A Year Online

a follow-up article of “Through the Screen”


Illustration by Xiang(Lucy) Chang

After the school transferred to online schooling last year, many international students, especially the Chinese students, went back to their countries and became distance learners. Different than the regular students who attended live class meetings everyday at their homes, distance learners watched class recording and studies on their own in different time zones.

A pervious article, “Through the Screen”, mentioned the difficulties distance learner had when they began learning in a different country. It has been two semesters since the school transferred to online schooling. Distance learners have experienced up to two semesters of their special distance learning. At the times, the Chinese distance learners have some new ideas and feelings about their unique learning journey in China.

Chinese distance learners feel about their experience in different ways. There are mainly three types of Chinese distance learners: the ones who hate distance learning, the ones who love distance learning, and the ones who don’t care.

The students who hate distance learning are bored of watching the recording every day and having no connections with their classmates. Many Chinese distance learners mentioned that it is very disappointing to know no one in their new classes. Also, some of them feel difficult to contact with their teachers because of the different time zone and bad internet connection. Due to those situation, this kind of China distance learners cannot wait to come back on campus for school.

However, some Chinese distance learners prefer to learn in China. Many of them are used to study at their own pace. They enjoy the feeling of freely organizing their times and think they learn more effectively in this way. Also, they love how they can pause the class recording any time they need to take notes and skip the parts they think easy.

“Watching the class recordings saves me a lot of time, so I have more time to spend with my family and friends, “said Cindy Hu, a senior who went back to China in September of last year.

Another type of Chinese distance learners does not really care about the way they learn. They do not see any huge difference between learning in the state and learning in China.

“I don’t think the situation of learning depends on the location—I think it depends on the student, “said Christine Wu, a junior who went back to China in November of last year. “If you actually want to learn, you can learn well at any place.”