When the national Lockdown was announced in March, many international students could not travel back to their home countries. The fact that the Lockdown was accompanied by the uncertainty of not knowing how long it would last made the thought of travelling home an even harder one to entertain. As a result, many of these students ended up staying in their host countries. This was the case for third year Human Resources Management student, Namile Dlamini.
Namile is from Swaziland. “I did not go home when the lockdown started, because I thought it would be just three weeks of Lockdown to contain the virus. I sadly have not been home ever since,” she said. Namile spent her Lockdown in University residence. MUT moved international students to on campus accommodation where it could guarantee their safety and access to University resources. “The biggest highlight was getting us accommodation on campus. I had never felt so safe and content like that in my years of being at MUT. Staying on campus has been an even bigger achievement given our newly adopted learning system. I’ve been coping much better with virtual learning, because of the quietness and resources at my disposal,” said Namile.
Namile is a fan of online teaching and learning. She has taken advantage of lectures being conducted online to minimize her travel to and from lectures, reducing chances of coming in contacting with large groups.
“I love online lectures firstly because the sessions can be recorded, so you can always listen to them at any time. You can just log on to class wherever you are. But it’ll take time for others to get a hang of it because it is very new. The only problem with virtual lectures is the network glitches in some areas, but that’s when the recording comes in to save the day,” said Namile.
With the restriction on international travel having been lifted, Namile hopes to go home to meet her family. She admits that she has been homesick and looks forward to being with her family.