International student mobility has been increasingly affected by politics, culture, economics, natural disasters and public health. The Covid-19 pandemic caused unpredicted disruption to international students’ movement, which has challenged the primary host and sending countries, including the UK and China. This study focuses on UK’s prospective Chinese master students who have, reluctantly, suspended their studying abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic, and explores how these students strategically reimagine their overseas education in the future. A mixed-method approach was adopted, utilising survey and semi-structured in-depth interviews to investigate prospective Chinese international students’ experience and reflections in their deferral of overseas degree education. Besides the influence of health crisis, findings highlight the geopolitical situations, such as the somewhat tense relations between mainland China and the US, Australia, or Hong Kong has confined students’ overseas education destination to the UK as the “choice of no choice”. Regardless of parents’ pressure or suggestions in pursuing master’s degrees in Chinese universities as a safe alternative, students in this study demonstrate their strong agency and careful considerations on their education destination choices (e.g. academic climate, education quality, intercultural experience, etc.). UK universities are further suggested to better understand and support prospective international students who may face more unpredictable and even overwhelming challenges during and post the COVID-19 so as to facilitate better preparation for these students’ international education mobility in the future.