For undergraduate students, the issue is being complicated by the indefinite postponement of Std XII board exams by both CBSE and Maharashtra state board. Even postgraduate students are nervous over host countries closing their borders.
Vishal Jain, Nagpur centre head for GEEBEE Education, said the only concern is for those heading to Canada. “The embassy announced May 15 as the cut-off date for visa applications. So, it’s a bit tough for everything to be ready on such a short notice,” said Jain. He added that other popular destinations like US and UK are still open.
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“US has a fairly liberalized visa application process. Students can get the documents processed even if their exam results are pending. The original transcripts for the pending exam can be submitted before the first semester ends. And the US intake starts in September, so there’s fair bit of time left,” said Jain. He added that even the UK is very ‘student friendly’ and there are many who are set to depart in the next few months.
Student Sahil Ghube had been waiting since last year to start his studies in the UK. “Last year, the plan got cancelled due to the pandemic, and I am quite hopeful that I will be able to pursue my education this year. The UK has controlled the spread of Covid in a responsible manner and is safer than other countries. My parents were concerned about arrangements there but the varsity officials have clarified all our doubts. I too will try to get both my vaccine doses before leaving in September,” said Ghube.
Kirti Agrawal too is headed to the UK and said her parents are definitely worried about health and safety on campus. “It was a concern for me too but as the vaccination drive was picking up in UK, it cemented my decision of going there. We called the university to understand how the classes will be conducted and what are the on-campus housing facilities. We also asked the university that in a scenario where a student tests positive, what are the protocols to handle in such a situation,” said Agrawal.
Students are also ensuring that their health insurance includes Covid-19 coverage as well. Sumeir Bashir, who’s heading to Canada, said, “I do have health insurance which includes Covid coverage as well. My first dose of vaccination is done already and I will receive my second dose in upcoming weeks. So, I will be definitely vaccinated before I leave.”
Yashraj Sharma, who’s going to US for further studies said “I have not got the health insurance yet, but I will be getting it soon and will definitely go for the best plans considering all the aspects. Though I have not got vaccinated yet, I have come to know that my university has plans to vaccinate all new students on campus.”
Shahinoor Rana, a student who is heading to Canada said “I plan to get vaccinated before I leave but everything depends on Canadian embassy’s willingness to allow foreign students to travel without vaccination. However, my primary aim is to get vaccinated and then leave.”