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Applying to colleges abroad during COVID-19

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Has the pandemic put a halt to your study abroad plans? Confused whether you should continue with them at all? Well, continue reading to take an informed decision.

As the situation in India continues to deteriorate, universities abroad are eager for the September 2021 intake. The universities are providing students with flexibility at all stages of the admission cycle. Now there is a longer application deadline and a longer admission window to accept admission offers and pay the tuition fee. Lockdowns in numerous cities in India have affected the operation of the Visa Application Centers, resulting in delays in the visa approval of many students.


· In lieu of the pandemic, the application process has been made completely online, simpler and hassle-free.

· Since students are confined to their homes, this is the best time to prepare for entrance exams accepted by various foreign universities. All examination conducting bodies, such as the College Board, Graduate Management Admission Council, have made necessary regulations. The remote monitoring solution enables students to take the exams like GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, APs comfortably at home.

· If the application requires supplying evidence of qualifications, most colleges are asking students not to send their original copies by post or deliver them in person. Instead, scanned copies should be sufficient. Detailed information can be found on the corresponding university website.

· Several universities have curtailed their fee structure, so despiteCOVID-19, more international students can complete higher education abroad. Additionally, the online mode translates into cost reduction for international students because of the absence of or decrease in cost of living in a foreign land.

· Alternative methods to traditional teaching have been adopted, such as recorded lectures, video calls, online assignments, online and open book exams.


· According to the new admission criteria, many universities and colleges are either accepting foreign students who are unable to take GRE/ GMAT exams for masters and SAT/ACT for under graduation without the scores or allowing them to send their scores after submitting their applications.

· If English testing centers (IELTS, TOEFL) are closed due to COVID-19, certain universities are accepting various English tests as proof of eligibility, including the Duolingo app.

· Most students deferred their 2020 admission offers and plan on joining this year, which will intensify competition. Students used to apply for 3-4 courses, but now the universities require them to indicate their most preferred course when applying.

· When evaluating applications, any impact on exam results is also being considered. Some universities are even giving offers to students without the last semester mark sheets.

· The applications are continuing to be processed as soon as possible. If necessary, interviews are now being conducted online via video call.


Taking into account the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the universities have been providing virtual visits to students and their parents. Information regarding facilities, admission requirements, various academic programs and how they can begin the application process in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is also being given.

The western hemisphere has been divided into green and red zones.

The Green Zone consists of countries that have handled COVID-19 well, such as Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Universities in the UK and Canada are offering conditional admissions to international students.

· In addition to providing advice, scholarships and special allowances to international students, several universities in the United Kingdom are also accepting copies of online education diplomas, as it may be challenging to create the original at present. Certain universities are adjusting their curriculum structure and looking for ways to provide blended courses and ensure smooth learning. The UK government has also promised vaccination for all international students through National Health Service (NHS) in the country.

Australia is one of the countries that is providing tuition waivers and financial assistance to applicants who wish to study in the country’s educational institutions.

Countries in the red zone, such as the United States, have given a chance to the non-traditional study abroad choices as students are opting for a foreign degree with minimum expenditure and are also providing application fee waivers. American universities are committed to helping those who wish to study abroad through employer seminars, career services, recruitment events, and virtual networking events. They are also paying more attention to creating an online learning environment that can compete with classroom learning.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming; that's why we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From the preparations for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

Feel free to reach us at Hello Study Global.

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Nandini Gunjan
Nandini Gunjan