In the past few weeks, France and most of the countries in the world have been gradually implementing more and more restrictive measures that have led to us having to rethink our daily habits and our ways of learning and working.
Physical separation from others and forced isolation have impacts on mental health and psychological well-being that should not be underestimated. We are discovering how essential it is to maintain, even during quarantine, a routine with allocated hours for sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and contact with family and friends. ISU is responding to these needs in a way that reflects the university’s philosophy of the 3Is: interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international. Now, we might add the fourth I of insieme, Italian for together.
Every day the MSS20 students and the ISU staff are united in trying to maintain the smooth running of academic and social activities. During our first week, we had many different virtual gatherings that helped us reducing the sense of isolation. A pub quiz on arts and revolutions, one of our classic, intercultural evenings in which we discovered more about Malaysia, a chess tournament, a cooking lesson, morning exercise training, and afternoon meetings to check our physical and mental health. We students have created a buddy system: each of us has been assigned another person to be monitored every day, to be sure no one is left behind or does not receive adequate care.
This is undoubtedly a difficult period, and the near future is still uncertain, but it is the right occasion to rethink our relationship with our needs, our passions, and our work. And it is an opportunity to do it together, remaining united despite this forced separation.
ISU MSS20 class representative
Photo Credit: ISU / MSS20