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How an international grad student at the University of Texas manages to balance his workload of teaching and studying from his room during the coronavirus pandemic

INSIDER Logo By insider@insider.com (Joey Hadden) of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 14:  College students are returning to coursework in a variety of ways this fall in light of the coronavirus pandemic. An international graduate student at the University of Texas is returning to class virtually from his Austin apartment. Here's how Rodrigo Castillo Vasquez juggles two courses and four extracurricular commitments from his bedroom. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Rodrigo Castillo Vasquez misses strolling into his friends' offices in the physics library just to chat. He used to spend at least a half-hour a day hanging out and making connections on campus."I miss being with friends and any kind of in-person contact or conversation," he said in an interview with Business Insider. "What I don't miss is noisy or crowded areas, which is pretty common on a campus such as the UT campus."A 27-year-old graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Vasquez, studies physics. Before beginning the program at UT Austin, Vasquez obtained a bachelor's degree in physics in Guatemala, his home country. In 2016, he went to Italy to study theoretical physics for a year.Vasquez has lived in Austin for the last two years since beginning his Ph.D. program. For the first year and a half, he attended courses in person. UT Austin reopened with a combination of hybrid, in-person, and online classes in August."One of the advantages of hybrid courses is their flexibility, allowing the teaching format to shift if public health conditions warranted it," a spokesperson for UT Austin told Business Insider, sharing that more than 60% of classes were being held online as of August 4.Vasquez's classes are conducted over Zoom and Canvas, an online education platform where students and professors can upload assignments."I find it harder than taking in-person classes," Vasquez said of online coursework. "There are more distractions and the lack of personal contact with others is also hard, I think especially for me as a Latin American."Vasquez added that it helps that all the lectures are recorded. Here's what a typical school day is like for Vasquez, now that he's studying from home.Read the original article on Insider

How an international grad student at the University of Texas manages to balance his workload of teaching and studying from his room during the coronavirus pandemic

  • College students are returning to coursework in a variety of ways this fall in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • An international graduate student at the University of Texas is returning to class virtually from his Austin apartment.
  • Here's how Rodrigo Castillo Vasquez juggles two courses and four extracurricular commitments from his bedroom.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rodrigo Castillo Vasquez misses strolling into his friends' offices in the physics library just to chat. He used to spend at least a half-hour a day hanging out and making connections on campus.

"I miss being with friends and any kind of in-person contact or conversation," he said in an interview with Business Insider. "What I don't miss is noisy or crowded areas, which is pretty common on a campus such as the UT campus."

A 27-year-old graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Vasquez, studies physics. Before beginning the program at UT Austin, Vasquez obtained a bachelor's degree in physics in Guatemala, his home country. In 2016, he went to Italy to study theoretical physics for a year.

Vasquez has lived in Austin for the last two years since beginning his Ph.D. program. For the first year and a half, he attended courses in person. UT Austin reopened with a combination of hybrid, in-person, and online classes in August.

"One of the advantages of hybrid courses is their flexibility, allowing the teaching format to shift if public health conditions warranted it," a spokesperson for UT Austin told Business Insider, sharing that more than 60% of classes were being held online as of August 4.

Vasquez's classes are conducted over Zoom and Canvas, an online education platform where students and professors can upload assignments.

"I find it harder than taking in-person classes," Vasquez said of online coursework. "There are more distractions and the lack of personal contact with others is also hard, I think especially for me as a Latin American."

Vasquez added that it helps that all the lectures are recorded. Here's what a typical school day is like for Vasquez, now that he's studying from home.

Read the original article on Insider
© Courtesy of Rodrigo Castillo Vasquez

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