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Remote learning: International students reflect on a challenging year of online classes

Students in the GBJ classroom and around the world celebrate the final class of Professor Rick Dunham's Multimedia Reporting course on June 8.

This has been a year of remote education for 12 of the 14 international journalists enrolled as first-year students in the Global Business Journalism master's program. Coronavirus restrictions have blocked students from Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia from studying on the Tsinghua campus during the 2020-2021 school year.

The only GBJ students able to attend classes in person are Chinese students and international students who were already in China at the time of the lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in January 2020.

Despite the challenges, Global Business Journalism students managed to complete their academic requirements through online education platforms such as Zoom and Tencent. GBJ co-director Rick Dunham said the students deserve credit for their adaptability, persistence and good humor.

"Our Global Business Journalism community came together to overcome all sorts of challenges – the illness of some of our students and their family members, unreliable internet connections in some countries, and the isolation inherent in distance learning – to perform admirably," Professor Dunham said. "Their triumphs over repeated obstacles show just how strong, how smart and how dedicated Global Business Journalism students are."

In this video, Global Business Journalism reporter Bisma Ahmad of Pakistan shares the reactions of each of the international students to their 2020-2021 experiences.

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