The best time to invest in education: Your study abroad plans and the Covid situation

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Amidst all the uncertainties, many students right now are feeling insecure about their future or are even are unable to plan their next steps as both their final exams and the results have been postponed. These are unprecedented circumstances which took the world by surprise. However, the higher education sector around the globe is trying to deal with this situation in the best way possible keeping the interest and the safety of all students in mind. The health of their students is priority for all institutions.

What can you do at this point?

1. Be patient. Wait and watch.

It is a fluid situation because of the unpredictability of the behaviour of the virus. So decisions need to be put on hold for a while.

2. Have a Plan A and a Plan B

Universities world wide are working towards enabling the fall session to start as usual. They expect the situation to be under control and the environment conducive to begin the session on campus. However, if the situation demands they might shift the initial part of the course online or shift the whole intake to a later start date, perhaps in spring. So be prepared to make a decision on what you will do in any eventuality.

3. Keep the communication on.

Check the university websites for their plans and policy changes on the virus situation. Communicate your concerns to them via email. There may be some delays in their responses since everyone is working from home.

4. Continue with your plans.

Universities across the globe are continuing to accept applications and are issuing offers. Accept your offers within the deadlines, pay the deposits, book your accommodation. Check the refund policy before paying the deposit. Though most universities are offering the option to refund your deposits or defer in case the situation worsens and they are unable to proceed with the classes on campus.

5. Prepare for the degree.

While you are waiting at home for the new normal to come, prepare yourself. Contact your program faculty and ask for a reading list to get a head start. Computer languages, academic writing, a foreign language, other courses related to your main program of study, there are many MOOCs you can join online to upgrade your knowledge and help you to prepare for college education.

6. Be positive.

Don’t give up just yet. It’s only a matter of time.

The good news:

The US government injected $2.3T into their economy to save and support businesses. The UK government announced a rescue package worth £330 billion in March itself to assist businesses struggling with the ‘economic emergency’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis would be “significant, but temporary”, UK’s Indian-origin finance minister Rishi Sunak has said, exuding confidence that Britain’s economy will bounce back “quickly and strongly” once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control. While the UK economy would contract by 12.8 per cent this year under this scenario, it is expected to get back to its pre-crisis growth trend by the end of 2020. (data taken from ET)

This only means that governments across the world are actively seeking to save their economies and minimize the impact of Covid. Here, we have to remember what happened in Germany post World War II, the country saw a period of what they called “Wirtschaftswunder” – an economic miracle.

While the world economy gets back on its feet, rethink ways to utilise this difficult time efficiently. Build your skills, reinvent yourself through higher education. Keep your dreams on!

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