How were the students at CIHEAM Chania (Greece) affected by the lockdown?
" During the lockdown period, when the movement restrictions were applied in the country, we took it for granted that we would have to stay at home.
For most of us, this meant that we spent a lot of time in our houses, cooking all our meals and going out only for necessary jobs. But imagine being a foreigner at this time, stuck in a country where you have no family.
Lockdown came as quite a shock for all of us, but it affected foreign students in a different way to the local people. "
As the borders of countries around the world closed one by one, the students of CIHEAM CHANIA were faced with a difficult choice: to stay where they were, in their dormitory room at the CIHEAM campus in Chania, or to go home, and this decision had to be made very quickly, as the world's borders closed down one by one. Student dormitories around the country closed one after the other. All the Greek students left the campus and went back to their respective homes. But all the foreign students studying at CIHEAM CHANIA decided to stay where they were, out of fear that they will not be able to return to Chania to continue their studies. No one left the campus; for this reason, special permission was granted by the Hellenic Ministry of Education to allow the foreign students to stay at the Institute.
Despite the many problems it raised, the lockdown was a period of serenity and reflection for these young people who found themselves in a foreign country. But it is also true that the foreign students of CIHEAM CHANIA had the chance to experience the nature and beauty of the beautiful town of Chania in a way that not even many tourists to the island would have been able to experience, and they are grateful to have had this chance.