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International Students going to the US for Fall 2020 intake: now what?


Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well.

I got accepted into Columbia MIA for Fall 2020 and I am not sure what's going to happen with my master's plan with this ongoing pandemic. My consideration is: I don't know if the pandemic will end in time to allow Fall 2020 to proceed normally (I'd like to avoid online class as much as possible) and the visa application is another issue since we don't know when the embassy will be open again for the visa application.


What's your take on this and what's your plan? Are you considering to defer or do you just 'wait and see'? Thank you in advance!

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I imagine there may not be anything to be done if the US federal government doesn't open visa processing in time, unless they temporarily allow exceptions.

Deferments are also not guaranteed because it's up to the school whether they will allow them or not. However, this is a much bigger issue than just graduate admissions because it also affects international undergraduates, which are generally a much larger population. Schools can probably afford to not take international graduate students, but many will take a huge hit in budgets if they lose international undergraduates. So, I expect them to figure something out or pressure the government (even if it's just online classes and a temporary visa waiver for a semester or something) .

In summary, it seems like everyone is going to have to wait and see. I would try to come up with a backup plan, though, to sustain yourself for a year, if you need to.

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