Which semester should I consider studying abroad?
Hello Study Abroad Aspirants!
I hope you are doing well!
COVID pandemic has put study abroad aspirants in a confused state than ever before. Students who have secured admission in foreign universities are unable to decide whether to proceed with admission or defer to the next semester. The most daunting question in final year undergraduate students is –
Which semester should I consider studying abroad? Fall 2020 or Spring 2021? or postponed the study abroad plan?
Let us analyze the situation in detail. Most of the universities in India, are yet to conduct their final year (semester) exam. So, final year students are unable to complete their degree as per schedule. The technical and social conditions are not favorable to conduct the semester exams online we are not sure about the exact time of degree completion for these students. Though the universities abroad usually give adequate time (sometimes, until the result declaration of their first semester) to submit their final year documents, this works only for students who have given their final semester/year exams and awaiting results.
For example, if a student is yet to write his/her final semester/year exam, then even with an acceptance offer from a foreign university it is unable for that particular student to go abroad as his/her physical presence is required for writing the exam. But, this scenario is for commencing the studies in Fall 2020 only. Hence, such students can start their studies abroad from Spring 2021 (Jan/Feb commencement). For the students who have been awaiting results of final year/semester exams, it is advisable to commence in Spring 2021 as there is still uncertainty on when the consulates would start their normal operations to get the visa approved; especially for the USA aspirants. Though students can apply for study visa/permit online for countries such as UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, etc. they cannot travel abroad as the international flights have not yet started their operations in India.
Yet, I would not suggest to delay the study-abroad plan altogether due to the current job outlook for fresh graduates in India. Owing to COVID19, many companies in India have huge layoffs making the unemployment rate scale up to higher. Many employees’ salaries have also reduced to half. Experts estimate that it is unlikely for the job market to reopen until at least the first quarter of 2021. Even then, fresh graduates have to compete with experienced professionals who have lost jobs due to the COVID crisis in entry-level jobs. So, for fresh graduates, it is a good time to invest in higher education abroad, especially for the ones having a marginal academic profile. Considering an average program duration of 1.5- 2 years, by the time one graduate from the Master’s program (if one starts his/her course in 2021), there are high chances that the job scenario throughout the world to resume normalcy. Also, competition from fellow international students would likely be lesser than ever before; simply because the lesser the international students joining in 2020/2021, the lesser the graduates competing for the job in two years from now.
Wishing you great success!
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Career Counselor, XLEducation
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