How Lockdown And Travel Restrictions Shattered “Studying Abroad” Dream Of Indian Students

Thanks to travel restrictions and lockdown measures imposed by many countries, uncertainty surrounds several Indian students’ higher study plan. Some of them neither have an option to take up a job or internship in India, nor they can plan to go abroad.

Their study abroad plans have either been shattered or delayed due to lockdown restrictions imposed in various countries across the globe. Most foreign universities have announced to suspend classes. Clearing student visa has also been put on hold.

It is an uncertain time for them.

Just a month ago, 21-year-old Triptha Luthra was happy to receive an acceptance letter from Australia’s Deakin University. Now, she is glued to TV watching news updates from across the globe. She does not if she will be able to go abroad for higher study.

Uncertainty surrounds Anoushka Ray’s study abroad plan. She was all set to go to New York for a session beginning in September. The development is demotivating but not a factor to change her entire life plan. However, Tara Osan, who had acceptance letters from multiple colleges in Canada and Italy, believes its time to look for a plan B and apply for colleges in India.

Tara Osan, a Shri Ram School student, who wanted to study Advertising either in Italy or in Canada, believes that for students who opted for IB curriculum, studying abroad was a plan in mind since long. “Two months back, I was elated to be counting the number of options I had but now it is a very demotivating phase. Our class 12 exams are also suspended and will be evaluated on basis of internal assessments. So its a feeling that lot needs to be done to get future plans in order but everything is on hold.

“Studying abroad does not look like a possible thing this year so I will now look for a plan B and start applying for colleges here,” she said.

Anupam Singha, who runs a Study Abroad consultancy firm in Delhi, thinks that the situation i so grim that it might affect long term plans for many. Interviews and announcements for several fellowship opportunities are also on hold in view of the uncertainty, putting plans on hold for many, who depend on funding help for studying abroad.

However, “Chevening” which is a prestigious international awards programme run by the UK government and has helped over 50,000 professionals to study in the country since 1983, is working to ensure plans are not affected. “At this current time, we are liaising closely with local British embassies and High Commissions, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and host institutions to make arrangements for Chevening Fellowships due to commence soon. “For applications in process, we are aware that many countries are currently in various stages of lockdown or have in place other restrictions due to coronavirus. We are working to reduce disruption to interviews as much as possible. This may mean your interview will be conducted online or by telephone. We will make every effort to ensure your interview can still take place,” the Chevening Secretriat said, in a message posted on its website.

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