Amid such crisis, one great news related to international education, is that it would continue on-campus once the pandemic situation improves. Amid the Covid19 crisis, most of the universities have moved their current classes online. Many students going for Fall 2020 are worried about what should they do in case this continues. First, I am optimistic that it won't come to that point. In the worst case, if it does then many universities would be starting the courses online.
Should International Students opt for continuation of MS program online?
The quality of US education doesn't change a bit during the crisis. The education is the same, professors are the same, and the quality is the same. What changes is the delivery mechanism. This is going to be difficult, but only initially to get used to it. Many students will tell you that they do have to take online classes when they are on campus as well. With great technology available, these classes won't be that difficult.
Learning has 2 parts: Knowledge and Engagement
What can be delivered online is knowledge; engagement delivery is challenging and not as effective, especially with laboratory work.
What about the campus experience and engagement?
Yes, one of the most important parts of studying abroad is the experience you get of living in that country. Moreover, no one will take that away from you. You would not be doing your complete course online. You would just start your course online, take one semester online and then move to the campus. You are doing 25% of your course in India (online) and the rest on campus. So you are not being robbed of the experience of studying abroad.
Cost benefits of starting masters program online:
Living cost should go down to nil. So that is clear cut saving. I am also sure that if the universities want to offer courses online, they would be offering a discount on tuition fees as well. So the saving should be higher compared to what you would have otherwise.
Another important part here could be that you could continue your work as well. You could start your course along with working. This continued income source will also help you while you study. There are certainly some good savings possible.
Can starting MS program online help in getting VISA?
I know numerous students are worried what after they start the course online, will they get the Visa? This is not something which anyone can guarantee not even the universities. Something which I can say is that starting the course online should make a good case for your F1 visa. One of the most important factors the Visa officer sees is the primary purpose of the candidate is education. With some course credits with you, this should really help you.
So starting the course online you get a chance to go ahead without wasting time. Also, the economic downturn is the best time to study. By the time you graduate the situation would be much better and would have averted the crisis by skilling yourself.
Here are some more articles on coronavirus crisis that you may find useful:
- Effects of Covid-19 on education in the USA
- Comprehensive Covid-19 updates on studies abroad
- The Official status of universities amid Covid-19 crisis