How COVID-19 impacted students abroad

International and Study Abroad students share their experiences when the COVID-19 crisis hit and boarders started closing 

“I didn’t get to finish my exchange, and I didn’t get to say goodbye.”

Students safe at home, but only after stressful departures from their Study Abroad destinations. It has been an unprecedented year for UCalgary’s Study Abroad team and the 188 UCalgary students studying around the globe when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the 2020 semester.  Support of the Study Abroad team was critical for a number of those students who rushed home amidst the chaos of the pandemic. Read the following Q&A’s for a glimpse into their experiences.

Hibah Faheem

Hibah Faheem, Bio Sciences and Psychology undergrad, Ecuador

Hibah Faheem was taking part in the Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador.

Read more about Hibah's experience

Megan Koevoet

Megan Koevoet, German undergrad, Germany

Megan Koevoet is studying German and was at the Otto-Friedrich-University, in Bamberg Germany when the pandemic hit.

Read more about Megan's experience

Shanna Hollingworth

Shanna Hollingworth, Computer Science undergrad, Singapore

Shanna Hollingworth was on exchange at the National University of Singapore when she had to return abruptly home.

Read more about Shanna's experience

Sydnee Dronsfield

Sydnee Dronsfield, Chemistry undergrad, United Kingdom

Sydnee Dronsfield shares her experience attending the Visiting Studies in the Chemical Sciences program in Norwich, UK, and how it ended abruptly after seven months due to the global COVID-19 crisis.

Read more about Sydnee's experience

Dhwani Joshi

Dhwani Joshi, Education undergrad, United Kingdom

When the pandemic broke out, Dhwani was on exchange for a study abroad term at the University of Leicester, in the United Kingdom.

Read more about Dhwani's experience

Cara Meulenbroek and Margaret Hornett

Cara Meulenbroek and Margaret Hornett, undergrads, Australia

Friends Cara Meulenbroek and Margaret Hornett were studying in Adelaide, Australia, at the University of Adelaide when COVID-19 broke out.

Read more about their experience

Caleigh Nordan, Liberal Studies undergrad, UCalgary

Caleigh Nordan, Liberal Studies undergrad, UCalgary

I was taking part in the national student exchange attending courses for my concentration in human development and elective courses at UCalgary when this all broke out. I had been living in Calgary for seven months before I was told to come home. I loved Canada, Calgary, and the university. I had an amazing experience and was sad to leave at the end of April. I made amazing friends, both exchange and non-exchange students alike. My experience ended in chaos and stress. My home university and family told me to come home as borders closed, and there were less flights into California. UCalgary kept me updated and my professors were very accommodating through my move and all the stress, which was extremely helpful.