How To Prepare for Higher Education & Study Abroad During Corona

How To Prepare for Higher Education & Study Abroad During Corona

A quintessential phase in the life of a student is their higher education.

A step just between adulthood and temporary freedom from primary education and their rules. With the hopes of studying abroad delayed by the pandemic, students have found themselves in a dilemma. Not only did students find themselves dealing with stress, but also with a constant desire to overcome the situation at hand and still pursue their dreams. But contrary to the obvious, all surveys conducted in recent times on study abroad suggest that students are not backing out on their plans of higher education abroad.

If you are one of those students planning for higher education and study abroad, here are some things you should prepare yourself with.

Continue the Exam Prep

Irrespective of the current situation, continue with your exam preparation. Identify the process or exams through which your preferred university or college abroad is taking international students. Look out for entrance exams or any other qualifying metrics that you need to adhere to. There are test preparation platforms available to help you with that information; however, the best practice is to visit your shortlisted college website to understand more details. For example - Wollongong University, Australia, has a set of entry requirements that you must meet before enrolling. UOW accepts major international English tests, including IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson, Cambridge, and OET. Check these factors carefully and prepare.

Know the application process during corona 

The application process is an important aspect of getting the study abroad process started. The application process was online; look at common factors needed to get shortlisted and accepted. Knowing when to apply and all documentary details that need to go with it will ease your application process. If you cannot visit college/university websites individually, then taking the help of EdTech platforms that aggregates such information or talking to a counsellor on their platform is the way to go. Usually, in most foreign universities, the session starts from September-October, while the intake happens twice a year, usually in February and July. Some EdTech enablers might have more intakes in a year, so it would be better to check what kind of tie-up a university has with them. Most universities in Europe, especially the UK, are accepting international students.

Identifying study enabler platforms to continue online education

Studying abroad through an EdTech platform may not add up to all the experience, but this is the interim way to go. Identifying the right EdTech study abroad enabler is very important for a holistic experience; here are some points to consider:

  1. Look for a platform that gives you the flexibility to complete your first semester or a full year online and then finish the rest of the semesters offline and at the campus.
  2. Budget is important; see which platform helps you save more. With a semester or a year online, you can easily save up to 15-20 lakhs or more.
  3. Personalized tutoring is not offered by any EdTech platform for study abroad programs, except for The WorldGrad- a study abroad platform. So, if it is an important factor to you, make sure to check this filter.
  4. Your online credits should be able to transfer offline. While this is offered by most of the study abroad enablers, ensure you check this out.
  5. Additionally, students looking for additional support around Visa, immigration process, English preparation, and even counselling around the availability of work abroad should look at this support on the platform too.

Learn to manage your mental health

A big part of 2020 has been the increased stress and anxiety affecting international students. It’s likely this may continue into 2021 and can have an impact on your international student experience, especially if the additional pressures of the pandemic continue into 2021. 2020 has been a challenging year for international students. But it’s still possible to get ahead with your study abroad plans as many countries are already planning to open their borders to international students.

Planning for the future

Keep yourself future-ready. The colleges will open, the border restrictions will be removed, the travel will start eventually. Research and refine the skills that you would need as per the goals that you have set for yourself. For example, for many students’ immigration is one of the factors to study abroad. For the other larger faction, getting a placement or work opportunity in the country is important. Prepare yourself for these goals, research jobs and visa/sponsorship process. Australia, for example, offers a multicultural and friendly environment fit for Asians. International students in Australia can work up to 20 hours a week and, after graduation, benefit from a post-study work visa. The Australian government has also initiated a Professional Year Program dedicated to all graduates of accounting, information technology and engineering programs, allowing them to work in a local company.

Similarly, the United Kingdom announced a two-year extension of post-graduate work visas, offering opportunities for international students to prolong their stay in the country and launch their careers abroad.

Do not let corona take away the study and career goals you had set aside for yourself. It is delayed and not gone.

About the Author
Author: Abhinav Mital
Abhinav comes with nearly 15 years of experience in the education sector and was a founding member and former Partner of Parthenon-EY’s international education practice. He has worked with a number of global higher education institutions on growth strategy, international expansion and improving student experience as well as advised PE investors, publishers, education companies and edu-tech ventures. He currently serves on the operations advisory board of The Education Fund, Australia. He is also the Managing Director of LINC Education and Co-Founder of The WorldGrad- a study abroad enabler platform

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