Studying internationally during COVID – Let an expert from UC San Diego explain how they are making it workMay 13, 20212 min read
For some students, the university experience means going abroad, experiencing new cultures in a new country. The pursuit of higher education at a university far from home can be intimidating and poses challenges that are daunting for students, even before COVID-19 arrived.
As we pass the one-year mark of the global pandemic, the international student experience has gone online with classes taking place on Zoom. Classmates are now logging in across all parts of the globe for synchronous and asynchronous learning while navigating different time zones, turning their schedules upside down.
Add in the fact states like California have two time zones plus daylight savings – and the challenges start adding up.
Recently, UC San Diego’s Dulce Dorado was featured in USA Today speaking to the topic:
“Why does California have two different time zones?” asked an exasperated Deepak Singla, a question that has long befuddled many Americans. Singla is a first-year UCLA graduate student in neuroscience studying from Punjab, India, a 13½-hour time difference. After the time change tripped up international students everywhere in the fall, universities and colleges took note.
“We learned our lesson last time,” says Dulce Dorado, director of International Students & Programs at UC San Diego. “We became aware pretty quickly that first-year international students, who have never been to the U.S., don’t know we ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’ – and why would they?”
This week, a handful of U.S. senators reintroduced legislation to make daylight saving time permanent, eliminating the practice of changing clocks twice a year. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a release that the Sunshine Protection Act would “provide some much-needed stability for families” – turns out, it also would help students studying abroad at American institutions, many of whom pay full tuition and fees and are a boon to U.S. university budgets. March 13 - USA Today.
UC San Diego also has a library of tips and advice that the school hopes will help administrators and students abroad navigate what has been a challenging year.
There are many elements to consider, which most might take for granted prior to the pandemic:
- Access to the internet, websites and VPN systems
- Time zone differences
- How to participate online and engage with professors
- Differing preferences among how professors deliver content online
- Culture, language and feeling connected
- And coping with the uncertainty of COVID-19, student visa status and being away from family.
There’s a lot to know and if you’re a journalist looking to know more or cover this topic – then let us help.
Dulce Amor L. Dorado is the Director of the International Students and Programs Office at the University of California San Diego. She is available to speak to media on how schools like UC San Diego are supporting international students during the pandemic learning from home, as well as moving forward in hybrid learning format. If you are looking to speak with Dulce – simply click on her icon to arrange an interview.
Dulce Dorado Director of the International Students and Programs Office
Dulce Amor L. Dorado is the Director of the International Students and Programs Office at the University of California San Diego.