Covid-19: Many students missing out on experience abroad
A third of Dutch students and pupils have postponed their studies, internships or gap years abroad due to the coronavirus crisis. Some even completely abandoned their plans for experiences abroad, because they could not postpone them without sustaining study delays, according to a survey by Nuffic among 654 Dutch students.
73 percent of students said that Covid-19 had a significant or very significant impact on their plans to go abroad. Half of respondents already changed their plans, while a quarter are still dithering about doing so, the survey showed.
According to Nuffic, the coronavirus was a major blow to the outgoing mobility of Dutch students. Nuffic expects that the increasing trend of Dutch students going abroad will be broken this academic year due to the virus.
"An international experience where you really cross the border seems impossible for many students in these times. A shame of course, because we know that foreign experience can provide students with a lot of skills that prepare them for the society and the labor market of the future," Nuffic director Freddy Weima said.
At the same time, the majority of students and pupils are still just as or even more enthusiastic about going abroad as before the crisis. 79 percent called online alternatives in their current form no proper alternative for a physical experience abroad. According to Nuffic, it is therefore important to develop alternatives, for example, by combining online and physical international experiences.