25 March 2020 | Category: Master's Student, Student life

Dealing COVID-19 as an international student

By Ester

I grew up on the Catalan Pyrenees, where my heart belongs. I...

Coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. From December, the virus has expanded globally.

Wageningen Univeristy and Research has sent all students home in order to complete their courses for the 5th semester in remote locations. Moreover, It is not allowed to leave the Netherlands to start the internship. This guideline will be valid at least until April 6th, with a possible extension. (WUR update 25 March: until 1st August)  As the situation keeps changing rapidly; health, safety, and well-being of WUR community (students, professors, workers… ) remains WUR top priority, on and off campus.

All the information from the Dutch government about COVID-19 outbreak can be found here. 


Are you staying abroad?

You can register with the Information Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will inform you of the situation in your location. It is also possible to register with the Dutch embassy.


My situation

I am among the international students worried about how the this situation will affect WUR.

March started quite intense. In my case, I was still living in The Netherlands, preparing my departure planned for the end of March.

My parents, from Catalonia, and currently living there, called me worried for a possible lockdown of the country. They were afraid I could not return home at the expected time, finding myself stranded in foreign country in quarantine. They were indeed correct, as always. Spain announced the country locked-down two days after my departure.

My mum works for the medical assistance in my hometown. She was totally aware of the big impact that this virus could have. Understanding of COVID-19 was still evolving. Although, she knew it could become worse than it was at the beginning of March, when I contacted them. I therefore decided to follow their recommendations of coming back home immediately.

In less than 6 hours, I packed everything and left The Netherlands. Without the chance to write a goodbye letter, prepare farewell drinks  for my colleges or say goodbye to all the good friends.  My most sincere apology for everyone reading this that thought I forgot about them, I didn’t and neither I won’t. This sudden leave, was shocking for me. It wasn’t enough time to adapt to the situation.

The future is uncertain due to this continuously changing situation. Therefore, is totally unexpected the pandemic impact and their consequences on ours studies, internships, work or graduation. We need to stay calmed and have faith in WUR administration and Dutch government. We do need to support them by following their instructions. Everyone must read and comply their own country guidances.

Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.


WHO announced “world health emergency”

February 2020, the World Health Organization designated the disease COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019 [1]. WHO has made it official, this is a world health emergency.


Few moths ago, we were in a total different scenery, we never saw this coming. Although, it was inevitable, Life is a continuity of continuous change, for all of us. No one is excluded, this issue affects us all. This is a once in a century global emergency, and it won’t be fixed by medical science or individual governments, it will need a collective response from the entire world.


Stay safe and healthy.


Help others by sharing your story

We want to hear from students about how are they dealing with coronavirus pandemic. Are you stranded on campus? What are your experiences of online teaching and assessment? Are you a final year students? Has this situation caused disruption to your studies? Write a comment below, and we will contact you back privately to provide you further assistance. Please, reach out if you would like to share your experience, perhaps it will help other students found themselves in the same situation

By Ester

I grew up on the Catalan Pyrenees, where my heart belongs. I am currently enrolled on the MSc Food Technology program at Wageningen.
I could describe myself as a sunrise person underneath the restless and ever moving mind. I love running in the mountains, surrounded by nature and its beauty. I am passionate about learning, cooking, traveling and collecting plants to make handmade jewelry.

I live everyday as a new exploring adventure, step by step.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *