Every year many Indian students travel to the US, UK, Canada, Australia and other countries for their higher education. Along with many other effects, the pandemic became a hurdle for many students who wanted to travel abroad for education.
According to data released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in 2019, around 7,53,000 Indian students are studying abroad but, this number has fallen due to the sudden wave of Covid19. The arrival of this deadly virus has impacted each one of us. For the students dreaming to acquire international degrees, it was a journey of indefinite wait brought by pandemic restrictions.
Students faced immense difficulties in the process. Due to the pandemic, some were not able to fetch results on time and some had to face double-spending. Some of them even had to call off their international study plans.
Khalid, who had completed his B.com honours from Jamia Millia Islamia, shared "My personal life and academics were affected due to the pandemic. When the second wave hit India in April, professors and students were not able to focus because of the tension and family loss. This ultimately resulted in delayed exams."
Further, he mentioned, " Postponed exams cause late results and my whole process of applying for a visa got behind the schedule, therefore I had to defer my whole term for international studies and a lot of money got wasted in the process."
Khalid had applied for higher studies in Canada that was also affected badly due to Covid-19. Visa offices were only working in limited capacities which meant that the work which used to be completed in 7-10 days, now took 2-3 months.
"Maybe now I'll have to defer my plans for one more term. Covid has delayed all the processes, be it in India for getting mark sheets or getting acceptance from Canada."
Another student, Harjot Singh who is currently studying chemical engineering in Canada shared "Covid has brought so much loss to the students. When I was preparing for international studies, IELTS institutes were shut down and students had to wait to start their preparation."
He added, "Canadian staff in visa offices was very less and my application approval was delayed. Moreover, the delay in academic data provided by colleges in India was an issue."
Harjot said another consequence of the covid pandemic was " I had to defer my term due to the process beginning behind the time."
Before the pandemic, travellers can reach directly from India to Canada but after covid, there were no direct flights available. International student Harjot expressed that he had to fly to a third country before reaching his destination such as Mexico or Egypt. This, unfortunately, leads to issues like language barrier, double expense, physical and mental distress.
The pandemic has made overseas education more complicated, uncertain and expensive. This calls for students all over India to be more patient, calm and optimistic.