Rida Bokhari, 26, Islamabad (Pakistan)
I’m an alumni ambassador in Pakistan for King’s College, London, so I support Pakistani prospective students, being their point of contact for any queries and concerns. Many of them are worried because there’s so much uncertainty.
It’s not finalized yet, but classes will likely be online for the entirety of the fall semester. For me, the human interaction made a huge difference during my master’s degree, and I think that most people want that university experience too. They want to feel part of a community, and even more so when they are studying in a country that is so different and far away from their own.
The lack of in-person interaction could be a reason why students might not want to take online classes and instead opt for deferrals. I understand this, but I also think we should see the bright side of online education, especially for international students: Not only would this mean a major reduction in expenses, students would also have access to a variety of resources while being in the comfort of their homes’. On top of this, things will certainly get better and student life will go back to normal in due course.
My role usually involves a lot of in-person interactions, but since Covid-19, I’ve had to transform all in-person events to e-based initiatives, such as webinars to answer prospective students’ questions. I really think that now is a time when everyone can work on development and growth: The pandemic should not be seen as a limit to our growth, but rather as an opportunity to achieve beyond our own potential. I hope that I am doing that in my role as a student ambassador. I am also in the process of designing a mentoring program to make education a little more accessible to Pakistani students. This would include helping them with their applications, talking about student life etc.