How my decision to go ahead with higher education from the UK in 2020 worked for me – India Today

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After completing my schooling at Delhi Public School, Dwarka in 2020, I was not sure how to go about my education, since Covid-19 had impacted the education system so adversely. My dilemma, to continue with my studies online or to take a break, could have put my education on hold indefinitely.
But since I had already decided to pursue an education abroad, I started looking for ways to follow the path I had envisioned for myself. After due research, I felt that the UK and specifically London, a place which I see as full of opportunity, was my calling.

Coming from a commerce background, I wanted to go for a programme that would allow me to learn both, accounting and management and I found one that offered exactly that, at Queen Mary University of London.
But initially, due to the pandemic, I was not sure if I should go for it, especially since it meant that I would need to start my college education online and continue with it indefinitely.
I then spoke to some of my seniors, and they implied that the career and overall services were amazing and that I should consider it. So finally, I applied and got into the programmes, with a partial scholarship, valid for that year only.
This was an opportunity I did not want to pass, and I am glad that I decided to start last year and not lose time while pondering over vague possibilities.
So, I am currently pursuing a BSc Hons. in Accounting and Management, where most of my learning in the first year happened online, and then I finally left home to join the programme on campus this February.

I feel that as an international student, I had a lot of advantage starting the course online because I could start my course in the comfort of my home which made my transition from a school student to a graduate student, relatively easy.
Though it did take me a little time to adapt to online as the primary medium for social interactions with my classmates and professors, the university organised a virtual ‘freshers’ event along with the cultural and hobby societies, which helped people in the same scenario, connect.
Talking about online education, I think everything was very well planned as all the classes followed a fixed timetable and there was ample time kept aside for query resolution for all the students.
The faculty was always available to address our doubts and they kept things flexible for the students considering there were so many of us from other countries. In case students faced any inconvenience, they were given the flexibility of shifting batches.
There were signup opportunities for online courses and career services too were running amazingly well online.
With so much happening at the same time, I feel that I was able to pick up more opportunities and juggle them better in the comfort of my home, which would have been a little difficult had I been on campus.

Universities in the UK take mental health very seriously and at the very beginning of the programme I received an email from the university mentioning that they understood how it was difficult for me as an international student, to make the transition.
To help me cope with the stress, they extended support in the form of wellness classes and a personal advisory team whom I could reach out to and discuss any problem or issues.
My university also assigned me an alumnus as a mentor and who started guiding me towards future prospects, in case I decide to do a Master’s degree or work.

The universities in the UK have set up counselling and immigration services that communicate to the students about any rules and changes regarding the current Covid situation and the pandemic.
Students receive direct updates from the principal on emails to every week about the things that might affect foreign travel. Under the current circumstances the universities are quite flexible in terms of the visa process.
Even the application process was made really simple. UCAS had the application processes listed in one place and the universities gave enough leverage and flexibility to the applications because in many countries including India, there were major delays in the results.

I personally feel that the learning the experience has been great and that there are more resources for learning available online. Students looking to study abroad should not be sceptical about starting their college life, online.
– Article by Diya Singh, BSc Accounting and Management student at Queen Mary University of London

Read: Aspiring to study abroad? 5 things Indian students need to know!
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