The current situation may confuse or worry many international students as it might have significant impact on their plans to study abroad. For this reason, we have decided to create a survey and collect some direct feedback on how international students feel about their future plans of studying in Germany
We really appreciate the time invested in completing the questionnaire. We received responses* from nearly 70 countries and are happy to share the most interesting findings in the following blog article.
- 82 % of our respondents indicated that their study plans are affected by corona;
- For 73 % of the students, it is still very likely to come to Germany;
- 68 % of students want to come to Germany as soon as possible.
The current situation
The survey shows that the majority of the respondents are not yet in Germany but intend to study here. Others are already here and are studying or planning to start their studies soon.
82% of prospective students stated that COVID-19 had an impact on their future study abroad plans and only 18% of respondents said that COVID-19 has had no impact on their intention to study in Germany.
Looking at the reasons why students are currently unable to come to Germany, many students stated that they have difficulties receiving their visa (30%), as the German embassy is currently not issuing them. Others have delayed their entrance examinations (11%).
But most students have had to either cancel or postpone their trip to Germany for the time being due to the international travel ban (46%). Consequently, the current uncertainty of students about studying in Germany is mainly fueled by the development of the temporary travel restrictions introduced by the government. However, the replies indicate that the students are waiting to see how the future events unfold as they still have plans to travel to Germany once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Nevertheless, we are pleased that students are still quite optimistic and confident about their future, which is reflected in the fact that 68% of the respondents have plans to come to Germany as soon as possible.
Only 5% of prospective students are planning to cancel their study plans in Germany in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or they are only canceling their travel and are now studying online.
About 15% of students had to postpone their studies abroad with the intention of resuming their study plans at a later date. This demonstrates that while students feel a great deal of uncertainty, the majority does not rush to cancel their plans. Those who are no longer able to come to Germany are usually slowed down by a lack of financial means, either because they are continuing their studies in their home country or because they are uncertain how the situation will develop.
The majority of the students, however, stated that it is likely that they will come to Germany sooner or later after all.
Since it is now important to know where to find the right information and help, we asked the students if they feel supported by their universities. The relatively even split indicates that only a small majority is very satisfied or satisfied with the support provided by universities. Nevertheless, 40% of students are only slightly satisfied and 10% are not at all satisfied with the help they receive from the universities in those uncertain times.
Current Needs for Support
Finally, we have asked the participants for which topics they need more support on in the current situation. Corresponding to the main barriers currently experienced most students require more information and updates on current visa regulations , university procedures and travel restrictions
COVID-19 has made students and universities adapt quickly to the changing circumstances. The international students are also reflecting the uncertainly being felt by the world in the face of COVID-19. It is inevitable that students’ study abroad plans and experiences are being disrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Nevertheless. international students remain positive and believe in their chances to pursue their study plans as intended. This represents an essential insight for the whole university landscape in Germany and the industry around it. These findings are in line with surveys asking students about their plans how to pursue their study plans in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US (link).
Tips & recommendations for international students
As many questions are currently about governmental regulation in regards to visa processes and travel restrictions, we would like to refer to the official websites of the German embassy, the universities and the Federal Foreign Office – the information there is the most accurate and up-to-date.
However, we will come back to the other questions that have been raised in the nearest time. Please make sure to follow our channels to not miss our updates. We will be preparing an additional FAQ session and we will continue to daily inform you about all the relevant updates in our COVID-19 News Ticker.
Until that we at Fintiba try to contribute our best to stay positive and support you in these times. If you are still struggling with motivation, take a look at the personal video message from the Fintiba team.
About the survey
In the time from April 22 to May 12 we asked international students about how they were affected by the coronavirus. In total 350 students from 66 different countries contributed in delivering insights about the current situation.