Education Abroad in a Post-COVID-19: Challenges and Emerging Trends

Back in December 2019, the semesters of various educational institutes suddenly came to a halt as the Covid-19 enveloped the world like wildfire. At the time, it was a temporary short-term break, after which the world will resume as it should.

However, soon the number of countries affected by the fatal Coronavirus rose incredibly. The worst of Covid-19 hit the world’s most well-established countries, including the United States, Italy, Spain, and Germany. And, the overwhelming death toll left us all in questioning whether the world will be normal again or not.

Now, it is December 2020, and the world’s striving to adjust to this Covid-19 affected world. A majority of people are seeking refuge in work from home to keep the households running. But what about those countless students who agreed on a short-term break, not a permanent stop to their education? What about all those students looking forward to studying abroad and establish a good career?

Will they be able to fulfill their educational goals? Will they be able to strive in a post-COVID-19 world without education completion? Will education abroad in a Post Covid-19 be even possible?

If all these questions have surrounded your mind, then you need to read this. The following articulation addresses all the queries of students torn between pre and post-COVID-19 world. Read more!

COVID-19’s Impact on Education

Before diving into details, let’s go back in time when it all started so that we can better understand how education would shape in a Post Covid-19 world. With Coronavirus first hitting the world, the immediate measures taken by authoritative bodies were to close all the public areas and crowd-gathering places, including educational institutes.

Since then, these academic buildings have remained closed. Many countries have implemented local closure in most affected areas. However, this scenario has affected approximately 1.3 billion learners negatively.

Even the Cambridge International Examinations got canceled and postponed. In March 2020, the official CIE board released statements that announced the cancellation of Cambridge O Levels, IGCSE, AS & A Levels, AICE Diploma, and Pre-U examinations for the May/June series.

Recently, the International Baccalaureate examinations also got canceled. Plus, the SAT administrations and Advanced Placement paper either got canceled or conducted online. While these measures secured the world against Covid-19, it has triggered numerous economic as well as societal consequences.

Following UNESCO’s recommendations, many educational institutes have initiated distance learning programs and online applications. However, education abroad is still on a halt. Let’s explore the challenges faced by students willing to study abroad below!

Challenges for Education Abroad in Covid-19

Pursuing higher education abroad is a dream many of us wish to come true. However, with Covid-19, there are many challenges to confront and conquer. If you are a higher education student looking forward to studying abroad during Covid-19, then here are some factors you must consider:

  • Teaching Limitations: As mentioned earlier, face-to-face teaching got banned earlier when the pandemic first started. In an attempt to halt the spread, several universities and colleges have paused on-campus activities, including lectures. All the learning procedures are getting carried online. Examinations, presentations, and all other activities are getting postponed or canceled.
  • Travel Restrictions: Several reputable universities and educational institutes have imposed restrictions on international students to limit the spread of Coronavirus. These include Harvard University, California University, University of Connecticut, Trinity College, and many others.
  • Admission Eligibility: A delay and pause in academic activities during the pandemic has affected grades negatively. It means that a larger number of students will not meet the eligibility criteria of international institutes. Plus, the delayed documentation procedures mean an inability to meet the application deadlines.

While some institutes have altered their policies due to pandemic, others have not. It is recommendable to follow up on the university you want to attend and contact the admission department.

The Possibility of Education Abroad in Future

Now, considering the above-stated problems, you must be pondering about the future. While there does exist a possibility of education abroad in a Post COVID world, it may not be the same. Maybe, traveling and studying abroad like in the previous time may never happen again.

But, this does not mean the end of education abroad. Instead, authoritative bodies are adopting newer methods of learning to recover educational loss.

The pandemic has forced us all in our homes, and so, educational institutes have turned towards online teaching methods to cope up with studies. A majority of the world student population is completing formal education through online meetings, using apps like Zoom on their laptops and computers from their homes. Due to pandemic, monitor screens, keyboards, WiFi cards, and other remote learning tools are in great demand.

Education abroad has taken an innovative approach to online learning. Universities have launched programs with course components revolving around education abroad experience. These online courses target specific factors to make the student feel as if studying abroad. Certainly, virtual learning cannot entirely substitute face-to-face learning. However, it is maintaining the flow of education to an extent. Recently, institutes are also providing virtual internships with host companies.

Another example of this innovative education abroad course includes the domestic-away classes, which specifically focus on bringing together a diversity of students. This virtual experience has broadened the perspectives and increases interaction abilities that an on-campus experience would have offered otherwise.

Furthermore, authoritative bodies have studied teaching methods of various regions. By knowing the differences, they can alter their online class strategies to provide a better education abroad experience to students.

Final Thoughts

The existence of Coronavirus has altered our world in various aspects. Once, the work from home concept got considered meager and an unprofessional approach towards work. However, today, it is our only hope to survive.

Similarly, education abroad has taken a new turn. The meaning of crossing boards and studying in foreign lands have changed. It’s time when the authoritative bodies are focusing less on geographical lines and more on experience to offer education abroad, regardless of Covid-19.

Well, the future is still to come, unpredictable and ever-changing. Let’s see what else is yet to unravel!

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