This is Shuvo Podder, student of the Dept of Computer Science and Engineering, Daffodil International University (DIU). I came to Chung Ang University (CAU), South Korea as an exchange student from DIU last year. Studying abroad was a great opportunity for me to fulfill my dream. Co-operation between Chung Ang University and Daffodil International University helped me to grab this opportunity. I have completed my first semester successfully and this is my second semester running during this COVID 19 outbreaks. Let me share my current experiences at CAU in this epidemic situation.

Countries around the world have shut down to stop this outbreak of corona virus. But late in February 2020 South Korea reported a sharp increase rate with over five thousand infected cases, which was the highest register confirmed cases in the world. On that stage, the CAU authority planned to start two weeks of online class first. By this time, the corona affected people rate was increasing in other countries but South Korea started showing improvement and managed to stabilize their infected rate. South Korea started to become a role model to fight against corona successfully.

Chung Ang University has a large number of international students who agreed to extend their online class. As per government rule, the authority arranged quarantine for international students who come from the most affected areas. At first it was a bit scary hearing my friends and family members are worrying about me being here, but now the situation has reversed. Foreigners started to return to their country and I was afraid too but now I am feeling good, because I am in Korea.  CAU was changing its plan and rescheduling frequently. The midterm exam was replaced with assignments. There was no other option remaining because no one knew what was going to happen next. Then they again declared another 2 weeks online class. South Korea didn’t lockdown or close airports, but fought with corona using their technology successfully and detecting everywhere to solve. You can explore a different digital way of education at CAU. Big digital library and their e-class facilities are just amazing. Our semester started with the online class. At the beginning, there were some issues with online class but we solved it with our professors. Finally, the online class was made flexible and we are becoming used to it. After all there is no other solution but all we need to continue the study and move on.

It is a little bit boring doing the online class as we cannot meet our professors, classmates physically.   But we haven’t any other choice. I miss waking up early in the morning and going to university, listening to lectures and discussing with friends. But we do our classes through Google meet, Zoom and Skype. Some classes are replaced with video lectures. There are also some positive things in an online lecture like I can review the lecture frequently and understand properly. So it is easy to get what I missed. And secondly by going to university regularly we spend some extra time. The good point is the university decided to continue the semester thinking about us. Cancelling semester could make a session jam, which leads to more hassle & tension. I believe that crisis is temporary but dreams are forever!

I am thankful to CAU that they are continuing the semester during this pandemic. Mostly we are staying in the room and doing our task. Sometimes I go for a walk on the university campus, sometimes outside of the campus. The Government didn’t force anyone not to go outside, but requested to stay home as much as possible.  Overall South Korea is getting the better result in the Corona crisis. Regularly I’m in touch with the officials International Affairs from my home university, DIU. They are always connected to keep the updates and if any things to cooperate. The International Relations office at CAU also takes care of us as we must report them weekly about our status. But as like everyone, I’m still waiting for a permanent cure of this epidemic here in South Korea, Bangladesh & globally. Hopefully, we will start our onsite classes soon.

In addition, I want to say that studying abroad will always broaden your thinking and it is a great way of self-learning. It’s more like discovering a new culture, learning new languages, exploring new places, making friends from all over the world. I think every student should go outside their countries and learn about what other students are doing? What do others think? And how they are preparing for their career? Living and travelling on your own gives you a greater sense of independence and expands your world views tremendously.  One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. I suggest every student to grab any of the study abroad programs offered by International Affairs Office of DIU that can be a lifelong experience for you!