From Jillian Schneider, a junior communications studies and humanities double major who studied abroad at Oxford in Spring 2020
“I studied abroad in Oxford this semester through the Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford (through the CCCU and SCIO) program. I was sent home by the CCCU before APU shut down its campus because of the escalating international situation surrounding the pandemic.
Being uprooted was very upsetting and stressful. It was a highly uncertain and constantly changing situation. When the CCCU finally pulled the plug on our program, we were told we had only a matter of days to find flights back to the US. Throughout that process, APU did not reach out to me or to my fellow APU-Oxford students until we were already back in the U.S. We weren’t even sure if APU had realized we were being sent home. As my home school, I would have hoped that they would be aware of our situation and at least reached out with encouragement.
None of this is exactly APU’s fault, because the Oxford study abroad program does not belong to APU, but having to finish my homework online was really hard. In Oxford, our homework is almost 100 percent rooted in the research we do in the libraries. Although we had some online access to resources, many of the articles, books and academic resources we needed weren’t available in the online libraries. This made it challenging for all of us to complete our essays with the high academic standard we set for ourselves.
In my circumstances, the communication was terrible. Having to navigate an unexpected and immediate return home from a foreign country was honestly just stressful for everybody, and the fact that APU didn’t reach out to us, for whatever reason, was a little baffling. We were all supporting each other, but I think we felt like our home university had forgotten about us. By the time they did contact us directly, I was already back home. I understand that everything changed very quickly and that all the APU staff have lives outside of their jobs, but seeing as the situation is literally an international crisis, I would have expected better communication. But the support of my family has been very helpful, and I am very fortunate that they were able to help me come home quickly.”