My name is Ali Imran and I am from Pakistan. I am a third-year student in Philosophy, International Studies & Economics. I was born and brought up in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, and then moved to Dubai. So, I always had a thing for big, populated cities. Moreover, Ca’ Foscari is located in a city that is like a dream, and the academics of the university are outstanding. So, in my case, it’s a win-win situation.
Did you stay in Venice during the lockdown period?
Yes, I decided to stay in Venice. Most of my Italian and non-Italian friends went back to their homes but I did not.
I thought it would be collectively beneficial if I stayed back. Apart from that, I have amazing flatmates, we cooked together and had a lot of fun.
I am taking 2020/2021 classes from Venice, as I love the city and I think that with the university's partial online classes I can polish my skills and learn some new ones too.
How have you been staying in contact with Ca’ Foscari and how has Ca’ Foscari been staying in contact with you?
Yes, I have been in contact with Ca’ Foscari. As I had a lot of courses left, I was in constant contact with the humanities counselor, Elena. I would say she has been a great help in understanding the course management.
What part of your student life did you miss the most?
I miss the human contact between students and professors. I miss the student hangouts in Campo Santa Margarita. I miss the normal-day-in-Venice vibes in general.
Was there something specific that helped you cope with the situation?
I think not, because I made friends in Venice who are just like family. If they were down, I was there, and when I was feeling low they had my back.
I would say the credit goes to Ca' Foscari in general for helping us find amazing people.
How do you think the COVID situation has changed, if at all, this generation of students?
I think, usually, at this age, a person is very vulnerable and careless.
This pandemic has taught us how to be minimal, and it made us realize that the things we want are not always important.
Furthermore, it has taught us to adapt to new situations and to understand ourselves, as humans can be smart in many ways.
How would you describe your university experience in this new academic year?
I like it. I think this new system adopted by Ca’ Foscari is pretty cool, it helped me in so many ways I cannot say. As I can take classes even in the evening now, I could acquire new skills.
What do you expect from the next few months?
I think what matters is the collective benefit. I wouldn’t mind if half classes were online and half were in person.
But I have seen that the majority of the people want things the old way. And I think that especially the system of personal interaction is still somehow good and has its perks.
I believe things will get back to normal in some time. I would prefer dual classes for the whole year, but at the same time, the decision should take into consideration the whole community.