Zoom Means No Sleep for Chinese Student Zoom Tough for Chinese Student

Zoom Tough for Chinese Student

GUANGDONG, China (NCC NEWS) — With online schooling and travel restrictions the new normal in a pandemic world, Chinese senior Kaiyi Sun is stuck at home like so many 20-somethings.

The problem for her, and thousands of other international students going to college in the US, is the timing of these classes that are still crucial to their degree, even if they are virtual.

The 12-hour time difference places her ‘afternoon’ classes in the middle of the night, turning her sleep schedule upside down.

“It is very exhausting,” said Sun. “I cannot sleep the entire daytime. I wake up and do my homework, then at night I’m taking my class. It’s like I’m doing double time.”

For students like Sun that speak English as a second language, the physical distance also creates a social one between them and their classmates and professors.

“I am a person who gets used to the environment, connecting with each other in person,” said Sun. “Zooming extends the distance between professors and students, I feel sorry and pity from others because of this format.”

The difficult situation has left colleges concerned that large numbers of international students may withdrawal entirely, but the personal toll of being trapped halfway across the world is what Sun and others like her are focused on.

“I only want to get my stuff,” said Sun. “My makeup products.”

When the world ground to a halt, she had to leave it behind in upstate New York, which feels even farther away than usual from her southern Chinese home.

COVID-19 remains a constant, but Sun hopes she can return to campus in the spring for her last semester of college.

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