Many students have had their study abroad plans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on staying healthy and preventing the spread of the disease. So, if you’re a student hoping to study abroad, you’re probably wondering how you should proceed.
Hopefully, we can answer some of the many questions you have at this time in this article.
Why should you still study abroad?
Studying abroad is a great way to stand out for future employers. You’ll gain a new perspective on culture, improve your language skills, and make new (and possibly professional) connections. Plus, you’ll gain valuable interview experience.
QS’s ongoing survey of 14,416 prospective international students has found that more than 90 percent of those intending to study at a university in the EU are still planning to study abroad despite the disruption to travel.
According to Nunzio Quacquarelli, CEO of QS: “Our data shows that any drop in international student enrolment is likely to be temporary. Only one in ten survey respondents has said they will not pursue international study at all.”
If travel is still prohibited by Fall 2020, can students still study abroad next academic year?
You may still be able to achieve your goal, but perhaps not in the way you originally thought.
A spokesperson for Universities UK said: “Many universities are preparing contingency plans in case international students cannot attend classes on campus this fall.”
University may still accept international students if the courses will be delivered online until students can attend in person.
Now, Northeastern University offers online study abroad programs. The programs provide students with an immersive experience as well as the opportunity to engage with international perspectives and global ideas.
Students should contact the institutions they are considering studying at in the UK to receive updates as the situation develops, Universities UK advises.
Getting a visa
The UK government said that many visa application centers around the world are closed or offer limited services.
For advice on visa services in your country, contact TLS if you’re in Europe, Africa, and parts of the Middle East, or VFS global for all other countries
English language tests
To study in an English-speaking country, you must have passed an English-language proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Cambridge Proficiency (CPE), Cambridge Advanced (CAE), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
As the COVID-19 situation progresses, it is unlikely that you will be able to attend a test center to complete your English Language proficiency exams. You can send in your application and provide the results for the English proficiency test afterward, according to some universities.
IELTS said, “in locations where it is permitted and safe to do so, IELTS testing is going ahead, with additional precautions in place to help protect the health of test-takers and staff.” However, these tests may be suspended at short notice due to the evolving situation.
When students cannot attend a test center but need to take English Language tests overseas, individual higher education providers with a track record of compliance can now self-assess a student’s level of English.
Alternatively, Duolingo is now offering English language proficiency tests, which you can take online at any time, anywhere. The test takes one hour, and you get the results in two days. The test costs US$49 and is accepted by hundreds of universities around the world.