Published on September 25th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


Study Abroad: How to Be an Exchange Student During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has left its mark on many areas of life. Studying at a university has changed for all students. Can we hope that the regime will soften and students will once again be able to go to another university as an exchange? Let’s look into it.

How has the pandemic affected your studies?

Every phenomenon has both negative and positive consequences. The coronavirus pandemic was no exception. The quality of education has decreased, students don’t understand how to study further, and practical work has been eliminated. And yet, the innovations in education were timely and useful.

Negative consequences

The first harmed state universities – they reduced funding. Lack of budget has always been a pressing educational issue, and now it has become a major problem. All available funds went to medicine (well, sort of), and education received much less than it should have. Lack of funding at best means reduced scholarships, late purchase of literature and equipment. At worst, it means a reduction of teachers and the elimination of universities.

The second is the drop in the quality of education with the advent of online learning. Classes online turned out to be completely different from the way education is organized at the university in normal times. On the one hand, teachers are not used to this format, it is difficult for them to lecture on camera and not be able to demonstrate the necessary phenomena in practice. On the other hand, many students perceive remote learning as an extension of the vacation. Resting during class with the camera on, not preparing assignments, simply not connecting to the call-the students have come up with quite a few ways to sabotage themselves. Two groups of students were particularly unlucky. These are the first-year students, who are already stressed from the change of environment, and the diploma students, who had to defend their graduation thesis under such conditions. Yes, it’s not easy to gain diploma this days, so students don’t hesitate to buy research papers online.

The third one is the impossibility to fully undergo practical training. Specialties that can work remotely do not have this problem. But some programs involve full-fledged on-the-job practice. This year, it was present only for medical students.

And finally, the fourth – because of the crisis in the economy jobs were reduced. And this is a problem with the payment of tuition, and the difficulty for graduates of 2020-2021 to quickly find a job after graduation.

Positive consequences

However, it is possible to find positive consequences in the current situation. The main one is the well-established technology of distant learning. It makes sense not only for online lectures to students who attended classes before. It’s an opportunity to teach new students remotely all over the country. Likely, it will soon be possible to study remotely at almost any institution without having to move to another city. In addition, the role of teachers has finally begun to be appreciated. Under the new conditions, they had to adjust to circumstances and, no matter what, continue to lecture and teach students.

There is a problem with studying on exchange at the moment. In other countries, some universities have closed and are under quarantine. Another part is not ready to accept newcomers for three reasons:

  • traditional university teaching has been suspended because of the pandemic;
  • the country has been closed to foreigners;
  • funding for education has been cut, making it impossible for universities to accept foreign students.

So, at the moment, studying at a university in another country on an exchange is not available. The situation is unlikely to improve shortly, as the crisis has hit all spheres (and continues to do so). In addition, the situation with the ability to visit other countries is still unclear. Some countries have opened their borders (many are now closing them again), while others still have strict entry bans. So if you want to take advantage of the exchange study opportunity, you will have to wait until the pandemic is over.

What are the alternatives?

Unfortunately, full-fledged exchange education is now closed. The only alternative now is online learning. Even at the beginning of the pandemic, many universities in all countries opened up access to their lectures. If you’re not interested in a degree, but in gaining new knowledge, this is a great option.

If you need proof of training, we suggest looking at online courses to change your qualifications. There are libraries of courses that provide official documentation of completion. In the future, they will allow you to both change jobs and continue your education at a university of interest when the opportunity arises.

The coronavirus pandemic is not a sentence for successful and quality studies. The crisis in the world has also affected universities, so we are expecting many changes and innovations in education shortly. Many opportunities for students are now closed, but you can always find alternative ways to improve your skills and learn something new.

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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