July 22, 2021, by International students
Quarantine experiences and advice – part 1
We asked some of our international student ambassadors who joined us in 2020 or early 2021 to share their experiences of quarantine (self-isolation) on arrival in the UK.
These comments are from:
- Adityesh from India, studying MSc Mechanical Engineering
- Faiza from Pakistan, studying PhD Business and Management
- Habibatallah from Egypt, studying MEng Electronic and Computer Engineering
- Montaha from Bangladesh, studying MSc Cancer Immunology and Biotechnology
- Soumya from India, studying Msc Computer Science (AI)
- Udochukwu from Nigeria, studying MSc Human Resource Management and Organisation
The quarantine experience
I completed my quarantine in the university halls of residence. My quarantine experience was one of a kind. The accommodation team offered a bed pack for a reasonable price so that I didn’t have to hunt for these necessary items. They also gave me a complimentary pack of sweet and savouries.
I completed my quarantine at my dorm at St Peter’s Court. My quarantine experience was much better than what I had expected. Since I knew I will only carry cash and couldn’t go out strictly, I asked a friend to do my groceries for me. I also had access to online delivery services so that was a big lifesaver. Because I was sharing a flat with five others I had to wear a mask or shield to protect them.
I quarantined at my hall which was Southwell Hall at Jubilee Campus. It is a catered hall and has en-suite rooms. My quarantine experience was overall good. On day 1 I received my keys from the hall porter and he told me all the rules and instructions for quarantine such as not going out or visiting my roommates and also to leave my trash outside the room and they will take it. I will get two bags of food every day, the first bag in the morning and it has the breakfast and brunch, and the second bag was at 5pm, it has the dinner. I was not allowed to do laundry at the laundry room so I was washing my clothes by hand. The first 3-4 days of quarantine were good as I was busy organising my stuff and decorating my room. Later I got bored as I felt that each day was repeating itself so I started to put a plan for myself to get entertained such as working out, calling friends, reading books. I was doing activities in my room, but I was also counting days to see my friends.
I completed my quarantine in private accommodation with my family, in Reading. My quarantine experience went through phases and left me with different emotions. Initially I was excited for the first couple of days: I watched movies, had quiet times, and basically prepared for the new semester ahead. At about day 5 I became bored and was anxious to complete the quarantine so I could move around and explore the city and finally the last day I was excited and happy the quarantine was over.
I completed quarantine in a private accommodation in Hyson Green. My quarantine experience in a different country was quite a unique experience. I would best describe it as roller coaster of emotions. It started with excitement of being in a different country doing something I had not done since the start of the pandemic period – i.e. quarantine. The excitement lasted only a few days after which I entered the sadness phase since I was alone and started to miss my family quite a lot. This was followed by boredom as there was not much I could do except sit and watch the backyard from my room window. Towards the end I got excited again since I was going to get out of isolation and visit my dream university in person. Overall, there was a sense of happiness during the entire quarantine period because deep inside I knew I was doing it so I could protect others in case I had the virus. Also, I was happy since I did not test positive to it.
I completed my quarantine in my accommodation (Nottingham Two). My quarantine experience was interesting! It was different to what I had experienced back home as I was living by myself, but nevertheless it was a new experience and I tried to make the most of it.
Passing the time in quarantine
I could make the most out of my time during the quarantine. I arrived a couple of days before the start of the course, so I invested my time finding out more about the university and what it offers. To my surprise, there was a lot I had options for. I had joined the online exercises, yoga class and mindfulness sessions with HealthyU. They also had great vlogs about how to maintain a proper diet. I followed them. I also started preparing for the week ahead. I could manage to make a timetable to organize my time once the classes started. This way, I could maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper time for exercises, food and online classes and could organize my day to be more productive. The 10 days quarantine gave me ample time for self-awareness.
Since my courses had begun, I spent half my day attending online classes and the other half watching Netflix. I also had made a couple of friends through my course, so I kept busy by spending time with them on Teams.
I set a routine for myself so the first thing I was doing when I woke up was meditating and do 30 minutes workout, then taking a shower. After that I eat my breakfast and watch a show on Netflix, then I write in my journal and mention stuff that I am grateful for. I video call my family then I start to study anything related to my course for 4-5 hours from the internet like reading articles or watching documentaries related to engineering, and after that I have my lunch then I talk to my friends as I was doing a list that has all my friends on it and I was calling one friend every day, and at the evening I read one chapter from a book then I waste dome time on social media and I sleep.
How did I spend my time during quarantine? Mostly speaking to my family and trying to be busy with my courses as they were mostly online in the beginning. But at some point it was quite depressing and lonely as I couldn’t interact with people. It started affecting my mental health and because I arrived much later near the winter vacation time, coming out of quarantine was just not necessarily different as well.
My typical routine in quarantine would be to wake up at 6 am because I was jetlagged and my body clock was mixed with the one back in Pakistan. First thing, I would do every morning was to do an hour yoga to keep my body and mind active. Then I would talk to my family and friends for an hour or two to keep me connected to people I love. I really enjoy cooking, so I planned out a new dish for each day to keep myself busy. Being a sports scholar, we had couple of zoom calls planned for the week for scholars who were also quarantining so it felt like we were in it together. I also started to get in touch with other students via Teams and small Moodle groups that were created. By the end of quarantine, I had made some scholar friends from other sports and got in touch with my other batch mates.
Read part 2 for advice for making the most of your quarantine days
Plan for your own quarantine – check our quarantine guidance
No comments yet, fill out a comment to be the first