In March 2020, universities around the world began closing down physical classes one after the other. The students had to decide whether to stay back in the country, learn from their dorm, or quickly move back to their home country before flights shut down. It was one of the most challenging times for so many Indian students abroad because there was no idea of how long the shutdown will be, and more than that, will they be allowed to be back at their university campus?
In the United States, nearly 400,000 cases were reported across more than 1,800 campuses. It caused about 47% of colleges and universities to opt for remote learning or choose a hybrid-version of enabling classes. In countries such as Australia, schools implemented curfews to disrupt the spread.
The concept of remote learning became more and more mainstream, followed by students and university professors. We saw a massive flow of webinars over zoom and regular student meet-ups that were aimed at providing any mental support needed. This year was all about remote classes, technical glitches, zoom recordings, pandemic stress, and missing an entire year from the university classroom.
While this year was supposed to be the year for many students preparing to enter into a world that they wanted to call their own, to explore and discover as they would have liked it, it, unfortunately, turned out to be otherwise. Even though many of those opportunities still exist, they look a bit different than before. This kind of surprise could easily take a big toll — and in many ways, it did for many students around the world. According to a published report, a recent survey of 1,300 college students in the U.S., U.K., and Canada depicted that 54% of respondents said they often or always feel like they can’t control essential aspects of their life, including financial stability. In the same group, about 60% lost some or all of their income during this time. About 50% felt that they wouldn’t be financially stable once they graduated from their chosen universities.