My name is Maddy and I am a third year BSc Biological Sciences student. I recently saw the University of Exeter International Facebook page post about international students and their experiences in lockdown, and I would love to share mine with you.
I am from Seattle in the United States and I had planned to fly home at the end of March to revise over the break. As the situation worsened at the beginning of March, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to fly home or not. I didn’t know if it was the best idea to fly home if the borders were shut while I was home and I wouldn’t be able to get back for my final year exams. In the end, I decided that I would move my flight home to the beginning of June and that I would stay in England while I assessed how the outbreak would play out.
Luckily, during my time at Exeter I have made an amazing friendship with Megan, who is also a final year student on the same course as me. We have developed such a strong bond throughout our time at Exeter, from first year in Holland Hall to living with one another in both second and third year. I would almost consider her as a sister at this point! Her family had graciously opened up their home to me during this difficult time, as my grandparents in England are classed as extremely vulnerable and I did not want to risk exposing them to the virus by staying with them. Megan and I left Exeter mid-March to live at her home in Newbury.
During that time, the lockdown was put in place and all direct flights from London to Seattle were cancelled indefinitely. I have been struggling with extreme sadness being trapped in the UK away from my family for the foreseeable future and thinking about how my final year of university has been cut short, but thanks to the kindness of Megan and her family, I am in a safe and loving home. Exeter brought Megan into my life and provided us with amazing experiences that we have shared with one another, and thanks to this I am living out my lockdown in her home and I am so grateful for their selflessness and kindness! They have supported me throughout this crazy time and I don’t know what I would have done without them.