One Student’s Tips for Learning Virtually During a Crisis

Apr 8, 2020 5:35:06 PM / by Emma Estabrook

Adjusting from a semester abroad to being back and home and taking virtual classes is not easy, but Emma has some tips to help you have a successful rest of the semester in terms of academics and general well-being. Check it out!

In these unprecedented times it can be hard to navigate balancing school, life, and sanity. Everyone is going through a transition right now, some of us like me are transitioning back into a different country than I was learning in before. A challenge for me has been the time changes between me and my Australian professors. I am constantly having to stay aware of due dates that are much earlier for me than stated by them due to us being 15 hours behind Australia. Things like this are something I wish I had known directly going into virtual learning back home.

Here are some other tips for a successful rest of the virtual semester:

1. Acceptance.

This was the most important step for me. It was really hard to accept that this was my new reality, learning from my cold and isolated home in New Hampshire rather than finishing out my semester abroad. The transition from warmth and new opportunities and people to meet every day to quarantine was very hard but accepting the fact that this was my new reality allowed me to embrace what I can still enjoy in life.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_Emma Estabrook_NHHikeWent on a local hike around where I live in New Hampshire.

2. Enjoy Life.

It is important to find things that make you happy during scary and isolating times like this. One thing that I have turned to is exercise. Some days I choose to go for a run outside to get some fresh air and others I will turn on a virtual yoga practice to unwind. It is also a great time to try new things. I recently tried my hand at painting for the first time and although I am just starting out it feels great to still get a taste of trying new things like I was previously doing in Australia so often!

CAPAStudyAbroad_Sydney_Spring 2020_Emma Estabrook_AcroYogaTried Acro Yoga for the first time!

3. Stay on top of things.

It can be easy to let your academics slip when you are not facing your teachers directly every day like you have your entire life. Although the setting is different, the stakes are still the same. It makes it easier to keep up with schoolwork by setting and sticking to your usual routines. Sleeping until 12pm is not something you would be doing if you were at school so you should not be doing that while learning from home. Wake up at your usual time and do your usual routine to get dressed for the day. It will be much easier to get motivated if you are in the same headspace you were in at school!

4. Stay connected.

We are humans and we need human connection! Although it is not possible for us to connect physically with our friends and family right now there are many other ways to catch up thanks to technology! It feels better talking to your loved ones who are all going through this together. You are not alone. This is a team effort and everyone is doing their part!

Adjustment is hard! Everyone is learning how to navigate this new life and it is important to know you are not alone and to keep social distancing!


Thanks, Emma!

Minh Ta


Emma Estabrook is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2020, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Finance and Business Information Systems major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

Emma's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Sydney Program

Topics: International Education, Sydney, Australia