Student Safety Tips for Attending an International University During COVID - Commonwealth University

To fight COVID-19, administrators worldwide applied restrictions on going out. Thanks to the global COVID-19 safety campaigns, maintaining social distance, wearing masks, and keeping a sanitizer handy have become the norm. And now, all of us care about hygiene more than ever. 

But that’s all good, right?

Well, not really!

While all these COVID restrictions, which remained active for about two years, helped fight COVID very well, they also caused a shift in how people live and how their body responds to external viruses and infections. The result: Reportedly, non-COVID diseases like Influenza, Respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, tuberculosis, monkeypox, et cetera are making a comeback! As per some health experts, “COVID-19 restrictions could have reduced exposure and lowered immunity to infectious diseases, making society more vulnerable to new outbreaks.”

Now, the challenge is not only to stay safe against COVID but also against all these other rising outbreaks. Especially for students like you, who are traveling to or staying abroad, it’s vital to take all the safety precautions.

The good news is that with the proper health practices and safety guidelines, you can keep all these outbreaks and diseases at bay and stay safe and healthy. 

So, in this article, you will get to know how you can stay safe and healthy while traveling or staying abroad and pursue your higher education with full energy.   

Student Safety Tips for Attending an International University During COVID

Get vaccinated

Coronavirus vaccine. [Image by AARP]
Coronavirus vaccine. [Image by AARP]

Different studies worldwide have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine effectively reduces the rate of COVID infections, the severity of COVID, and the need for hospitalization across all age groups. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to get fully vaccinated before traveling abroad to join an international college or university for your higher education. 

Thanks to the rigorous vaccination drive by the worldwide healthcare system, as per COVID-19 Vaccinations data as of June 2022, 66.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Still, if you are not fully vaccinated yet, you should get vaccinated first and travel only after getting both doses. 

Keep your mask on

We have to credit our incredible physicians, nurses, and all frontline workers who put their lives on the line to save those of fellow human beings. Hard work and shared efforts have paid off and COVID is abated now. However, we need to be cautious because COVID is not over yet.

So, even if COVID restrictions have been relaxed by the regulators, you must take precautions seriously and not put your mask down while going out or traveling. 

If you wonder why wearing a mask is so important? Well, as NCBI study “How effective is a mask in preventing COVID‐19 infection?” reported: “When a person breathes, talks or coughs, droplet and droplet nuclei can fly as far as 8 m.” 

Have a look at this schematic diagram from NCBI showing droplets and droplet nuclei propagating in the air and then propagating between a patient and a healthy person:

Schematic diagram from NCBI showing droplets and droplet nuclei propagating in the air and then propagating between a patient and a healthy person. [Source: NCBI]
Schematic diagram from NCBI showing droplets and droplet nuclei propagating in the air and then propagating between a patient and a healthy person. [Source: NCBI]

Wearing a mask prevents these droplets and droplet nuclei from propagating in the air and also between a patient and a healthy person, keeping everyone safe. That’s why you must keep your mask on. And ensure to cover your nose, mouth, and chin. 

Wash hands with 20 seconds rule

Wash hands [Illustration by CDC]
Wash hands [Illustration by CDC]

‘Washing hands with soap’ sounds like simple health advice, but it is powerful to keep you safe and away from getting infected. How? Well, washing hands with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Also, while washing hands, don’t just do it as a formality. Take time to follow the 20 seconds rule of handwash. Yes, it’s a good practice to wash hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure thorough hand washing.  

Get screen-tested before and after traveling

As per FDA, screening testing “involves testing asymptomatic individuals who do not have known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 in order to make individual decisions based on the test results.”

For the safety of yourself and others who are traveling, you must not skip getting screening testing done to ensure that you are in good health to travel. And once you arrive at the destination, ensure to follow respective quarantine guidelines. 

Follow a nutritious diet and do daily exercise

To fight any disease, immunity is vital. And what you eat, drink, and physical activities you do greatly impact your body’s ability to confront any virus and infections. 

That’s why you must follow a safer and more nutritious diet to keep COVID at bay and stay healthy in general.

WHO: Five keys to safer food.

Also, staying physically active with exercise, yoga, and following relaxation techniques strengthens your body and mind to stay fit and in good shape, keeping sickness away. To explore simple exercises and physical activities that you can do anywhere, feel free to follow this handy and practical guide from WHO: Stay physically active

Mind the gap

Follow WHO social distancing guidelines to keep yourself and the people around you safe.

  • Whenever possible, avoid going into crowded places and large gatherings .
  • Refrain from activities involving close contact with people.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least 1 meter from others.
For social distancing, maintain physical distance of at least 1 meter. [Illustration by CTV News]
For social distancing, maintain physical distance of at least 1 meter. [Illustration by CTV News]

Follow your university’s guidelines for health and safety

While traveling to or staying abroad for your education, you must contact your university counsellors beforehand for safety precautions and guidelines. Keeping student health and safety in mind, every school, college, and the university has specific student safety guidelines in place that helps in addition to standard precautions. 

CUCOM Campus view from outside
Campus area of Commonwealth University College of Medicine, Saint Lucia, West Indies.

For example, when you get admitted to CUCOM medical program and plan to travel from your home country to Saint Lucia Campus, you get all the necessary guidelines and assistance from your university counsellor to make sure your travel and stay are safe and in compliance with all the health safety standards. 

Stay indoors while not feeling well

As they say: Life happens! Despite taking all safety measures and precautions, and even after following all guidelines, there may be times when you will not feel well. During those times, it’s best for you to stay indoors, relax and recover so that you can go back to your normal life with full energy, health, and safety.  

Just follow health safety guidelines and you are good to go

You or we can’t stop a pandemic. Neither can we always escape falling sick, nor can we stop living. And no matter what, life goes on. The pandemic has been there for more than two years now and we all have been navigating through it, together. Other diseases as well will come and go, but we can’t stop them from vanishing. So, all we can do is act wisely, follow the health safety guidelines which our healthcare geniuses have worked so hard to create, and keep moving forward. 

So, in whatever corner of the world you are living in, if you have got a dream to pursue your medical education abroad, and become a world-class doctor, no time is better than now to get up and apply to medical universities. We at CUCOM, are offering a 5-Year MD Program to all eligible students. If you would like to study medicine in the Caribbean with the opportunity to do clinical rotations in the USA, you can apply online for admission. Either way, we wish you all the best.

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