The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world. Today, the coronavirus remains a catastrophic dagger that has wounded the world. 

The pandemic claimed lives, shut down borders, and plummeted economies. In the educational sector, it continues to challenge learners, educators, and institutions.

For international students, the effects of the pandemic are more apparent. With air flight restrictions and ballooning cases, traveling abroad to attend school becomes a gamble with life. 

As a response, many universities in various countries have implemented distance learning. In some cases, hybrid learning was adapted, though the challenges still persist. 

With the very perceptible disadvantages of remote learning to foreign students, is it even worth it?

Here’s how international students can make distance learning worthwhile and purposeful:

Integrating Technology into the Pedagogy 

According to Evelyn Garwe, a higher education specialist, there is nothing that cannot be taught online. Everyone with the internet can vouch for this, as most topics today, no matter how complex and technical, are available online.

With technology continuously evolving, it’s more difficult to imagine not utilizing tech for educational purposes. 

There are also plenty of web-based platforms that bridge professors with their students regardless of location. In a way, technology and the internet eliminate the gaps that foreign students struggle with.

However, despite the geographic flexibility, there is also trouble with time differences. Defying constraints with time zones is impossible, but technology offers solutions that ease the issues.

Educators and students need to have access to reliable technology. This deems investments in equipment and other learning resources a great necessity.

Adding Cultural Learning in Lectures

The appeal of international education is built on the premise that students are exposed to cultural diversity. However, with distance learning, an in-person experience of cultural awareness is severed.

Garwe added that to enrich the overall learning experience for foreign students, cultural learning is needed in the online curriculum. 

Despite the drawbacks of intercultural learning in a remote setting, students shouldn’t be deprived of valuable cultural learning. It isn’t as effective as out-of-class experience, but it’s a plausible alternative.

Adapting to Hybrid Learning

Many educators also lobby for hybrid learning, where online classes are combined with in-country exploration. This can be a great alternative for international students still staying in the host country. 

Other countries still implement strict COVID-19 regulations. As long as universities have contingency plans, there’s no reason to prohibit students from visiting the campus.

With most of the world still immobilized, innovative solutions are extremely relevant. There is a need to determine how to make a valuable learning experience without compromising the students’ health. 

Constant Engagement and Motivation

Remote learning demands a conscious effort from both students and professors. Engaging cultivates a sense of connection that is often lost in distance learning.

Even in a digital platform, professors still want students to engage in classes. And students need great motivation from their educators.

Remote learning is challenging, but it would seem more manageable when there is constant support.

Remote learning has many perceptible disadvantages to international students, but there are still ways to make it more worthwhile. If you want to learn more about how you can get the most out of remote learning as an international student, flip through our articles here at MSM Unify.

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