continue to look at institutions around the world to figure out where you want to study despite the current situation with Covid-19. You can keep an eye on the situation while making study plans. Whether you’re looking to study abroad in 2020 or 2021, it’s still worthwhile to research universities to see what is available, which may include online options or deferred entry dates. It’s always worth looking forward to the future.

2. What are universities doing to handle the situation at the moment?

Universities around the world are following government and World Health Organisation advice and closing their premises to safeguard university communities and prevent the spread of Covid-19. Institutions have designed contingency plans in order to assist students in finishing current terms and curricula. This includes adjusting the criteria of assessment, moving teaching and learning online, as well as facilitating remote working for academic and administrative staff.

 

The world is facing this pandemic together and so it is vital that we support each other. Universities recognise this and are aware of the anxiety this situation is causing for students. Some institutions are even pushing back deadlines to ease the pressure and concern. It’s always best to check with the institution you are studying at or the institution you’re interested in to see what plans and procedures are currently in place.

 

3. Which countries currently have restricted entry?

It is recommended that you consult official government sources of information for the latest developments and advice. You can access this from the destination list below:

Australia

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

New Zealand

Spain

UK

USA

 

If the country you’re looking for isn’t included here, please refer to the Forbes A-Z list.

 

4. What should I do if the universities I’m interested in are closed?

With many universities having to close to protect the health and safety of their staff and students, you might be unsure about what this means for you. Currently, each university have a number of protocols in placed to deal with the situation and are following government guidance and advice. We recommend checking the university website for the most up-to-date information. Many universities have particular information regarding Covid-19 as it relates to their unique context and operation . If it is not on the university website homepage, you can use the search field on their websites. Although the process may differ between institutions, many universities have specific email address or dedicated point of contact for current and prospective students. You may be able to make online enquiries and receive advice from university staff who are working remotely. They also provide student support in many areas from wellbeing to career advice. 

 

A lot of universities are quickly moving their lessons, resources and assessments online to accommodate students during this unprecedented time. The future remains somewhat uncertain at present however some universities are preparing for their new cohort to start the first term with online learning until they can join in person when things are back up and running. Remember that universities want new students and so are working hard to make sure this can happen.

5. Can I still take an English language test?

English language test such as IELTS and TOEFL are taking precautions to protect their staff and students. This has resulted in the suspension of tests in certain locations. Other sites choosing to remain open are taking precautionary measures such as providing masks, hand sanitiser and partitions. You can find more information on these measures on the IELTS website For students wanting updates on TOEFL and GRE tests, you can check the ETS website.

6. What if I have applied for and been accepted for a place at a university in 2020?

If you have successfully applied for and have been accepted by a university for a 2020 start date then that offer of a place still remains valid at this point. Universities are not currently rescinding firm offers. You will most likely receive direct communication from the institution you will be studying at as per the possible start dates and if components of your course will be delivered online. There will likely be some administrative issues to work through and universities will communicate those in due course. If at any time you have concerns or wish to make an enquiry, you would be able to communicate directly with the institution.

7. What if I am a current international student at a university?

Universities have put in place procedures and protocols to deal with the current situation. These primarily focus on the safety of all students and staff, with an ancillary focus on ensuring the continuity of the curriculum where possible. If you are anxious, worried or concerned speak to a university representative as soon as possible. This way you can get information on your course of study and the plans in place at the university regarding accommodation, security and safety. You are also encouraged to contact your embassy to receive the most up to date government advice with regards to travel restrictions and procedures in place for overseas citizens

8. Should I still be revising or studying?

In most cases, yes. However, you will need to check with your university for specific information regarding exams, essays and dissertation deadlines. Some universiities have replaced summer exams with online assessments which means that you will still be expected to study but they may be open-book exams. If you are currently studying at university, you should check with your programme/course adviser to find out how you will be assessed and when. The majority of universities have contingency plans in place for the continuation of the curriculum where possible.

9. Will online teaching affect my learning?

While online learning might take getting used to, in the current climate it is both practical and effective. The transition to online learning has happened quickly and so there may be some teething problems that universities will need to address.However, on a positive note most universities already have the infrastructure in place to provide a professional online learning service. Our advice is make sure you ask your lecturers for help when needed.

 

If you are experiencing technical/connectivity issues or your housing situation is making online learning more difficult, make sure you speak to someone at the university and explain this.

 

10. Where can I find the latest information? 

Each university operates differently and the current situation is constantly evolving. We recommend that you check the university websites for specific information around start dates, applications and anything coronavirus related. You can also contact universities via social media and email. If you're thinking of studying in the  UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in 2021 or sooner and feel overwhelmed with all the information and requirements you can contact an IDP consultant for assistance.