UK student from Qatar gives new meaning to the term “remote learning”

Princess Magor Agbozo, a UK freshman and biology major, takes classes from Doha, Qatar, which is seven hours ahead of Lexington. Photo provided by Agbozo.

Princess Magor Agbozo, a UK freshman and biology major, takes classes from Doha, Qatar, which is seven hours ahead of Lexington. Photo provided by Agbozo.

Lauren Campbell

UK freshman Princess Magor Agbozo is experiencing a semester like no other. The biology major attends all of her classes halfway across the world in Doha, Qatar.

Agbozo planned to be on campus this semester, but COVID-19 changed her circumstances and prevented her from traveling abroad.

“My initial experience at UK was nothing like my expectations of what college would be like. This was mainly because I pictured being on campus and attending class in person as well as getting to explore the city of Lexington, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, that could not occur,” Agbozo said.

Agbozo feared her location would hurt her education and prevent her from feeling connected to the UK community.

“The idea of attending school thousands of miles away was quite daunting at first. I did not know what to expect and I was worried taking classes online away from campus was going to affect my studies. I was also worried I wasn’t going to get that college experience and make connections while at home,” Agbozo said.

However, Agbozo has been able to stay connected, and even become a student leader, without ever having visited campus by attending virtual club meetings and events.

“I have had the opportunity to join the Student Activities Board as a chair, as well as the SGA executive team as an Outreach Coordinator and it has been great because meetings are held online so I don’t feel like I am missing out and I am still able to connect with people on the team,” Agbozo said. “I have been able to participate in many other orgs as well, such as Model UN and the Honors College Student Council. With the use of BBNvolved I get to also attend other happenings on campus such as Bingo nights and Virtual Global Hangout.”

Initially, Agbozo did not plan to attend UK, but after researching it online, she knew it was the school for her.

“UK was not even on my list of universities I wanted to apply to. I applied to universities all over the world and as I was watching YouTube videos about the universities I had already selected, I came across UK and I loved the campus,” Agbozo said. “I then did more research on UK and it had everything I was looking for in terms of academics, the size of the university, and opportunities to get involved as well as opportunities to be introduced to the career field I am interested in.”

Now as a student, Agbozo still uses UK’s online campus resources to feel connected, including taking online campus tours to get to know the campus while thousands of miles away.

“I have utilized the virtual campus tour as well as campus tours done live on UK’s social media. Using these resources has enabled me to have an idea of what campus looks like so I am able to easily identify places, especially the most popular areas, like the Student Center, Memorial Hall and the Arboretum,” said Agbozo.

Now Agbozo says the hardest part of being a UK student is adjusting to the time difference.

“It’s a 7 hour time difference between Qatar and Lexington, and although it doesn’t sound like much, it is when your classes start in the evening and you have meetings till 4 a.m.. It’s not necessarily hard when it comes to deadlines and class times as long as I am converting the times correctly. There have been multiple occasions where I was either a day or a few hours early for a meeting because I forgot to convert the time. A side effect of the time difference is also adjusting my sleeping schedule as I have some meetings late at night and quite early in the morning,” Agbozo said.

However, the time difference does not stop her from attending virtual events.

“I have gotten used to this new change, so it is not as bad anymore, and frankly I enjoy the meetings, so I always attend,” Agbozo said.

Agbozo hopes COVID-19 becomes less of a global issue so she can take her classes in-person.

“I cannot wait to be in Lexington and at UK. I do plan to take classes in person if I am able to do so,” Agbozo said.