A sympathy thread for those of us with dc's doing a year abroad

(26 Posts)
ILikeTrains Sat 31-Oct-20 20:48:56

Just what the title says really, I wanted wanted to create a thread for us worried parents who's dc's are overseas.

It's a worrying time where ever our kids are studying - but when they're not even in the same country and not so easily 'savable' it's a real sickening worry.

My dd's in Sweden and is coping well at the moment, I'm hoping she'll be able to get home for Christmas though.

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ILikeTrains Sat 31-Oct-20 20:51:45

Eugh! When will I learn to proof read my posts?!

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SeasonFinale Sun 01-Nov-20 11:22:21

If I were you I would actually be hoping she stays there and has a great Christmas rather than chance coming back here.

latedecember1963 Sun 01-Nov-20 12:15:40

Hello, ILikeTrains, our DS spent last year at the University of Adelaide.
In March he was being advised by his home university to come home but he managed to make a good case for staying put.
His course was still running, the Australian approach to managing the situation was very good and he didn't want to risk long flights home exposing himself to a greater risk of infection. Several of his friends also found that flights they booked were cancelled without notice and he didn't want to risk getting partway home and then being stranded. The Australian authorities had closed the state borders and he knew if he left Adelaide he wouldn't be able to return if anything went awry with his flights.
It turned out to be the right decision for him. He was able to finish his academic year relatively normally and returned home in July.
He had moments when he said he was conscious of being a long way away with no immediate means of return but Whatsapp and Zoom allowed us to stay in touch.
We kept reassuring him he had made the right decision, having weighed up his options. I think the word "proud" can be over used these days but we did tell him how proud we were of the mature, calm way he was dealing with it all.
I hope things continue to go ok for your daughter in Sweden. I'm sure with your support she'll look back on this experience in years to come and think about all she achieved, not just academically, but in life skills too.
It's hard being a parent at times like this, though.

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 01-Nov-20 14:56:59

DD1 is holed up in her studio apartment in Strasbourg with no contact with anyone. Lectures online. Only speaking French to the cashier at Auchan. As she says, what is the point? She will see how next week or so goes, and then I’ll see if she wants to come out to me (not in U.K.). Her U.K. university have helpfully just said that this year “doesn’t count”, but she is worried that she will be going into her final year with nothing to show for her year abroad. Most of her friends from her U.K. university have jacked it in and gone home, with the exception of those who are doing their year abroad with British Council, which seems to be working out OK.

Moominmammacat Sun 01-Nov-20 15:38:36

Mine is a PG but I'm actually glad he's in Germany, not here. Teaching is online but life is a lot more controlled and civilised there. He came home a few weeks ago and found the UK very grim.

LeiatheSchnauzer Sun 01-Nov-20 17:05:47

Hi everyone. My ds is on a placement year working in Geneva and living just over the border in France so currently in lockdown. He was already working from home because his flatmate had tested positive but is hoping to go back to work partly on site on his lab days. He has been so lucky this year as there are a lot of students there in a similar situation and until recently were able to meet up in covid safe environments.
He is still hoping to come home for Christmas but I am starting to think he might be better off staying there. We will wait and see how things develop.

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ILikeTrains Mon 02-Nov-20 08:49:25

MrsSchadenfreude

DD1 is holed up in her studio apartment in Strasbourg with no contact with anyone. Lectures online. Only speaking French to the cashier at Auchan. As she says, what is the point? She will see how next week or so goes, and then I’ll see if she wants to come out to me (not in U.K.). Her U.K. university have helpfully just said that this year “doesn’t count”, but she is worried that she will be going into her final year with nothing to show for her year abroad. Most of her friends from her U.K. university have jacked it in and gone home, with the exception of those who are doing their year abroad with British Council, which seems to be working out OK.

This mirrors my daughter's experience. She was really busy for the first part of her term with lots of face to face and needing to get out. Now she has one online lecture a week and the rest of the time is spent in her studio flat which is situated quite a way out from the campus and city centre. She loves her studio room but halls would have given her a much more social experience.

I've just found out that you can't buy cold and flu remedies in Sweden without a prescription too?! Adding to my angst as we head into winter cold, flu & corona virus season.

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MarchingFrogs Mon 02-Nov-20 09:25:14

I've just found out that you can't buy cold and flu remedies in Sweden without a prescription too?!

This article doesn't appear to support that statement (Diclofenac moved to.prescription only from June this year, but that's not a first line medication for a headache or mild fever, restrictions on pack size but not on the number of packets sold to an individual in a day),:
link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40545-020-00269-5

Admittedly, this only refers to analgesics, not e.g. decongestants, but there is disagreement amongst professionals over the necessity for their widespread use anyway.

LeiatheSchnauzer Sat 14-Nov-20 17:28:32

How is everyone's dc? Are they keeping well? Ds's flatmate tested positive so they were in quarantine but he and other flatmate remain negative. Then straight from quarantine into lockdown in France.
He has booked his flight home for mid December and now having to get his head round spending another two weeks in self isolation. Will then have 9 days of hopefully being able to see friends (lockdown permitting) before back to Switzerland and France at the start of January. He then self isolates all over again but is allowed to work from home for most of that with some annual leave thrown in.
How is everyone else doing?

TheNighthawk Sat 14-Nov-20 18:25:13

My DC (British Council, PG) in Germany finally found permanent accommodation end Oct. She is flat sharing with one other, who, however, is flouting restrictions re gatherings, which she is very worried about.

She is quite homesick and hoping to get home for Christmas, but will spend 14 days isolating here then 10 days back in Germany.

LeiatheSchnauzer Sat 14-Nov-20 19:07:05

It's a lot of isolating, isn't it? I did think that if lockdown was lifted in France and he had friends there then he might be better off just staying there and we would have to man up and do Christmas without him. However, I think the lockdown is getting to him and he needs to have a break and come home for a while. I am so looking forward to seeing him.

ILikeTrains Sun 15-Nov-20 10:04:33

My DC's still deciding whether to come for Xmas or not. What she really wanted to do was travel around Sweden and Europe a bit but hasn't found anyone who's willing to join her, and really it's not the time for travelling. I'm sad for her about that, she's doing this year abroad - which she had looked forward to for years, and it looks likely that she'll only see the city she's staying in. I'm hoping things will improve next year.

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TheNighthawk Sun 15-Nov-20 14:48:17

My DC was likewise hoping to travel around, but has not been able to do much. Plus, she chose the city she is in because it has a strong music culture and she was hoping to get involved, but other than being able to attend a couple of concerts before increased restrictions - nothing. The opportunities for improving her German through immersion are, of course, hardly there either, although she is continuing to work at present - no socialising.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 28-Nov-20 07:57:43

DD1 has stuck it out and is looking forward to restrictions being lifted next week so that she can go for a bike ride and just go further afield. One of her friends has come back, but her accommodation is over a kilometre away so they haven’t been able to meet up yet. She’s coming back to U.K. for Christmas. The university has just announced that they won’t be starting term until February so she will come back with me after Christmas for a few weeks.

Freakout11 Sat 28-Nov-20 08:08:45

MrsSchadenfreude

DD1 is holed up in her studio apartment in Strasbourg with no contact with anyone. Lectures online. Only speaking French to the cashier at Auchan. As she says, what is the point? She will see how next week or so goes, and then I’ll see if she wants to come out to me (not in U.K.). Her U.K. university have helpfully just said that this year “doesn’t count”, but she is worried that she will be going into her final year with nothing to show for her year abroad. Most of her friends from her U.K. university have jacked it in and gone home, with the exception of those who are doing their year abroad with British Council, which seems to be working out OK.

I can’t understand why she’s still out there?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 28-Nov-20 09:24:32

@Freakout11 - what would you suggest she did instead? She can’t come to me - I’m not in U.K. and there are no flights here until just before Christmas. She could have gone back to an empty flat in London and would have had to self-isolate for two weeks. There was a small window where she could have flown to me but she was indecisive and then the opportunity went. Her Dad is going back to London next week, so she can go back to him, but still self isolating. She stuck it out and hoped it would get better. She is determined to see it out and will go back in February.

TheNighthawk Sat 28-Nov-20 11:15:39

My DD is definitely coming home for Christmas. The news of 'Test and Release' to limit self-isolation is good but is seems you cannot subscribe to this till 15th Dec. Have to book a test before leaving at one of a list of Govt-approved site which has not yet been published. Waiting on tenterhooks for this list. I just wonder what the turn-around time will be and whether the expense will be worth it.

Ellmau Sat 28-Nov-20 11:21:09

It may improve in the spring.

Moominmammacat Thu 03-Dec-20 10:18:32

TheNighthawk ... I doubt she will need to isolate when she returns. My DS took a test at the airport when he landed and got result emailed in middle of same night. Imagine such efficiency ...

LeiatheSchnauzer Thu 03-Dec-20 10:58:58

I hope that is an option, would be amazing if they don't have to self isolate for 14 days over Christmas!
I saw on the gov.uk updates the other day that France are no longer requiring a quarantine when flying from the UK so I hope that means when he returns in January he can go straight back to work.

ILikeTrains Tue 22-Dec-20 07:23:17

How is everyone getting on with getting their dc's back for Christmas. My dd got back ok a couple of days ago from Sweden and is currently isolating as per guidance, but we've just found out this morning that there is now a month long travel ban back into the country so she's not going to get back in time to start the new term confused

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Sunndowne Tue 22-Dec-20 22:38:44

Yep, how are the students going to get back?
DD has housing contract and thinks she'll be allowed in. Problem at every corner this year!

Sunndowne Wed 30-Dec-20 19:24:46

Dear All,
How is it going? My DD just got back into Europe. Other peers had to try a few times before they got in.
Any news?

She's enjoyed YA so far despite restrictions.

ILikeTrains Thu 31-Dec-20 08:27:27

My dd's resigned to being stuck in the UK until at least the end of January as they've closed the borders at Sweden to UK citizens, so she's decided to renew her passport during this time. There was something on the news saying you must have six months on your passport to travel to Europe after Brexit which she wouldn't have had from March - so seemed a good time to renew, now I'm just anxious for her in case there are any delays to issuing a new one - though quite excited to see what the new one will look like.

She's already had an email from the uni saying that everything will be online until the end of Jan so we're not too worried.

There's something she has to apply for but can't do it until tomorrow once we've left the EU - I can't remember what it is but is something to do with her status changing because of Brexit. I'll ask her once she gets up (at around midday!!)

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