The evolving COVID-19 pandemic has left students with a number of questions, particularly those studying thousands of kilometres away from home.
Brock International kicked off students return to the virtual classroom by offering a number of new initiatives to support them through a transition to online learning.
Earlier this week, the department led a Q&A throughout the day on their Instagram page, offering students answers to many of their burning questions.
“We received an unprecedented number of questions,” said Leigh-Ellen Keating, Director, Brock International. “Our entire department was mobilized to ensure we were able to answer all of the students questions.”
Later that day, Brock International announced a TikTok Dance Competition to provide a much-needed distraction for students during the extended period of self-isolation.
The online activities continued on Thursday with a Netflix viewing party. The newly released feature from the streaming service allows groups of people to watch a movie or TV show simultaneously and interact in real time.
“Students were able to comment back and forth about the movie or just how they were feeling,” said Keating. “It helped create a sense of connection.”
Brock International also implemented a Microsoft Teams group for international students, creating a direct line of communication with their student support staff and an immediate connection to their fellow classmates from around the world.
Existing services have also been moved online, such as advice on Immigration and Study Permits, International Mobility, and Academic and Language Support.
Support specialists have been posting common Q&As on Sakai forums to ensure students are getting the academic support they need in a convenient and accessible way. The most popular topics for international students have been time management, learning strategies, advanced academic terms for writing and APA citations. Upcoming workshops are listed on ExperienceBU.
Brock International has also been working with international students who have been displaced as a result of COVID-19, providing accommodation options and space on campus residences where needed.
“The mental well-being of our students is our top priority,” said Keating. “We feel a sense responsibility for providing them with a way to stay connected and engaged with the Brock community during this extended period of isolation.”
Students that are in need of support during these difficult times or interested in becoming more involved are encouraged to email Brock International Services at firstname.lastname@example.org