Outbound students who have got Covishield jabs are keen on attending their sessions in person despite some countries not recognising their Covid-19 vaccines. These students are willing to wait in quarantine and even spend some more money if they get to attend upcoming sessions in foreign universities.

“I have to stay in quarantine for 10 days, the healthcare system is good, vaccination is being done, and all the meals will be paid for. I am more than confident to study abroad this year,” said Nakul Roy, a Fall 2022 student, UK.

According to a recent survey by iSchoolConnect, a Google Cloud partnered startup with a simple one-stop shop for anyone wanting to study abroad, 36.5 per cent of Indian students want to study abroad despite Covid-19 concerns.

For some, an on-campus attendance is even more necessary that the rest. “When I enrolled in February, things were fine,” he said. “A photography course has to be offline and I need to be at the campus,” says Shreyas Singh, another Fall 2022 student

iSchoolConnect estimates that nearly 100,000 study permits were issued to international students in the first 3 months of 2021. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, the number of Indian students who have gone to study abroad till February 2021 stood at 71,769.

Financial support

To lower the burden on outbound students that have got Covishield jabs and are still being quarantined, Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII) has stepped up to financially support students pay off their quarantine bill. Students would have to apply for it.

“Dear students travelling abroad, as a few countries are yet to approve Covishield as an acceptable vaccine for travel without quarantine, you may have to incur some costs. I have set aside ₹ 10 crore for this, apply below for financial support if needed,” Poonawalla tweeted on Thursday.

Poonawalla’s SII is manufacturing the India-made version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine that is branded as Covishield in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) and 15 countries in the European Union and Schengen area are now accepting Covishield, including study abroad destinations like Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

But despite this and the push by Poonawalla, multiple countries are looking to their individual regulator’s clearance before they call off mandatory quarantine for travellers that have been administered Covishield.

In the US,, proof of vaccination is not required to enter their country. Student visa holders are expected to consult closely with their host institution to ensure compliance with individual vaccination requirements. Students seeking to travel to the UK from India will have to follow the amber list rules, which include taking a Covid-19 test 3 days before the date of travel, booking and paying for Covid-19 tests to be taken after arrival, and filling a passenger locator form.