A master’s student is facing uncertainty in gaining an internship in the United Kingdom, with numerous international students going back home early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vineet Agarwal is an international student from Kolkata, India who is studying a master’s in digital marketing at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Finding work: Vineet Agarwal

Agarwal has ambitions to secure a marketing internship at a company in the UK and extend his stay here beyond the February 2021 expiration of his current visa. But his progress in finding an internship has been delayed due to the pandemic that has gripped the country.

“There are fewer jobs out there due to the coronavirus situation and a lot of the companies have cancelled their internship programmes altogether,” Agarwal says of his current predicament. “The applications are currently on hold and they will review it after some time.”

According to Agarwal, finding an internship before his course’s August 2020 deadline are “quite slim”. Vineet has now applied for “150-plus internships and jobs” but as internship programmes have been shut down, none of his applications has been successful so far.

“If I get the internship before August… when I graduate I will be having a degree which will be for two years Rather than having a one year degree, which I find very beneficial”.
Vineet Agarwal, master’s student

Vineet expresses that he has no desire to return to India any time soon, contrastingly to Indian international students who he had been sharing accommodation with in Nottingham.

Vineet said most of the peers he knows “have gone back to their home countries now” and are continuing their own search for jobs there instead.

His two flatmates from his home city returned to India a matter of days before the UK government called for a lockdown as they had feared complications of being able to fly back home later. But he insisted that he wanted to take the risk and continue to find work here.

India’s international restrictions have meant that any commercial flights have been suspended until May 17, 2020. Furthermore as of May 7, up to 15,000 Indian nationals (who are abroad) will be allowed to enter India.

Vineet Agarwal gives insight into his internship sprogress

Vineet has always planned that he would secure an internship in the UK in order to fully complete his postgraduate course. He says: “If I get the internship before August [2020], I will be working in the company for about a year and then I will be graduating in October 2021.

“When I graduate I will be having a degree which will be for two years rather than having a one year degree, which I find very beneficial.” Agarwal still keeps faith that he will get the internship he needs to work in the UK.