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Medical student Ferayed Hok is currently in Suriname. He’s ‘lucky’ because he doesn’t have an early class today. Due to a four-hour time difference with the Netherlands, he has to crawl behind the laptop at 4 am a few times a week to attend a live lecture. “On days when I don’t have an early lecture, I try to wake up at the same time to keep the rhythm,” he says. “Then I’ll go for a run.”

Didn't sleep

Amanda Barreto do Medeiros has been living with her parents in Brazil for almost a year. The communication student is not as lucky as Ferayed today. “I did have a lecture at 4 am,” she says. “It’s terrible.” Fearful of oversleeping, she decided to stay awake until after class. “So I haven’t slept in more than 24 hours.”

What’s worse, she says, is that she has a group project with two fellow students who are currently in Vietnam. “Due to the time difference of about 12 hours, it is impossible to meet up, because when I am awake, they are asleep, and vice versa.”

Missing out the experience

Economics student Kushan Divecha lives in India and attends lectures in the evenings, usually around 7.30 pm. “A little inconvenient because it’s dinner time, but it’s manageable.” The lectures are now also recorded and posted online. “So if I miss lectures, I can still watch the recordings at my convenience.” Even though Kushan does not mind doing his studies remotely, he would like to return to Rotterdam. “As a fresher, I completely missed the experience of studying abroad, so I’d like to catch up.”