It is estimated that millions of international students leave their home countries to pursue higher education. These foreign students stay at the cheapest accommodations such as dorms and hostels and study from there to save the most amount of money. However, the recent pandemic situation and the extended periods of lockdown in various countries across the globe have made the social lives of such international students a living nightmare! You would imagine them living all alone, anxious, and worried at the same time, while still facing the stress of their curriculum. This has been the situation for these foreign students for the last 20 months. That is why it has become very important for these students to take a healthy detour and explore something out of the new normal, while still maintaining the regulations of the lockdown. This article aims to put forward some of the healthy detours a student can take while studying abroad.
- Go for virtual tours
This is by far the safest option possible, especially in these tough times. If you search the internet, you can find hundreds of companies offering to take you on virtual tours throughout the year. It was quite usual for students to attend such tours back when they were regular tours. But due to the pandemic and the lockdown being the hindrance to such tours, many students are trapped inside the confines of their dorms or hostels. That is why these tour companies came up with this brilliant idea of virtual tours that allow you to register on their website and take the full experience of a healthy detour online. This virtual experience costs on average between 30-70 USD. What is astonishing about these virtual tours is that you can get the full experience if you have a virtual reality headset. This means, if you wear that headset, you can get the 360-degree experience of the tour without even leaving your house! Such a fantastic opportunity never existed in our world before.
In addition to these, virtual tours cost a lot less than in-person tours due to them being virtual and thus, easier to conduct for the tour operators. On top of that, virtual tours are 100 percent risk-free for beginners because they do not have to step out of their comfort zone to get the online experience. Many beginners have a fear of hiking or getting hurt due to doing tours. But in the case of a virtual tour, you can explore the entire Appalachian track without even taking one step into its troublesome forests! That is the biggest advantage of such virtual tours! Moreover, it will be wrong to think that these tours are any less fun than real tours. This is because the experience gained from such online tours is the same as that of real tours. The thrill, the adventure, and the adrenaline rush that they offer are all the same just like a real tour. The only thing different here is the risk-free nature and the lesser costs of these virtual tours. Therefore, any international student who is stuck due to this ongoing pandemic should try out such virtual tours to escape their one-dimensional lives every once in a while.
- Visiting a museum
This is a seriously overlooked option among the youth today. No one thinks of visiting the museum once in a while. A museum is the best way to relive some of the biggest moments in mankind’s history. More than that, when you visit any museum, you are suddenly and entirely transferred to an entirely new world that existed long before you did. This experience can change you, shake you and even most of the time, make you learn and appreciate human history. Visiting a museum can also help you to change your perspective on life and thus, look at it from a different viewpoint. A museum is said to contain a lifetime’s worth of experience! And this is important for students, as they are the pillars of the future society. Therefore, after the lockdown opens and the restrictions are eased by the government, international students can book a tour of the nearest museum. In addition to the knowledge gained, the students will also find something real in this age of social media and fake pictures. On top of that, many international students are new to the country and got stuck during Covid-19. For them, the best way to know the country and its people is to visit the local museum and get a perspective on that country.
More than that, some students are also interested in the people of the new country that they are studying in. For that also the museum would be a perfect choice. This is because, in a museum, the lives and works of many previous generations of people are preserved in the form of texts, scriptures, and course, books. Many of the old manuscripts and other antique articles are conserved in the museum for the public to see. Looking at those manuscripts and understanding their essence would mean looking back into hundreds or perhaps, thousands of years into the past through a time machine! This way, a foreign student can gain a deep insight into the country and its people in the most authentic way known to exist. More than that, it will be a great mental and psychological relief for an international student to visit the local museum as it will provide him with a rejuvenated attitude towards life that will help him go forward in the future. This is why an international student should visit as many museums as possible while studying.
- Go hiking
Hiking can be lots of fun even for non-outdoor people. It is and has always been a great way to reconnect with nature and to cut away temporarily from the reckless noises of the city. Hiking helps you to gain gratitude for life and the gift of nature that has been bestowed upon you. The greatest gift of nature is life itself. Hiking, particularly in the woods, helps you regain that lost connection with nature and refreshingly appreciate life. More than that, hiking in the woods helps to give you the much-needed adrenaline rush that sports junkies and adventure enthusiasts love. Hiking is essential, especially for international students in this situation as they gave been locked into their hostels and dorms for so many months. Therefore, this activity will not only rekindle their lost touch with nature but also refresh their spirits and help them perform even better in their future exams.
Moreover, hiking does not have to be a deep dive into the wilderness for three straight days. Beginner hikers can roam around for a couple of hours following a safe trail and return whenever they are comfortable. For example, many foreign students in the USA hike the Appalachian track as a form of detox from their busy lives. Moreover, hiking not only rejuvenate the spirit but also serves as a great workout program for fitness and even athletes. Hiking on average burns twice as many calories as running. So why go to the same old gym to burn those calories if you can do it in a fun way like this? On top of that, if you are not a beginner at hiking, then you can go a little deeper and even camp overnight in the forests. And there is nothing better than sitting around a self-made campfire, sipping coffee with friends, and listening to old myths about the place. This way foreign students can even connect more with the local people and the place as well. Therefore, if you are an international student, then hiking should always be at the top of your to-do list.
- Go camping in the deep woods
This option goes a little deeper than hiking and is a more traditional way to explore the woods in your country. Deep woods camping is a phenomenon in the US and Canada for the thrill it offers to adventure lovers. For this, you need to pack your camping gear like your tent, food, and some water — and you are ready to go. Then, drive up to the trail by your vehicle and after that, you are on your own. After hiking for some hours, you need to set up camp in a clearing in the forest before night falls. This is a great survival exercise as well since you need to prepare everything by yourself, including building up the campfire from scratch after gathering some logs. Sometimes, you may even have to chop off some small trees due to the unavailability of those logs. The first thing you can do is to set the tent up. After that, you must gather the logs and set up the flames. Once the fire is built and lit up, now you can look forward to the food preparation process. For beginners, you can skip this step if you bring canned food with you for dinner. For others, however, this process is not so easy. You can cook on the campfire itself but make sure you do not drop water on it while cooking.
Choose simple and easy foods like boneless chicken over complicated ones so that, once you roast them and then season them with salt and pepper, it is good to eat. Once night falls, one of the most overlooked parts is to beware of wild animals in the forest. For this, you will need to keep the fire burning all night, but make sure it is safe and does not spread. This kind of camping in the deep woods helps me gain entirely new insight into life. When you come out of the woods after two days of camping, you gain a fresh new look at night. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of all Americans go camping at least once a year. This is why if you are a student who is abroad, you should consider this activity every once in a while to break away from your routine.
- Running marathons
This activity requires you to be of a particular level in terms of fitness. However, even if you are a beginner, you can participate in this activity. Running a marathon is one of the most popular sports activities in the world. Typically, a marathon distance is 52 kilometers or just over 27 miles. But you do not have to race all 27 miles to win. Running a marathon is as mentally and psychologically demanding as it is physically. That is why running a marathon not only builds stamina and endurance but also mental strength and character. There is plenty of time to practice before competing in a marathon. You can hire a trainer or to make it more affordable, you can watch free videos on YouTube and train yourself. It is more about participation than winning the marathon. This is because running a full marathon or even a half marathon is a hugely daunting task in itself. That is why most people do not run marathons or half marathons. They instead participate in other forms of long-distance running such as the 5 km race or the 10 km race.
Anyway, running a long-distance race like 5 km or 10 km or even a marathon makes your physical shape perfect in terms of both cardio and endurance. We all know that due to the ongoing pandemic, all of us have been stuck in our lonely lives for the last 20 months. This isolated lifestyle has taken a serious toll on both our physical and mental health. Running a long-distance run like a marathon brings us out of that isolation both physically and mentally. You need at least one month of serious preparation to run any long-distance race. And this preparation alone will bring you out of your comfort zone and put you on your desired path. Therefore, it is not so much about the destination as it is about the process. That is why students abroad need to take a break from their monotonous lives and run a marathon.
If you have read till this point, you are probably an international student or a student planning to study abroad. In that case, knowing that you have the options listed above and more at your disposal, will help you to go on a detour every time you are stressed out.