What Has Changed in the Life of International Students of Polytechnic University with the Transition to Online Mode?

7 April 2020 University life 183

Quarantine is no hindrance to communication: countries and universities observe the regime of self-isolation but this does not affect communication and cooperation. No doubt, meetings and negotiations are nowadays held online. However, Polytechnic University is in continuous contact with its colleagues and students abroad: we learn how the Polytechnic study in other countries and receive news and words of support from our foreign partners on daily basis. And, of course, it is vital in this difficult time to support international students who are currently studying at St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and are away from their family and from home. We found out that an international student club is planning a series of distance events at PolyUnion; we also talked with foreign students at St. Petersburg Polytechnic University to find out how their lives have changed during the quarantine period.

Ma Wenjia (China) SPbPU Institute of Computer Science and Technology

Polytechnic University promptly responded to the recommendations of the government. All students and staff switched to remote mode, and many resources, e.g., the SPbPU Electronic Library, became accessible not only to Polytechnic students but also all interested parties.

SPbPU student Ma Wenjia told us about how her life in quarantine has changed

I try to see the pros in everything: for example, the advantage of distance learning for me is that you can set your own pace of studying. In real life, a professor is unlikely to stop an entire lecture for the sake of one student. Now you can put a halt on the lesson with one click to clarify the moment that interests you. And online training is very comfortable: you can learn in your favorite pajamas with a cup of tea or coffee.

This semester, I am doing research practice and working on a master’s thesis. And on my own initiative I am taking courses on the Coursera educational platform. In my free time I read books that I have long wanted to read, but for the lack of time I set aside for later. Now it has my dream has come true!

It seems to me that the lines of the poem by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley Ode to the West Wind are perfect for this whole situation: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” Dawn always follows a dark night, and a warm spring follows a cold winter. We are fortunate to live in a world where thousands of people protect us: medical personnel, police officers, university staff, and so on. Therefore, what we should do now is to follow the professionals’ recommendations: wash our hands properly, go outside less and to observe personal distances. We can defeat the coronavirus, but we must be prepared to act correctly!

Tamim Saadi (The Netherlands) SPbPU Institute of Industrial Management, Economics, and Trade

The measures that Polytechnic University has taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection are similar to those carried out throughout Russia. For a while, we all will be learning remotely. This has its advantages: for example, to hook up to a lecture, a laptop and the Internet are enough. No need to waste time to get there; in this sense, my life with the transition to distance learning has even become easier. We all were given instructions, told how to use the Microsoft Team platform to attend classes online. When the lecture begins, you automatically receive a notification about it. It’s hard to miss!

SPbPU student Tamim Saadi told how his life in quarantine has changed

In my leisure time, I do additional tasks for studying, watch movies or play games on my smart phone; in the evenings we gather with friends and communicate via the Internet.

I want to wish all students: do not panic! Panic is destructive, and brings only negative emotions. Do not worry and spend time for good use!

Yu Xiaoyun (China) Student of the SPbPU Higher School of International Educational Programs

«Я I am studying at the university foundation program. It seems to me that in this situation, the decision to switch to distance learning was the best option. Learning is a little bit unusual, but everything is going smoothly: we are moving in accordance with the content of the course; the schedule has not changed much. As before, teachers set homework, and despite the lack of personal communication, learning is still very interesting. In addition, we have more free time. I study Russian and English, and sometimes I draw.

SPbPU student Yu Xiaoyun described how her life has changed due to the quarantine

I want to wish all students to be conscious: stay at home, go out on the street less, follow the rules of personal hygiene, and also divide time for study and rest in a smart way!

Prepared by Center for International Recruitment and Communication. Text: Olga Dorofeeva

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