The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) continued to offer all courses online in the summer semester starting May 9, as many students were not able to return to the Shanghai campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A random survey was carried out among international students to seek their feedback on the virtual education in the summer semester, according to Yu Zhang, manager of the International Student Service Office. “We have been communicating closely with our students in different parts of the world to make sure they know what to do and learn what needs to be learnt.”

Here are some comments of online courses from the international students surveyed:

“Although online courses are painful and need constant attention, my teachers and classmates make it interesting with lots of information and details; some humors make the class exciting, and we learn all the unknowns. Waiting to see everyone and shift offline!”

Niladri Saha Saccha, Bangladesh

“I think JI has been very understanding and accommodating of the situation surrounding online classes, especially for students abroad. Even through a screen you can tell how passionate and experienced all the professors and students are in their areas of study. All JI faculty is very enthusiastic as well, which helps me stay positive.”

Sofia Velasquez Shum, Costa Rica.

“My most favorite online course was Academic Writing I-II by Professor Kyung Min Kim. Online learning in general was very stressful and made us felt isolated, but Professor Kim managed to make the class refreshing and enjoyable. Everyone had the chance to meet (online) and talk to each other, giving each other feedbacks and helping each other out in studies. She was very active and capable to make the online learning better. I am really thankful for Professor Kim that has made my online learning in JI better.”

Ariyaputta Mangala Ongko, Indonesia

Though online school may not be everyone’s ideal learning environment, it has taught me a lot about the importance of time management.

Soetomo Sergio Aman, Indonesia

“I think online classes gives us a more flexible schedule and we also get to spend more time with the people that we live with.”

Shiang Angela, the United States