Many incoming university students as well as students in the middle of their studies are considering if they should continue their studies this fall or postpone them due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic and the effect it will have on classroom learning, recruiting schedules, navigating difficult travel restrictions, health issues, future plans, etc....With so many universities already committing to some aspect of online learning for at least one semester, if not the whole year, including well-known universities such as Harvard and Cambridge, many students are at least thinking about alternatives, especially since most institutions are not reducing tuition for online learning.
One option is for students to take a gap semester/year. Many companies seem to be open to offering ad hoc internships to students planning on taking a gap year. Even for students thinking about doing online learning from home this year, it still might make sense to pursue some sort of internship, as online learning will likely provide more time flexibility. Many of these opportunities are not advertised, so it's important to network, tap into alumni networks, and to just reach out to firms and organizations. When doing so it's key to communicate effectively, be professional, and understand that you will likely not hear back from most people you contact. That's okay--this is common and don't take it personally.
Fast Company recently posted an article outlining a few points to consider if you might be considering alternative options for the fall. It' s a good reminder that though the situation is not ideal and plans are disrupted, there are still ways to make the most of the situation if you put some effort in and exercise discipline.