When the current Covid-19 situation first struck the UK, Windle members Windle Trust International asked their Postgraduate Programme students whether they would prefer to stay in the UK or to return home. All chose to stay until the end of their courses. 

The team at WTI have been in regular contact with all the students who chose to remain in the UK and complete their studies. Here, student Grace talks about how she's focusing on the positives and leaning on the support provided by her university to cope with the situation. 

Grace

University of Westminster

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has thrown the world into a state of frenzy and uncertainty of what the future will look like once we make it through these dark times. As a postgraduate student this year, the reality of this new world is surreal, and I have felt its impact on my studies and wellbeing. The imminent closure of universities and schools across the entire country in response to health guidelines, though a necessary measure, cultivated fear and anxiety stemming from foreseeing my blurred future.

"I felt the transition to online studies and assessments to help us continue with our education, was a remarkable touch by the University and my hopes for completion were alive again. However, the concept seemed somewhat foreign to me since my course involves practical sessions and a final laboratory-based research project undertaken towards the end of the course. It is unlikely that I will be able to gain these critical skills following the University's confirmation of cancellation of all practical based projects. It is tough to digest. But there’s always a silver lining and an opportunity to learn something different, which I am currently exploring with my supervisors.

"I have learnt that in times of crisis like this, it is better to focus on the positive to rise above the unforeseeable challenges it presents successfully. In my experience, social distancing and self-isolation have the potential to drive one into loneliness and depression. So I am using this time to strengthen my connections with friends and family and appreciating the little things around me more. I am limiting my time on the internet due to the avalanche of information it's always throwing back at me, and instead focus on my assignments and health. My gratitude towards the International Students’ House for recognizing the impact that the crisis can have on student health is immense. Through their weekly activities such as yoga, Zumba and discussions centered around mental health, I am working on my physical fitness, and mental soundness which I believe are vital ingredients in coping in this situation.”

Windle Trust International is in regular contact with all its postgraduate scholars, not just providing practical advice but also checking in on their wellbeing and giving general support wherever it's needed. You can read all the updates from WTI's scholars here