How has COVID-19 affected admissions to foreign universities?

The pandemic came more than a year ago and has affected the lives of many people. Universities, schools, technical colleges and have switched students and pupils to distance education to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection. Applicants who wanted to study abroad could not cross the closed borders during the pandemic.

How did the universities go about solving the problem?

COVID-19 has become a test for universities and students. I was in my 3rd year of study when the pandemic was announced and the university switched us to distance learning. My first thought, like many others, was that we would finally get enough sleep during the time of intense education and endless deadlines, but not everything was so rosy.

In the first few weeks there were problems at the universities and they could not decide what to do, so many lessons were canceled. A major obstacle to offering online learning was the lack of the necessary equipment to run courses. Organizing online platforms, moving thousands of students to an online format, developing a new timetable and developing an examination system is a major challenge for the education sector.

We students had to wait in 4 walls for many hours without doing anything. It was not easy for all of us psychologically. Many have lost their job which allows them to rent a flat in another state while studying. It has become more difficult for all students to prepare for seminars and take exams because the amount of hometasks has increased.

For example, I ran into technical problems right at the beginning of the session. First the internet provider let me down, then the power went out in the whole area (there was a network overload at the station) and it took a lot of nerves to get a retake.

Foreign students returned to their home countries to wait out the quarantine and save money. However, the pandemic has dragged on, so not all universities are holding their classes in lecture halls yet.

How has the process for admission to foreign universities changed?

On the one hand, the process of getting admitted to foreign countries has become a little easier. The goal-oriented students have achieved their goal - to study abroad. The competition has decreased this year, many have changed their minds because they were afraid of closed borders or fully online education.

Applicants have gained time to gather and submit documents as many universities have pushed back their deadlines. Universities have canceled classroom entrance tests due to the restrictions on mass events. Many started accepting not only IELTS and TOEFL certificates but also Duolingo.

On the other hand, a few universities continued to conduct entrance exams in person, blocking the way for almost all students from Russia and the CIS, as they did not have permission to travel abroad. And for applicants who wanted to enroll in the U.S., having an approved vaccination in the U.S. was a deciding factor. Countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States tightened border crossing measures, leading most applicants to choose the UK for admission abroad.

Which universities should you enroll in? 

If you want to study in Europe, then it is best to choose an institute in the Baltic States.
Firstly, these countries are located near the CIS, and you can quickly return home under any circumstances.

Secondly, in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia many people speak Russian and English. You will be able to quickly adapt to a new country, make friends and get used to the culture.

Third, many European countries are open for you to travel. For example, you can fly from Latvia to Germany for 10 euros. 1 of the 4 recognized vaccines in Europe (Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer) will also be available to you for free.

Fourth, education in the Baltic States is cheap, and the universities are in world rankings. And you can get a study grant, scholarship for education or discounts.
Fifth, you can take advantage of exchange programs and study in any country in Europe and get money for it, or go to the US for the summer season.

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