CU News

How CU Students Adapt During the COVID-19 Outbreak

From the COVID-19 infection outbreak, the cabinet has announced temporary closure of educational institution from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, for a period of two weeks.  The government has asked schools and universities to take strict virus precautions in accordance to the standards of the Ministry of Public Health.  Chulalongkorn University has complied with the protective measures and have now moved all courses online.  Students living on campus are urged to return home immediately.  

During this challenging period, we have asked several CU students what they think of this rapidly evolving situation and provide feedback on the digital learning tools available.

“After the announcement, I decided to return home immediately.  It’s the perfect time to go back home and visit my parents.  My daily routine and lifestyle have also changed during the COVID-19 outbreak.  I’m more cautious of being around others and now carry alcohol-gel and wear a mask at all times.  As for online learning, the professors are mostly assigning work and quizzes. The advantage of online learning is that you get to practice self-discipline – you can study anytime and from anywhere.  Academic results and knowledge transfer may not be equivalent to studying from the classroom, but this is the way it has to be.” – Hathaithut Jirojmontree, Freshmen, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

“The campus dorm has announced that students can return home during this time, but details of when students can return are still up in the air.  As for everyday life, I try to avoid densely populated areas, such as public transportation, to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus.  I agree with shifting to online learning, but it may be difficult for some subjects that require lab research.” – Nuttaporn Thongwattana, Junior, Faculty of Science

“I’m still living on campus. The dorms have setup a QR Code for students to register if they wish to stay in their dorms from 23 March onwards in order to take proactive measures and prepare for taking care of the students. To battle COVID-19, I will try to stay in my room.  If I really need to run errands outside, I will make sure to get everything done all in one day and wear a mask, wash my hands often, and avoid crowded places.  As for online learning, I have faced some issues with the stability of the internet connection within the dorms.  Most of my courses have switched to pre-recorded videos, so it is missing that real-time interaction between professors and students.” – Korada Boonbutta, Freshmen, Faculty of Education

“After the announcement of the COVID-19 virus, I have mainly kept to myself and stayed at home.  I don’t have any issues with online learning because I can study from home and it’s a method that I’m already familiar with.” – Nittaya Janthasila, Junior, Faculty of Science

“I have decided moved back home because it’s safer than living in the dorms where there are a lot of students.  Since the outbreak, I haven’t seen my friends and it feels a bit lonely. Online learning is the best option right now.  Professors have really put in a lot of effort in preparing for the classes.  However, the downside would be that students are not able to interact with professors and ask questions live.  I have been in touch with my friends and we are all awaiting to return to the University. Another drawback is the professors have to carefully plan their courses in advance.” – Aukhao Achariyasopon, Freshmen, Faculty of Economics 

“Life during this crisis requires a lot of consciousness.  We need to process and digest the news carefully, and only from reliable sources.  My daily routine now consists of sanitising my hands with alcohol-gel, wearing a face mask, and avoiding places with big crowds.  The plus side of online learning is that we don’t have to wake up early or travel to the University. However, for classes that involves practical knowledge, we will only be learning the theories.  That fact that dorms are telling students to return home is good, as it will help reduce the risk of virus exposure.  It would be great if the University can announce the official academic schedule because we are required to do an intern before our junior year. That way students can plan in advance.” – Prapassorn Pettakua, Sophomore, Faculty of Arts

“The request to have students fill out a form for those who wish to continue living on campus is a good measure.  It allows students to accept the protective measures as stated by the dormitories.  As of now, the dormitories have stopped asking for card scans and have placed a sign that asks people to stop talking inside the elevator.  Meanwhile, there are very little alcohol-gels left around campus key areas.  Every time I enter my dorm, I will wash my hands and change into a new pair of clothes immediately.  In terms of online learning, it doesn’t really have a big impact for me because most of my classes already offer online courses.  But this does make me feel less motivated compared to studying in the classroom.” – Manunchai Traikitwattanakul, Sophomore, Faculty of Engineering

The sense of kinship and warmth found in the Chula community is priceless and a treasure worth keeping.

Prof. Dr. Pornanong Aramwit Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University

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