COVID19 experiences from an Canadian highschool exchange!

Hello! I am a highschool exchange student from slovakia staying in British Columbia, Canada. Me and my host family have been quarantining for over a month now. The moment I realized that the coronavirus situation was bad during our spring break vacation in Arizona. We were forced to change our plans and leave early because the canadian government decided to shut its border. Only Canadian citizens could enter the country and that’s when I felt the consequences of coronavirus on my own skin. I wasn’t allowed to go on the plane. Fortunately, after countless calls they let me go 5 minutes before take off. When we arrived in Canada the officer told me that if we would have flown 3 days later, I wouldn’t be allowed to cross the border.

After returning ‘’home’’ we had to stay in quarantine for 14 days. It was a lot of fun considering all that was going on. We didn’t return to school after spring break. It was a slow start but all of my classes are on Google Classroom. Teachers send us assignments with deadlines and the 4th term will be graded based on our participation in those lessons. I quite like having online school. It teaches me how to be more responsible and organized. Me and my host brother even started learning spanish.

Not many restrictions have been imposed in the city I’m staying in. All non-essential businesses are closed, but wearing a mask or gloves is not mandatory. I’m very lucky that our house is close to the beach so I’m there every day. I can tell that people are careful and are starting to socialize in small groups. Even I have been going on walks with a local friend. Of course, I know this situation isn’t ideal but it really brought me close to my host family. We made a little baseball pitch in our backyard and they are teaching me how to play. My host dad is able to work from home, but my host mom still goes to work 5 times a week.

I’m curious to see how the situation will evolve. The school district is talking about reopening schools in July. I am looking forward seeing my friends again and enjoy the time I have left of my exchange program. I hope that I’ll be able to get home safely and without big obstacles.

Sabina (18) Student in Canada

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