Agustina Aedo, 19, International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies
‘Agua’, as she prefers to be called, spent her last two years of high school in an online environment. This has been her driving force to wake up every morning and attend most of her on-campus lectures at Erasmus University. It gives her some sense of tangibility to her life. “I appreciate being surrounded by classmates and being able to interact with the lecturers in real life.” However, many students have become accustomed to this online world. “Since we had online education in school, we are very used to having classes online and some people can prefer them. They can wake up a bit later, take more time taking notes.” Agua says that this has translated into empty lecture halls. Nevertheless, she believes this is how life should go on. “I don’t think we should go back to how it used to be. Having hybrid education allows both students and teachers to be more flexible.”
Sebastian Kuthe, 20, International Bachelor History
Whether it rains, blows, or storms, you will always find Sebastian sitting in the front row of every lecture hall. “I like them because I can concentrate more. By looking at the teacher and my peers, there’s more of a social pressure to pay attention and ‘be there’, in the moment, learning.” However, he acknowledges that there are some benefits to online lectures. Sebastian recalls an important assignment was due at the same time a lecture was taking place, so many of his peers ‘attended virtually, so that they could work on the assignment while the class was going on’. Despite these conveniences, Sebastian thinks hybrid education should be limited. “We should leave it exclusively for people who have Covid, not for whatever reason. Just go to the lecture. It’s just better.
Yana Zaharieva, 19, International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies
“Sometimes I skip the morning lectures because I hate waking up early”, Yana confesses. But 9 am lectures are not the only factor to avoid here. Public transportation is an expensive component of university life for many international students, so by staying at home ‘you save a few euros here and there’. Yana’s peers have had a similar reasoning, as fewer and fewer students came to the lectures in their previous term. “By the end, there weren’t any people in the lecture hall at all.” When asked how to reverse this situation, Yana suggests that ‘when you feel that coming to campus is more useful for you and that you can learn more, then more people will start to come”.