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Online Study Abroad - A Success Story!


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My oldest was supposed to do a study abroad year this year.  It is the fourth year of a five year program.  Oldest was supposed to go to Germany and be at the University of Dortmund.  There are other kids in the study abroad program that were going to other schools.  One was also going to Germany but to a different school.  Many were going to places in South America, they learned Spanish.  Some were going to China and Japan.  There were about 30 of these kids going to various schools around the world.

In March there was chaos, first at the kids in China were recalled and then later when all the kids came home.  The kids that were in the middle of their study abroad time and had it disrupted were in a confused mess.  I don’t know how it worked out for them, but there was a great deal of fear for the kids that were supposed to be leaving now, this fall.

About 8 weeks ago, University of Dortmund decided that they were not taking any foreign exchange students.  Not from America.  Not from anywhere.  At first we were unhappy.  Other schools were still going ahead with the program.  That would change.  And then we read the next paragraph in that email.  University of Dortmund was offering online study abroad for all the kids who were not going to be in Germany as planned.  Since then the university has been figuring out how to organize these kids across many time zones to get education in.   With the hope that in the spring the kids could come and do the internship part of the study abroad year.  The problem?  Part of the reason the school part was first was to improve the fluency of the spoken German so that they could communicate during the internship.  The solution?  A German language intensive online class.

Beginning in early September that is what is going to happen and then when the fall semester starts the kids will continue with the German online classes and as much live German as possible.  Followed by classes taught in German but in major.  We thought the early cancellation was a bad sign.  It wasn’t.  They have a plan and it looks pretty good.  It is way better than the kids who still thought that they were going to be in another country until about 2 weeks ago when NAU made the decision to not allow anyone to go.  Those kids are trying to get housing in Flagstaff and get into full classes at NAU.  They are in a mess of chaos that we are avoiding. Lucky us.  University of Dortmund made an early call to not take the foreign exchange kids and then had a plan for them.  
 

So my oldest is studying at a German college through a school in Arizona from a bedroom in California.  What a crazy world this has become!

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13 minutes ago, JenneinCA said:

My oldest was supposed to do a study abroad year this year.  It is the fourth year of a five year program.  Oldest was supposed to go to Germany and be at the University of Dortmund.  There are other kids in the study abroad program that were going to other schools.  One was also going to Germany but to a different school.  Many were going to places in South America, they learned Spanish.  Some were going to China and Japan.  There were about 30 of these kids going to various schools around the world.

In March there was chaos, first at the kids in China were recalled and then later when all the kids came home.  The kids that were in the middle of their study abroad time and had it disrupted were in a confused mess.  I don’t know how it worked out for them, but there was a great deal of fear for the kids that were supposed to be leaving now, this fall.

About 8 weeks ago, University of Dortmund decided that they were not taking any foreign exchange students.  Not from America.  Not from anywhere.  At first we were unhappy.  Other schools were still going ahead with the program.  That would change.  And then we read the next paragraph in that email.  University of Dortmund was offering online study abroad for all the kids who were not going to be in Germany as planned.  Since then the university has been figuring out how to organize these kids across many time zones to get education in.   With the hope that in the spring the kids could come and do the internship part of the study abroad year.  The problem?  Part of the reason the school part was first was to improve the fluency of the spoken German so that they could communicate during the internship.  The solution?  A German language intensive online class.

Beginning in early September that is what is going to happen and then when the fall semester starts the kids will continue with the German online classes and as much live German as possible.  Followed by classes taught in German but in major.  We thought the early cancellation was a bad sign.  It wasn’t.  They have a plan and it looks pretty good.  It is way better than the kids who still thought that they were going to be in another country until about 2 weeks ago when NAU made the decision to not allow anyone to go.  Those kids are trying to get housing in Flagstaff and get into full classes at NAU.  They are in a mess of chaos that we are avoiding. Lucky us.  University of Dortmund made an early call to not take the foreign exchange kids and then had a plan for them.  
 

So my oldest is studying at a German college through a school in Arizona from a bedroom in California.  What a crazy world this has become!

That is so great. I wish the schools here would realize this is a better way to go. Stop holding on to hope for the virus to go magically poof and spend all your planning time and money into irl school with contingencies an afterthought, giving parents and students no ability to make plans. So much better to put that energy (and money ) into a plan that will work for sure this year, and making it as robust as possible. 

My own dd should have been in Berlin right now. She's doing an online internship with a small company in Melbourne, Australia instead - but doesn't seem as put together a backup as you're being offered! 

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