Rohit Kale, 25, from India, is a master degree student in Fine Art (MFA) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). He has been speaking about his experience as an Erasmus student in Germany during the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges he has faced.
You come here for a reason and you pay a lot for living and travelling expenses, but that’s not happening
ROHIT KALE, MFA STUDENT
The Erasmus programme, also known as the European Community Action Scheme for Mobility of University Students, is an initiative run by the European Union to provide opportunities for students to gain experience in a different European country while completing a degree.
Face-to-face teaching was suspended at ABK Stuttgart university, where he studied, at the end of February, as Europe became the new epicentre of the coronavirus, and the rest of the semester was cancelled. He spent most of his time in March, in a dormitory.
“There’s no online teaching…it was a waste of time. You come here for a reason and you pay a lot for living and travelling expenses, but that’s not happening.”
He returned to the UK on 25th March after two flight cancellations and continues his studies at NTU online. Being a final-year art student, his life is still not easy in the current lockdown.
“Most of my coursework is supposed to be done in a studio, not in a bedroom. That (the current situation) narrows my art practices and it shouldn’t be how art works,” says Rohit.
“And there could be same impact on students who heavily rely on university facilities to conduct their work. This would be a major loss for these students.”
“The closure of the library also makes it hard to continue my research,” he continues. Books he collected during his study in Germany, have not been delivered due to reduced logistics service amid the outbreak.
Rohit Kale interview clip
“I can’t access to these resources as early as I expected. As a result, I have to do my research all over again,” Rohit says.
Asked if he is worried about his coming graduation ceremony, he said, “What worries me the most as an international student, rather than whether or not being able to have a graduation ceremony as expected, it is the physical resources that I can access from the university that matters the most.”