A big thanks to everyone who already filled out our questionnaire. This is the second set of answers to your questions combined with some advice on what is good to remember when studying during the corona situation.
IS ZOOM SAFE TO USE?
I’ve heard about security problems with Zoom, should I be concerned?
In short; no. If you use the university’s Zoom account, all practical advice is found here.
INFORMATION ABOUT KELA
KELA has updated their corona FAQ. We are aware of the situation where many international students are left without support, both Student Unions and other organisations are working nationally to change this.
ARE THERE COURSES NOW AND HOW SHOULD THEY BE ARRANGED?
Can I change my learning agreement now because of the cancellation of some courses?
Be in contact with the International Office in questions regarding your learning agreement and study plan. They do all they can to make it possible for you to take suitable courses.
How will the exams at the end of courses look like?
Here are the instructions the teaching staff are working in line with.
If you feel these aren’t followed or you have other concerns, ask the head of programme or study advisor for help. You can also always talk to the Student Union about your concerns.
How can exchange students receive their papers and documents at the end of term?
The International Office will be in contact with you and tell you what you need to know. They usually know very well what your home university expects.
I study a subject where there is no practical course work (e.g. lab work) but still there is hardly any courses to take, how is that possible?
The Rectorate of ÅAU has decided that all courses scheduled for period four that are possible to give via the web are to be given. The programs and subjects should inform the students clearly if courses are cancelled and what courses are given and how. Ask the Head of Program if you have questions about course cancellations (you can ask the Student Union Students’ Rights Expert Petra Lindblad who to contact if you are unsure).
The course teacher will grade our work for the whole course during a short zoom session, is this okay?
Answer: It should always be clear to students how the assessment is done and how the learning outcomes are connected to the examination. The course teacher should be able to answer the students’ questions. These are the instructions the course teachers have gotten. If you feel that something isn’t done right, please contact Student Union Students’ Rights Expert Petra Lindblad or the Quality Coordinator at ÅAU Ole Karlsson.
Can the course teacher expect me to buy a webcam to be able to take a course?
Answer: If the course teacher needs to be able to identify you before an exam, check if it is possible to use Zoom on your phone. If the course teachers expect you to do something that isn’t workable for you due to practical reasons, tell the teacher and ask them about alternatives. If the course teacher demands something that feels unreasonable, be in contact with the Head of Program to see if there is something that can be done so you can complete the course.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIBRARY
I need to borrow a book but the library is closed, what should I do?
If you’re working on your thesis (bachelor or master level) you can fill out a form and borrow books, see the ÅAU web intra. This applies at both the ÅAU library in Åbo and Tritonia in Vasa.
If I need a course book, what do I do?
For the time being it isn’t possible to borrow course books. The course teachers should take this into account and send materials electronically to the students, there shouldn’t be courses during this period that are impossible to take without getting a book from a library. The course teacher can’t expect students to buy books themselves. The library staff helps the faculty staff to find appropriate materials.
You need to return all library books to be able to graduate, how is that done now?
The Faculties have different procedures when graduating, you will get updated information from the Faculty Office.
IS THERE A POSSIBILITY TO STUDY DURING THE SUMMER?
We don’t know yet. Many students have asked about this since their studies have been delayed during the corona crisis and summer job opportunities are scarce. The Student Union raises the issue of the need for courses and thesis supervision during the summer in discussions with the Rectorate of ÅAU.
WHAT ELSE IS GOOD TO KNOW?
The Study Advisors and Study Psychologists are available even though they work from home, they give advice and support via for example zoom or e-mail. If you are unsure who to ask what questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Petra at the Student Union who can help find you the right support.
If you are enrolled on a course but can’t find the time to complete the course, or are ill or have other problems with your studies, be in contact with the course teacher! The teachers worry about the students if they drop off courses without an explanation.
We wish you all the best in this difficult time and want you to know that we try to do the best possible advocacy work we can, even though it’s done from home right now!
Students’ Right Expert Petra and everyone at the Board and staff at the Student Union home offices in Åbo and Vasa