Top Countries Open to International Students' Admission Amid COVID-19

By Subhashri Roy Updated On - Jun 25, 2021 11:48 AM

Reluctant to study abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic? Whether you prefer face-to-face, online or hybrid learning, read on to find the list of countries offering admission to international students in 2021, along with their current Covid-19 updates in detail. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put brakes on the study abroad dreams of students, with getting a visa and travelling to a foreign country becoming this year’s most complicated affairs. Practical challenges aside, international students from across the world are simply unwilling to live abroad during these unprecedented times.

Having said that, recent surveys point out that students still do not wish to change their study abroad plans and are still looking forward to accessing face-to-face learning. In fact, they are open to changing their destination and enrolling at institutions that are primarily offering in-person classes

With students expressing concerns about their health along with travel restrictions in the most popular study destinations, this article includes the countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, etc. that are offering admission to international students in 2021-22.

Planning to Study Abroad?

Countries Accepting International Students Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mentioned below are the top eight countries that are offering admission to international students in 2021-22, along with their Covid-related updates on international admissions, mode of learning and travel restrictions:


With a total of 1,075,496 international students, the United States has seen a 1.8% drop in the number of international students enrolling at US universities in 2019/20, according to the 2020 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. However, the number of international students in the US hit an all-time high in 2018/19, with 1,05,299 international students.

With the US being home to the most number of highest-ranked universities (according to QS World University Rankings 2021), the country remains to be the top overseas study destination for students from all over the world. 

Here are the latest updates on admission to US universities in 2021 amid Covid-19:

  • Most US universities have introduced the hybrid model of instruction which include both online and in-person learning. The in-person classes would be conducted with all public health guidelines in place, a limited number of students, limited lab or coursework, usage of face coverings, among other things. 

  • Intake cycles for the 2021-22 academic year would begin as planned.

  • Travel to the US has been permitted except those who have been to countries including China, Iran, European Schengen area, UK, Republic of Ireland and Brazil during the past 14 days.

  • Many universities have completely shifted to online instruction.

  • Campus tours and admission events are either being postponed or held in online mode.

  • A number of US institutions have made submission of SAT/ ACT scores optional. 

  • Only a limited number of in-person F, M and J visa appointments are made available in India, in response to the global pandemic. 

Also Read:  US to Process Indian Student Visa Applications for Fall 2021 from June 2021


Universities in the UK have started welcoming prospective students with all safety measures in place in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The borders of the UK are not just open but well prepared to offer campus-based education to students from outside of the UK. 

According to the latest statistics, there are 485,645 international students currently pursuing their higher education in the UK, and the country has witnessed a steady increase in the number of international students choosing the UK for further studies. 

The changes made to the UK universities settings during the Covid-19 pandemic have been mentioned below:

  • Universities have been ensuring that international students are able to get access to the study material according to their convenience.

  • The country has re-invented the digital space for international students to interact and network with peers studying online or offline. 

  • Major modifications have been put in place in line with the public health guidelines to make sure that students, staff and faculty members are safe on campus.

  • UK restaurants, shops, bars and supermarkets are also open for students to get their daily essential supplies and food. 

  • The admissions window at UK universities for the January 2021 intake are open and are conducted as per schedule. 

  • The UK government has also implemented safety protocols and made it mandatory to use PPE and face coverings in all public places and places of high risk. 

Also Read: Successful Vaccination Drive Makes UK Top Study Abroad Destination: New Survey


In Canada, some Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) have started reopening campuses to international students. As of November 21, 2020, those flying to Canada can submit their travel and contact information along with other details on ArriveCAN, an app launched to keep those arriving or living in the country safe. 

Starting November 21, 2020, Canadian Visa Application Centres (VACs) have also resumed services in the Indian cities of Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru 

Students planning on going to Canada for higher education must ensure that their DLIs are on the list of DLIS with approved readiness plans to counter the pandemic. Another requirement that one must fulfil before entering Canada as an international student is that they must have a valid student permit or a letter of introduction that proves that you have been approved for a study permit. Also, significant to note is that visa applications are not being processed at a normal pace, as some applications may be prioritised. One can, however, apply for a student visa online. 

Those arriving in Canada can either:

  • Physically attend classes after completing their quarantine period, or

  • Attend classes in online mode

New Zealand

As of November 2020, New Zealand is at Alert Level 1 and its borders are closed to almost all travellers, including those with student visas. However, the government of New Zealand has put forward plans to make sure that international students feel welcomed. 

  • Universities have expanded their delivery options for the 2021 academic year. While online may be the main teaching mode amid the pandemic, universities are looking forward to conducting face-to-face classes along with remote learning. 

  • The government of New Zealand has announced a border exemption that will let up to 250 international postgraduate or PhD students to enter New Zealand. 

  • Universities are processing applications and also issuing offer letters. However, classes are most likely to be conducted in online mode.


With a commitment to protecting the health of all people studying, living, or working in Ireland, the Government of the country has formulated a reopening plan for universities to start welcoming both current and prospective students during these unprecedented times.

The current education scenario in Ireland for prospective international students can be found in detail below:

  • International students are allowed to enter Ireland. If they are from green regions, then no entry restrictions will be put on them. However, they are from red, orange or grey regions, they will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

  • Irish universities are accepting applications for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Universities are well-prepared to welcome students to campus with all the required extensive measures in place. 

Also Read: Educators Must Ensure Int'l Students Have the Best Experience While in Ireland, says ICOS


As of November 23, Australia is continuing to keep its borders closed to international students while continuing to prepare for their safe arrival. 

  • With the country’s strong response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country is looking forward to welcoming prospective international students and making their on-campus student experience extremely safe.

  • The states and territories in Australia and working directly with higher education providers in the country to make plans to welcome international students.

  • Despite travel restrictions in the country, the government is still granting student visas.

  • All Australian universities are currently accepting applications for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees.

  • Applicants must first enrol at their institution of choice and then apply for a student visa so that they can travel to Australia whenever it is allowed.

  • International students in their home country can start their programmes online if they want.

  • As of now, most universities in Australia are planning on continuing the hybrid model of teaching in 2021.


Germany, like many other countries, has been affected by the Coronavirus. To ensure the safety of the all in the country, the German government has laid out certain rules and restrictions for international students:

  • Almost all higher education institutions in Germany have switched to online teaching or a combination of face-to-face and online delivery to accommodate every student.

  • As of October 27, 2020, Germany has allowed entry for residents of countries such as New Zealand, Thailand, Uruguay, Singapore, Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. 

  • The winter semester 2020/21 (started on November 1) in Germany will include a flexible mix of online and in-person classes. 

Also Read: Germany 'Becomes 4th Nation with Largest Number of International Degree Students'


France, like all other countries, has been introducing new measures according to the needs of the current Covid-19 situation in the country. For international students wishing to study in France, here are the latest updates: 

  • All international students, irrespective of which country they are residents of, can enter France.

  • French universities continue to remain open, accepting applications of foreign applicants.

  • Classes are delivered in both online and offline modes. Practical work, however, is conducted on-campus only.

  • Health checks are conducted at the borders and a negative Covid result of less than 72 hours should be shown upon arrival in France. 

Top Countries With Universities Open for Hybrid/ Online Learning in 2021/22

Given below are the top institutions in the countries offering admission to international students and delivering programmes in hybrid/ online mode in 2021/22:


Name of Institutions


Tuition Fees


Harvard University


INR 29-52 Lakh

Stanford University


INR 37-94 Lakh

Hofstra University


INR 17-40 Lakh

University of Illinois at Chicago


INR 23-26 Lakh

Auburn University


INR 19-23 Lakh

New Zealand

University of Auckland


INR 15-24 Lakh

University of Otago


INR 13-21 Lakh

Victoria University of Wellington


INR 14-19 Lakh

University of Canterbury


INR 15-22 Lakh

University of Waikato


INR 13-21 Lakh


Arden University


INR 7 Lakh

University of Law


INR 8-11.4 Lakh

Kingston University


INR 13-14 Lakh

Berlin School of Business and Innovation


INR 7-10.5 Lakh

University of Applied Sciences, Europe

Berlin, Hamburg and Iserlohn



Australian National University (ANU)


INR 15-23 Lakh

University of Melbourne


INR 18-36 Lakh

University of Sydney


INR 15-24 Lakh

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Kensington, New South Wales

INR 15-40.5 Lakh

University of Queensland (UQ)


INR 13-33.5 Lakh

Wish to Apply at Universities Abroad?

Top Countries With Universities Open for In-Person Learning in 2021

Here are the top institutions in the countries offering admission to international students and delivering programmes in-person or face-to-face in the 2021/22 academic year:


Name of Institutions


Tuition Fees


Birbeck, University of London


INR 12-13.5 Lakh

City, University of London


INR 15-16 Lakh

Manchester Metropolitan University


INR 12-15 Lakh

University of Oxford


INR 22-54.9 Lakh

University College London


INR 24-28 Lakh


McGill University


INR 4-25 Lakh

University of Toronto


INR 12-34 Lakh

Université de Montréal


INR 6.9-11.4 Lakh

University of British Columbia


INR 4-30 Lakh

University of Alberta


INR 3-13.6 Lakh


Dublin City University


INR 11-14 Lakh

Dublin Institute of Technology


INR 12.7-19 Lakh

IT Sligo


INR 9.2-10 Lakh

Maynooth University


INR 7.9-13 Lakh

Trinity College Dublin


INR 14-22.9 Lakh


École Polytechnique


INR 5.2-21 Lakh

Sorbonne University


INR 11.7-18,000



INR 0-1 Crore

HEC Paris


INR 14-47.5 Lakh

Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris



Still confused about studying abroad in 2021-22? Write to us at for further information or assistance on the same.

Also, stay tuned for the latest updates on foreign education.

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