Covid-19, Education and Making Choices

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Covid-19, Education and Making Choices

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The Covid-19 pandemic has forced almost everyone to make decisions, some small and some drastic. The following is a reflection of how my studies as an international student at the University of Melbourne, Australia were affected by the pandemic.

The date is 9 July 2020. Covid-19 cases have been on the rise in Melbourne in the past two weeks. This trend seems specific to Melbourne as the rest of Australia seems to have the situation under control.

I receive an email from the University.

The email announces that the studies for the second semester (July to November 2020) will take place entirely online.

The majority of semester 1 (March to June) had also taken place online. But students were hopeful that a return to face-to-face teaching would be possible given the relatively low number of cases of Australia up to late June 2020 (when the second wave started).

As an international student, I must make a choice. To stay in Melbourne or to fly home. I need to do so quickly, since incoming flights to Melbourne had already been suspended, and there is no guarantee that the same might not happen to outgoing flight.

In my case, returning home seemed the obvious choice. I would rather have stayed in Melbourne (a city I love!), but alas at least to return means to be closer to friends and family during these times.

I write this in October 2020, the semester is almost over, and the number of daily cases in Melbourne has now dropped significantly (to single digits), after months of strict measures.

For much of the rest of the world however, there does not seem to be an end in sight.

Submitted as part of the HIST30060 Making History subject at the University of Melbourne.
Email (sent to me by the University of Melbourne) and chart of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, Australia (from the Australian Department of Heath and Human Services).

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online learning
remote study

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Travel in the Age of Covid-19 Link Interactive Resource

This item was submitted on October 17, 2020 by Yusuf Abdulwahab using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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