Coronavirus (Covid-19) is currently disrupting all elements of life worldwide, including in the world of postgraduate education and Master of Laws studies.
We asked one of our Global LLM Bursary winners, Lashan Martin, what effect the pandemic has had and is continuing to have on her LLM studies. Lashan is an international LLM student who has come from the Bahamas to study her LLM in International Maritime Law at Swansea University in the UK.
In this blog she explains the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on her and on other international students.
“The greatest impacts of the Covid-19 on international students are both internal and external. Internally – apart from mobility and financial hardship – students like myself are estranged from our families and have to remain within the United Kingdom due to travel restrictions. Additionally, in efforts to prevent domestic widespread in our native country, lockdown back home has been fully enforced. The Bahamas is on lockdown for five days; prior to this all non-essential businesses were closed. During the five-day lockdown citizens are to remain within their dwelling, 24 hours per day. Additionally, both essential and non-essential businesses are closed. This has led to mass unemployment and widespread fear among natives including those studying abroad. The effects of having to fund accommodation and educational fees with little to no income or traditional support creates undue hardship.
Externally, as it relates to education, fortunately for me Swansea University is flexible and virtual learning has been fully implemented. However, personally I find face-to-face interaction as opposed to distance learning to be a more effective method of learning, and the sole purpose of having chosen to study abroad. I intend to sit the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) course in the near future after my current LLM studies. However, the advancement of my education is threatened by the lack of surety amid the pandemic.
Many of us international students remain within the UK in fear of contracting the virus and spreading it throughout our respective countries. We not only have our family and friends to support, but we Bahamians have a whole nation to preserve. Our population has grown a bit since 2017, though, when placed on a global platform our contingent is very small. Therefore, we cannot afford to inflate the consequences by placing our native brothers and sisters in a perilous situation.”