International Student Living in a Dorm During a Pandemic Crisis

Jairzinho Alberto attending class virtually

by Jairzinho Alberto

April 28, 2020

My name is Jairzinho Alberto, and I will be giving readers an idea on how life is as an international student during a pandemic crisis.

First, I need to address something that life as an international student in the US is great; as for the virus that is a whole different story. Because the virus spread so fast around the world here my life has changed fast too. But for me living in the dorm during this pandemic is similar to my everyday life because being an introvert I didn’t socialize with people that often anyways. Things that help me cope during this time are reading, cooking, and watching TV shows, which I didn’t have much time to do before. I also have family and friends that I keep in touch with. I have some friends here in America and some are back home in Curaçao.

Finding free time before was challenging because I would usually go to the library to do my homework or go to the computer lab to finish my assignments for art class. When I did have free time sometimes, I would play billiards. Now during the pandemic crisis, time management is even more important. Time management is a big deal when you are working from your dorm because before the virus you had to go to classes walking from one class to another and during that time your eyes could relax from being at the computer but now you basically have to sit at a computer for hours at a time because of how schedules have changed. Before the pandemic you followed your class schedule and planned your day around it. Now your day must be based on what you make a priority, deciding which teacher to meet with when they are available because sometimes their schedules overlap. Sometimes when you are finishing a project and you need the internet the most it might lag on you because the majority of people are at home.

In early March when Covid-19 started to spread rapidly I didn’t think about going back home because I was still looking closely at the situation around me and the situation back in my country. The thing is that because of the whole chaos of the Covid-19 both my country and the US decided to close all the borders for a while. That’s why I can’t go back to my country. The experience of being in the dorms right now is that it feels strange not being able to hug my loved ones, but at the same time I’m happy that I’m healthy and safe. It is really hard for me because I miss my family but one thing that I miss the most is my mom’s cooking especially her spaghetti with chicken and sausage which is to die for.

As for the resources right now, I have everything that I need, and I’m safe but I am keeping an eye on the GCC and health websites and keeping in touch with my advisors. Last, I would like to say that we are all in this together. If we put our heads together and have faith, we can fight this disease.