I. Do you think that the Office of Study Abroad should refund deposits even if the program continues as scheduled, to account for people who may no longer feel comfortable going abroad

Julia: Absolutely. I am becoming increasingly anxious about my program in Italy for the spring of 2021. Experiencing a country in shambles after a devastating pandemic certainly is not what I expected to deal with when I made my deposit in March. Additionally, there are obviously many health concerns at the forefront of everyones’ minds and I don’t feel comfortable going to a foreign country until everything is 100 percent cleared up.

Catherine: I definitely think so. This is such a unique yet scary situation and students were obviously not expecting something like this to happen when they decided they wanted to go abroad. 

Sheila: I have to agree with my girl here! This is something that no one planned for when applying to study abroad and they should be allowed to make up their minds based on the new circumstances!

Colleen: For sure! This pandemic is an unprecedented time for everyone. I think that being concerned about going abroad in the not so far future, even if it is allowed, is completely valid. Students should not be penalized for decisions made in regard to a situation that nobody could have predicted.

II. How can students do their part in contributing to flattening the curve?

Julia: Of course, we can support local businesses who are suffering right now, but ultimately the best thing we can do is to maintain social distancing guidelines. 

Catherine: STAY HOME! I know it’s getting harder to stay home and social distance as the days go on but it’s the best way for us to get rid of this pandemic as soon as possible and be able to start getting our world back to normal. Do it to protect yourself, but also do it to protect those around you. 

Sheila: Definitely stay home! Read the Mirror if you are getting bored! 😉

Colleen: Stay home! I know that social distancing is hard, but as the weather gets nicer take advantage of getting out in the sun in your own backyard!! The better we follow these guidelines about social distancing, the quicker we can flatten the curve and put an end to this terrible pandemic.

III. Do you think that online exams are a fair gauge of a student’s academic capability? 

Julia: Not even a little bit. Final exams, at this point, are a waste of time. At home, they all become open-book. Who’s to make sure it’s not? I wish professors would cut us all a break.

Catherine: I feel that the school work we are doing online at home right now cannot be compared to the work we would be doing if we were at school. Much of the work I am doing online feels like busy work and definitely does not feel as meaningful as it would if we were at school. I know Fairfield U and the professors are doing their best to teach us remotely which is very appreciated, but considering the situation, I do not think that final exams would be beneficial for anyone, and definitely would not accurately show a student’s academic capabilities. 

Sheila:  No, of course not! Your environment at home for both the last couple of weeks of class and for actually taking your exams are totally different than they would be if we were on campus. 

Colleen: I don’t. Some students do better with the environment of in-person instruction, and I am included on that list. With the intended learning that has already been missed or altered, coupled with the other stressors of the current situation, final exams in an online format are not likely to accurately reflect the typical academic performance of students. 

IV. What’s your favorite movie or TV show that you’ve watched during the quarantine?

Julia: Embarrassingly enough, before last week I had never seen the Indiana Jones films. I watched all of them in a span of a few days and they were soooo good! 

Catherine: I convinced my mom to watch Breaking Bad with me during the quarantine, but this is my second time watching it. I was just really in the mood to watch it again because it is by far the BEST show I have ever binged. I highly recommend it:) 

Sheila: I have been watching Friday Night Lights and as a huge lover of football it has been amazing! The perfect mix of sports and teen drama!

Colleen: About a week ago my family and I all sat down together to watch Onward. As usual, Pixar did not disappoint!! The heart-warming and beautifully animated movie was just the happy distraction that I needed. 10/10 recommend!

V. How did course registration go for you?

Julia: It was a nightmare. An expanding school with strict core needs to offer enough courses to accommodate more students! Per usual, things were not figured out beforehand on the administrative end (like limited course availability, attributions for each course were not updated and the courses on the catalog that won’t be offered that semester were not eliminated from the selection page). I guess that’s Fairfield! Go Stags?

Catherine: It honestly was not too terrible…despite my site crashing. Luckily I got four of the five classes that I wanted or planned on registering for. Being a rising senior I was really expecting to get all of my top choices of classes because I finally got to be the first to register, but maybe that would have happened if my site didn’t crash. I’ve always hated registration because of the amount of stress that it brings me and all the recent changes to the process have made it a bit more stressful, but thankfully I only have one more semester to register for!

Sheila: Mine went ok! I think this is because I am taking mostly upper level English classes that don’t have a ton of demand. I did hear some really terrible stories and totally agree with Julia!

Colleen: After three registration nightmares, I am happy to say that I finally had a good experience! Although I slept through my alarm and woke up just two minutes before registration, I managed to get all five of the courses I was hoping for (granted I’m not taking courses that are usually of high demand)!

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