Overseas Students Want International Experience When They Study Abroad

Source: IDP Connect

In spite of the obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has thrown in the way of international students, their desire to study abroad remains strong. A survey of 6,000 students planning to travel internationally to further their studies has provided new insight on what their plans are going forward.

Most of the respondents still intend to study abroad as expected with the majority of them aspiring to gain international experience during their studies. Just 10% of students said that they were willing to complete courses that lacked an on-campus aspect. However if an online course eventually offered an in-person component, 43% would be interested in it.

Being able to travel internationally to experience a new country is such an important factor to future overseas students that 39% of them would choose a higher learning institution in a different country if their original destination was not ready to resume classes in-person. 30% would even decline a scholarship if it meant they would be on campus earlier somewhere else.

With COVID-19 still looming, 55% of students claimed they were happy to get vaccinated before the start of a semester abroad and only 6% hope to delay their plans until vaccinations are not mandatory for international travel.

When asked about their perceptions of popular study abroad destinations, the students surveyed mainly cited Canada as their destination of choice due to government policies that welcome immigrants and international students.

The study makes clear that students still have an appetite to study abroad but courses from overseas institutions that they complete from their home country are not what they are looking for. They want the experience of living and working in a new country, like Canada, that has a history of embracing newcomers. Vaccine hesitancy is a factor to some with a number of students wanting more information on any potential risks. International students largely do not mind getting vaccinated though as long as it keeps them safe and lets them travel sooner.

Study Abroad Decisions Being Shaped by International Vaccine Rollouts

Source: ICEF

As COVID-19 vaccines are administered around the world, the urge to study abroad has returned to aspiring international students. Research shows that 19% of students hoped to begin their studies sooner than anticipated because of vaccines. Most students would even be willing to quarantine in their host country if it meant an end to them studying online from home.

56% of prospective overseas students surveyed also said that the way governments approached the coronavirus pandemic would impact where they chose to study abroad. This is expected to bode well for Canada as vaccination programs gain momentum across the provinces and territories. While the number of vaccines in the country struggled to meet demand in the early stages, current data indicates Canada is on the right track again. It is the hope of many colleges and universities that students from overseas see this improvement as well.