Time differences take their toll on online students
China belongs to the UTC+8 time zone – several hours away from most destination countries for students who study abroad, which means they must burn the midnight oil to attend their lectures. There’s no respite during the day either – office hours, seminars and group discussions take up their daytime rest hours. On Reddit-like Chinese social networking platform Douban, nearly 20,000 people make up a group called “2020s Strenuous Study Abroad Students”, in which they share their hardships in this unprecedented year, with many of them reporting symptoms of depression.
Recently, the sudden death of a Chinese student who took online classes at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York, US, brought this issue under the spotlight once again. RPI confirmed on 8 February that Zhang Kaijie, a first-semester freshman at the school, passed away when he was studying remotely from Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu province. Media reports said it was highly likely that his death was caused by the irregular routine.
Full report on the Global Times site