Term 3 on Campus: In conversation with Rainie Tao
The past few months have been hard on us; we’ve had Term 3 disrupted, exams have been shifted to an entirely new forum, and the entire learning ecosystem at Warwick has had to transition into a different axis of orientation altogether. Through this situation, we have been spread out across the world; for example, I expected to be enjoying the Warwick sunshine and stressing about exams sitting in the common room, yet I am grappling with approaching deadlines in the scorching Indian summer heat. We can never be certain about what life throws at us.
However, I did get the wonderful opportunity to have a chat with a fellow student who has experienced campus life during this altered version of term 3 we are currently in. I’m in conversation with Rainie Tao, a Chinese international student currently staying on campus; actually, I’ll let her take over and do the talking.
Tanishk Saha (TS): Hey Rainie, let’s start off with an icebreaker; why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers?
Rainie Tao (RT): Hi, I’m Rainie, a first year MORSE student. I’m still staying on campus as my flight was cancelled.
TS: I’m sad to hear that; I’m sure you would’ve preferred to be with your family during this time. Although I must say, I have been a bit curious about your experiences on campus during Term 3 this year. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Term 3 on campus; how has your experience been so far?
RT: The weather has been exceptionally nice in term 3. The only pity is that I can’t go out much. I have so much free time now and trying to find something to do everyday.
TS: I can totally relate on both fronts. It does get irritating being stuck indoors when the weather is so nice outside. How are you keeping yourself occupied? Is there a community of students who’ve stayed back who you spend your time with?
RT: Luckily, I have two flatmates staying too; we cook and spend time together everyday. It is very nice to have other people around during this difficult time.
It is very nice to have other people around during this difficult time.
TS: Agreed, I’m sure our peer group is keeping us going through self isolation. Moving on, there is something I would like to gain your perspective on. Being an international student from China during this global health crisis, how have you been treated in general? Were there any good/bad instances that you faced of people’s behaviour toward you changing?
RT: Because of the pandemic, I haven’t been going out a lot apart from shopping for food. Personally, I haven’t been treated any differently, and I find everyone is still really nice.
I haven’t been treated any differently, and I find everyone is still really nice.
TS: That is great to hear! That’s exactly the kind of thing that we need right now; to remember that we’re all part of a big community combating this situation together. Speaking of dealing with the pandemic, is there any support that Warwick has extended to you that has really helped you out during this tough time? Could you tell us a bit more about it, if there is?
RT: Yes, when the sockets in the kitchen stopped working and I called student service. The maintenance came really quickly and I really appreciated that. Moreover, some staff are still around and I can always find help for any issues.
TS: It sure is great that you have the support you need to make living in near isolation possible; a huge thank you to all the essential workers who make it possible for us to do so with ease. In terms of academics, how has Term 3 been for you? How have you assessments been affected? Have you had the chance to learn something via the online learning system? How has your experience been with that?
RT: As I’m a first year student, all the exams and two of the modules that were meant to be taught in term 3 are cancelled. I think the pandemic has had a big impact on my studies because some modules in year 2 are based on the two cancelled modules and it might be difficult to catch up with all the missing knowledge. Other than this, I am participating in the Warwick Online Learning Certificate and I think it will be useful for us if we still can’t have face-to-face teaching by the start of next academic year.
I think the pandemic has had a big impact on my studies, because some modules in year 2 are based on two cancelled modules and it might be difficult to catch up with all the missing knowledge.
TS: I’m sure the departments will ensure that your learning experience is not severely impacted by these changes. I agree that the online learning certificate can be a great tool; in light of the new normal that we are entering, I think we really need to build our skills to adapt to it. Lastly, what would you like to say to other prospective and current international students, who are hoping to start at (or return to) Warwick in the fall?
RT: I hope the pandemic will be over soon and everything goes back to normal in the fall. I can’t wait to meet all my friends again.
I hope the pandemic will be over soon and everything goes back to normal in the fall. I can’t wait to meet all my friends again.
TS: I completely understand how you feel, and I feel the exact same. Thank you so much for sparing your time to talk to me, and I hope to catching up offline too at some point! Please take care while isolating at university, and stay safe 🙂
RT: Great! Likewise, and I hope everything goes well with you too!
It was delightful to interact with Rainie, and gain a perspective on how her life has been affected in this global health crisis. We must maintain our resolve, stay strong, and hope for the best, and I think Rainie is an exemplar of this. Have faith, my friends, stay safe and stay indoors as much as possible. Hold the hope that things will improve, because I am sure they will. Take care!
Interview questions and responses have been edited for clarity and flow of conversation. Interview was conducted over email. Please feel free to reach out to me on this platform or on social media (@tanishksaha) if you feel the need to talk to someone about stuff in general. We’re all in this together 🙂