Are the students who will start their bachelor’s study during the corona pandemic part of a ‘lost generation’? This week, we speak ten of those students about their hopes and fears. Today: Ula Kallaur (20), who is going to study Communication Science.
Why did you choose to study in Amsterdam? Did you take the corona-pandemic into account while making that decision?
‘I chose to study in Amsterdam because I wanted to move to another city and I liked the sociological profile of the UvA. Corona didn’t affect my decision.’
When are you expecting to visit the UvA for the first time?
‘I already visited the UvA after I was admitted. Before I decided to study solely online I went to Amsterdam to arrange my accomodation and to get to know the city. It was in July. Besides that, I am not planning to visit Amsterdam anytime sooner than January. But even that seems impossible right now.’
How do you expect to get to know fellow students without physical activities in the Intreeweek?
‘I already met some students when I was searching for accomodation. I won’t be participating in the introduction week – honestly, I was very dissatisfied with my decision to stay home this fall. It was a necessity due to the fact that it is expensive to live in Amsterdam but attend the campus for only two hours a week. I withdrew all my enthousiasm about student life and meeting new people. I will only focus on the lectures for now.’
What do you expect from your study courses this first year?
‘I want to find out if the degree is a right choice for me. I already am doing a degree elsewhere but I wanted to add a second one. If I am honest, I just hope I won’t feel like completely dropping it. My morals are quite low right now. I would feel more encouraged if I could get to know the lecturers – having a good connection with the teacher has always worked wonders for my grades and my attitude towards the studies. Now I won’t have that.’
Do you expect to have a real student life this coming months?
‘No, I don’t. I wish everyone the best student life but I would be surprised if the campus did not close again completely. In many countries we are experiencing the second wave, that’s one of the reasons I decided to live in Poland for now. I wouldn’t want to be locked in an apartment away from home. I guess I’m suspending all my student-like activities for this year.’
Are you worried about following a lot of online classes and studying at home?
‘I am, I don’t need any more screen time than I already have. Maybe that’s a personal issue but everything is online right now. Groceries, studies, church, even therapy. With everything done remotely I feel like I am playing in my own Netflix show and I utterly dislike it. It has some advantages if you’re a homebody but I am a young person.’
Do you think it’s fair that you have to pay the full amount of tuition, without getting the real university experience?
‘I am not surprised that I have to pay the full amount. The expenses for the university will change, but they will not be lower. I believe it is not my duty to criticise the amount of tuition.’