Student exchanges during the pandemic: a student from Germany studies at Polytechnic University online

25 June 2020 International activities 225

A student from Germany, Daniel Maybach, came to SPbPU for an exchange program. He is studying industrial management at his university, and due to that he chose a semester at the Higher School of Service and Trade at IIME&T. Here he studies marketing communications, e-commerce, and business planning, although by distance learning. Because of the global pandemic, Daniel had to return to Germany. Read in our interview about his distance learning in St. Petersburg.

German student Daniel Maybach talks about studying at Polytechnic University during the pandemic

- Daniel, nice to see you! The pandemic has changed the plans of many - we know that you came to study in Russia in exchange, but now you continue your studies at Polytechnic University from Germany. Please tell us, when did you decide to return home?

- I got back to Germany in mid-March. This was practically the last opportunity to fly to Frankfurt: almost all flights were canceled. From Petersburg flew to London, and from there, after a twelve-hour transfer, to Frankfurt.

- Quite a long way it turned out to be! How is your training going now?

- We study online on the MS Teams platform: professors give lectures from there and there we discuss the topics studied and ask questions. After the lecture, we get assignments, both individual and for group work. We send the completed tasks to the teacher, and they send back corrections and feedback on the work. I would like to thank my teachers, A.S. KRASNOV and N.A. PLETNEVA, who are always ready to devote their time to each of the students and answer all our questions. The lecture materials are well structured and understandable; listening to them is always very interesting.

- What are the advantages of distance learning?

- Firstly, lectures are always recorded, so you can revise them if you did not understand something on the first time. It is also very convenient that you do not need to go to university. In Germany, for example, it takes an hour to get to school. The free time can be used for other activities,  go for a run, for example.

Daniel Maybach returned to Germany in mid-March, when the borders were still open

- Did your life change somehow with the start of distance learning?

- To be honest, my life hasn't changed much. Only the lectures are now online, but otherwise they are the same: the quality of the lectures remains at the same level, the topics are explained in detail and all questions are answered.

- Is Germany still in self-insulation mode? What do you do in your spare time?

- In Germany, until early May, you could only go outside to a grocery store, see a doctor or go out for sports, alone, of course. Such strict rules were established due to a large number of afflictions. Now the situation has returned to normal and we are free to go out again. But the rules of social distance are still in place. That is why we choose secluded vacations: for example, nature trips. There are many mountains in Germany with beautiful trails, and we go hiking in the mountains. We also like bike trips.

- What would you wish other students in this difficult time? 

- Stay positive, have a good time. Don't let the media influence you too much. Engage in sports, read books, and do not spend hours on social networks and soap operas. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!

- Daniel, thank you so much for the interesting interview! We wish you success and health!

Prepared by the SPbPU International Office

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