Internship & COVID-19 situations
I’m Monika from India, right now in my second year Masters Food Technology.
Since I’m in my internship phase, I moved out of Netherlands by end of February. At that point things were still normal around campus.
I moved to Belgium for my internship where I started working from 4th of March. I was able to work normally with general precautions for first two weeks and after that with the commencement of lockdown we have started working from home. Luckily I wasn’t asked to get back to NL and my Erasmus scholarship was also not affected since I started prior to the ban.
I live in Leuven, a super busy student city with a lot of colleges, universities and schools around. Moving from Wageningen it seemed extremely chaotic and now post corona effect I feel like I’m back in Wageningen. It has become super silent, people hardly go out and buses are nearly empty. Also realized a lot of EU and Belgian students have gone back home as courses have shifted to online platforms.
My internship initiation was smooth, but I also have friends who were unable to start their internship in other countries and several cancelled ones. But university and internship coordinators have been super active to derive a number of literature based internships where people can work from home and graduate on time.
I’m currently in my second week of working from home (internship). But my company is still on going and we have been taking shifts to work in the lab so as to follow the protocol on the number of people and necessary rules to be followed while working there.
Thankfully my family (India) are all safe and sound inside their houses. Unlike EU, India is undergoing a complete lockdown people are hardly allowed to go out unless and until its really necessary.
Belgium is under lockdown and supermarket is right outside my building, but I try to minimise my visit like once in two weeks. I do see students going out for running and biking, due to my work schedule I’ve been trying to keep myself active at the comfort of my studio.
Definitely the first week was me trying to enjoy this work from home, but realised as days went by the number of meetings per day kept increasing and I had to get serious. It was hard initially, by now I feel I’ve gotten used the concept of working from home.
Also realised the number of friends you have lost touch with from around the world and for once all our time zones matched and was able to make up for lost days.
I assumed I’d like to live alone, one of the reason I moved into a studio here contrasting to my previous shared accommodation. But at this point I really miss human connection and cannot wait to go back to work next week.
Some advice to help others that help me facing this situation
- Start your day the same way you would do in case you’ve to leave for work or school. Take a shower, dress up have a good breakfast and go for it.
- Setting up a workspace: Working from bed is very comforting but is hardly productive (talking from experience). So set up a worktable, cushion up your chair and surround yourself with water and munchies.
- Proper breaks: Make sure you take 45 minutes interval tiny breaks and big lunch and coffee break. This helps you from tiring out and increases productivity.
- Keep yourself active: Depending on the situation in your country either go for a walk/bike or you can always access a number of free online Zumba/yoga/workouts.