university closed
Before you move back home or elsewhere because your university closed, make sure you meet the right people to get all the answers you need. Source: Sandy Huffaker/AFP

Is your university closed? If you’re reading in March/April 2020, the answer is probably yes.

Through uncertainties of social etiquette and health, a Student Hut flash survey has shown that students are more concerned over how COVID-19 would impact their education over their own health.

If you’re in this category, you’re probably feeling lost and in the dark about what’s going to happen to your course, assignments and everything in between.

The smart thing to do now is to find a lecturer or your International Student Office and get all the must-have info to plan for the continuity of your studies during and after this pandemic blows over.

Here are the top five questions you need to get answers for if your course is disrupted and your university closed.

How will we sit for exams?

Major UK universities are postponing exams, while many others are moving them online.

If you will be sitting for exams online, ask about changes in format and grading. Get familiar with the exam portal ahead of time.

If exams are being postponed, check for new dates and venues. Then, follow-up with your lecturer for any structural changes to the exam. Finally, keep in touch with your coursemates so everyone stays updated.

How much of your coursework depends on university resources and facilities? Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America/AFP

How will lab and fieldwork be graded?

This can be a tricky one, especially if coursework makes up the majority of your final grade.

First, identify what assignments require campus resources and facilities. Then, clarify the latest assessment structure with your lecturer. If your coursework deadline is postponed, check the extension period and criteria you have to fulfil.

Gauge how much your environment and movement are affected, then get proactive about suggesting alternative plans and deadlines.

Will deadlines be pushed?

Not just assignment deadlines – course and resource fees may also be affected by university closures. It’s always best to check with your faculty and admissions office for such updates.

See how your course disruption affects other parts of your education – for example, if you need to take state or national exams.

Don’t forget, as an international student, your visa must be valid throughout the new course deadlines. Go to the international office or your visa agent to clarify visa status.

Harvard students were given a three-day notice on campus closure. Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America/AFP

Will my course credits be affected?

Course credits dictate the duration and cost of your programme. They shouldn’t be affected if classes are simply moved online.

In this case, you can check how far along you are on each module and keep track of the marks awarded for online components.

But what happens if the semester is cut short because the university closed? Contact your lecturer and faculty to find out what credits you’re entitled to. Then, you can plan your next semester – especially crucial if it’s your final one.

Will I graduate on time since university closed?

Before answering this million-dollar question, you should have an idea of when and how lessons are expected to resume.

What’s my credit situation? Will my final project/ thesis be affected? When will the university reopen? The answers to these questions will indicate how close you are to graduating, and what you will have to do to get there.

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