Originally published in The Financial Express on 4 May 2020

How BD students are choosing int'l study online during COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has disrupted life around the globe. The full extent of consequences on the higher education sector in the months to come is not yet clear and still unfolding. As the world combats the pandemic, doing things online has become the new normal. Most students who were supposed to travel for joining the summer intake at different universities abroad were not able to travel due to worldwide restrictions of movement. Universities also switched to online learning.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, many universities have suspended any on-campus activities like lectures. Where possible, classes are being held online. Exams and thesis defenses may be postponed or held in different formats, which may delay the award of degrees. When the news first was heard about the COVID-19 outbreak in China, many of us did not realize how contagious it would be and never thought that it would spread globally. Traveling abroad was temporarily suspended and we had no choice but to start everything online. Students are studying online right from the comfort of their own homes proving, “Life goes on” even in the middle of a pandemic. So, they are able to continue with their higher studies as planned.

One of Bangladesh’s leading study abroad consultancies MACES, is working with over 200 universities in 6 countries. The students from Bangladesh were advised by MACES regarding the procedures of studying online with guidance from university faculty. Through webinars, they were told about how online classes work, how to adapt, how to register etc. Although there are difficulties: time difference and Internet connectivity issues; there are advantages to studying online. Teaching Assistants help in learning & adapting to the new language and curriculum, according to a statement.

Mahfuz Hossain Arean, started Business Economics classes online on 20th April at Tokyo International University, Japan. So did Labiba Chowdhury, studying BBA online at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan with the help of MACES. They have urged students to closely follow announcements of the government in their home country, as well as those of the governments and universities in the country or countries you plan to study in.

Educational Institutions are finding a way to make the most of the situation to still give students a unique learning experience. Which is designed to keep students engaged in study abroad, even if they aren’t able to physically be abroad in the near future. Life keeps on moving in these unprecedented times and studying abroad online is certainly a silver lining in a cloudy sky