Studying Abroad Remotely

By Jeanne, Paris Business School

My name is Jeanne, I’m French and I’m studying business at the Paris School of Business. For my third year, I chose to go to the University of Manchester. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to Manchester because of the pandemic so all my courses are online. As with all students, this situation was quite complicated, so it took me a lot of motivation and a long adaptation time. I personally enjoyed the courses, so it helped me to stay on track and work well.  

The way it works [for Jeanne’s specific course units] at the University of Manchester is that the lectures are pre-recorded by the professors and are available on the Blackboard platform. Students [in Jeanne’s classes] therefore have the choice to watch them whenever they want. Live lessons via Zoom allow students to ask questions, go into a subject in greater depth or do exercises. I really appreciate this because I can organise myself as I want, the lectures just need to be viewed before the live session. I also find that the Blackboard platform is very well used and complete, it’s intuitive. 

The duration of the pre-recorded lectures varies depending on the course between 1.5 to 3 hours I would say depending on my experience.  

The university has many facilities for students to connect with others, such as WhatsApp groups. I didn’t particularly participate in these events because I was able to talk to students during the classes when we were in small groups.  

My experience is of course completely different from what I imagined but it has nonetheless allowed me to improve my English and to participate in new courses. It has also taught me perseverance, motivation and organisation.  

One point that struck me is the reactivity of all the members of the university and the ease with which they can be contacted. Both the International Programmes Office and the professors are friendly and answer any questions, they are very helpful and present. 

If you are a distance student, my advice would be to organise yourself well so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the courses. And also, don’t be afraid to speak in class, I know it’s complicated when it’s not your mother tongue but that’s how you get better! 

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