Posted on December 23, 2020
#universityupdate #internationalstudent 

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone across the globe. Due to the pandemic, international students had a difficult time to decide if they should continue their plan of studying abroad. The pandemic has shifted classes to the online mode for the rest of the year, and universities are delivering education through various platforms.

This blog will provide you with some information and guidance for studying in the UK during the pandemic. As there are rapid changes, we will give you all the details on Covid developments, vaccines, health insurance, transport & travel, housing, placements and internship programs.

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How has Covid affected international students?

International students are facing challenges during the pandemic as they have to either change or postpone their study abroad plans. Also, the pandemic has limited the travel of the international students and put financial pressure on them.

Several universities in the UK have shifted their classes to online mode due to which the students will miss the on-campus experience. However, some universities like Cambridge and Oxford are planning to start the academic year for the students after going through quarantine and following all the local and state health guidelines.

Current Scenario in the UK

The UK was strongly hit by the pandemic initially, but now the situation has improved with covid vaccine on the way.

Universities

Currently, in the UK, the universities have opened their campus for the students for a few offline classes. It is assumed that the universities will start their full-time on-campus semester in 2021.

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Health insurance

NHS (National Health Service) in the UK is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, providing safe and modern methods of treatment. As an international student, you do not require any private health insurance to study in the UK; you just need to register with the NHS; it costs £470 every year to access the NHS. You pay this charge during your visa application, and it covers all your* free medical treatment*.

Normal life

Restaurants, Gyms, pubs and any other public joints are currently back in service for all the citizens in the UK. Restaurants can provide food and drinks only on take away from 5 am to 11 pm. However, they are instructed to follow hygienic measures in place and maintain social distancing at all times.

Transport

In the UK, public transport is in service, and university students can now easily rely on bus services. If the student wants to travel to different cities, local trains can be a great pocket- friendly medium. It is advised that you follow all the local and state guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent the spread of the virus. Also, if your accommodation is near the university, then the bike can be a great mode of transportation as it is safer and environment friendly.

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UK universities updates

Majority of the universities in the UK are teaching partially online like the University of Sheffield and University of Manchester. Currently, the universities are following hybrid learning, which involves some offline face to face sessions and digital lectures as well. Now, the students are learning through video calls with their teachers and mentors to discuss project work and clear doubts. Students are definitely missing out on the university experience part, but there has been no lag in terms of academic teaching. The academic material is being sent on-time to the students by the university.

Once the vaccination gets completed, then the universities will resume to a completely offline mode. Also, the universities will update their health policies to ensure the safety of students and faculty members during the pandemic. There will be daily temperature checks of the students and staff members when they enter the university campus. It will be compulsory for everyone to wear masks and follow social distancing in the university.

Universities will also provide internship opportunities for students since the employers are giving out work from home openings during the pandemic. Students can also apply for freelancing and volunteering through different sites like Worksome, Upwork and Going Freelance.

Student Accommodation in the UK

One can easily get a student housing facility near your college. Some of the best student properties in the UK are Urbanest Westminster Bridge and Dobbie’s Point. You can also choose to stay on-campus as some of the universities provide this facility for the students. To ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic, there will be few updates in the student housing policies. The staff will do daily temperature checks of the students, and it will be compulsory to wear masks in all the common areas in the accommodation.

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Is it worth studying in the UK during Covid-19?

This is a general question that the students ask before applying to the universities. Covid-19 has caused chaos and confusion among students if they should apply in 2021 or wait for the next academic year.

As compared to other countries, the UK will be the safest option for the students because the international students will get access to the Pfizer or BioNTech vaccine that is being produced. The UK is the first country to get an approved vaccine and is likely to be vaccinated by late spring or summer, which means that the fall 2021 entry will be safe.

Also, completing a higher education degree in the UK will hold a lot of value in your professional career. The UK is home to three of the world’s top ten universities. As a student in the UK, you will get not only quality education but also lots of opportunities to work with globally ranked companies even during the pandemic.

You don’t need to worry about high tuition fees as the universities offer several scholarships to international students. Apart from this, you can enjoy world-class health services and cross-culture experience.

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