International student praises super supportive University during lockdown

Date 30.06.2020

A first-year international student has spoken about her lock down experience, living on campus, to BBC Radio Northampton.

First-year Advertising and Digital Marketing student, Chahak Kawatra, who travelled from Delhi in India to study at in Northampton, has praised the super supportive experience she’s had while living on campus in lockdown.

Chahak was just feeling like Northampton was becoming her home, when the announcement came that the UK would be going into lockdown, due to the covid-19 pandemic. Chahak, like many other international students studying at Northampton had to make a tough call – should I stay, or should I go?

Chahak decided to remain on campus, and has spent the last couple of months living in halls at the Waterside Campus. She says she’s grateful for the support of the University and her fellow students living in halls during lockdown. She said: “The University have made lockdown so much easier, they’ve had staff on site to support us. They’ve help with all sorts of things in lockdown, no one ever expected to be living through such a time as this.”

Although the University suspended face to face teaching in March, Chahak has been keeping busy with her remote study options, completing assignments and sitting her end of year exams. She’s also managed to spend some time doing other things, she said: “I’ve had the time to learn new things about myself, I’ve managed to do some of the things I’ve been putting off, and I’ve tried new things. Lockdown hasn’t all been bad.”

Although Chahak has been thousands of miles away from her family, which has at times been strage and hard, she’s been able to check in with them regularly and chat. Speaking about missing home, she said: “Being away from my family has been hard, but knowing that they’re doing ok has been comforting for me.

“I’m lucky that one of my housemates decided to stay at University too, we’ve become really close, like family. I’ve had someone very close for support, as well as the staff who have been on campus too. We’ve all formed really strong bonds during lockdown.”

Talking about her plans for after lockdown, Chahak, can’t wait to have more freedom to explore what Northampton has to offer.