Cultural Exchange in a Time of Social Distancing
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) introduced a number of strategies that local officials and persons can take to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing are actions that everyone can and should take to slow the spread of the virus and help protect others from getting sick.
InterExchange holds the health, safety and welfare of our participants as our top priority, and we strongly encourage everyone to follow the CDC guidelines:
- Remain out of crowded public places where close contact with others may occur (such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums)
- Avoid mass gatherings
- Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible
- Not shake hands
- Stay home if you are sick
Social distancing vs quarantine and self isolation
Unlike social distancing, both self quarantine and self isolation strategies apply to persons or groups of people who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Individuals who are not showing symptoms should self quarantine for 14 days. Those who are infected and don’t need to stay at a hospital, should self isolate until they are cleared by a health professional.
Social distancing and cultural exchange
With social distancing, everyone’s daily routines are very likely to be interrupted. Traveling or visiting cultural sites may not be available for some time now. We encourage you to approach this unpredictable and challenging time with creativity, flexibility and mindfulness. To help our community cope with and not miss out on cultural exchange during this challenging time, we’ve put together a few helpful resources.
- Discover American classic literature or other popular reads around the world
- Watch a classic American movie or tv show or international film
- Start working on sharing your own story
- Enjoy music from every corner of the world on Radio Garden or Radiooooo.com. For American music lovers, check our curated regional U.S. playlists.
- Take a virtual museum tour. Many world renowned museums offer online tours and have digital collections to explore:
- Brush up on your language skills on Duolingo or News in Slow, or if you’re working on English, pick up a few new U.S. slang expressions
- Browse through stories on Route J1 blog
- Listen to exchange participants and their stories on 22.33 podcast
- Learn about your host country in greater depth with Travel Access Project’s country resource lists
- Explore famous historic and cultural heritage sites from the U.S. (and abroad!) with Google Arts and Culture
Managing anxiety and stress
The outbreak of coronavirus disease and sudden lifestyle changes may be stressful for some people. It is very natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry.
If you feel overwhelmed, try limiting your news consumption, go for a walk, take deep breaths, and connect with others. Follow the CDC advice on taking care of your emotional health, and contact InterExchange and your health care provider should you need any help or assistance.
For latest updates on InterExchange’s COVID-19 response, read here.
Learn about life abroad
Read about the adventures others have had and get excited for yours.