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ACA member, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) asked around 3.300 students about their experiences studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. The student survey was conducted as part of the biennial surveys on the topic of "Recognition - (no) problem?" since 2007.
In addition to the recognition of study achievements abroad, the survey also focused on experiences with virtual and semi-virtual types of mobility. Despite the introduction of digital teaching and semesters abroad during the pandemic, the vast majority of respondents rated their time at a foreign university as positive and innovative. The results showed that, during the pandemic, virtual stays became an alternative to the previously predominantly physical study stays at the host universities, with around one third of respondents opting for a purely virtual (7%) or a partially virtual semester abroad (24%) between the summer semester 2020 and the summer semester 2021. Looking to the future, a majority of the students contacted recommended maintaining a combination of physical and virtual teaching at the foreign host universities.
This survey complements the outcomes of ACA’s Thematic Peer Group "New mobility formats" latest publication, "Students’ motivations for Blended and Virtual International Exchanges During COVID-19," which shed light on key trends and issues that emerged from the 2020 and 2021 pandemic waves. It also provided an opportunity to reflect on the effects of these new mobility formats and their potential for the future.
Link to the DAAD survey results.