Why overseas aspirants should not put their dreams on the back burner
Students set on their journey to study abroad are met with a roadblock due to COVID-19. They all dreamt of studying abroad, in a classroom, live and experience a student life overseas. They did not want to study online or take a break semester/year. It is important to understand that crises are temporary, unlike an individual’s dreams. Thus, the education prospects of aspiring students need not be put on the back burner. With online classes being advocated by universities abroad, they are so much more than just the convenience they offer. With online classes being the talk of the town, one wonders, are online classes the new future?
Since the beginning of time, students and teachers got together to attain their education in physical sense. What initially commenced through the Gurukul system, gradually transformed into the foundation of the University system dating as back to Nalanda and Taxila Universities in the 6th Century BC. From providing an enriching educational experience to a communicative medium of learning, being in a physical classroom helps students solve their queries quickly while interacting effectively with the faculty and their peers. While it might relatively be more expensive medium of education, compared to its counterpart, the experience it provides is unmatched.
The primary reason of why a student decides to get education abroad is to get the overseas classroom education experience, exploring the culture and finding new faces to network to being an addition. Faced with the current dilemma, a significant number of students are considering undertaking a gap semester or a year. However, an important question to ask yourself here is, would you consider taking a gap year if you were in school? The answer to this is an obvious NO, then, how is it a wise decision to take a gap year at this juncture in your academic tenure? With the Nepalese government undertaking evacuation activities and medical studies showing a peak in the pandemic cases in Nepal in mid-September 2020, students think it a safer option to drop a year. While this is a privilege that only certain students can regard, it is best that one only considers this option if they have conducive activities lined up. When faced with a crisis, individuals were drawn to-wards education attempt to transcend their skills. Thus, this is the correct time to enhance one’s prospects.
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Many students often wonder why the costs of international online classes are not being curtailed? This can be attributed to the fact that the faculty is to burn the midnight oil to get things in order. Not just this, but the institutions are also required to invest in technology such as Blackboard and Moodle, to support their services.
When one compares the cost of online and offline education, attending physical classes requires one to undertake significant expenses for international as well as daily travel, accommodation, meals, study materials and health insurance. Students considering online education can save a considerable amount of expenses since they save accommodation costs and other miscellaneous factors. Not just this, but attending an online class leaves them with enough time in hand to undertake part-time or may be even full-time jobs in Nepal itself. Pupils should also note that several Nepalese Universities are shifting to the online medium as well, thus, it wouldn’t be a wise decision to derail your study abroad plans due to online classes when the alternative that you might be considering will lead you down the same path.
A significant number of universities are allowing students to take sample online classes, which means that students can undertake trials of these online classes and see if they are comfortable with the same. Another prominent reason for students to consider online classes is that they will save themselves from the uncertainty of exchange rate fluctuations at a later date and it should also be noted that bank loans are available for online education as well.
The ingenious decision would be considering an online class as students managing to travel overseas under these circumstances will still be expected to adhere to the social distancing norms. Campuses are not fully opened and the facilities are bound to be very limited. If the students decide to start taking their online classes now, they will be expected to only complete 12.5% (1 of 8 semesters) or 25% (1 of 4 semesters) or 33 % (1 of 3 semesters) of their classes online. One must also consider the fact that once flights resume, students can always travel to their respective destinations. Moreover, visa application centers for several destinations have already opened, and are expected to roll-out visas soon. Not only will the students have fee waivers, scholarships, bursaries for the present intake, but will also get the benefits for post-study work rights without spending as much as they initially had to.