Post-Covid19 Education for International Students
These past months, in Turkey as well as all around the world, the COVID19 pandemic has generated an unprecedented crisis that has changed the world at an incredible pace. The challenges it has presented have not only been medical, but have extended to economic, cultural, and financial activities, significantly disrupting all levels of educational institutions as well. The crisis will soon be over, but its indelible mark on our lives will persist in the coming years. In this new reality, the rules and habits of the past no longer hold; at least, not in their old forms. However, the response given by the people, institutions, and countries in the face of this global crisis stands as an indicator of what lies ahead.
In this critical time, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University encouraged order and understanding while continuing its research and educational missions. It quickly adapted its operations, and took health and social measures against the pandemic, with education shifting online uninterrupted. Both students and lecturers of our academic community have reacted competently to this change, and to the use of online applications and remote communication tools for lectures, seminars, and evaluation. Students have become increasingly involved in the new form of learning, expressing their satisfaction with the new strategies.
IZU manages an online infrastructure, which has grown essential to teaching during the COVID-19 crisis. It employed an integrated system of platforms dedicated to distance education, to facilitate students’ access to lecture materials and online bibliographic resources, remote communication between students and lecturers (via messaging, discussion forums, video calls), assignment of homework and real-time tasks, as well as effective evaluation and feedback processes. All teaching-learning-evaluating activities are, consequently, made possible by the online infrastructure, which facilitates distance learning for Turkish and international students alike.
We know that Istanbul Zaim University offers one of the best campus environments and our applicants wish to live the IZU campus life. We are sure that there will continue to be countless social activities, sports courses and contests, cultural events, trips, and academic gatherings. In the meantime, IZU shall continue to fulfill its role for the community by undertaking social solidarity projects. The university’s efforts towards the public bears special importance, especially in these crucial times. To ensure continuity of its positive impact, the university guarantees uninterrupted education, even, unfortunately, at the expense of suspending campus life.
Applicants for the upcoming fall semester 2020-21 will be able to start their education by September, in any case. In case you cannot travel due to the post-pandemic measures, you will still be able to follow distant online courses for your first semester and join us on campus in the second. If you graduate late, and are concerned that you will not be able to make it for the fall semester, you can start your education under a pre-registration status. You will be completely registered once you officially graduate. Regarding any other unforeseen circumstances that you may encounter, you will, at worst, be able to register for the second semester.
The university, in dealing with the crisis, adopted an approach that prioritizes the wellbeing of its students, ensuring that its international students experience minimal or no negative effects. Those who could not travel, stay at the university’s on-campus student halls. The student dormitory management provides every service they need while ensuring that they stay safe, healthy, and indoors.
It is, therefore, a priority for myself and my colleagues to reassure you that we have taken the necessary measures to best look after all international students who presently study at our university. Apart from regular teaching activities, they are provided with additional support and counseling. In hope of continued improvement of the current situation, I wish to emphasize that the light of academic and research communities comes from their perseverance, and illuminates the world with optimism towards the future, regardless of physical location.
I would like to welcome you to Istanbul Zaim University, where together we can overcome challenges of the future.
On behalf of Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, with my best wishes
Prof. Mehmet BULUT, PhD