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COVID-19: How to Feel Connected Abroad When We are Safer at Home

April 10, 2020
by CEA CAPA Content Creator

The global effects of COVID-19 have resulted in many countries implementing safer-at-home initiatives. Responding to this crisis, students across the globe are adjusting to online classes, their graduation ceremonies are being cancelled, and study abroad programs are ending early and adjusting their opportunities for students. Essentially, these efforts have interrupted normal life so much so that few things feel normal. Yet, there are still ways to stay connected to the city that stole your heart abroad or explore new places and cultures amidst COVID-19. (Pictured above: Feeling nostalgia for my quaint CEA Student Studio in Paris.)

Here are five ways to feel connected abroad when we are safer at home:


1.    Local & Global News

In spring of 2018, I studied abroad in Paris, France, and I was planning to go back and visit this May. Unfortunately, that trip has been canceled and throughout COVID-19, I’ve wondered how Paris is coping. In order to remedy this concern, I have found myself consulting global news outlets and looking for local French news to get the scoop. Just reading up on the measures in place and hearing stories from locals can make me feel connected once again.

2.    Online Exploration

Just as schools and companies worldwide have turned to technology to manage working from home, there are many articles detailing museums you can virtually tour from home. For example, this cool article from The Guardian titled “10 of the World's Best Virtual Museums and Art Gallery Tours” includes links to virtual tours of the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and more. There are tons of resources like these just a few clicks away that make these far-off places feel a little bit closer to home. 


The busy Musée D'Orsay during Spring 2018


3.    Reading a Book

When we're stuck at home, one of the best ways to explore can be in a book. It may sound cheesy, but I’ve found so much comfort by diving into my favorite books set in Europe. Lately, I’ve been getting my daily dose of Paris by reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Likewise, I will always recommend Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. If you’re interested check out this article from Bustle titled “10 Novels That’ll Take You To Europe If You Can’t Get There Right Now.”

 Taken at Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris

4.    Social Media & At-Home Experiences

While we're adjusting to being at home, this can be a time to indulge in the power that social media has to connect global citizens. For example, searching hashtags about a city or following accounts that document daily life there can give you a peek into what is happening. It is increasingly important to remind ourselves that we are in this together, globally. Through social media, I have felt supported by discovering that even the boulevards in Paris are empty and even Parisians are learning how to eat at home more. Likewise, there is a lot to be discovered. One at-home experience that has kept me close to Paris is attempting to bake homemade baguettes. I even noticed that my French professor from CEA is also making baguettes at his home in Paris. What classic recipes might you try, and where can you gain inspiration?

5.    Apply to the CEA Virtual Internship Program 

Arguably the best way to feel globally connected while staying at home is applying to CEA’s Virtual Internship Abroad Program! Not only can you gain valuable resume experience, but you can build a global professional network while staying local. CEA’s personalized process even pairs you with internship placement aligned with your major and career goals. Plus, the locations for virtual internships include:

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Seville, Spain
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Paris, France
  • San José, Costa Rica
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy 
  • Prague, Czech Republic,
  • Sydney Australia

Use this link to learn more and apply by April 15th!

Alexandra Isabell is a CEA Alumni Insider who studied abroad in Paris, France, during the Spring 2018 semester. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Read more about our CEA CAPA Content Creators.
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