“COVID won’t keep me from studying”
We’ve achieved a lot over the last few months: Despite the switch to distance learning, the summer semester went smoothly, and despite the travel restrictions, we managed to remain in touch across borders. All this has been made possible by digitalization. It is also thanks to digitalization that a few days ago, several new students were able to start their bachelor’s and master’s programs at WU without ever having been to Vienna or even Austria in person. We’d like to introduce you to one of them.
About “conditional admissions”
“Conditional admission” is an enrollment option that allows international students to start their studies at WU in the 2020/21 winter semester without being physically present, due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions that are in place. The entire selection and admissions procedure was handled online. Over 150 first-year students from 22 countries (from Colombia to Jordan, from Guatemala to Russia) have taken advantage of this option and are now starting one of our English-taught programs (bachelor’s or master’s) from abroad.
“I expect metropolitan Vienna to be a nexus between different cultures, lifestyles, and ways of thinking from a variety of international backgrounds.”
Marian Chen, Taipei (Taiwan):
WU Blog: Where do you currently live?
Marian Chen: I am currently living in and distance-learning from Taipei, Taiwan.
WU Blog: What was the main reason for you to apply for the BBE program at WU Vienna?
Marian Chen: Because BBE perfectly synergizes my interest in business and economics and provides an international dimension whose value I recognize in an increasingly interconnected global
economy, I decided to apply to the BBE program. In addition, due to my goal of working for an international business in the future, learning technical terms in English would empower me to
effectively conduct negotiations with overseas companies.
WU Blog: How did you feel about the admission procedure for the BBE program and how did you prepare for it?
Marian Chen: The principal impression I received from the admissions procedure was the preparedness of WU’s administration: despite the unpredictable course of the pandemic, it was evident in the thorough organization of the unprecedented online exam that the administration adapted quickly to new developments. Contentwise, I primarily focused on studying for the mathematics section, as I am a native English-speaker and was able to grasp the topics presented in the economics and business text fairly quickly. Upon starting the exam, I felt relatively confident and well-prepared.
“So far, I have not encountered any significant problems nor have I felt that I am missing out too much due to remote learning.”
WU Blog: How do you communicate with your fellow students at WU Vienna? Have you already found friends?
Marian Chen: The WhatsApp group chat for my cohort has aided me most for making friends. Through this platform, I was able to exchange my social media with my peers and join specified group chats (e.g. to meet up and play tennis together), and I now regularly contact quite a couple of people in the degree.
WU Blog: What are your experiences with distance learning at WU Vienna in general?
Marian Chen: Although there were technical kinks at the beginning of the first lectures, the professors have been extremely patient and accommodating. So far, I have not encountered any significant problems nor have I felt that I am missing out too much due to remote learning.
WU Blog: Have you ever been to Austria or Vienna before? What do you expect it to be like?
Marian Chen: I have only briefly visited Felsberg during a daytrip and Vienna for three days. Overall, I expect different regions of the country to vary noticeably in terms of dialects, customs, and political beliefs. On the other hand, I expect metropolitan Vienna to be a nexus between different cultures, lifestyles, and ways of thinking from a variety of international backgrounds.
WU Blog: What do you expect studying at WU Vienna (in person on Campus WU) to be like?
Marian Chen: On campus, I expect a lot more convenience in terms of interacting with professors, discussing with my peers, and collaborating in group assignments. In addition, I would not be opposed to receiving a goodie bag or two, if given the opportunity.
WU Blog: What are your future plans – will you come to WU Vienna as soon as the travel restrictions are gone?
Marian Chen: Ideally, I would travel to Vienna as soon as I have received my residence permit and entry visa. Although the rising number of confirmed Covid-19 cases pose an exigent concern, I understand the importance of in-class interactions, which would be difficult to replicate via an online platform.