Vice Director I, Prof. Dr. Drh. Anwar Ma’ruf, M. Kes., of Universitas Airlangga Postgraduate School presented aid packages to eleven international students on Tuesday, April 24, 2020.
“The aid is due to our concern for international students who do not return home during a pandemic because they want to immediately finish their studies. There are hand sanitizer, vitamins, masks, soap, shampoo, food, and drinks, “said Prof. Anwar.
He also said that international students also believed that Indonesia is still safe and would continue to implement health protocols, including social distancing, undergoing activities from home, and following a hygienic lifestyle. UNAIR Postgraduate School has also conducted lectures as instructed by university leaderships.
Being thousands of kilometers away from home with the uncertain conditions due to coronavirus pandemic did not belittle the enthusiasm of international students in completing their studies at Universitas Airlangga Postgraduate School. They continue to carry out lectures normally while implementing health protocols.
One international student, Callixte Cyuzuzo, said he chose to remain in Surabaya to make it easier to study even though he was worried. The young man from Rwanda, who had lived for a year and a half in Surabaya did not seem to panic.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, lectures have been changed to an online system. So, we don’t need to go to campus and we study at each boarding house. Initially, it was rather difficult, especially for us international students. Face to face lectures was easier. Then, there will be more assignments, “said the student of the Immunology Master’s Program.
Like Cyuzuzo, two other international students from the Human Resources Development Program (PSDM), May Moe Pwint Phyu and Zin Lin Phyu, also decided not to return to their home countries in Myanmar. Because both of them are in the last phase of their studies and are waiting for their thesis exams.
“Actually, we were allowed to go home because there were no lectures and we were just waiting for the thesis examination. However, we want to stay here. Of course, I’m worried, but lately, we are just in the boarding house. We also adopt a hygiene lifestyle such as wearing a mask when going out and washing hands. So, we’re not that afraid anymore, “explained Zin Lin Phyu.
The stories of the three international students was confirmed by Head of Immunology Master’s Program (KPS), Dr. Drg. Theresia Indah Budhy S., M.Kes. She explained, the lecture activities indeed continued as usual, both learning examinations, and guidance. It’s just that there are changes in the process from having a face to face lesson to using online media.
“We use Zoom app to conduct lectures. Not only students, lecturers also experienced some obstacles in using it. However, after further coordination, lectures can run smoothly. We also provide alternatives for students who have to do research,” explained drg. Theresia.
In addition to providing alternative lectures, drg. Theresia also stressed the importance of communication with students, especially international students. It provides communication channels such as WhatsApp Group so that lecturers and students can connect with each other. If there are obstacles, students can bring them up to the group.
“Some international students, especially those who are new, do not have many friends and are not fluent in Indonesian. So, we help them as much as possible, ” she said.