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Students with plans to study abroad are at the crossroads, unable to proceed with the ongoing travel restrictions in place for Covid-19. Many have had to defer or delay their enrolment date. Given that the UAE is home to several international universities, there are a variety of options at their disposal.

“Amid the pandemic, American University in Dubai was already privileged to have more than 101 nationalities and a very international student body,” says Sara Montero, Dean of Student Affairs at AUD. “Students who do not get to go to their desired exchange programme or destination abroad because of any travel limitations in fall 2020 will at least be able to interact with AUD students from all over the world. With a multicultural student body, AUD students will not miss out on any of the advantages of internationalisation, as it is one of the most international campuses in Dubai.”

But if studying abroad has been a long-term dream of yours, there’s no need to give up.

“AUD is hopeful that by the start of the Spring 2021 semester, our students will be able to participate in active international exchange and study-abroad programmes the university offers worldwide,” says Yuchun Schmidt, Study Abroad and Exchange Coordinator at AUD. “With this optimism in mind, it is best that students interested in studying abroad begin to plan and prepare as early as possible. A virtual advising session with the AUD Study Abroad and Exchange Coordinator is the best place to start.”

You can also enrol for programmes that come with study-abroad options. Andy Phillips, Chief Operating Officer at University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), recommends students enrol for its intakes in September. “After a year of studying with UOWD, students can transfer to its campus in Australia, where they will graduate with an accredited Australian degree. This means students do not have to defer or delay their enrolment in pursuing their degrees.”

Dr Khaled Assaleh, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Ajman University (AU), offers the same advice. “Undergraduate AU students can transfer abroad after two years at AU to get an undergraduate degree from both AU and a reputable international university.”

Westford University College, which partners with universities and institutes in the UK and Spain, also gives students the option to study the final year in the UK. “We understand students’ apprehension to go abroad for studies,” says Hanil Haridas, Co-founder and Executive Director of Westford Education Group. “Hence, we bring an international learning experience to the UAE.”

Covid-19 has also affected UAE universities that attract inbound students from overseas. Institutions such as Ajman University are revamping their programmes to meet the needs of the time. “To ensure that students do not miss out on study-abroad advantages, we have transformed our short-term inbound study-abroad programmes to virtual study-abroad programmes where students can attend online study sessions, online networking events, and virtual tours around the UAE,” says Dr Assaleh.