The new situation in the world has found many of us unprepared. At one moment, people were making summer plans and going about life as usual, and the next, they had to deal with lockdowns and self-isolating. It can prove especially challenging to deal with for those who are away from their homes and ‘stuck’ in another country.
However, there are things to do and keep in mind that can help with studying, keeping a positive attitude, and generally coping with the situation better.
Current Situation in Switzerland
Switzerland is now one of the countries in Europe where the virus is spreading at high rates, but people are also recovering at high rates which gives us hope. The coronavirus situation in Switzerland has led to The Federal Council asking Swiss citizens to stay at home and avoid public spaces, especially if they have symptoms such as cough, temperature, or shortness in breath.
As far as schools go, their closing has been in action since March 16, Monday. The closure of educational institutions is still active, and as of April 3, The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Public Education (CDIP) has decided that the current school calendar is still valid, and teaching will not be extended during vacation months.
How To Study in Quarantine
Studying in your dorm room or apartment in these trying times may seem hard, and rightfully so. Many students faced abrupt changes in their routines and school life, having to switch to online learning unexpectedly. Understandably, many find it challenging to keep the same level of productivity they had before.
However, for those determined to maintain a studying plan and continue effective studying, there are ways to make the process seem slightly easier. Here are some things to keep in mind while studying during the quarantine.
Create a comfortable space
Having a space to use solely for studying can prove incredibly helpful. It’s advisable to create a study environment where you would want to spend time, so it feels less forced. You could go for a minimalist version, a place with motivational quotes, or you could surround yourself with artwork. Whatever you think will help you be motivated.
Apart from personalizing space, it would be good to have a comfortable chair and desk, good internet, and a timer nearby. These can help you focus and remind you to take breaks every once in a while.
Create a studying schedule
Some of the many things that schools offer are a structure and a schedule. Making a schedule for yourself and separating the material in digestible chunks can go a long way while studying at home. This way, the whole studying process can seem simpler.
Additionally, if your school offers online classes, making a schedule around it, should be less complicated. Setting aside time to study every day can quickly turn it into a habit. Shortly after, it will be part of your routine, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to study.
Seek help online
In classrooms, asking for help is an easy task. You simply have to raise your hand and ask a question about something you find unclear. When studying at home, that is not possible. However, you can turn to your computer for help.
You can opt for asking your classmates, or searching on google and youtube for information. There are many field-specific accounts that offer in-depth information. In addition, there are many homework apps that can help you with math problems and various assignments.
Tips for International Students Stuck in Switzerland
Being away from home during a worldwide health crisis can be hard and oftentimes lonely. However, it’s important to try to keep your spirits up by connecting with alternative means, such as video calls, chats, online games, and many others.
Of course, there isn’t much that can beat being physically close to your loved ones. Although maintaining some kind of contact with the world and engaging in cyber events is a good way to create a sense of normality.
Keep online contact with friends and family
Being away from friends and family can be especially hard when there is a health emergency situation in the world. This is why keeping contact with them can help reduce the feeling of loneliness.
There are many platforms and applications you can choose from to reach out to your family and loved ones. Even if you don’t video chat every day, a text or two a day can help keep that sense of familiarity and help you feel less alone.
Join online events
Joining online events can potentially help you feel that some things are remaining normal. Although it may not have the same effect as attending live events and connecting to people in person has, you can still enjoy the new kind of entertainment they offer.
There are many artists that have taken to platforms such as Instagram and Facebook for live streaming their music. Even if there aren’t online events locally, because they take place online, you can choose to participate in events that would’ve required a plane ticket in a normal setting.
Take time for yourself
However important studying and keeping in touch with people are, it is also important to remember that you shouldn’t force them into your life. It is okay to be busy with doing nothing during times like these. It is okay to spend a day simply watching your favorite shows.
Don’t forget to take your own time to be with yourself. You don’t have to be available all the time to anyone, and you don’t have to study all the time.
Why It’s Okay To Not Be Productive During Quarantine
This is a situation many haven’t experienced before, which makes it okay for people to feel overwhelmed and not reach their full productivity level. Although engaging in activities, creating art, and studying are all important, it’s good to remember that you shouldn’t feel obligated to do any of those.
Putting pressure on yourself can lead to counterproductivity and feeling restless. With the pandemic being stressful enough, it’s better to leave yourself room for doing things naturally, rather than forcing yourself to.
There are many tragedies surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and people around the world have found themselves in a new reality. You should remember that your mental health is more important than achieving a certain productivity goal you have set for yourself. Try to make yourself comfortable with the idea of spending a day with nothing but leisure time.
Here are some resources to help you with food, being entertained, questions, safety, and studying during this quarantine.
The coronavirus Infoline is available 24/7 with occasional delays in answering due to the high volume of calls they get (+41 58 463 00 00).
For those planning to travel to Switzerland that have any symptoms (shortness of breath, high temperature, cough) or have any medical questions: +41 (0)58 464 44 88.
If you are experiencing any anxiety or simply need someone to talk to, there is a German-language platform Dure Schnufe or telephone counseling from Die Dargebotene Hand (143).
If you feel unsafe at home, you can contact the Victim Support Switzerland or call the police (117).
If you are looking for any scientific advisory, you can contact The Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, which is a national scientific advisory board set up exclusively for the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you need any canton specific information, you can contact cantonal websites.
Food & groceries delivery
You can also opt for UberEats Switzerland, where you can order a range of meals from local restaurants.
If you want recipes along with the needed ingredients, you can order them at HelloFresh.
Online entertainment & activity
If you ever wanted to attend Cirque Du Soleil shows, you can now watch them comfortably from your couch.
If you miss music concerts, the Montreux Jazz Festival is streaming 50 of their concerts online free of charge. Some of their performers include Ray Charles, Wu-Tang Clan, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Deep Purple, Carlos Santana, and many other legendary musicians.
Another entertainment form you can opt for is visiting museums virtually from the comfort of your own home.
If you miss seeing Switzerland, you can check out this Youtube channel, where the vlogger visits different parts of Switzerland and offers information about the best things to do there.
If you miss being active and practicing yoga, you can opt for online Shanti Yoga classes.
For practicing fitness, there are many Youtube channels that will help you stay in shape with at-home workouts.
If you find that you are a visual learner, you can visit GoConqr for a library of 9 million learning resources presented through brain maps. These maps break down subjects from broad concepts into smaller ones.
If you want help with practicing certain subjects, you can use Quizlet that generates a range of quizzes, tests, flashcards, matching games, and auditory tools.
There is also a range of educational Youtube channels that offer free field-specific information for students if you have trouble with studying for a subject.
Apart from these websites and channels, you can always ask your university for help in any area you have trouble with.
With the current situation, it can be hard to think about productivity, and that is normal. However, there are some things, such as studying, that can’t be completely forgotten even in this situation. There are things like creating a comfortable environment, keeping a schedule, and seeking help when needed that can help make the process easier. Additionally, there are many ways for international students stuck in Switzerland to avoid loneliness and keep their spirits up by moving a part of their life online. We hope these tips and resources prove useful and stay safe!