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Should I Stay or Should I Go? (COVID-19 and Study Abroad)

The COVID-19 virus has disrupted countless lives as it has become a global pandemic. Hundreds of millions of people in China, Italy, Spain, the Philippines, England, France, Germany, the United States, and elsewhere have been asked–or forced–to stay home in order to prevent the spread of the disease and “flatten the curve.” Never in the history of the world have so many people been at home at the same time. But not everyone can return home so easily, and perhaps not everyone should. For countless university students on exchange overseas, COVID-19 has disrupted their once-in-a-lifetime experience, forcing them to return home almost overnight. But what happens when home is potentially more dangerous than where you are? And how do you cope with the stress of traveling home at this risky moment? In this episode, two students from the United States share their struggles of the past week, as they received multiple messages from their Universities and had to decide whether to stay for the rest of the semester (and risk getting stuck in Singapore) or return to their families in California (and risk endangering themselves and their families). The stress is piling up, from buying hard-to-find plane tickets, worrying about credits and the switch to online courses, saying goodbye to friends, staying healthy while traveling, and not becoming a vector. These amazing young adults demonstrate incredible maturity in the face of unimaginable circumstances.

Sound effects from freesound.org. Music from audioblocks.com.

Read the transcript

Listen to Season 1 here

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Additional Links about COVID-19:

– Flattening the Curve:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/19/world/coronavirus-flatten-the-curve-countries.html

– CDC Advice for Study Abroad Amid the Coronavirus:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/student-foreign-travel.html 

– Californians Ordered to Stay at Home:
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-19/gavin-newsom-california-1-billion-federal-aid-coronavirus

– Chronicle of Higher Education on the Coronavirus:
https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Coronavirus-Is-Upending/248175?cid=FEATUREDNAV


– A group photo of Chris with An and Kaela


– An and Kaela

Published in Podcast Episodes S2

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