Heading home for spring break has just become an order from the UAE government and the Ministry of Education.
Amid the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirati students are returning home to reunite with family. Students are also not allowed to return to their countries of studies; this is to ensure students will be safe and in their home country where facilities are readily available to them in time of such crisis.
Students flying back home before the 15th of March have experienced nearly empty flights which are not typical for trips to the UAE while those who travelled after the 15th of March have experienced full flights with mostly Emirati students seeking to return home.
Emirati students have growing concerns with their studies as many need specific facilities to conduct research and work on assignments and final projects. However, many universities in the Uk are responding to the situation quickly through adjusting tasks and deadlines; as well as providing online support and online resources to assist studies.
Although some Emirati students fear that despite their universities efforts, the UAE’s internet service providers have VoIP programs like Skype blocked; which makes it more difficult for students to work on group assignments or contact professors for queries. “How can I continue my group projects if I am unable to participate with the group?” questions an Emirati student at the University of Birmingham.
Students and travellers are returning to the UAE and are following orders to self-isolate and quarantine at home for two weeks to guarantee that they do not have the virus.