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Enrolling to study abroad in 2021 during COVID-19

With COVID-19 disrupting travel and international studies across the world, there are so many uncertainties for prospective students who are looking to commence their courses abroad in late-2020 or 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic means there is no definite answer as the situation is rapidly changing and evolving, here’s a bit of an update on the latest news and where you can go to get more intake information and enrolment support.

Can I enrol to study abroad in 2021?

The short answer in most cases is yes. If you’re looking to commence your study in 2021 or late-2020, then there are application and intake options available for a fall 2020 or a 2021 start.

If due to COVID-19, you’re unable to physically attend campus or travel to the country due to travel restrictions, many universities are working closely with their government to put in place study options for prospective and current international students.

For countries that have strict border closures, universities and training providers are offering prospective international students the option of starting their degrees online, with a transition to on-campus options as soon as borders are open or sanctioned travel arrangements are in place for an international student intake.

Below are some of the latest updates. However, as the situation is evolving and changing rapidly, we recommend keeping up to date with the latest news from the official government and university channels. 

United Kingdom 

Applications open for 2020/21 

The UK are committed to supporting international students and are open for a late-2020 and 2021 intake.

If you are applying to study in the UK, it’s best to keep in touch with your university and the official government channels as there may be changes to your start date and campus arrangements, or you may be required to start your studies online.

The UK have also announced an extended post-study work visas to two years, which provides a great opportunity for international students to extend their stay in the country and start their careers abroad. This includes any students who have commenced online studies due to COVID-19 restrictions as long as they arrive in the UK by April 2021.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government Study UK website.

Ireland

Applications open for 2020/21

Ireland currently have active international travel restrictions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and travel and campus restrictions are in-place but under constant review.

Despite the restrictions, universities in Ireland are still working with government authorities to minimise disruption and welcome new students for the 2020/21 academic year.

Depending on the latest COVID-19 developments, there may be deferred start dates or you may be required to start your studies through online learning until it’s declared safe to proceed with on-campus learning.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government Education in Ireland website.

Canada

Applications open for 2020/21 intake

Canada currently have active international travel bans to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which means no prospective or current international student with a study permit granted after 18 March 2020 can enter the country.

While the situation is rapidly evolving and a strict travel ban is in place, you can still apply to study. The Canadian Government have permitted international students to commence their studies online until their study permit application can be properly checked and assessed, and travel restrictions lifted.

International students who commence online will still be eligible to apply for post-graduation work permit at the end of their degree provided they apply for a study permit prior to 15 September 2020 and can prove 50% of the course was completed in Canada.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government EduCanada website.

Australia

Applications open for 2021 intake

If you are applying to commence your study in a Semester 1 or Trimester 1 intake in early 2021, then applications open from August onwards depending on the university’s intake dates.

Australia currently has active international travel bans to address the COVID-19 pandemic. However, universities are working very closely with government to plan for an early-2021 intake for international students.

While the situation is rapidly evolving, you can still apply to study and lodge for a student visa. Many universities have transitioned to online studies so international students can commence their studies online until travel restrictions are lifted.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government Study Australia website.

New Zealand

Applications open for 2021 intake

If you are applying to commence your study in a Semester 1 or Trimester 1 intake in early 2021, then applications open from mid-August onwards depending on the university’s intake dates.

New Zealand currently has very strict international travel bans to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. However, universities are working very closely with government to plan for an early-2021 intake for international students.

While the situation is rapidly evolving and there are currently no guarantees, you can still apply to study in 2021. Many universities have transitioned to online studies so international students can commence their studies online until travel restrictions are lifted.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government Study in New Zealand website.

United States (US)

Applications open for 2020/21 intake

The USA have limited travel restrictions and are accepting international students, which means you are able to apply to commence your studies in the 2020/21 academic year.

However, from March 2020 any international students in ‘new’ or ‘initial’ status residing outside of the USA after will not be able to enter and enrol in a full-time study course in a US university if it’s 100% delivered online.

Current students can still retain their student visas if their courses have transitioned to online study due to COVID-19. We recommend students to get in touch with their university if they are unsure.

To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official government Study in the US website.

Where can I go to find out more?

Book a free appointment with an IDP counsellor

If you’re uncertain about your study options and would like to get personalised advice for your situation, then we recommend booking in a free a non-obligation chat with an IDP Counsellor.

Our IDP Counsellors are training and experienced in placing students in their ideal universities and are kept up to date with the latest COVID-19 developments.

Depending on your location, you can contact your nearest IDP office to visit in-person or book in for a virtual appointment.

Sign up to an IDP Virtual Fair

With 2020/21 intakes open, the best way to browse all your study abroad options and speak directly to university representatives is through the IDP Virtual Fairs.

There are a number of virtual fairs to help you discover the best country, courses and universities and get the latest news on the COVID-19 developments impacting your study abroad plans.

There will also be staff, students and alumni present during the event that can take any questions and address any doubts you have.

To book into a free IDP Virtual Fair, visit the IDP events webpage.

Get in touch with the university 

If you have applied or thinking of applying to a specific university, we recommend getting in touch directly with your university.

As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing, and universities required to quickly respond to the latest developments, we recommend regularly checking your inbox for the latest correspondence and keeping an eye on their official news channels.

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