December 2019, marked the starting of an extremely destructive and terrifying pandemic of all time. The novel Coronavirus pandemic literally stopped all the hustle and bustle of the world and put everything to pause. In struggles to get this pandemic under control everything including Schools, Colleges, Universities, Offices and all sort of business were shut down.
All this very deeply affected the students who went to foreign countries for studies through student exchange programs.
What is Student Exchange Program?
A Student Exchange Program is an opportunity which is provided to the students, it is a program in which students from schools and universities of their native country are sent to study at foreign countries to study for a certain period of time, this time period can be for 6 months or a year.
Through Student Exchange programs students get a chance to explore cultures and environment of that country. Studying with the native students of that country and exchanging their thoughts and ideas really helps a student to learn more and more and also broadens its global perspective.
Countries most popular for Exchange Programs.
These are countries popular among students applying for exchange programs
United Stated of America with almost 1,095,299 international students
United Kingdom with 496,570 international students
China with 492,185 international students
Canada with 435,415 international students
Australia with 420,501 international students
France with 343,400 international students
Russia with 334,497international students
Germany with 282,002 international students
Japan with 208,901 international students
Spain with 120,991 international students
Student Exchange Programs and Pandemic
Before Pandemic there was a significant surge in student exchange programs, and a large number of students were applying for it but during pandemic that surge declined. As all the exchange programs are halted for a certain amount of time due to travel bans and other precautionary measures the countries are taking in order to minimize this pandemic as much as possible.
During this lockdown period the world was familiarized with the term study from home. All the studies were shifted to online platforms and hence the students who travelled abroad with dreams to experience whole another environment found themselves taking classes in front of a desktop.
Now with this whole new online system of education and a decline in student exchange program offers, a question rises that is an exchange program worth it even in pandemic and the answer to it is most probably yes.
An international organization that is responsible for offering great many Student Exchange programs to students around the globe, NAFSA, Association of International Educators conducted a worldwide research on the benefits that such programs provide students on educational and professional level.
Another international research highlighted how students all across the globe are eagerly waiting for the travel bans to be lifted off so that they resume their studies and can benefit from the students exchange programs, while some are taking benefiting from the online study systems.
Some students who had already applied for these programs are now postponing their plans to study abroad through exchange programs until the situation eases down and everything gets back to normal.
This indicates that no matter how crazy and destructive this pandemic has been for the world but students exchange programs will not lose their significance because of their positive educational impact on students.