The COVID pandemic has taken a toll on people in every walk of life. Most of the talk had centered around businesses being affected but students were at the forefront of its impact and had to deal with many unexpected and challenging changes when their educational plans were interrupted.
How did COVID impact education?
The closure of schools for a significant duration brought about a disruption in the learning routine of students. Not only were educational institutions shut for a good amount of the pandemic, but students in many cases had to leave their country of study and head back home as the pandemic reached its peak, which created unprecedented turmoil for those studying abroad.
A survey conducted at the time indicates that more than 45 countries in Central Asia and Europe had taken a call to shut schools, thereby impacting more than 180 million students. Although remote learning systems were immediately put into motion, the transition was not a smooth one and for those lacking proper internet connectivity, it ended up being quite a struggle. Recent evidence points to the fact that the pandemic and subsequent shift to online education did not only create disruptions in learning but also contributed to learning losses and increased inequality in the learning process. Students belonging to families where the parents do not possess a complete education were seen to be at the shorter end of this situation.
Although some may argue that these are minor issues that can be rectified with ease, others beg to differ, pointing out that these learning losses translate into poor test scores, which ultimately result in reduced employment opportunities. Additionally, they have to make efforts to provide students with the opportunities of making up for what they have missed so that they do not fall victim to the compounding effects of this pandemic on their future.
The silver lining to the situation
After more than a year of trying to hide away from the pandemic, the world seems to be reopening once again and slowly getting back on track. Students who approached the learning
process remotely and traveled back home to their distant countries began making their journey back to college and university, soon walking back into the classrooms they once used to.
Colleges have even begun accepting admissions of newer students for the following academic year as everyone continues to hope that the situation is on the path towards improvement. However, with relaxations slowly coming into place and with students starting to be able to move abroad to pursue an education or get a job, it seems like things might get better soon.
Studying Abroad on Scholarship
Studying abroad is, as one would imagine, very expensive. Fortunately, most colleges have scholarship programs to assist students through the course. Students keen on studying abroad in the new year should try to obtain a scholarship to help cover at least some of their educational costs. Since the cost of tuition, stay, and other expenses can amount to a lot, aiming to meet the criteria needed for getting a scholarship is a wise way of paving the way to studying abroad.
One of the core requirements to study in places like America, Canada, the UK, etc. is an English Language test. Being largely English-speaking regions, colleges and universities sometimes demand that students obtain a specific score on a TOEFL or IELTS test. To ace these tests, you should start preparing in advance so you are clear on the first attempt. Among most of the documentation needed, students in some cases had to provide background checks. While the process might have been challenging in the past, people could now get a background check with ease, online.
Education and the Job Market
Just like a learning loss can impact a person’s ability to land a job, similarly, the right education with the right subjects can provide scope to get a great job. Many people decide to complete their education in their home country and then move abroad in search of a job. While this is not altogether a bad idea, it does put one at a bit of a disadvantage. It would be wise for students to pursue a short course or specialization abroad, making it easier to find a job. The knowledge and skills obtained would be just what the markets demand, thus throwing job prospects your way.
However, with the pandemic drastically slashing the number of people employed in organizations, most places are running with a little more than 50 percent of their staff, which is
why getting a job is not as easy as it once was. This is why you need to use every avenue available to position yourself as a good candidate.
To ensure that they do not make mistakes when hiring applicants, employers may request CRB checks. CRB is a Criminal Records Bureau check which tries to identify if the applicant has any details about a criminal past. Not only do these checks help employers get a better idea about
who they are hiring, but they are also very useful in occupations that deal with vulnerable people, where hiring an employee with a criminal past can have bad repercussions.
How important are CRB checks?
A CRB check is not something you need to worry about. Although most employers have integrated these checks as part of their recruitment process, it is not something that you have to get done on reaching abroad. If you are self-employed, you need not go in for a CRB check. Or if you prefer, you can get a Basic Check done, so you have the certificate with you if ever needed.
Applicants would increase their chances if they apply for Standard and Enhanced CRB Checks, which are far more thorough and detailed. They cannot be done themselves but need to be requested by a company or manager on behalf of the employee. To do this, the company needs to have at least two members who are officially employed. Although CRB checks are now used in many places from employment to admitting students to universities, you need not consider it a priority as employers may not always ask for one, and if they do, getting one when needed is not a hassle and can be done within 7 -15 days.
With all this information at your fingertips, you can now plan and work towards creating a future for yourself in a foreign country. Just make sure you’ve done your research, prepared for the language exam, and worked hard in your college years so that you can get the perks of a scholarship and won’t have to struggle to make the tuition.
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