Should I Travel During a Pandemic As a Student and What If I Get Sick Abroad?

Should I travel during a pendemic and how to stay safe abroad

What a weird time to travel. This year will be remembered for centuries, and not for good things. However, despite being in such a dramatic world situation, things are evolving, slowly and unevenly in all countries of the world, but progress is being made, and that also means that the very severe restrictions to which we have been subjected for several months are beginning to be lifted for travel. But If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, have been confined to your home for months and possibly stuck with cancelled school year or online classes, this may be a perfect time to do an internship or a study abroad program in another country. 

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It’s true that everyone is suffering the consequences of the virus, but some countries have more favourable health conditions and infection and death rates than others, such as Spain and the rest of europe. But these countries will still be closed off for non-essential travel from countries with higher infection rates, such as the United States or Brazil. But if you are a student, travel is still essential. Good news for students is that most countries will allow students in even if they are closed to non-essential travel.  However, even though American students are allowed to enter these countries for strictly academic reasons, health measures will continue to be in force in all these places as well, and it is equally important that we comply with all the prevention and liability measures that they indicate. This does not mean you should avoid traveling. Travel will not only help the tourism industry in these countries and its workers who are affected, it will also help you keep your sanity. But like anything else during this pandemic, you must do it responsibly.

So we got some tips on how to stay safe, when traveling abroad in times of pandemic for your studies. What precautions should I take before going and while I am there? What should I do if I get sick abroad? 

Take note!

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Should I travel during a pandemic to another country

What should I do before I travel?

Have a backup plan.

Given the exceptional circumstances in which we live, having an alternative plan while moving around the world can be our best solution to thousands of unforeseen events. If you are planning to travel abroad to start an internship program, it is not advisable to make your trip one or two days before it starts, but rather to do so at least a few days in advance in order to be able to deal with any problems.

Imagine that you get on a plane where one of the passengers is positive upon arrival and you are all held in a new mandatory quarantine, what do you do then? Right now, no one is safe anywhere and even though we believe we are virus-free, if we are unlucky enough to fall into a place where a single positive case manifests itself, all our plans will be affected. 

Therefore, the first thing you should do is create an emergency plan in case of a mandatory quarantine: have enough money to pay for your hotel accommodation yourself for a quarantine period, let the school know that you might have to delay your entry into the internship plan, contact the host family you were going to live with for the next few months to find out what they think about it; after all, that family is not your family, so they might prefer that you did not move in with them if you have been around the virus.

Are you worried about traveling abroad this Fall? Read why you should go abroad for your internship. 

Should I travel now or not travel during covid

Is it convenient for you to take out travel insurance?

It’s always a smart idea to get yourself travel insurance in case you were to get sick abroad even before Covid. If your insurance company doesn’t cover it, get a short term policy. You can find some policies on sites such as Squaremouth.com and InsureMyTrip.com, There are some credit cards that offer travel insurance so it might not be a bad idea to get one as they also offer other travel benefits. But always call your policy holder to make sure what is covered and not covered so you don’t run into problems while abroad, especially regarding COVID-19.  It could even save your life and get you out of a mandatory quarantine and all its expenses.

 

Research the country you're traveling to

It is important that before you travel to a country you investigate it, and I do not mean that you make a holiday plan of the best places to visit, but a thorough investigation of their health measures and the protocols they have in place at the time regarding the control of the pandemic.

what to do if i get sick abroad - Carry a emergency med kit

Always carry an emergency health kit with you.

In a health emergency situation like the one we are experiencing, the most logical thing is for everyone to always carry a small health emergency kit. However, this kit does not have to be made up of an endless number of bandages, bandages, scissors and all kinds of nursing products, but rather with the essentials that will help us to counteract a possible source of infection: quality disinfectant, spare gloves, masks and a telephone directory of health care facilities near your place of residence.

With this we will be able to protect ourselves quickly and go to a primary care point where they can help us. It is also very useful to be registered in the Smart Traveler Program in the United States so that we can receive real time updates on the state of the country we are in and its health emergencies.

Things you should do when you travel by plane.

Theres a bright spot when it comes to travel during COVID. Flight are dirt Cheap. You can use apps like skyscanner to find cheap flights to Spain or Latin America. But it’s still important to practice basic rules to stay safe. Before you buy, investigate a little more about the airline you choose, its general reputation and its emergency protocols; sometimes it is worth investing a little more money to ensure our safety. Most airlines will disinfect after each flight, but still carry your own disinfectants and disinfect your seat. You can never know how well it has been cleaned. Always keep your mask on, It may be uncomfortable to wear one but remember, you are in an enclosed space with other passengers. You should only take your mask to eat or drink. Also wear gloves, You don’t know who has touched that tv screen or the food tray on your seat.  

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Things you should do when you travel by plane during Covid-19

What you need to avoid to stay safe.

After months of confinement, going to a large shopping centre or an amusement park to spend the day can be really tempting, but it’s just the first thing to avoid: stay away from crowds. Especially stay away from the “grand reopenings”. As we have seen from openings such as downtown Disney and museum of Fine arts, major reopening have brought in big crowds. 


It is still important to go outdoors for fresh air as spread is much lower outdoors. On the other hand, whenever we have to go to a closed place, we should do so with our mask on; whatever type of place you go to and however overwhelmed you feel, the mask can only be removed for drinking or eating.

Here are some tips on the daily protocol that you should follow in your day to day life abroad:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever possible 
  • Always carry disinfectant gel to wash your hands after touching surfaces or objects in the street
  • Always wear your mask
  • Wears gloves indoors
  • Avoid crowds and stay 6 feet apart
  • If possible, disinfect objects or surfaces before touching them



What if I get sick abroad when I travel during coronavirus

What if I get sick abroad?

If you are unlucky enough to start finding yourself and you suspect you have been infected, the first thing you should do is isolate yourself and stay away from any social contact. Then, depending on the intensity of your symptoms, you should go to the nearest health centre, pharmacy or hospital, although you should only go to hospital when you start to have severe breathing difficulties. But call the hospital or emergency services first to get advice on next steps. Most countries should have emergency number. For Spain and Europe, dial 112.  Most people will recover with some rest and pain relief especially if you are a young adult. But the focus should be on not spreading it to others who are more vulnerable. 

What if i have mild symptoms?

You should also call the embassy of the country you are in so that you can speak to someone in your language and they will inform you about the protocol to follow given your circumstances. Usually, after a few days you can return to normal, as long as the symptoms are mild, although there is also the possibility that you may have to return to your home country for safety reasons; everything will depend on the health protocols established in each country. 

For some students this time provides an great opportunity to participate in an internship abroad that otherwise would not have been possible due to normal class schedules. By following these tips you can feel safer wherever you go, although it is logical that right now you will never feel completely safe.

Don’t forget, health comes first!

What if i get sick abroad with mild symptoms during covid

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