What international students are thinking about the coming semesters?
According to IDP, 69%* of their respondents surveyed believe that they still intend to begin their studies as planned for the coming academic year in a foreign country. This is a piece of extremely good news for the international educators who are worried about the effect COVID-19 mobility ban and other factors might already be lowering the enrolment expectations of international students in Canada.
However, it appears that most international students are in the process of deferring their academic plan for the coming September semester, rather than opting for online studies; students are willing to wait from three to six months, and even more months if the destination country or the institution is not ready to provide in-class instructions.
One of the motivating factors for international students to study in an international (foreign) campus is the opportunity to have Canadian (personal and professional) experiences.
Proposed online studies by several post-secondary institutions in Canada contradicts student dream of achieving balance in their personal and professional life. Some students are also concerned about the quality of teaching, especially missing out on applied learning that is attached to their curriculums. And, several students think that since they will begin their higher education in a new academic and social environment – online studies will bring an additional barrier to their path of academic success.
International students are also watching how preferred destination countries are responding to the current pandemic to protect their future interest (finance, medical, personal safety, and welfare.)
Countries that are already ahead of other countries in protecting the interest of international students, and at the same time can manage the mobility of the students in terms of providing fast measures to open their borders and guarantee on-campus learning will most likely benefit in today’s uncertain environment and when we return to tomorrow’s certain environment.