The current outbreak is extra intense for international students. Because they have to get through this period in a foreign country, without the support of their family and often with very few local connections. EM knocked on the doors of some of the international students living in the Hatta Building to ask how they’re faring.
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Vitalii Zharinov is just back from a jog. “The situation is far from ideal. I didn’t have any contact with other people during my run. So I don’t think I ran a huge risk getting a breath of fresh air.” Vitalii is from Ukraine and his family is worried about him. “But my parents are confident that everything will turn out OK.”
It’s a different story for the American student Sebastian Peña. He doesn’t have time for jogging, because the exchange student is actually flying home today. “My university has urged its students to return home.” His neighbour, a student from South Korea (‘I’d rather not be named or filmed’), also plans to go home. “I would have gone on Friday, but my flight was cancelled. That’s why I’m looking for a new ticket, suitcases packed, so I can leave as soon as possible.” According to her, most Korean students have gone home by now.
The Chilean student Ignacio Avendaño decided to stay in Rotterdam, although it is proving difficult to fill the hours. “My roommate and I do sports in the morning. But apart from that, we mainly hang around at home,” says Ignacio. “Luckily, the groceries we stocked up on will last us for a while.” Benjamin also got some extra supplies. He shows us his kitchen cabinets and fridge, which are full of food. “We didn’t hoard or anything, but we’ve got enough food for the days ahead.”
One room down, Owen Vinson admits to feeling a bit lonely. Still, the Indonesian student doesn’t plan to go home yet. “The best thing is to simply stay where you are,” he says. “So you don’t spread the virus any further if you are ill.” Vitalii agrees. “Stay where you are,” he urges his fellow students. “Keep an eye on the news so you get the right information and trust me: everything will turn out fine.”