‘I don’t find it safe to stay in Birmingham’: UoB international students returned home before the latest lockdown

Some UoB international students haven’t returned to Birmingham

Before the latest UK lockdown, UoB international students returned home to be with their families in their home country. Some international students never returned to Birmingham for the first semester and have completed their studies from home. 

Su *, an second year UoB business student has struggled with the online teaching from her home country. “I was expecting the university could at least help us international students adapt to this new style of teaching at least for the first semester, instead of making it even more difficult,” she told The Birmingham Tab.

A spokesperson from the university told The Birmingham Tab. “We have plans that will hopefully make the transition into semester two smoother.”

A view of a continent of the city Istanbul from a boat in the sea

Ceren, a second year Turkish student decided to return home before the latest UK lockdown.  “Since most people are not taking this pandemic seriously in the UK, I don’t find it safe to stay in Birmingham. I live in student accommodation and people don’t wear masks, even in the lift,” she told The Birmingham Tab. 

Su, a second year international UoB international student, stayed at home during the first semester.  “At first, the most difficult part of this situation was adjusting the course schedule, which we expected better support from the university as we paid so much money to study here, but we made all our lesson calendars ourselves and we had to follow everything ourselves,” she told The Birmingham Tab.

Su*, has been disappointed with the university’s support during this time. “Some courses had very few online options, so we had to send them one by one. And we couldn’t see any contribution or help from the university at all.”

A picture of the sea featuring the famous bridge of Istanbul that connects two continents.

A spokesperson from UoB responded to the difficulties faced by international students. “The first semester of the 2020/21 academic year posed extraordinary challenges for the University of Birmingham in every respect, due to the global pandemic. Students in the Business School, and those across the institution, will have felt some of these challenges, especially around timetabling. We have plans that will hopefully make the transition into semester two smoother, ” they told The Birmingham Tab.

The university advises students to get in touch with the wellbeing team if they have any concerns. “In the meantime, students are able to contact their Programme Office, Personal Tutors and the college wellbeing team if they have any questions or concerns, or require additional support and this will continue to be the case throughout the rest of the academic year,” they told The Birmingham Tab.

Guidance and advice for students at the university concerned with the current outbreak can be found here.

*Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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