Hyderabad: Many students who got a seat in the US colleges are now postponing their admission to January spring session. Even as colleges across the United States reopened in August, students and parents are facing problems regarding visas. The rising number of COVID-19 cases is also a cause for concern.

Mohit Makandar, a student, said, “I got admission to the University of Southern California. They have started online classes but I deferred my admission to January. I have to pay high fees for this semester and I thought it is better to go in January and attend actual classes. More than that, I want to experience campus life and meet people there, which I will miss if I attend online classes.”

Maruthi Prasad Reddy of Eagle Consultancy told NewsMeter, “Most of the students have postponed their admission to January. Everything has been postponed. Even the US consulate in Hyderabad started working only from 17 August. Also, the deadline for admission is already over, and by 10 September the admission season will end.”

Subhakar Alapati from Global Tree Overseas said instead of dropping out many students had postponed their admission to spring. “Only 10 to 15 per cent students have opted for online classes where they can take up to three courses from India. They will fly to the US whenever travel restrictions are lifted,” he added.

More Indian students now prefer the UK

The United Kingdom opened its consulate on 7 July. UK colleges continued the admission process even during the lockdown. British Airways has also started direct flight services from Hyderabad. So, many students are now preferring the UK instead of the US this admission season.

“The US consulate was closed so the students did not get the interview dates. But the UK consulate opened early and students could schedule their admission and classes accordingly,” said Maruthi.

Subhakar added, “At the beginning of this year, the UK extended the post-study visa for a year. More students now prefer to go to the UK. Also, the UK was the first country to allow students to enter the country. Their embassy also opened before anyone else. The US and Canada used to be the most preferred choice, but this year, the UK has been at the top of the list of Indian students.”

Pandemic hits consultancies

Meanwhile, the closure of schools and colleges in the US and other countries, and the lockdown has badly hit consultancy firms.

“We had no business during the lockdown. Some students started approaching us after the UK started admitting students. Otherwise, for three months there was nothing. Most of the consultancy agencies have closed down in the city. Those that had some savings are managing to keep afloat,” said Maruthi.

Subhakar, too, said his firm was suffering for the past six months. “We were expecting around 2,000 students before the lockdown. Right now, less than 200 students will go abroad to study. That is less than 10 per cent of the business. Hopefully, things will get better once embassies start reopening.”

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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