Study Abroad - Notes for students during the COVID pandemic
- Written by UnivAdmitHelp
- Category: Insights & Information
- Published on 27 Apr 2020
While the whole world is reeling under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, it is students who are affected immensely. A student is someone who is in the midst of his most defining years. Whatever occurs to them, whatever events are thrown at them, they have to recoup, and keep marching on. Here are a few of the worries that you, as a student, might be facing today, and here is our perspective on the same.
I aim to join a college overseas in 2020. Should I carry on, or should I defer my admission?
This is a nuanced question. The answer depends on the question!
- For a one year program: decline the offer.
There is no clarity on how soon the world will return to normalcy, when the international borders will open, nor how well the school will be able to translate their course to an online module. Moreover, a course is not the study material alone. A lot of it is made by the co-students, the classmates, the community. You do not want to spend a lot of time and money on a short term uncertainty.
- For a 2 year program:
How valuable is the brand of the univ? If it is super prestigious, super picky, and if you’ve gotten through, accept the admission offer. Do remember the above point that part of the course will be online until the world gets back on its feet. Ensure that the program you join is worth the wait.
- For a 3 - 4 year program:
COVID 19 impact would not be material over a long period of time hence you should continue as before.
I aim to start in 2021. How will a global lockdown affect my prospects?
The SATs and ACT in May and June have been cancelled. Also, many B Schools have waived off the requirements of GMAT for their final rounds.This should not worry a prospective candidate for overseas education. There is already a wave of colleges moving away from standardized tests. Hence, the profile of the candidate becomes more important.
What is the most crucial part of building a profile? Time! Students have always balked at the lack of time they had in order to build a diverse profile. With forced self-isolation, a lockdown, and lots of time on our hands, this is the opportune moment to participate in profile building activities. Also, Mid-term grades become important in absence of SAT/ACT and possibly GMAT or GRE scores. Remember it is the holistic profile that determines the admission outcome. A certain diversity of interests, a display of integrity, dedication, leadership: these are the qualities that students can build upon in the meantime.
Which country/university should I go to?
The real choice should depend on your program, subject, major, specialization. That being said, if you aim to study overseas, it’s a serious decision. It’s an investment, of both finances and of the best years of your life. You must aim to study at the college of your dreams. The program should rank amongst the top 100, otherwise are you even dreaming? Aim high, there are lots of great places that would benefit from you in their class, you just have to find them!
Possible job opportunities for the Class of 2022
With the world looking glum and down in the dumps, it seems like a not so great time to be alive, leave alone, to graduate. But when you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up! Graduating in 2022 would in fact be a great springboard. That would be the time when the world is back on its feet and raring to go. New opportunities would have developed in new fields from a new perspective! The World Bank estimates that while the world economy is slated to face a -3% change in 2020, it is predicted to grow at a 5.8% rate in 2021. That’s nothing, if not good news for the job markets.
What will happen to scholarships in the post COVID 19 era?
Scholarships are predicted to be slashed substantively. The endowments of universities have come down, in some cases by as much as 50%. Institutions are going to have a hard time staying afloat - in such a situation, clearly the number and the quantum of scholarships would come down drastically.
Can I write about Coronavirus in my college-essay?
Do you write about the heat in summers? Don’t write about Coronavirus in your college essay. It’s easy to imagine that almost all the writing that’s going to be generated post the COVID phase will incorporate the pandemic and its effects in some way or the other. Dare I say, there will be a glut of COVID literature very soon. The aim of a college essay is to differentiate yourself, and your application. Do not write about something that everyone else will be writing about too!
If you participated in some activities that could highlight your leadership skills or community service, it would be a good idea to get a letter of recommendation about it. But do not try to anchor your college essay on Coronavirus.
How important will be my school grades?
VERY. Given that SATs and ACT have been cancelled and postponed many times this year, your personal grades are the defining factor for your further education. Work hard on whatever you are doing. Focus on it, do it well, do it with passion. Enjoy it! It will show in your grades, strengthen your profile and take you further.
As many colleges are going test-optional, moving away from standardised tests, it is the holistic profile that will define a candidate for admission. So yes, school grades will matter. Be consistent, work hard.
To conclude, this is not the end of the road. It is but a speedbump. The world is on a fast track to change. And you, students, class of 2021 onwards, you are the change! So stay happy, stay positive, and wash your hands.