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Will Universities Reopen in 2021?

3 Min Read
November 03, 2022

The million-dollar question for anyone even remotely involved in the education industry. Since the forced closing of schools and recreational centers due to the global pandemic, governments around the world have been patiently awaiting the day to safely reopen schools and universities to host in-person classes.

As it turns out, 2021 seems to be quite an eventful year with most cities relaxing restrictions for international students to resume learning on campus.


In Canada, most universities in major cities are expecting to open up for international student entry. Popular campuses like the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, and University of Manitoba among many others across the country aiming to resume in-person teaching for classes. The general trend among Canadian universities is the expectation that undergraduates will return to campus in the Fall 2021 semester and attend offline classes, with the exception of large lectures that will still be conducted remotely. 

United States of America

For students who have secured seats at US universities, it is more likely than not that your campus will be accepting international students to return as early as in the summer. Although this cannot be generalized for all institutions across the USA, the national consensus is that all schools have the best intention to resume normal classes as soon as possible. Similar to Canada, most schools will adapt a hybrid learning environment, excluding huge lecture-based courses from resuming in-person to gradually adjust to the decreasing rate of  COVID-19 transmissions. In addition, there are some schools that require students to be vaccinated prior to arrivals, such as Boston University, Yale, Cornell, and the University of California system. Find the complete list here

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has similar plans to reopen universities for offline classes, with in-person teaching to resume no sooner than May 17th, in accordance with Step 3 of the Roadmap. International students will continue to study remotely until indoor settings resume. Fortunately, labs and practice-based learning classes have started since March 8. For international students traveling to the UK, be sure to check when their in-person classes will start and let the university know when your arrival will be, to receive adequate support from them. 


As one of the countries better adapted to handling the initial outbreak, Japan is looking to reopen as of July 1st, with 60% of schools considering a hybrid model and 16% considering to host fully in-person classes. Overall, over 80% of university-level classes in Japan will be at least hybrid or distance-learning. MEXT is also looking to support students on scholarships with the option to delay or change their scholarship schedules to account for semesters spent online. 


Although one of the first countries to almost eliminate COVID-19 nationally, Australia still keeps its borders closed to international travelers. However, Victoria has recently announced that starting from May 24, borders may reopen to allow international students, film actors, and crew, as well as major event organizers, to trickle in at a rate of 120 people per week. These international arrivals will follow the existing quarantine system and will take place at a hotel outside of Victoria until they have been cleared of the virus. Despite still requiring the approval of the Commonwealth, the recent success of the  Australian Open tournament played a huge role in the creation of the plan. 

Overall, it seems like countries around the world are starting to open up for international study, and that students can finally get a chance to be on campus once more.