by Elena Masterova, MA student in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy
I would say that the pandemic has affected all aspects of the lives of almost every person living on the planet, but student life in its usual sense has suffered more because of the pandemic than many other areas. To begin with, many students were unable to apply for a visa and residence permit for a long time due to closed consulates and visa centres. Some deliberately chose to stay at home and made a decision in favor of distance learning, but for others the inability to come to Vienna was forced by circumstances.
In addition, students complain about the dispersion of their attention, an absence of motivation due to the lack of change in their environment and constantly being at home, as well as an increased number of complaints about mental health issues.
What does CEU, as a university that is famous for its international programs and which accepts students from more than 120 countries do in this situation?
First, the university and administration always keep students up to date with all of the developing events, promptly sending a newsletter and informing them about each new meeting or event and the decisions taken during them. Students receive email notifications and can find more information on the website.
Second, the university offers free and accessible consultations with psychotherapists, and has organised a series of workshops and practice sessions on mental problems related to isolation and the consequences of lockdown, which allows students to consult with professionals and help themselves under the current conditions.
Third, CEU takes care of the students who live in CEU dormitories. For example, a printer was installed at the Johannagasse dorm for CEU students, thus providing them with free printing services, which are extremely necessary for all of us who spend all day in front of a computer screen.
CEU does things for us, so let’s also stay responsible, maintain the lockdown rules, and take care of ourselves and others!