My year abroad got cancelled - feeling lost

Watch
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hi. I haven't been able to talk to anyone about this yet and I thought here would be the right place. I'm wondering if anyone else feels the same way as me right now.
I was meant to be going to Japan in September. I got into a uni in Tokyo and I was overjoyed. I got a job when I was 14, back when Japan was just a pipe dream, all to be able to pay for my year abroad. I was unable to do a GCSE/A-level in Japanese due to being in an underprivileged environment, so I spent the next four years studying things I didn't want to study in order to do it at uni. I studied, I worked, and I taught myself what little Japanese I could at the time.

And now it means nothing.

Some people have said to me "oh it's okay, just defer a year!" and I thought that too. I thought, 'it's fine, I've waited six years for this, I can wait 9 or so months.' But my uni have turned around to the students on the Korean pathway who have had their year abroad taken from them and said they can't defer a year bc "they don't have enough funding" which is a flat out lie. My uni is currently spending millions updating the uni, and has thousands of international students that come to our uni from all over the world. The amount of people at my uni doing a year abroad is TINY in comparison to the amount of international students that come in. I know the Japanese department is next, and I'm so so so upset and lost and my life feels wasted. My entire teen years was spent chasing a dream that will never happen.

I know it's not the uni's fault about the pandemic, but the way they are handling it is just awful. We're second year currently, we're supposed to do the year abroad in third year, but the uni is only prioritising the year below us - "well they have to have a chance too!" well what about US?! WE DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS. Why do we have to give up or dreams to "make it fair"? How is that FAIR?! Someone in my class brought it up and the teacher said "why, do you think you should be prioritised over the current first years?" and it's not about priority, nobody asked for this situation, so my year should have a chance too.

I'm just overwhelmed with so much anger, resentment and sorrow. My life has been crushed around me and nobody cares. Not even my own parents, hence why I'm here.

Is anyone having a similar situation? Sorry about the length, there's a lot of built up emotion here.
0
reply
Anonymous #2
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
Nothing can be done, at the end of the day it's up to the uni to decide ain't? Also, this is a pandemic, do you think it's a good idea to travel so soon? They are prioritising the year below because, by the looks of it, they're not doing it this year. It's not about fairness, it's about risk, safety and feasibility.

I understand it's not ideal but manage your rage and anger. It's not doing you any good. Think of the bigger picture here, people seem to forget, safety and health is superior than an exchange trip to Japan. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. If your life is crushed over an exchange trip then please rethink. there's gonna be lots of hurdles later in life.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#3
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by Anonymous)
Nothing can be done, at the end of the day it's up to the uni to decide ain't? Also, this is a pandemic, do you think it's a good idea to travel so soon? They are prioritising the year below because, by the looks of it, they're not doing it this year. It's not about fairness, it's about risk, safety and feasibility.

I understand it's not ideal but manage your rage and anger. It's not doing you any good. Think of the bigger picture here, people seem to forget, safety and health is superior than an exchange trip to Japan. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. If your life is crushed over an exchange trip then please rethink. there's gonna be lots of hurdles later in life.
I understand this is a pandemic. I DO NOT CARE that I cannot go this year, I am not going to travel during a pandemic and I FULLY UNDERSTAND why it's been cancelled. That is not my issue here. This is about the fact that my uni will not allow anyone to reapply for the year abroad. We're basically being told to eff off. It's not the year below that aren't going this year, it's my year. So by what you've just said, my year should be prioritised then.
Of course my life is going to be crushed over this!!! I've been preparing for SIX YEARS. My chances of getting a first in my degree and getting a job after my degree are statistically LOWER without a year abroad, so there's me thinking about the bigger picture.
Health and safety is definitely important, so I understand and AGREE with them cancelling, what I don't agree with is the way my uni have chosen to handle the people affected by it, that they are basically skipping my year to prioritise applications for the year below next year, whilst we've not been given any consideration. I hope you understand what I mean now. I came here to vent and see if I could find anyone who was feeling the same, not to find a solution to a problem that can't be solved right now.
0
reply
Anonymous #2
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
Ahhhhh right I get you 😂 I understand why you're angry, makes more sense now! What course are you doing? It seems like your trip is important, in terms employability, why's that?

Hmmm could it be because you'll be busy doing your dissertation in your final year?
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#5
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by Anonymous)
Ahhhhh right I get you 😂 I understand why you're angry, makes more sense now! What course are you doing? It seems like your trip is important, in terms employability, why's that?

Hmmm could it be because you'll be busy doing your dissertation in your final year?
God, yes I was so angry and upset. My emotions have settled a little but I'm still very frustrated. I study Japanese and Asian Studies and the year abroad is incredibly important in terms of equal opportunities like language learning acceleration, for example. Taking that example, the year abroad is super super important for helping students' language skills improve much much faster than trying to study a foreign language outside that country, which would make sense as you're not surrounded by it every day. This will then affect your ability to be able to get a good grade in final year as it relies on dissertations and translation projects, which will then affect employability, like a domino affect. Plus, if you're an interviewer and you've got two applicants in front of you, one that has been to Japan, therefore knows the language better, has the life skills that come with an exchange abroad and already has experience in the country.... and one that doesn't, which one would you realistically pick?

The dissertation will go awfully if I tried to do it now as I am definitely not experienced enough to discuss topics about Japan... without going to Japan, you feel? Students in my university have WENT OFF since I made this post last week, a petition went round and even a highly followed influencer found it and spread the word on instagram, it was wild. The petition got hundreds of signatures and then the uni released a statement last night saying they'd help us try and get a semester two exchange (covid permitting) or giving us the option to take a year out and reapply for the year abroad next year, which is the step I'm going to take. Giving myself until monday to make the final decision. But honestly, there's talks of a second wave in December, and second semester starts in January so I don't think it would happen, then I'd be forced to graduate without going. That feels completely pointless to have a degree in a language who's country I never went to.
1
reply
Anonymous #3
#6
Report 2 weeks ago
#6
I’m in a very similar situation as an Arabic student going into my 2nd year (year abroad allocation) and I have recently received an email explaining that our year abroad is going to be virtual/online and that we are to attend online lectures taught by our Middle Eastern host university from this September. For me, like your situation, one of the main reasons for enrolling on the degree course is for the immersive experience abroad, to personally develop, to develop linguistically and have those experiences of speaking, failing and succeeding in the target language. The prospect of any trip abroad is also threatening semester 2.

I believe the borders will open long before semester 2 starts but by that time, online teaching will be well underway and I have since thought about the prospect of deferring for a year, enrolling onto an immersion course abroad for 4/5 months when the borders reopen and rejoining University in September.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m in a very similar situation as an Arabic student going into my 2nd year (year abroad allocation) and I have recently received an email explaining that our year abroad is going to be virtual/online and that we are to attend online lectures taught by our Middle Eastern host university from this September. For me, like your situation, one of the main reasons for enrolling on the degree course is for the immersive experience abroad, to personally develop, to develop linguistically and have those experiences of speaking, failing and succeeding in the target language. The prospect of any trip abroad is also threatening semester 2.

I believe the borders will open long before semester 2 starts but by that time, online teaching will be well underway and I have since thought about the prospect of deferring for a year, enrolling onto an immersion course abroad for 4/5 months when the borders reopen and rejoining University in September.
Damn, a "virtual" period abroad sounds like a load of bull tbh. Personally I don't see how that would be useful. I don't think the borders will be open for semester two bc I think there will be a second wave in Winter, but I sure hope I'm wrong. I literally have the same plan as you, deferral and enrolling myself onto an immersion course (but for around 3 months as I can't afford longer oop) and then rejoining uni September 2021 and reapplying for the year abroad. Good plan in theory, but whether it'll work out I don't know.
0
reply
Quick-use
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 weeks ago
#8
Which university in Tokyo were you set to go to?
0
reply
eggyeol
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 week ago
#9
Same here. I think April entry is highly likely though as countries are realising that the virus won't be going away any time soon and you can't stay closed off from the rest of the world forever.

Have you been following what's going on in Japan? They're acting slowly but they're starting to let foreign residents (including students + workers) from any country who left before the entry ban back in from April as long as they get tested and quarantine for 2 weeks when they get there. Japan is also ramping up their airport testing to allow more people into the country. They're obviously preparing for international travel to resume again.

Universities are starting to put pressure on the government too and Japan has also said that their priorities are business people, students, and then tourists. We still have 9 months to go - a lot can change.
Last edited by eggyeol; 1 week ago
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#10
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#10
(Original post by eggyeol)
Same here. I think April entry is highly likely though as countries are realising that the virus won't be going away any time soon and you can't stay closed off from the rest of the world forever.

Have you been following what's going on in Japan? They're acting slowly but they're starting to let foreign residents (including students + workers) from any country who left before the entry ban back in from April as long as they get tested and quarantine for 2 weeks when they get there. Japan is also ramping up their airport testing to allow more people into the country. They're obviously preparing for international travel to resume again.

Universities are starting to put pressure on the government too and Japan has also said that their priorities are business people, students, and then tourists. We still have 9 months to go - a lot can change.
It's looking promising, but, along with many things, Japan is SLOW. The right wing are also closing in with their racist propaganda, which is fun. I really hope that the borders will open soon but I think it has to be safe. As much as I want to go to Japan, I can't be selfish when it's about people's lives. The elderly are the most vulnerable to the virus, and with Japan's ageing population, they have to be careful.
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 week ago
#11
I'd be furious. I'd expect the universities to offer a range of options - including deferring by a year. It would be well worth naming and shaming universities which take so much away from their students experiences.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#12
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#12
(Original post by ajj2000)
I'd be furious. I'd expect the universities to offer a range of options - including deferring by a year. It would be well worth naming and shaming universities which take so much away from their students experiences.
I was incredibly furious. Since then, due to pressure out on our uni and a petition going around with hundreds of signatures in the first day, they FINALLY made a final decision and released a statement due to the potential damage the uni could've had. They agreed to let people defer but surprisingly, so many students decided not to and either pin their hopes up on a second semester abroad (which is likely to be cancelled imo) or just going straight to final year. Pretty pointless, I think.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Did you get the SQA results you wanted today?

Yes- I did even better than I hoped! (34)
17.8%
Yes- I got what I was hoping for (53)
27.75%
No- my results weren't as good as I'd hoped (104)
54.45%

Watched Threads

View All