Almost two years after the COVID-19 pandemic practically paralyzed the world, more schools and companies in different countries have begun reopening study abroad programs for international students.
These programs include academic years and semesters, internships, and advanced learning volunteer projects, and exchange programs. Cities like Salamanca in Spain and Vienna are just two of the study destinations that are reopening their programs and borders.
Yet the journey to get to where we are has been long and arduous. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, students found themselves being credited for their international studies and then sent home to their country of origin. They were then offered virtual classes where they could still interact with their professors and other students from other countries.
The latter was a move to keep the international experience alive. Yet as many countries begin to reopen their borders this year, more students have likewise expressed their desire to go back to face-to-face learning.
This, in turn, has prompted many companies and countries to offer study abroad programs. Of course, lessons have been learned after COVID-19. Many education institutions and companies offering study abroad programs, for instance, now closely monitor the situation to ensure that they, as well as their students, will not be caught off guard if, say, a new variant were to surface. Moreover, a lot of companies now offer pre-departure briefings to help students prepare for their international education journey. This is usually a one-on-one class to orient international students on what to expect when they reach their destination country and their new school and program.
And as the situation slowly normalizes in more parts of the world, experts believe that more study abroad programs will open up for students looking to learn and experience life abroad.
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