A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Getting Help During COVID-19

COVID-19 affected/affects all of us in some ways. Could have been socially, professionally or academically. It might seem daunting to ask for help, but believe me, there are many options.

For personal reasons, I had to leave Leiden early in March, when the university was still open, and classes were still going on as usual. I thought I had to re-take the whole 2nd year of Psychology the following year. I still had mandatory classes, assignments and presentations I didn’t finish. The idea of graduating later crushed me. However, to my surprise, everything turned out just fine. I am doing my 3rd year right now, I managed to finish all the courses and got all my credits. So how did it happen?

I asked for help.

Leiden University really stepped up and my professors were extremely understanding. There are a few steps you could take if COVID-19 is affecting you academically:

  1. Email your course tutors/professors/coordinators: the first thing I did, was to email the teachers for every individual course I was taking. I explained my situation and asked if there is a way I could continue the course, or I proposed a solution and see if they would be okay with it.
  2. Email your study advisor: study advisors are very good at coming up with potential ideas to have you graduate on time. They are very understanding, and they are the ones who could efficiently communicate with course tutors if necessary. It is also a common curtesy to inform them about an early leave.
  3. Reach out to classmates: if there is a presentation you need to do, or maybe a group assignment, message them about your leave. Propose how you can make-up your absence and they will be happy to accommodate your needs. In my experience, when you explain yourself and make an effort on the assignment, they wouldn’t want you to graduate late either.
  4. Remember not to take advantage of their flexibility when it’s not absolutely needed: please don’t ask for alternatives or extensions when you can make the deadlines. Be willing to make an effort on your end, because this is a two-way agreement. Professors, study advisors and classmates are also people who are going through COVID-19.

I had professors and tutors who allowed me to hand in the assignments that I missed as a re-sit, who agreed that I could join in another presentation group or who proposed an alternative online essay that was originally meant to be an in-class project.

There are many people you can count on in these difficult times. I had/have a very positive experience in getting help from various sources at Leiden University. No one wants you to fail and no one wants you to give up your studies, especially when there might be a solution for making up for the course assignments. Especially when there is a global pandemic going on.

I hope this post is helpful for you, and good luck with your studies!

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This entry was posted on November 23, 2020 by in Practical Stuff, Stella, Student Life, Study, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .

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