Best Countries to Study Abroad Amid Covid-19 [Latest Updates]

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Best Countries to Study Abroad

The unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 has certainly had an effect on all aspects of human life, from agriculture, hospitality, industry to education. But the real question here is how far do we encourage this virus to have an effect on our education system? Right after the very first lockdown in the world, colleges and schools quickly turned to online educational channels to keep the learning mode on! As the world has now accepted the conditions and is re-opening with preventive measures, universities and countries abroad are giving a green flag to international students waiting to be at their dream universities. Here is a list of best countries to study abroad that have come forward to provide the right provisions for international students planning to pursue higher studies amidst Covid-19.

“Believe in your dreams and that anything is possible.” – Usain Bolt

United Kingdom

With a rich academic history spanning across many centuries, the United Kingdom (UK) has been known as an educational hotspot since time immemorial. Many great personalities have started their endeavours from the kingdom, and established modern culture and education in other countries. Needless to say, even during the pandemic, the UK has been vigilant in providing relief services to its citizens and foreign students, while ensuring the smooth running of Visa application and admission process. The UK followed a policy of open borders throughout the span of the pandemic, with a restricted international allowance. Here is the latest information about the country’s student Immigration and academic policies that make the UK the best country to study abroad:

  • The students who will be returning to the university after the ‘Student Traceky Window’ period will be staggered over 5 weeks in order to minimise the chances of transmission
  • All the students must take the test in order to return to their Universities 
  • From 4th January to 18 January 2021, students who are a part of practical courses will be allowed to return to the campus as per their scheduled dates. Other courses will remain to be delivered online. 
  • Since the UK has become the first country in the world to approve the covid-19 vaccine Pfizer/ BioNTech, the process of immunization will begin in December 2020. All the students including the international ones have equal access and can get vaccinated in the country
  • All the international students who intend to leave the UK but are not being able to do so and their visa or leave extension will expire between 1st December 2020 and 31st January 2021, such candidates must apply for the ‘exceptional assurance’ through cihassuranceteam@homeoffice.gov.uk

Top Universities in UK

UniversityQS University Ranking 2021
University of Oxford5
University of Cambridge7
Imperial College London8
University College London10
The University of Edinburgh20
The University of Manchester27
King’s College London31
London School of Economics and Political Sciences49
University of Bristol58
University of Warwick62

Canada

Canada has always been the choicest study destination owing to its flexible immigration policies, diverse culture, renowned universities to name a few. The country’s academic institutions have been consistently ranked at the top of international rankings. Moreover, the academic institutions have partnerships with top universities across the globe thus leading to many study exchange programs and opportunities you can be a part of.

Even though it is experiencing the effects of the pandemic, it nevertheless retains its spot among the best countries to study abroad. Agile operational work can be attributed to this as the government has been proactive in meeting the needs of international students, while ensuring proper preparations for the current pandemic. Here are some of the main measures taken by IRCC to support international students and the status of the admission process:

  • Majority of the Disintegrated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada have been approved by their province or territory for reopening their borders for international students. 
  • For the international students who are entering Canada after 20th October, 2020 must be a part of DLI that is mentioned in the list of DLIs approved for COVID-19 readiness plan 
  • On May 14 2020, Canada announced a major reform that will allow students to begin their programs online and remain eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. This program would help foreign students gain Canadian work experience after completing their program which they can go on to use to support their eligibility for a Canadian immigration program
  • Given the coronavirus-related travel interruptions around the world, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is now allowing international students to study online while overseas and still be eligible to apply for the work permit after graduation.
  • New international students will be able to begin their programs at a Canadian DLI online in Fall 2020 and complete up to 50 per cent of the program while abroad, and then still be able to obtain the PGWP to work in Canada after completing their studies.
  • Given that IRCC has said it will continue to process study permits to the best of its ability, new international students should expect to be allowed to enter Canada later in 2020. Currently, Canadian colleges and universities are issuing letters of acceptance to international students.
  • International students must have a valid and approved study permit
  • Being an international student if you want to stay longer in Canada and your study permit is going to expire soon, you will be having three options such as extend your study permit, apply for a post-graduation work permit or apply to change your status to a visitor. 
  • Those who do not possess post-graduation work permit but are eligible for it, they can also seek a post-graduation work permit if- your in-person classes in Canada have been moved to an online-only format and you had to begin or will continue your classes online because of COVID-19, or you had to put your studies on hold or study part-time during the winter, spring or summer 2020 semesters because of COVID-19

Top Universities & Colleges in Canada

UniversityQS University Ranking 2021
University of Toronto25
McGill University31
The University of British Columbia45
University of Montreal118
University of Alberta119
McMaster University144
University of Waterloo166
Western University203
Queen’s University246
University of Calgary246

Australia 

Studying in Australia has been one of the top countries to study abroad and boasts of some of the best educational institutes in the world, quality lifestyle and cultural diversity for all-round comprehensive development of students. Advanced healthcare infrastructure has also made it easier for Australia to control the swift-spreading pandemic. Here are some key developments that the country has made in recent times relating to foreign students’ education and immigration policies:

  • Certain ace Australian Universities like The Australian Technical Management College are providing a wonderful opportunity through its International COVID-19 Financial Scholarships for the academic session 2020-21. These scholarships draw in talented students who were otherwise unable to enrol themselves in these Universities.
  • On May 7th 2020, having successfully curbed the spread of Covid 19, the Government of Australia rolled out a 3-step plan to reduce their public restrictions. These include a prospective plan to open international travel for students, which was first stalled on March 19th.
  • Step 3 of the above-said plan would deal with considering opening international borders for students, giving them options to interact in the University and also work with local companies part-time, while maintaining safe practices in the country.
  • Recently, the Government of Australia has imposed a strict lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, which is dubbed by the media as the ‘world’s toughest’ COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The Government is also considering opening international borders for students, giving them options to interact in the University and also work with local companies part-time, while maintaining safe practices in the country.

On 20th July 2020 Australian government has announced certain changes with respect to student visa for the international students. Let us take a quick look at them

  • The process of granting a student visa for international students will start again. Now the students will have visas already before the borders reopen
  • Eligibility requirements for the post-study work visa will now be relaxed for those who are enrolled in Australian education provider and have been impacted by covid-19
  • An additional time slot will be given to the candidates so that they can provide their English language results due to the destruction caused by the covid-19

Latest Update: Australia relaxes Visa-norms for the international students

Top Universities in Australia

University QS 2021 World University Rankings
Australian National University31
The University of Sydney40
The University of Melbourne41
University of New South Wales44
The University of Queensland46
Monash University55
The University of Western Australia92
The University of Adelaide106
University of Technology Sydney133
University of Wollongong196

New Zealand

After becoming corona-free in June, New Zealand recorded only a handful of cases afterwards in the following months and the country also allowed a batch of international students to return to New Zealand, mainly those who hold or held a student visa in 2020. It has been ranked 2nd in the list of most peaceful countries in the world by the Global Peace Index 2020 and is known for its top-ranked universities and an acclaimed education system which attracts numerous foreign students from around the world to study in New Zealand. There are a plethora of courses on offer plus the cost of living will fit quite in your budget. From a progressive education system to have a striking combination of nature, culture and adventure on offer, it can be an ideal destination for you to study abroad!

In the latest developments relating to COVID 19, the country is at level 1 alert, the lowest in the 4-tier system. New Zealand is being praised all over the world for its success in combating the pandemic. On June 8 2020, New Zealand officially claimed the number of active cases to be zero, thus implying total control in domestic cases. By the country’s size and global position, this feat is really commendable. They have rolled out a series of relief policies and guidelines for aspiring students who wish to study in New Zealand post the pandemic. Here are some of them:

  • The New Zealand government has graciously allotted a relief fund of $1 Million to help foreign students who were in an urgent need of cash due to the lack of part-time jobs post lockdown. 
  • Although New Zealand is not offering student Visas currently, the students who are pursuing online courses from New Zealand can mention the same in their application letter when the borders reopen. These courses would greatly help the students in getting their Visa.
  • New Zealand offers free healthcare facilities to foreign students. In case students experience any symptoms that resemble the onset of COVID 19, they can talk to the authorities through free contact lines. 
  • International students can sign up to NauMai NZ to receive regular email updates about border restrictions and Visa allotment.

Top Universities in New Zealand

UniversityQS University Rankings 2021
University of Auckland81
University of Otago184
Victoria University of Wellington223
University of Canterbury270
University of Waikato375
Massey University270
Lincoln University387
Auckland University of Technology437

Explore Scholarships in New Zealand!

USA

The USA is named as the land of opportunities and one of the greatest mentions in the list of best countries to study abroad. Recognized as a paradise for seeking education in stem courses, USA stands out as an ideal destination for pursuing your dream education in the fields of your choice. Having a leading education system, the interface of education in the USA is constantly evolving making it a favourable option for seeking the right dose of trending and latest education. With a decent score in English language proficiency tests and after completing simple steps of visa application, you can fulfil your dream of attaining education in the USA. Recently, the borders for the USA have been re-opened for international students. Listed below are some important points related to academic policies, important announcements and immigration with respect to covid-19- 

  • The major news for the students looking forward to study in USA is that the country has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine and within a few coming months all the citizens of the country can access it.
  • The COVID 19 vaccine will be given two doses to all.
  • Majority of top universities in the USA have started to proceed with the application of prospective students without considering the scores of competitive exams like GRE, GMAT, SAT and ACT.
  • The US government has recently announced that if the universities move to provide classes through entirely online medium, then, international students may be asked to leave the country. 
  • On the other hand, those who are attending Institutions were normal teaching methodology is adopted are allowed to take only one class or not more than 3 credit hours online.
  • All the students who return back to India during the peak period will not be permitted to enter the country if their institution is offering online classes.
  • For those Indian students who have returned to India but are enrolled in a University which provides an amalgamation of online and offline classes, will be allowed to enter the USA provided that their University e is certifying the same for the fall 2020 semester.
  • Students must know that this exemption is not applicable to students having F1 or M1 visa.
Top UniversitiesQS Rankings 2020 
Harvard University1
Stanford University 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3
University of California, Berkeley 4
Columbia University 5
University of California Los Angeles=6
Yale University =6
University of Pennsylvania8
Princeton University 9
Cornell University10

Poland

It is believed that Poland is the country you must explore if you want to experience the very soul of Europe. Amongst other prominent countries that have been less affected by the pandemic, Poland is situated in Central Europe with bordering countries like the Czech Republic, Belarus, Germany and the Baltic Sea. What is worth noting is that recent revisions in international student laws have made the country immensely popular among international students as an up-and-coming study destination. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons as to why it has made its place in our list of one of the best countries to study abroad in the present scenario:

  • On 12th June 2020, Poland opened its borders for international flights within the European Union. Looking to reinstate normal functioning in the country, Poland has made several relaxations in public practices as well as organisational activities.
  • As of 1st July 2020, Poland has officially begun with its admission process for the academic year 2020-21, while giving access to foreign students to all academic resources and Universities. The admissions will begin through online portals for all students. Students who wish to avail the scholarship opportunities as well as the excellent lifestyle that Poland offers, it is best to prepare for the offer beforehand.
  • Lower Cost of Studying and Living: It’s cheaper to study in Poland than its neighbouring European countries like Germany, France and the UK. Fees rarely go higher than 5000 Euros a year. However, the real economic benefit of student life in Poland comes because of the low living cost. One can get a room in a student dormitory for around 100 Euros or even share a flat for 200 Euros, even for travelling, one can get free bikes in warm temperature.

Here are the top 10 Reasons to Study in Poland!

Top Universities in Poland

UniversityQS University Rankings 2021
Jagiellonian University338
University of Warsaw349
Warsaw University of Technology521-530
Adam Mickiewicz University801-1000
AGH University of Science and Technology801-1000
Cracow University of Technology801-1000
Gdansk University of Technology801-1000
Nicolaus Copernicus University801-1000
Lodz University of Technology801-1000
Warsaw University of Life Sciences801-1000
University of Gdansk801-1000

Denmark

Amongst the happiest countries to study abroad, Denmark is also a great option to consider for pursuing higher education. Having incorporated a modern education system, Denmark believes in the importance of practical and industrial exposure in academic curriculums. It is nestled amidst an incredible combination of bustling metropolises with stunning countryside.

You may have read that Denmark is the happiest of them all, and that this accolade is credited to its positive growth and economic performance. It creates a vibrant and friendly environment for international students to pursue their career aspirations. Let us sum up the key reasons why Denmark is on the list of the best countries to study abroad:

  • The Autumn 2021 web portal was opened on 15 November 2020 for the Fall Intakes for Universities in Denmark.
  • Denmark also offers a higher standard of living at affordable costs. Mainly, living costs add up to around 700 – 900 EUR monthly in smaller towns while in metropolises like Copenhagen, living costs could reach up to only 1200 EUR a month. The food availability is also at the cheaper area of the spectrum and overall it is considered quite economical.

Top Denmark Universities

UniversityQS University Rankings 2021
University of Copenhagen76
Technical University of Denmark103
Aarhus University147
Aalborg University305
University of Southern Denmark353

Hence, we hope that this blog has provided you with an adequate list of the best countries to study abroad you must consider in the current scenario. Even while being at home, you can look out for international opportunities and apply for the ones which suit your requirements the best. At Leverage Edu, we are offering live chat sessions and e-meetings for career counselling and consultation sessions with our experts to help you figure out your dreams to study abroad in this scenario. Don’t wait up, sign up for a session with our experienced counsellors and mentors and we’ll provide the necessary guidance you need to get closer to your career aspirations!

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