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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

Top tips on moving from online to on-campus learning

Whether you’re excited about returning to campus or a little worried about the change, we look at what you can do to make the process much easier.

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It would be very difficult to find someone whose life wasn’t disrupted by the pandemic in any way. It cancelled plans, both short and long term, and completely changed the course of how many of us lived our daily lives.  


Students were no exception to this. COVID-19 paved the way for a very different student experience. From those in the middle of their studies to prospective students at the start of their journey, it affected everyone. It’s only thanks to our technology and access to the internet that students could continue their degrees and stay connected, even if it meant missing out on the more social side of university life.   


With vaccines well underway in many countries and restrictions lifting all over the globe, life for students is starting to resemble what it was pre-coronavirus but after potentially years of online classes, is a smooth transition back to campus life possible?  


While this will be easier for some than others, we have tips to help you with the whole process. 


1. Take it easy 


With work, school and our social lives all reduced to our screens over the past year or two, it’s understandable that going back out and being surrounded by people again may feel overwhelming at first. This is normal, especially if you started university during the pandemic and know no different. 


Thankfully, many universities that have offered online learning are still doing so, despite the return to campus. Having the choice between online and in-person lectures or seminars will give you the chance to return to normal at your own pace.   


While it’s unlikely that this will be an option for students indefinitely, it’s great that you can take advantage of this if you are one of the students who are feeling a bit more apprehensive about the return to normality. 


Do you feel more comfortable in a seminar because there are fewer people, or do you want to alternate between virtual and real-life lectures? You can contact your university and decide what your best option is. 


Get familiar with some of the online learning models used by universities.  


2. Think back to life before 


Lockdowns started in early 2020, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s been more than a couple of years since it all began. Being stuck inside, unable to go about your normal life and see family or friends has made the whole experience feel much longer for many. 


However, if you think back to a time before the pandemic and how much freer we all were, it can truly help you start to look forward to getting back to how it used to be. 


Maybe you started university before the pandemic and can fondly think back to classic university life. Perhaps you have only just begun your degree and are remembering enjoying life before the pandemic. As the world opens up, you can look forward to making new memories with new friends out in the real world again. 


You may have lost confidence socially or feel less capable of getting around where you live. Thinking back and remembering how you were before everything changed can be just the confidence boost you need to get back into the swing of things. 


Are you concerned about getting sick while studying abroad? Find out what you need to do


3. Understand that circumstances might change 


If you’re one of those students who have been wanting to get back to normal from the start or are just coming round to the idea of returning to campus, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that things could change again. 


While the vaccination rollout and restrictions are doing much better at controlling the spread of coronavirus, if the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that the situation we are in is very unpredictable. 


Several countries have gone in and out of lockdown several times since the pandemic began, while others have changed their rules continuously on how open their borders are. 


 While things seem to be settling down, it’s not unlikely that this could change quite quickly, and you may be thrown back into online learning or a hybrid learning model. This shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the return to life back on campus, but by keeping in mind that it may not be permanent just yet, you save yourself from potential disappointment later.   


After a long time inside, looking at a screen and getting used to your own company, you may be apprehensive about returning to normal student life. By going easy on yourself and only returning when you feel comfortable, remembering how much you enjoyed life before COVID-19 and keeping an eye on any potential changes, you can make the process a lot smoother. 

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