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When COVID-19 caused a worldwide shutdown in 2020, students planning to study abroad faced great challenges. Later, vaccines were invented and the situation slowly got better. Top education destinations began to open their doors for international students. But then the second wave of COVID-19 hit, and things started to go downhill again. According to the latest study abroad news, universities and countries worldwide are reevaluating their decisions.
Read the updates in this blog to find out where that leaves you.
Study abroad news on test appointments
With the second wave of COVID-19 taking the country by a storm, India saw the worst of the pandemic in April 2021.
Several states have gone back into lockdown, trying to flatten the curve.
As a consequence, the test centers that had started to open are now closed.
Let’s take a look at if you can book appointments for these tests according to the latest international education news.
British Council, the organization that conducts the IELTS test, has announced that certain test centers will be closed in cities like New Delhi, Vijayawada, Hyederabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc. until the 22nd of May.
If your test has been cancelled for now, you will be notified. However, in case you haven’t received a message, it is on schedule, and you can continue to prepare for the same without any worries.
Just like British council, ETS is also closing down its testing centers and notifying the respective students.
While students can choose to reschedule the test to a later date in June, they also have the option to take both GRE and TOEFL tests online, right from the comfort of their homes.
Test centers are reopening across the world, but that is not the case for India. No more than 2-3 centers are open in any of the cities, but if you wish, you can always head to mba.com, click on ‘Find a test center,’ and look for the one nearest to you.
However, we recommend that, instead of taking this risk, take the GMAT online exam.
While the situation is getting worse in India, this is not the case for all the other countries. Centers are reopening in many of them, making it easier for students to take the test in person rather than online.
Latest student visa news
With test centers shutting down, embassies for study abroad destinations are following suit. Each country has responded to the second wave of COVID-19 hitting India in a precautionary manner. Here’s the latest international education news on student visas for some of them.
Currently, all Canada visa applications are closed across the country for biometric enrollment and all other services.
This has been effective from May 3rd and will remain the same way until further notice
According to the US Embassy website, ‘On April 30, President Biden signed a presidential proclamation suspending most nonimmigrant travel from India. In light of the travel suspension, all routine visa and VAC appointments, both in-person and interview waiver, at U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai are cancelled until further notice.’
Only emergency services for US citizens have remained open.
The UK has a Red List – a list of countries that impacts the student visa appointment availability and travel plans of international students – which they recently updated. It is in place to minimise travel to the UK and ensure that those that do travel, do so according to the guidance.
UK added India to the list on Friday 23rd April 2021 and will revise it again on May 17th.
However, as a student, you can always seek advice from your institution or call their UKCISA advice line for students.
The official Australian embassy states that students should not apply for an Australian visa until after they have checked the latest COVID-19 updates on their website.
Currently, we found that the Travel restrictions and Exemptions on their website says ‘Expert health advice currently considers India a high-risk COVID-19 country. The ABF will not approve discretionary inwards travel exemptions for anyone who is currently located in India.’
The best you can do right now is check the website regularly and apply when they say you can.
To get more information on the latest student visa news, you can always come back and recheck the blogs for the latest updates.
Study abroad news on travel restrictions
Earlier, international commercial passenger flights had been banned till May 31st 2021. However, the Center is yet to decide when international passenger flights will resume.
The 27 countries India has air bubble agreements with have also been exempted for international flights.
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging in India, several countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore banned flights from India.
While Australia has already removed travel restrictions and it’s being said that the US is also looking to start travel from India, other countries are planning to make the opposite move.
Only time will tell us what the pandemic will bring next. Meanwhile, it’s best to keep an eye on the current news for information on international travel and stay up to date.
Who do I ask about international student news updates?
When it comes to seeking guidance, there’s only 2 authorities you should trust.
- The official organisation concerning your enquiry
If you have a question or a doubt regarding an appointment at the Canadian embassy, contact them directly. If you’re concerned about your flight cancellation, get in touch with the airline.
- Your counselor
This is the sole authority you have paid to offer you informed guidance. If you have a doubt you think they can solve for you, give them a ring. We’re sure they’ll get the information you need and come back to you.
You can also rely on your counselor for the latest study abroad news updates and seek their advice around the same.
But if you don’t have a personal counselor, are looking for a second opinion, or want the latest international student news updates, you can always drop a comment or reach out to us.
We’d be very happy to help!