Aresha, one of our student ambassadors from Pakistan, shares what it has been like to study virtually at the International Study Centre since she started in September. Read what she has to say about studying remotely here:
Clear up all your doubts and uncertainties
You must be thinking that virtual learning means throwing away all your daydreams about your life at the university, making new friends and of course having fun. I am Aresha from Pakistan, a current student at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, and I’m here to clear your misconceptions regarding virtual learning.
Before the induction week I was just as clueless. Thoughts like, “how do online classes work?”, “how will I take exams online?” and, “how will I make friends?” flooded my head. After months of shrinking my brain by only watching movies and TV shows, it was finally the start of the induction week, and once I began my studies, I felt my brain actually start expanding. The week was packed with crucial information like how to set up your official university account and access your classes, as well as sessions to get acquainted with all the teachers and play ice breaker games and quizzes to get to know the other students.
Even thousands of miles away, it feels like you are on campus
The induction week also made us familiar with the University’s Students' Union, as we were still able to join the clubs of our interests and hobbies. There are over 206 different clubs and societies, and you are even welcome to create your own! Otherwise there are social meet ups and quiz nights, but if those aren’t your thing, they also offer socials like “tea and talk”, where you just talk about the things you like and have tea, which of course you make in the comfort of your own house.
I think what I admire the most about the International Study Centre is that they make use of high-quality digital resources out there like the VLE and the online library – where everything is available just a touch away. Every day after my online classes on Zoom, I refer back to the extra resources like pre-recorded lectures, lecture notes and presentation slides available to me on the virtual learning environment (VLE) in case I missed anything.
To further strengthen our understanding of the course, there are weekly assignments and quizzes available, which I try my best to complete the same day. If I ever find myself struggling with a certain topic, I can even ask for one-to-lessons with my tutor, which is rather encouraged by the Centre. Aside from lectures, once a week there are tutorials in which we apply all the concepts we have learned, and seminars, where students engage in discussion about the studied topics in smaller groups.
Study tools like weekly checklists and the programme timetable help me keep track of all my classes, assignments and their deadlines as well. The Skills for Success sessions will also play a major role in helping you stay put, focused and motivated!
Best of both worlds
I genuinely hope that this guide has helped clear up all your queries and concerns regarding virtual learning, and made you realise that it isn’t that different after all! The dedication of the Centre staff, the learning experience and even the friends you’ll make are all still there, only in these difficult times you get to be close to your family and can cherish this moment differently.