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Apeejay students exchange notes on life in the lockdown with their Japanese peers 

As part of the Cultural Educational Exchange Programme,15 students from Apeejay Stya University shares their experience of the pandemic-induced new normal with their friends from Kokusai College, Japan



The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on students’ lives globally. It compelled educational institutions including schools and universities to immediately switch to the online delivery of lessons. Subsequently, students adopted new ways of living and learning in the ‘new normal’ era. 

Sharing experiences from the Covid-19 lockdowns, 15 students of Apeejay Stya University (ASU), Gurugram virtually interacted with their peers from Kokusai College, Osaka, Japan. This was the second virtual meet and greet session between the two colleges as part of Cultural Educational Exchange Programme.

“It was an amazing session interacting with our Japanese friends. We spoke about our lockdown days and major changes that we as students have experienced. One of them was moving from physical classes to online lectures and seminars. The last two years have been tough for all of us. Our Japanese friends also told us how the pandemic affected their daily lives,” said Archita Rath, 3rd-year Integrated Biotechnology student with ASU. She further added, “The way the world is evolving via technology, these sessions helped me get an understanding of the diverse cultures of different communities across the globe.”

The lack of in-person activities made it harder for people to build new connections. Chandrajeet Dhara, a B Tech student with ASU said, “I had just completed my board exams and was happy that I would spend time with my friends. But unfortunately Covid struck. The lockdown forced us to adapt changes – some were good and some were tough. The Japanese students also faced a similar situation. They said they also spent a lot of time with their families like we did in India as all of us were locked in our homes.” 

Added Madhu Mishra of the School of Education, “The Japanese students discussed with us the new skills that they picked during the lockdown. I told them how I used the downtime to learn new things. I was not really good at cooking but I learnt new techniques that were simple and nice. I spend a lot of time creating short videos on recycling, etc.”

Further, Anshika Goel, student with School of Design and Visual Arts said, “Even though we have been stuck at home for a long time, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to connect with people across the world via technology. Being a part of this online session helped me to connect with my peers in Japan, know about their culture, eating habits, choices, etc.” 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.