Many students were forced to give up their study abroad experiences amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be hard to have to stay home when you were previously dreaming of eating pasta in Italy or exploring museums in London. Although you may not be able to travel at the moment, there are a few things you can do to bring the study abroad experience to you.
Take a Cooking Class
One of the best ways to explore a new culture is through food. This past year many more cooking experiences have become available from chefs all over the world. If you have been dreaming of the perfect ravioli, there is no need to wait to fly across the world. Airbnb is currently offering international cooking classes, as well as websites like Cozymeal.
Tour a Museum Virtually
Many museums are currently offering virtual tours that allow you to still experience culture and art from the comfort of your own room. Check out the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris or the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum.
Make an international friend by finding your own pen pal! Use a website like PenPal World, to connect with someone new. This can also be a great opportunity to practice a new language.
Get Lost in a Good Book or Movie
A book or movie can easily transport you to a different place. Explore media that can teach you more about a new culture and provide an escape from your routine. Opt for a foreign film and watch it with subtitles!
Although it can be disappointing when you have to cancel an experience that you have been looking forward to, it can be helpful to look to the future and hold out hope for future trips and new adventures. Check out more of our articles for tips on study abroad and navigating college life during COVID-19.
The impact of the Coronavirus on the operations of colleges and universities has focused attention by students and families on the refund policies of schools. With families investing more than $300 billion annually in college expenses, it’s not surprising that Forbes recently published an article explaining how tuition insurance can provide a refund when a school may not.
Tuition insurance may not have been essential 30 years ago, when college was more widely affordable and school refunds were more generous. Today, however, given both the high cost of tuition and less generous refund policies of schools, it’s an important benefit that colleges and universities can offer to protect their students.
When combined with trends in student health conditions, tuition insurance is also an essential consideration for families worried about their student’s chronic health conditions or potential vulnerabilities.
Less Generous College Refund Policies
If a student needs to leave school, it’s more than likely that the institution will only provide a prorated refund through the first few weeks of school. Refunds for room and board and academic fees are even more unlikely to happen.
Forbes personal finance journalist, Cameron Huddleston, recently interviewed John Fees, the CEO and co-founder of GradGuard about the importance of knowing a school’s refund policy.
“Typically, this is only a refund of tuition through the first five weeks of classes,” Fees said.
A 2019 benchmark study conducted by HigherEdStudy for GradGuard found that only 6% of schools reported providing a 100% refund of tuition—down from 23% in 2015. None of the public colleges surveyed provide full refunds and nearly half of the schools don’t provide any refund for student fees and academic fees.
GradGuard’s tuition insurance covers an unexpected withdrawal due to a covered illness, injury, or other covered reason. This chart below demonstrates the impact of health conditions that can also create a financial loss for families.
How Colleges and Universities Benefit
Given the growing media interest by Forbes and other publications, schools are smart to provide their students the opportunity to protect their investment in college. There are multiple benefits to schools who offer GradGuard’s tuition insurance to each of their students including:
Help assure that students who have to leave school for a medical reason can afford to return to campus when they are healthy enough to do so.
Demonstrate to students that they can receive a payment for the potential financial loss that may result from withdrawing from an academic term due to covered reasons such as medical conditions.
Provide a more affordable product with expanded coverage that meets the needs of the school and student.
Reduce collections issues from students who leave school by providing the school a payment for any outstanding balance of an insured student.