Overseas Study Opportunities Abound in the Age of COVID-19

Director: General information General information Overseas Study Opportunities Abound in the Age of COVID-19

Overseas Study Opportunities Abound in the Age of COVID-19

One silver lining of COVID-19 and its impact on global higher education is that the world of overseas study has become a “buyer’s market.” There are more high-quality, fulfilling, and meaningful study abroad opportunities than ever, resulting in the agony of choice.

While the pandemic rages in Vietnam, educational institutions in the key host countries, most of which bore the brunt of COVID’s fury last year, are once again opening their doors and hearts to international students, including those from Vietnam. 
One silver lining of COVID-19 and its impact on global higher education is that the world of overseas study has become a “buyer’s market.” There are more high-quality, fulfilling, and meaningful study abroad opportunities than ever, resulting in the agony of choice. 
Of the over 250,000 young Vietnamese studying overseas at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, seven out of 10 are in five countries. In descending order, they are Japan (62,233, 2020), South Korea (59,876, 2020), the USA (25,816, June 2021), Australia (22,823, July 2021), and Canada (~21,222, 2020). 
Rounding out the top ten host countries are Taiwan, China, Germany, Russia, and France. Other countries with sizable numbers of students from Vietnam are the UK, Finland, and New Zealand. Some other up-and-coming countries with considerable untapped potential include Ireland and the Netherlands, where Vietnamese students number in the hundreds.   
Not surprisingly, 63% of all Vietnamese studying overseas are relatively close to home in East Asia. This reflects the close cultural and business ties that these countries have with Vietnam, including trade relationships and the influence of popular culture. After English, the most popular foreign languages are Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, skills that many are putting to good use in their work for public, private, and non-profit entities that do business with those countries.  
A Rosy Global Picture

Overseas Study Opportunities Abound in the Age of COVID-19

All of this is good news for young people and their parents who have an interest in overseas study. There is literally something for everyone in terms of location, degrees, programs, cost, and post-graduation employment opportunities. 
Some more good news is that many foreign institutions want and need international students because they recognize their intrinsic and tangible benefits. The former is a reference to student body diversity while the latter includes tuition revenue and other examples of economic impact. 
In order to attract more international students, whose numbers declined after the arrival of COVID-19 in those countries, institutions are offering a variety of financial incentives that make it more affordable for qualified and deserving students. Vietnamese students have a well-earned reputation for strong academics, dedication, and participation in extracurricular activities, including in leadership roles. 
Where To Study, That is the Question!
If students don’t have a strong preference and are open to different opportunities, the process of choosing a shortlist among so many appealing alternatives is both an art and a science. Each country and its education system have their own unique set of advantages and drawbacks. 
Some countries are known for being among the most student-friendly for international students while others with a pro-immigration policy offer clear post-graduation employment pathways. All of the host countries offer programs in general and vocational education. 
Study in the European Union gives students the golden opportunity to travel in Schengen countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Other countries offer quality education at a reasonable cost. Study in Germany is free in most states (Länder), assuming you can pass the German language proficiency test and gain admission to a university. The average cost of living is about 275,468,600 VND a year. 
In Finland, international students paid between 106,599,063 VND and 479,695,784 VND in 2019-20 for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs taught in English. Monthly living expenses for room, board, travel, insurance, etc. range from 18,654,916 VND to 23,984,892 VND, depending upon location.
In the US, your overall costs can be much lower than average if you’re able to be awarded need-based aid or earn a merit-based scholarship, or if you’re willing to live in a location with a lower cost of living, e.g., the Midwest or the South. 
In most countries, international students can have a part-time job with some placing restrictions on the number hours per week visa-holders can work. One notable exception is the US, which only allows on-campus employment and post-graduation employment on a student visa through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. 
While most programs are offered in the local language, many countries have programs taught in English, which tend to more be expensive. Included in this category are binational partnerships such as Duke Kunshan University in China and branch campuses like the University of Utah’s Asia campus in Seoul (Incheon), South Korea. 
Most host countries offer an array of scholarships funded by the respective national government and educational institutions, assuming students are proficient in the local language, e.g., Chinese, French, German, and Russian. 

Image of 2021 Spring Global Education Flex-Fairs in Vietnam

US Remains the Premier English-Speaking Overseas Study Destination
Last year, there were just over a million students from all over the world, most of them enrolled at the nation’s colleges and universities. That included about 25,000 from Vietnam, which ranked fourth among sending countries. 

In spite of stiff competition from Australia, Canada, the UK, and other countries and some vexing problems and unresolved issues at home, US higher education remains a global brand. 

The most obvious reason, a so-called pull factor, is world-renowned quality, especially in research, as measured by rankings, academic awards, and grants and contracts, but also teaching, depending upon the institution. Other reasons are the sheer size of its higher education system, which means that there is something for everyone in terms of academics, extracurricular activities, climate, cost, internships, and location, the large number and variety of scholarship opportunities, and the quality of their student services, including academic and career advising.

Study in the USA is among the most expensive options in the world on paper but can be very affordable after discounts, need-based aid, and merit-based scholarships have been deducted from the official cost. 

Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)!
Students who decide the US is for them should create a shortlist of “best fit” institutions to which they would like to apply based on accurate information, realistic expectations, and quality guidance that has their best interests at heart, be it from a consultant, an education agent, or other source of assistance. If they feel sufficiently confident and empowered, they should by all means apply on their own. 
If the US is not a good fit, for whatever reasons, then students should shift their focus to one of another country that welcomes Vietnamese and other international students. There is a world of overseas study opportunities from which to choose. You,  your host institution and country and, ultimately, Vietnam will benefit immeasurably from this life-changing experience. 

To capture and update the best information about the global recovery wave after Covid-19 in the world of study abroad, please join the "Fall 2021 Studyglobal Education Virtual Fairs" with the theme "The wave of global recovery", organized by Capstone Vietnam. The event welcomes middle and high school students, university students, parents and workers who desire to learn more about studying abroad. In just ONE event which is completely FREE, you will have answers to all the questions about the route as well as your dream of studying abroad at this time.

Our fair series will take place as follows: 

  • Hanoi and vicinity: 3-7 p.m. on November 6th
  • Danang and vicinity: 4-8 p.m. on November 11th
  • Ho Chi Minh City and vicinity: 3-7 p.m. on November 13th
  • Nha Trang and vicinity: 3-7 p.m. on November 21st

Venue: Virtual (Capstone will send the link for each relevant registration.)

Focus of the Fairs:

  • Meet face-to-face and online with admissions representatives from high schools, colleges and universities from many countries including: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, etc.
  • The most accurate update of the latest policy on study abroad and settlement
  • Find out scholarship packages worth up to 100% for 2022 and the conditions for receiving scholarships
  • Get counseling programs on choosing the right major and future prospects
  • Working with Capstone's advisors to create economical study abroad plans
  • Instructions for completing documents, applying for admission letters and visa procedures
  • Submit your application directly to university representatives right at the Fairs

Sideline activities:  Webinar on the topic "From Debating to Studying Abroad" with the participation of speakers from The Debaters – Debaters VTV7

About the author: Mark A. Ashwill, Ph.D. is the managing director and co-founder of Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company established in 2009. From 2005-09, Dr. Ashwill served as a country director of the Institute of International Education-Vietnam. 

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  • 23:43 13/10/2021

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