Sahander and her father when he was still in Maastricht
Sahander Nur Ozdil, a first-year University College Maastricht student, has several suitcases in her room. They belong to her father. “He was here two weeks ago to give me moral support. He had to leave for Turkey in a hurry when the Turkish government announced it was closing its borders. We had to rush to Schiphol so he could catch the last flight to the nearest airport. Fortunately, he made it.”
Unfortunately though, there was probably an infected person on the flight, says Ozdil. “My dad told me that everyone on the flight had to wear face masks and gloves. And each passenger had to sign a document stating they would go into quarantine when they got home.”
Ozdil decided to stay in Maastricht because it was not yet clear at the time when UM would open again. She’s not entirely alone here, though: both of her brothers also live in the Netherlands. “It makes me feel better.”
She’s not scared. “I’m pretty calm. I understand that all teaching is online now, but I prefer it in real life. I’m quite keen on PBL, it’s my thing.” Ozdil feels like the Problem-Based Learning approach is less effective online. “I prefer to go to UCM to study. Being at home feels a bit like being imprisoned, but I’m taking my responsibility.
“I’d also like to help out older people. I signed up for the Ready2Help initiative of the Dutch Red Cross. I’d be devastated if it were my own grandparents who were alone and helpless right now. I think healthy people have a responsibility to help out.”
What are these corona-days like for students? How does it affect their studies and other parts of their life? Observant speaks to one of them every day to give an idea about the virus' impact.