Health alarm and international (im)mobility
In these crazy weeks of health emergency and reduced mobility all over the world, our thoughts go to all students and school staff whose Erasmus+ mobility has been directly affected by the current situation. Many schools and universities had to postpone or cancel entire mobility projects, giving up their experience abroad. Luckily, in most cases it is only about postponing the trip to a better moment.
Especially, we express our greatest solidarity to the several exchange students around Europe who have been surprised by a big happening destined to upset their experience abroad: the spread of Covid-19 during their Erasmus+ abroad.
As we know, the pandemic situation in the EU member countries is experiencing wide differences but we are pretty used to hear about terms like lockdown and quarantine: closure of external borders and obligation for citizens to stay home and go out only for primary needs. Probably, reading this article, you perfectly understand what we are talking about because you are living it in the first person. Probably, you are a bit worried, bored and tired by this situation and you wish to go back to your daily life soon.
So well: can you now imagine what Erasmus students locked down in a foreign country, far from home and often alone, are feeling?
When the pandemic spread, many of them had just arrived in the host country to start the summer semester at a foreign university; others were still completing the winter semester and were ready to leave once done with the exams.
The first group was the unluckiest, for sure. Someone had the opportunity to simply “take a break”, by going home and then coming back to the foreign country once everything finishes. Others didn’t have this choice: not only were they surprised by the lockdown, but they had to choose whether to remain abroad or to return home, losing their Erasmus for the current year… What a decision to take!
Both who decided to remain abroad and who decided to return home are now living hard times. The first ones because they were abroad when the chaos exploded and national borders were closed, being therefore unable to return to their own country and having now to deal with an “Erasmus quarantine”. The second ones because they are probably wondering whether they took the right decision.
To all the Erasmus students who are going through hard times and endless days during their quarantine in Italy, Spain or any other European country, we want to dedicate a positive message: enjoy these days of forced confinement at home to find a creative pastime to strength your skills and passions. We know, it’s a difficult moment for the entire world but you can choose to take the best out of this experience. So #stayhome and push your creativity!
Do you recognise yourself in this description? Do you want to know how other Erasmus students around Europe are dealing with Covid-19? Read the Erasmus Covid-Stories that we collected during the lockdown in Europe.