Summer semester in front of a computer screen

Studying at home is a challenge for many students, but also an opportunity. Quynh Huong Nguyen from Vietnam offers some tips.

The 2020 summer semester in Germany is being held digitally.
The 2020 summer semester in Germany is being held digitally. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Normally, many students at German universities would now be hoping for the last available places in the university library. Normally, they would be meeting up with fellow students on the lawn in front of the cafeteria for a learning session in the sun. Normally. But unfortunately many things are not normal at the moment.

E-learning offers new opportunities

The universities had to react to the spread of the coronavirus and moved almost all their teaching to the internet. (At least) the summer semester 2020 is taking place online. For months, lectures and seminars have been held live via Skype; teaching materials have been uploaded to the cloud and examinations taken orally or online.

Although some universities are now allowing examinations and some teaching to be held locally, it will probably be a long time before university life gets back to normal. This places a burden on both students and teachers, but it can also bring opportunities. Quynh Huong Nguyen from Vietnam has been studying Communications Science at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg for two years now. The 20-year-old tells us about her everyday life at her 'home university' and offers some tips on working productively from home.

Quynh Huong Nguyen, 20
Quynh Huong Nguyen, 20 privat

"Most of the uni's digital services work very well. I'm grateful to the university staff for working so hard to deal with technical difficulties and for supporting us via the online platforms, so that university life can function as normally as possible.

To improve your productivity, I would definitely recommend creating a schedule together with friends. I have a virtual meeting for coffee every morning at 8 o'clock with some of my fellow students; it gives us a reason to get up early, and we can give each other some motivation. We don't always succeed (laughs), but it's very reassuring to know that you're not struggling with the 'home university' alone. In the long term, however, I think the increased digitization of universities will also mean a lot of flexibility and could be a great help, especially for students with disabilities or children and for pregnant students"

You can find out more about e-learning here.

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