Under the shadow of uncertainty, students of foreign universities hope to pursue their dreams

PUNE Anush Chauthai, a 25-year-old student, was all set to fly to Canada on March 28, 2020 to pursue a university specialised course in Digital Forensic and Cyber Security when the lockdown in India grounded his plan.

Anush is among the many students pursuing degrees or wanting to study from the foreign universities whose plans have been disrupted by the Covid pandemic. Their period of uncertainty has now changed into anxiety as the virus-related restrictions have extended in many parts of the world.

“I had begun the application process for permanent citizenship in Canada two years back. After I received the clearance documents around March 13-14 last year, I had planned to leave on March 28, but all flights after March 20 were cancelled,” said Anush of Sinhgad road, who did his Masters in Computer Network from New Zealand.

Like, Anush, another student Rohit Mahajan, a city architect, who wanted to pursue a post graduate degree in Construction Management from a university in the United States, had to postpone his date of joining the course due to the pandemic.

“I had applied in August last year for the spring batch. It was supposed to start in January 2021. I had finalised to join the Texas A&M university. With the Covid outbreak, I waited till October-November hoping that the number of positive cases will drop. By December, I decided that come what may, I will go to the US and I started applying for the visa dates, but could not get the dates. I was told that there was a lot of backlog of previous applications as the visa offices were closed. Hence, I differed my intake to fall in July-end,” said Rohit.

Meanwhile, most of the students who were studying in China and returned to India after they were evacuated last year are continuing their education online. Though, after a year, they are trying to get adjusted to the routine of virtual classes.

On January 31, 2020, Jaydip Devkate, a 21-year-medical student from Pimpri-Chinchwad, left his college located in Xianning city in Hubei province in China with her 30 batchmates to return to India. He was looking forward to resume offline studies when the Covid situation would normalise.

“We are still waiting for the official…