What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the likelihood of studying abroad? The chance to learn a new language, adapt to a new culture, make friends with people from all over and broaden your knowledge while discovering a viewpoint on a different lifestyle from your own. You must be thinking, what to expect when studying abroad during a global pandemic, well we are here to help you figure that out.
What most students look forward to the most when moving abroad is traveling, discovering new places, and broadening their horizons. This freedom is one of the perks of these three years of your life, which you might not get a second time during your professional life. Wondering the world as a college student is an extraordinary experience that helps you grow as an individual.
The pandemic has sorely impacted the experience of studying abroad. Digitalization has provided grounds to bring us together more than ever, nonetheless, our face-to-face interactions, and the involvement of students in study abroad programs has decreased in the past months due to the pandemic. Studying abroad during a global pandemic is not your average experience, it requires determination, focus, and aspiration as you have to overcome the challenges that living abroad away from your family with through at you.
Learning to get used to the lockdown
Humans have developed as creatures through interactions with each other, with the nature and with an active routine. The lockdown brought to life a reality that came as a shocker to everyone. As fitness centers began to close, interactive sports came to a break, bars and restaurants would open only for takeout, people started to slowly panic and the first thing that everybody thought was: “How am I going to spend this endless amount of free time that I have in my hands?”. Universities immersed their programs to online formats and from their every student’s life turned fully digital.
All these changes seemed to have a negative impact on everyone the first few months, but once reality of the pandemic kicked in, one could realize that not everything was as negative as it seemed. This second perspective allows students to have more time on their hands and for them to build up their will to do their academic activities, as well as their extracurricular ones. Students have a bigger freedom to explore their interests, to develop maybe a new hobby, to begin exercising on their own. All of the above are a good investment in maintaining a good mental and physical health.
Applying for Student Visa
As the pandemic kept spreading day after day, many of the embassies decided to stop their operations when the peak was reached. Optimistically, with the vaccine implemented already and in the path of spreading around the world. A visa application process occupies up to three months for completion, thus, it’s best to submit your application in advance. With the lockdown, most of you have had more time in their hands, and as such, to have made a rough plan.
The relevant information regarding the visa services and application requirements can be easily found on the website of the embassies or through visa sponsoring companies. If you encounter any bumps on the road or if you get any questions, contact your school as they have departments devoted to assist students all through the process of studying abroad.
Continuously – alternating travel restrictions
Travel restrictions are the crucial concern for individual crossing any national border. In the case of state lockdowns, you are provided virtual programs as a provisional solution for students. This is not your preferable situation, you don’t want to experience your opportunity virtually. All you want is to explore different cafes in Rome, find the place that makes the best croissant in Paris, enjoy the rush and IT life in New York. Maybe not right now, but you will get your chance to experience all of that soon.
Until the time for that comes, you have stay tuned with all the travel restrictions existing in the country you plan to transfer to. In the case that you don’t make it on time for the first semester, chances are high for you to be able to arrive by the second semester of the academic year. Depending on the university, they may offer flexibility with hybrid choices for students, so that they can be on course to graduate.