Study Abroad Student Experiences During COVID-19

June 29, 2021

Student Experiences During COVID

The COVID-19 crisis is reported to have a significant effect on foreign student mobility. Numerous surveys have been undertaken by organizations ranging from foreign universities to multiple education consultancies in an effort to gauge the pulse and mood of prospective students from main source countries. A few of these studies have had a spotlight on India, the world’s second-largest source of foreign students. According to these polls, the bulk of Indians aspiring to study abroad are unlikely to scrap or postpone their plans. According to a poll, as opposed to prospective foreign students from other countries, Indians seem to be especially determined, with the majority eager to continue with their study overseas plans amid the pandemic. So, if you are one of them, we’ll give you a rundown of some student experience during COVID-19 to help you out in your decision-making.

When this all happened, I was participating in a nationwide student exchange program at the University of Calgary, taking classes for my specialization in human development as well as elective courses. I had been in Calgary for six months when I was asked to return home but had already fallen in love with Canada and my university at Calgary. After having an incredible time and was unhappy to return at the end of March 2020. I found wonderful classmates, both exchange and non-exchange. My journey finished in a state of confusion and tension.

My native university and parents advised me to return home because borders were closing and there were fewer flights into India. The University of Calgary kept me posted, and my mentors were incredibly welcoming during my transition and all of the tension.

– An Indian student experience during COVID-19 at the University of Calgary

Student Experience During COVID-19

Everything has gradually changed in Japan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan declared a state of emergency, several markets shut, and the government urged people to remain at home. As a way to prepare for the current pandemic scenario, my university held regular online classes this term. This method is definitely novel to me since I have never taken an online lecture or workshop before.

This online lecture method seemed strange at first because I can’t communicate directly with my lecturer or my classmates, but after a few days, I believe both the professor and the students got adjusted to virtual lectures through Zoom. Since I’m at my own place, I feel I am saving time there is no commute and I don’t need to head to the cafeteria for meals at lunch hour.

– A student experience during COVID-19 at the Tokyo International University

Student Experience During COVID

I had been at home for nearly a year and was excited to begin face-to-face lessons. I have to practice as a research assistant starting in my second year, and the mentor wanted me to be here. As I wanted to come back, Hong Kong had taken care of the crisis, so my family was now convinced that I’d be secure.

I had come home and managed my classes online when the pandemic hit. However, as soon as classes resumed, I returned to the university, where I am an undergraduate student studying physics. During my time in Kolkata, I had to deal with not only the time gap and limited internet bandwidth, but also the Cyclone Amphan. My professors were helpful. Though the lectures are already in a hybrid phase, it is preferable to be on campus so we have access to laboratories and meet new people. Students who want to enter as freshmen should seize the chance to get acquainted with the culture here now rather than later.

– An Indian student experience during COVID-19 at the Hong Kong University

Student Experience During COVID

Unfortunately, I was in a region that had one of the first official cases outside of China; the first cases were towards the end of January, only two weeks after I entered, so all of my classes were online at the beginning of February, and the pandemic was a subject nearly the entire time I was there. Having said that, Singapore had a firm grip on the situation, and I never felt threatened.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I have had the amazing chance to fly across Southeast Asia for 10 days over the recess week. But the pandemic certainly put a pall on the exchange – provided that all classes of more than 50 students were canceled pretty much the whole semester, it sort of took away a sense of routine, which was very crucial in adapting to life in a foreign world, and I felt like I was losing out on getting a real learning environment. 

– A student experience during COVID-19 at the National University of Singapore

Student Experience During COVID

In a normal semester, I am occupied with resolving roommate issues and listening to students who have difficulties adapting to life in a different country. It has been the weirdest year in my life. When warnings of border closures were released, students were practically rushing out the gate with bags for spring break.

There were no goodbyes, no farewell celebrations, only orders from the college that they ought to leave immediately. I was taken aback. Studying abroad was so mainstream, with so many students going abroad each year, that the region seemed untouchable. It seemed to vanish instantly. Friends and coworkers were losing their jobs, and there was little way of knowing whether or if students might return.

– A study abroad program coordinator student experience during COVID-19 at UK

Student Experience During COVID-19: What Do I Feel?

COVID-19 has forced students and institutions to respond rapidly to evolving conditions. The world’s uncertainty in the light of COVID-19 is, predictably, being replicated by learners.

The epidemic of COVID-19 is unavoidably disrupting students’ student exchange plans and interactions. However, countries are now welcoming students and taking care of all the safety measures, you can take the leap of faith instead of canceling your plans completely. Studying abroad is still at the upper edge of many students’ wishlists, and COVID-19 could only put a hold on the issue of how and when they’ll do it but could not stop students from pursuing their dreams.


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With her expertise in the study abroad space, Shreya has worked closely with EdTech leaders like Unacademy, upGrad, Shiksha, and CollegeDunia. She knows her way around words, both written and spoken, which is also her strongest suit. A passionate learner and a mentor, she is often found passing her knowledge to young minds.
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