The COVID Aftermath: Should Students Defer Study Abroad Plans?

As the world moves through the second phase of the pandemic, there is clarity that the situation is here to stay, for at least a foreseeable future. For students with study abroad dreams, this is the period of retrospection. The question that looms large is whether they should take their plans ahead or consider deferring them for now. There is no right answer because no one knows how the situation is going to pan out, and decisions are boiling down to individual guesswork.

International HEIs are back in business

Opinions have changed down the months, as initial surveys showed that a majority of students were considering postponement for their international education plans when the pandemic was in the early stages. However, the situation is quite different today, as the world is learning to live with the new normal. International universities and colleges are getting back in the business, and the hybrid model is gaining widespread adoption. Like everything else is reopening, the education industry is also aspiring to get back on its feet, and students can actually go ahead with their plans without second thoughts.

Hybrid is the new hope

Whether it is learning back home or embarking overseas for education, the hybrid model is the new hope for the students in the post-COVID landscape. In fact, a majority of HEIs are already conducting online classes, and they are doing pretty well. Even as they plan to open up campus gates in the future, there is no assurance of how long things will work with the virus being still at large. Until a tangible treatment or vaccine comes around, the hybrid approach is the only way for things to work in the on-and-off scenario. The silver lining is that students can apply for the upcoming sessions because HEIs will continue operating with this new model.

Parents have their own concerns

While the students are in two minds, parents too are struggling in their own ways. The financial aspect is getting them worried, as pay cuts and job losses are rampant, and there is an overall downturn. However, financials may be easy to deal with as students would have to spend fewer months in an academic year abroad with the hybrid model in place. The other concern relates to the risk of catching the virus as their children travel abroad. Thankfully, much is sorted out on this front as well, as they can continue research online and even apply on the online portals of the institutions.

Right now, things may not appear to be the brightest for the international education aspirants, but there is still hope as HEIs continue to evolve with new models and approach. Even as the number of students applying to UK universities declined initially, the number of applications has now increased to overtake the number in the last year. Facts, figures and projections go in the favour of the decision. Needless to say, deferring the study abroad plans may not be the best move, going ahead with them is probably a better idea.

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