Several Antiguan students have spoken candidly about their experiences studying abroad during the lockdown and isolation period as the world now starts to recover from the deadly Covid 19 pandemic.
Kendall Angol an Information Technology student at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus in Barbados, and Louria Carlton at the Beijing International Studies University studying the Chinese language, along with Desire Markham, who studied law at Jamaica’s Norman Manley Law School, stated that they had to maintain positive attitudes and outlooks during the pandemic.
Angol admitted that managing online classes was occasionally challenging and that he had to work hard “to not think negatively.”
Speaking in agreement, Carlton stated, “During the pandemic, some of us were doing online studies, which was tough due to language barriers, and accountability was an issue, as well as, depending on your field of study, the inability to perform practicals was also a concern.”
Angol joined in, saying that students sometimes felt unmotivated to study at home because they were inside for the majority of the day. “Finally, I’d stress the lack of sunlight was a crucial factor as well,” he continued. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was always inside, so I had to go outside every day.”
After becoming accustomed to the online environment by creating a routine and a schedule, adjusting to the changes became easier, according to Angol. Angol and Carlton both found comfort in their devotion to God, physical activity, and online interaction with friends and family.
While Carlton and Angol deal with similar issues, Markham’s had a slightly different situation in Jamaica. “Jamaica had enforced a four-day no-movement prohibition because the number of cases there was significantly higher,” claims Markhams.
“Though I was unable to stop the pandemic, I was able to do my part by getting vaccinated and advocating for others to do the same. On campus, students felt safe. Everyone on the hall was either fully or partially immunized due to the University’s ‘no vaccine, no housing’ policy, which permitted movement.”
The hardest part of the ordeal for them was missing their families.
Markham returned to Antigua after completing her studies to promote justice reform. Angol, who is still an undergraduate in Barbados, wishes to return to Antigua and contribute to the country’s progress. He stated, “I want to learn about the Antigua IT industry and then I want to contribute to the development of our nation.”
Carlton, who is also finishing her education, says she is still considering her post-university goals but hopes to work for the government and the People’s Republic of China.