In the dismal background of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has caused concern across the globe, the Indian students on the verge of joining universities overseas in 2020 are much affected, with the closure of visa grant procedures. With uncertainty and chaos hounding what was supposed to be an adventurous start of your college life, your perplexity is only natural. However, in the time of crisis, it often happens that you develop your perspective, and understanding of the world, with restored faith in the strength and resilience of mankind.
Consequently, as you keep your hygiene habits updated, protect your families and friends, while waiting for your admission results, we have answered some of your gaping doubts about study abroad options in Delhi after the outbreak. As we at EdNet understand the safety concerns of the parents and students regarding the same, this is our attempt to guide you through the present academic difficulties. Thus, by answering some important questions regarding the health status of countries, and the academic possibilities for Indian students in the near future, we hope to help you through these difficult times.
The first dilemma which Indian students aiming to study abroad are facing in the present is that of their ‘personal health versus academic aspirations’. Therefore, as your dream of studying in one of the best universities of the world, your decision might just as well be under the review of your parents in real time. Moreover, an over-informative pool of suggestions for dropping your study abroad options, or, waiting for another year might just be thrown your way via relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
In this regard, the most important criteria to judge the safety of international academic institutions in near future, are to glance through their preventive measures of present. What is the state of present enrolled students in universities overseas? Answering this question might just as well reflect on the elaborate efforts that all the universities and academic institutions are taking, assuring you of a safe association with them.
Social Distancing: There are concrete ground reports of universities in all affected countries to have practiced safe social distancing measures even before the outbreak became viral. This tells us a lot about their intuitive wisdom and willingness to prioritize the safety of students. Major universities of USA and UK have restricted the students in their hostel premises early on, while also ensuring that the international students do not face any technical difficulties. Besides, the students who could not return from the affected countries are advised to stay safe at home without any academic worries. The admission directors of all universities including Harvard and Princeton have promised to include all individual exceptions.
Sanitizing Campuses: There has been a major drive in all the universities located in affected areas to thoroughly sanitize their campuses, labs, classrooms, and other facilities, while also restricting student access. Moreover, students have been advised to maintain hygiene, wash and sanitize their hands, and use masks while going to get essential supplies and food items.
Online Classes: Many universities including the Princeton University and Ohio State University have canceled classes, or, have moved to an online instruction module. In this regard, the director of international admission at Miami University, Oxford, has assured that there will be no compromise in the health measures, while also keeping their education mission intact. To help the universities teach through online courses, the institutions from the Student and Visitors Exchange Program have given them the flexibility to practice online instruction.
Tackling Xenophobia and Racism: In the time of a global pandemic, which has affected numerous countries across the globe, the atmosphere is often of xenophobia and racism to blame a particular section. In this regard, the admissions counselors and in charges have been making sure that no student faces prejudiced encounters on the basis of their ethnicities. There have been numerous attempts at sticking off the xenophobia that may surround the Chinese and other international students in the present contexts.
Personal Guidance: There have been several reports of personal guidance by the university advisors for the best possible support to students. Most of the international students, in this regard, have been advised to self quarantine themselves in their homes. Moreover, the student travel programs and exchange programs have either been cancelled, or, postponed.
Online Semester: The international students of many universities have been told to take the first semester classes online, in order to contain the pandemic. It is advised that you get in touch with the admission counselor of your university, and understand the details of your proceedings with the particular universities.
SATs and Other Examinations: All the aptitude tests have been cancelled for now the month of May only, and will resume once the virus is under control. Further, the universities are also brainstorming to come up with secure online modes of conducting these tests, which could help the international students. However, an official initiative into online mode is yet to happen.
IB Examinations Cancelled: In keeping with the international measures that are taken to keep the students appearing for various examinations safe, IB schools have cancelled their examinations scheduled in May. A notice has been sent to all the students to inform them of the delay, while it has been assured that they will not lose out on the academic front. The schools are hoping to resume examinations once the COVID-19 outbreak is contained.
Consequently, with the efforts of all the universities overseas, decisive and responsible admission committees, counselors, and university advisors, we are sure to come out of this whirlpool. We are going to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, without losing our academic focus and resilience, while preparing for a fruitful 2020 session.
Your Health is Our Priority!