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Coronavirus: Okanagan post-secondary students adapting to ‘new normal’

Click to play video: 'Okanagan post-secondary students adjusting to ‘new normal’' Okanagan post-secondary students adjusting to ‘new normal’
Post-secondary institutes are now open for their fall semester, albeit with a much different start then ever before – Sep 11, 2020

Post-secondary institutes are now open for their fall semester, albeit with a much different start then ever before.

Global News talked to some post-secondary students to see how they are transitioning to their new normal.

“It’s definitely a huge change; there are a lot less people than I expected,” said Anibe Abba, a UBC-Okanagan student.

“I wake up in the morning and no one is on the streets. It’s kind of unnerving.”

Read more: Elementary schools students return to class in B.C.’s Southern Interior

“It’s a strange experience to be honest,” said Dima Zhurvel, an international student at UBCO.

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“Since I’m an international student, I had two weeks of quarantine at the dorms, so it felt weird but it’s getting even more weirder.”

Zhurvel, an international student from Ukraine, said the new semester poses a lot of new challenges he didn’t expect.

“I was here last semester and it felt like I had a lot of communication. I had a lot of friends, now I’m just sitting in my room most of the day.”

Read more: Back to school: If someone in a B.C. school gets sick, what happens next?

The vast majority of course are now online, creating a new set of issues for students.

“I think the biggest challenge is, due to not being in a classroom, you can’t really engage with other classmates as much as you normally would,” said Moataz Abdelraouf, a computer engineering student at UBCO.

“It’s really weird. A few people have different experiences. For me I’m really annoyed by all the different pieces of software I have to use,” said Abba.

Okanagan College’s vice president, Allan Coyle, said the college is doing everything it can to make the campus safe for students and faculty.

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“We’ve been following our provincial health officer protocols, WorkSafeBC protocols — our first commitment is a safe work and learning environment for our staff and students,” said Coyle.

Coyle says the Kelowna campus for Okanagan College is down from 6,000 daily students to 500.

Click to play video: 'Back to school: COVID-19 safety orientation first up for Okanagan-Skaha Grade 9 students' Back to school: COVID-19 safety orientation first up for Okanagan-Skaha Grade 9 students
Back to school: COVID-19 safety orientation first up for Okanagan-Skaha Grade 9 students – Sep 10, 2020

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