ESIC Barcelona University students share their international mobility experiences during the Covid19 sanitary crisis
Enric Batalla, a 4th year student of the Degree in Global Marketing Management at ESIC Barcelona, decided to complete his last year in the United States, in order to experience two different educational systems and thus achieve an international double degree. Enric is currently there thanks to an academic exchange program between ESIC Business & Marketing School and the Florida Atlantic University (FAU), which has also implemented restrictive measures against Covid19. “Since the spring break ended on March 13, we have not returned to classes. All of them have been adapted to the online format through platforms such as Zoom or WebEx. Although there are some subjects that have modified their assessment methods, we are continuing with the established academic plan”, he tells us, satisfied with the quick response by the university.
For her part, Noemí Jiménez, a student in her last year of the Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, is undertaking an Erasmus program at the Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland, a country that she chose because its prestigious educational system. Although all the Finnish educational institutions were closed in mid-March, Noemí explains that she continues to have meetings with teachers and the rest of her classmates via Teams: “We have adapted quite fast to this change, and the university has been able to provide all the assistance to carry on with our courses as normally as possible”, confirms the student.
Experiences very similar to the one shared by Marc Parellada, also a student of the Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, studying the 3rd year at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, a destination he chose for its good position in the rankings of the best European cities to go to on Erasmus. This university has also implemented measures to adapt all the classes to the e-learning mode: “We continue to take the same syllabus and we still must submit the assignments on the same dates as before. The only factor that has changed is classroom attendance", he says when we ask him about the continuity of his lessons.
The three university students, who are continuing with their international mobility program despite the crisis, have explained to ESIC News how their day-to-day life is, and it is not surprising that many of their experiences are similar. The three students affirm that, although lockdown has not been implemented in their respective regions, both social contact and to go outdoors have been restricted. However, their desire to make the most of these experiences remains intact. "Now, I have far more contact with my neighbors, students also living in my residence. We make plans for a bike ride, for a walk in the forest, or to explore the surrounding areas," says Noemí. Similarly, Marc explains that in Prague the majority of the establishments remain open and it is possible to go outside but, of course, following at all times the behavior guidelines recommended by the health authorities. Therefore, much of his free time is devoted to exploring the city: "I usually make the most out of my days here in Prague, by going to parks, lakes and visiting the most emblematic places".
For his part, Enric confirms that the requirements with regard to the academic performance have not decreased at all, so he continues to dedicate a large part of his time to keep up with his studies. In his spare time, in addition to Netflix, he says that he tries to alternate academic work with physical exercise: “I am lucky that in the state of Florida it is allowed to go out for a bike ride, so many days I go for a walk around the Campus”.