When the COVID-19 outbreak reached the United States during the spring semester, many members of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) international community were searching for solutions for completing their studies safely. The UIC Office of International Services (OIS) in partnership with UIC Global released recommendations for travel and completing the semester remotely.
After carefully reviewing university guidelines, Avadh, a first-year entrepreneurship major from India, made the decision to return home to continue his studies online. We checked in with him to learn more about his experience.
Q: How Did You Come to the Decision to Continue the Spring Semester from Home?
Avadh: I was in constant touch with the airports [to understand their] new policies. I also continued to check if the classes at UIC were being converted to online. As soon as those decisions were made, I quickly made the choice to go back home. UIC Global made sure I was up to date on the situation by hosting many open advising sessions where students were welcome to ask any kind of questions or concerns.
Q: How Did Professors Modify Courses to Better Suit Online Learning?
Avadh: The professors were really understanding and flexible about class schedules, which helped me complete the courses from a different country, in a different time zone. The classes were all recorded, which made them more accessible to international students for the entire semester. Office hours were also very flexible, and [professors] were always available via email.
Q: What Strategies Did You Use for Successfully Studying from Home and Successfully Progressing This Semester?
Avadh: Going back to India, my home country, and studying from there was hard initially due to the opposite time zone and online lectures. I had to assign designated time to each subject during the day to ensure I was efficiently studying for all of my courses. Since I was progressing from UIC Global this semester, I also had to get a new I-20. UIC Global helped me acquire a new I-20 from home without any hassle or delay, even in such a difficult situation.
Q: What Are Your Plans for Returning to Campus?
Avadh: This summer, I am staying home in India and taking the summer semester online. Due to the current situation, I do not plan on returning in the fall.
I miss being in Chicago, going out with friends, watching movies in our dorms, and celebrating with UIC Global! I am so excited to see my friends from all over the world when I can return.” —Avadh, BS, entrepreneurship, India
UIC Global and OIS are working with students experiencing delays in returning to campus and going over their options for completing the Fall 2020 semester remotely. To learn more about UIC’s guidelines for Fall 2020, please visit the UIC Global blog.
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