We are living in modern history.
As of March 20, 2020, 159 countries in the world have reported Covid-19 cases. Naturally, our eyes are peeled on 2 of them – our home country, and the country where we are planning to go study in the latter half of this year. While we were thinking about spending this time of the year choosing between admits, we have to add one more huge parameter in the fray – will I be going at all? As we field questions from our students about what to do at such a crucial time, we feel it is our responsibility to cater to the wider student population and point out some factors that you need to consider, and resources that can help you keep updated about your specific situation.
You already know that international students pay higher fees compared to in-state ones. The sheer amount of money that universities will lose out on if international students are not catered to is huge. This article from CNBC estimates that figure to be a whopping $41 billion. If you have not already received any communication from your university, just Google “University name Covid-19” to get their position on the situation, or better still, email your program director for the same.
Firstly, you have to understand that your admission offers still stand. Your hard work has paid off, and you are a part of their university system. As part of their culture, once you’re in, you’re one of their own. They will do their utmost to cater to your needs and convenience. Usually, universities allow students to defer their admissions by up to a year by just writing a simple email or filling out a small form. In such a situation, they will stick to those rules, and give you the option to either start online as planned in the Fall, or defer your admit by a semester or two and start an on-campus program in Spring or Fall 2021.
Personally, we feel that if you have the luxury of time and can wait another six months or a year before you start your program, you should wait. Your study abroad experience isn’t just a list of courses that you have to do, it is that plus in-person interactions with the faculty, researchers, and peers, along with projects, practical sessions, and research. This is the beginning of your journey into the real world – living and cooking on your own, making sure you’re paying your bills on time, plus a host of other life experiences that you will not get staying in your home country. If your program is only one year long, we strongly suggest you defer your admission. No doubt you will save living expenses, but you will lose out on life-lessons far more important than the cost of living that you had already budgeted for. However, if you decide to still go ahead with the online semester option, the value of your degree, the length of your OPT and your standing as a student will remain unaffected.
Rest assured, universities and embassies will do everything possible to open new avenues and modify existing ones to make sure you, their most important resource, are taken care of during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Inspirus, we assure you of our continued commitment to getting any questions that may arise answered as quickly and correctly as possible.
— Team Inspirus