What Will Online Learning Mean for Students Overseas?
Here's what to expect from a blended mix of online and in-person instruction.
Like many other Canadian universities, Concordia University will be offering courses online in the fall 2020 term, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The online plan comes as a relief to many international students, because it allows them to attend Canadian universities remotely while travel restrictions remain in place. Still, there are questions on many students' minds.
What happens to classes that take place in labs or studios?
Many international students wonder what will happen to classes that require labs or studios for coursework, such as fine arts, engineering, or science classes. In many cases, universities are planning to offer limited access to these facilities for students who are able to travel to campus on certain days. But where does that leave students studying from abroad?
In Concordia's case, special care is being taken to make sure that classes can be offered completely online for those who can't be on campus. If a class has a component that can't be completed remotely, students may be given the opportunity to complete it at a later date, once in-person instruction is possible again. Faculty are working hard to make sure that students logging in from afar feel engaged and included. Students who can't attend in-person components won't be penalized.
What about internships and other types of experiential learning?
Some universities offer opportunities for students to earn credits through internships and other apprenticeship programs. Concordia has been working to develop creative placements for students during the period of campus closure. Currently enrolled Concordians have been making a difference during the pandemic working online for community organizations, and faculty and staff across the university have been offering various experiential learning opportunities.
Some degree programs include internship components as part of the requirements. In cases like these, students who aren't able to take part in their internships during the Fall 2020 term will be able to reschedule their participation for a future term. Students who cannot undertake a previously scheduled internship may have to extend the length of their program to fulfill their degree requirements. For example, a student may decide to wait another year to perform the internship, thereby extending the time needed to complete the course requirements.
Stay adaptable and stay in touch!
Faculty across Canadian universities are working to ensure that international students have fair access to their programs, even from a distance. In this unprecedented time, universities are taking flexible approaches. Keeping lines of communication open with your professors and classmates is important in times like these. Even if you're thousands of kilometers away, you will be part of the classroom.
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