Has Covid-19 Influenced Students’ Study Abroad Destination Preferences?

Covid influencing study abroad destinations

The Covid-19 pandemic was a crippling time for all. It took a toll on every industry, including the education industry. There was a significant disruption in the education sector because of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is not surprising that this affected the decision of many students to study abroad. Interestingly, we found a substantial number of students changed their first university preference because of the pandemic.

The crisis threw more light on the prospects of studying abroad and students could get more clarity on the courses that are offered outside their own country.

The tendency of students to study abroad has increased after the pandemic. This is a surprising occurrence because seeing the crisis students studying in foreign universities faced, they expected that more students would opt for universities in their own country. But the opposite occurred.

The reason behind this is very uncomplicated. The pandemic saw huge restrictions and national lockdowns being imposed everywhere across the globe. This time gave students all over the world to reflect upon their education and future career prospects. Students think international universities will provide them with better exposure and courses.

The preferences of destinations for studying abroad also saw a change because of the pandemic. Students erased the chance of going to China for higher studies, for obvious reasons. Most students started considering safety as a factor.

They now want to study in countries that are stable in all aspects. The Pandemic started in China and this reason is enough for many students to eliminate the probability of pursuing higher education in China.

In this blog, we are going to see how the pandemic influences students’ study abroad destination preferences. Read on till the very end and upgrade yourself to make well-informed decisions.

The Impact of the Pandemic On Study Abroad Preferences

In this section, we are going to discuss the various factors that students are now considering before finalising their study abroad destination. The pandemic has created a significant amount of fear in the minds of students and parents.

Earlier, people were carefree when making a choice regarding study abroad destinations. Now, people have considered a lot of factors before deciding. This is good. It enables students to scrutinise the scenario and then make intelligent decisions. Let us now see how their preferences are changing:

The Rise in Students Choosing UK Over Australia

Before the pandemic, Australia was a popular choice for most students. Especially for Indian students, Australia was the number one study abroad destination. But after the pandemic, the tendencies of students changed drastically.

They started choosing The United Kingdom and Canada as their study destination. This happened because The United Kingdom and Canada were more prompt and receptive towards granting the approvals for vaccines.

They were also ready to welcome students all over the globe with open arms. There is one more factor that influenced students to make this drastic shift.

Australia had not issued travel grants for international students. The pandemic already delayed the education process of students everywhere. Hence, the students did not want to wait or lose another valuable year and wait for Australia to allow international students to enter the country.

The new graduate route in The United Kingdom also sparked the keen willingness of many students to choose a university there. The new graduate route cites that students who complete an undergraduate or master’s degree in the United Kingdom can now stay back and work in the country for two years.

All these reforms have made students choose the United Kingdom over the most popular choice, Australia.

The Promising Country of Canada

Apart from the United Kingdom, the destination that appealed most to the students in Canada. The United States of America is one of the leading study abroad destinations for students. But the pandemic ravaged it and was in a haphazard state.

Healthcare was in shambles and the USA, unfortunately, saw the number of deaths. Canada seemed to tackle the health crisis in a much more efficient way. This led many students to choose Canada over other countries.

The other factor that influenced students to choose Canada is the easier immigration opportunities that Canada provides to international residents. It has some of the most renowned universities that offer the highest degree of quality education at a cost lower than that offered by the universities in the United States of America.

What drives students to study abroad despite the crippling situations are the easy immigration facilities and promising career and job opportunities.

Students now prefer staying closer to home

Covid-19 wreaked havoc in the initial months. People were unaware of what it is, how it might spread, and how it’s contained. The unawareness was the primary cause of the fear that was housed in the minds of the people concerning the pandemic.

Many international students had to leave the countries they were in because of the travel restrictions and many were stuck in foreign countries. This further influenced the decision of international students to stay closer to home.

Earlier, it did not matter whether a student chose a destination far away from their native country. Now, the students are more aware of the risks that the pandemic can pose.

Because of the difficulties faced by the students last year in returning home and the travel restrictions, many students studied in Dubai campuses of American, UK, and Canadian universities. Singapore became the next best choice.


Several factors influence the decision to study abroad, so is the destination for studying abroad. It is better to conduct thorough research first and then make these decisions.A minor mistake can end up throwing you down the valley of losses.

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