With the highest number of corona cases in the world, the US is facing the most difficult situation due to the virus pandemic of 2020. Millions of people filing for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs, thousands of new patients getting admitted every day and the economy failing is causing chaos in the states.
Another major affected area amidst the mayhem is an education in the US. The United States is by default the major study destination for students all over the world. Most of the students, deciding to pursue higher education abroad, have the USA in the topmost priority of their list of countries. A large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students wanting to study in the US are greatly inflicted due to the novel coronavirus situation and are uncertain about their future plans.
How has the virus outbreak is creating a hassle among the student community in the US? Let us dive-in to the depth of the problems happening in the effect of the pandemic.
Trouble with the financial summons
Most of the students opting for higher education depend on student loans. The US has a relatively higher tuition fee compared to Canada or some of the European countries, which means there will be a definite need for a loan for half of the overall fee at the least. But due to the pandemic and the economical crash, many students are having a hard time getting loans or concessions from banks.
Also, the students who have already received and accepted the offer letter are in much more misery because now, they have to postpone their study to a later term.
Visa application and renewal
Another problem, international students facing currently is the visa application processing. Physical application, medical tests, and biometrics cannot be given on time for getting the visa as most of the centres are closed due to lockdown. On one side, the students are waiting for loan approvals while on the other side, the students who have paid the fee are in great stress due to visa processing.
A study permit must be renewed timely for staying in the US without any complications. The students already studying in the US are now encountering a new problem for visa renewal.
The threat to health and well-being
The entire world is stumbled due to the coronavirus attack. The virus that can be spread easily with contact, it is posing the students with menacing health and fitness issues. All the gyms and fitness centres being closed and with minimal availability of healthy foods, increases the chances for the virus to target the weaker population.
Since the hospitals are also filled with corona patients more than their usual capacity is causing a panic among the students to return to their home country.
Even though a student gets a study visa, travelling to the US is impossible at this time. With the non-functional airports in most parts of the world and also in the US and minimal or no connecting flights available, the travel to the US has become a dream not coming true in the near future or until the pandemic comes to an end.
The switch to online learning
Students who are already pursuing their higher education in the US have their classes delivered in online platforms like the Zoom meeting app or through WebEx. This has impacted greatly on the overall performance of the students starting from not understanding the concepts clearly to cannot reach the professors directly to solve a doubt face-to-face.
The university and college professors are, however, still trying their best to provide students with a deep understanding of the subject and still, it will never be equal to direct lectures conveyed in a classroom environment.
It is going to be a tough Fall 2020
Since the Summer 2020 intakes in most of the colleges and universities have already started with online learning while other universities have given announcements on poning of the summer term, the next focus is the popular Fall 2020 intakes that are yet to start in September. With all the application deadlines closed and most of the students already received and paid for the tuition fee, it is still unclear whether the classes will be held online or will the students would be called to take the direct classes in the universities.
What can the universities do to reduce this pandemonium?
Communication is the key. Since all the faculties are working from home, they can surely reply to student’s queries via emails or through college contact forms and provide suitable solutions to clear up a student’s concerns.
The applications and admissions team can send formal emails at regular intervals to students who have applied or have paid for the upcoming intakes to minimize the level of panic.
Universities can also assist accordingly for students unable to attend the intake they have applied for in the deferral process and attend classes from next semester.
The university insurance cell can aid students with necessary health packages in-case of unavoidable health checkups in these conditions of the pandemic.
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