University of Tartu in South Korea – Hyeonji (South Korea)

In this exceptional period, all lectures are delivered online, so I decided to come back to my home to spend this spring semester with my beloved families. It had been over one and a half years since I left the country, so I appreciate this opportunity and time being in my comfort zone and with my close people around.

In this blog, I would like to introduce how I manage my academic schedule and environments in distance and in different time zone, and which channels UT practices to convey online lectures. First of all, the most challenging part was the time difference, especially at the beginning since there is a 7-hour difference between Estonia and Korea. There are not only several lectures but also meetings with classmates throughout the weekdays. The calculation of time difference is always confusing and I make mistakes from time to time, so I decided to use some apps to resolve these problems.

I utilize two apps, ‘Weltzeiten’ and ‘Overlap’, for this issue. The first one is for the big widget on my home screen to check the real-time in Estonia and the second one is to calculate the time difference. For example, I can set a specific time, and it will calculate the time when it will be in Korean time.

Secondly, students at UT should use ‘Moodle’ and ‘ÕIS’ in any academic events. Moodle is principally for the general lectures, materials, and home assignments submission. When students register for the courses, they appear later on including the instruction and necessary information to pass the course given by the professors. Besides, ÕIS is a website to register courses, check the grades, manage exams and see the individual timetables. Additionally, BBB (online video platform), Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are demanded a lot for the seminars and meetings.

Online lectures are double-sided as they have extreme pros and cons. I feel most students prefer face-to-face classes including myself, but the conditions don’t allow us to do so at the moment. Therefore, we need to find out how to manage academic tasks and prevent procrastination. I strongly recommend to other peer students that it is compelling to change your comfortable environments to uncomfortable surroundings. This discomfort and newness allow us to tighten our nerves and not loosen. We can also get help from friends setting deadlines for each homework altogether and checking each other whether they make any progress on time or not. I believe it is not an easy time or practice for all of us, but it will be finally over when we hold each other’s back and support. Until then, stay safe and healthy!

P.S. Spring comes to Korea and flowers bloom everywhere nowadays. Enjoy the springtime wherever you are!