The coronavirus pandemic last year forced a lot of students to defer their plans to study abroad. Experts now say that it’s going to be tough this year as well to get a seat in foreign universities, as those who could not make it last year will apply in 2021 along with fresh applicants.

A survey by Study Group – an international education provider – states that 75 per cent of prospective students intended to start their overseas study programme in 2021. It also claims that one in five students who did not join their offer in the second half of 2020 is planning to reapply in near future.

Many countries, including one of the top destinations – the UK – have offered post-study work visas which are attracting many Indian students. Several top-ranked universities are also offering relaxations to international students including waiving off of exams like SAT and admissions based on provisional scores. This too is expected to boost the number of applications.

Indian students are also considering applying in foreign countries in search of better income opportunities to ride the Covid-led slump in the local job market. Edtech platform Galvanize Test Prep revealed in a report that students consider earning a postgraduate degree (MS/MBA/PhD) abroad at this time as “a good way to ride out the current recession, and learn valuable skills for future careers”.

This, as per the report, is in direct contrast to the early days of Covid-19 when students were leaning towards staying back in India and look for jobs here after finishing their undergraduate degree.

Before applying, students need to have clarity about what they want to do. It is more important to choose a course first and then a country. This year, they do not have the liberty of getting entry to a college and then figuring it out later. It would be better if they apply sooner rather than waiting till July-August to apply.

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