Learning overseas: favoring mobility in Europe for the beginning of the college yr

If French borders are gradually reopening, study mobility for the next academic year is still quite uncertain. Most higher education establishments recommend that their students prioritize European mobility, or better still, postpone it until the second semester.

Nearly 90,000 students leave each year for a course abroad. A number that could drop significantly due to the current health crisis. If establishments do not prohibit their students from going abroad, they still prefer to warn them about the risks incurred. If you’re worried, know that mobility outside the Schengen area is strongly discouraged, at least during the first semester.

Mobility only in Europe until January 2021

Whether on the side of universities, engineering or business schools, the instruction remains the same: mobility in the Schengen area is possible from next September. On the other hand, international mobility is studied on a case-by-case basis. 🇧🇷We recommend above all to follow government guidelinesbut at the moment all borders outside the Schengen area are not open”, specifies Jocelyne Brendlé, president of the International and Development Commission of the CDEFI (conference of directors of French schools of engineering).

Universities therefore prefer to suspend all mobility outside Europe in the first semester, with some exceptions, such as Canada, where the situation is stable. On the side of business schools, the same decision: “In some countries we have very little visibility both in security and in the communication of the crisis as in Brazil or in the United States, evaluates M’Hamed Drissi, president of the International Relations Commission of the CGE (conferences of the Great Schools). Most of the Great Schools thus advise their students to postpone this mobility until the second semester.🇧🇷

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Anticipate possible last-minute contingencies

Whatever the destination, establishments are very cautious. If you decide to leave, you are not immune to further confinement and therefore an early return to France. Hybrid mobility could then be the solution. “If a student cannot postpone their mobility, it is better to opt for virtual mobility first before being able to go to the country”, recommends M’Hamed Drissi.

If he decides to leave, the watchword will be “flexibility”. As the CDEFI manager explains, sanitary conditions can change during the summer even if the pandemic appears to be partially under control in Europe. “Many foreign establishments still do not know if they will be able to receive our students and therefore favor remote mobility. Transport must also be taken into account: there are still few long-haul flights and they can be very expensive.“Going to Europe can therefore be more comforting in case of an emergency repatriation.

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Postpone your mobility without penalties

Some students must complete semesters abroad to earn a degree. But due to the pandemic, this rule no longer applies. So don’t worry, whether you cancel or postpone your mobility, the establishments guarantee it: no student will be penalized if the stay abroad is not possible. This is equally valid in the context of study mobility and placement. “Students who have had to do their graduate work abroad are more concerned than others. Some want to experience this mobility, but you also have to be careful“, evaluates the CGE manager.

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