Durham students on year abroad told to return immediately

‘I’m shitting it that they’ll shut the UK border and I’ll be stuck in Russia’

Erasmus and overseas placement students have been strongly advised to return home following the latest coronavirus guidelines.

The Durham University Exchanges team have emailed students who are currently on their year abroad or placement urging them to return to the UK before borders may be closed.


The email highlights concerns that “in the UK, the number of cases is expected to peak in a month or two.”

“Every country will be now be trying to delay a surge of cases to allow time for planning and avoid being overwhelmed. The current window of opportunity for movement may not last very long (and/or may then require self-isolation on arrival), so we would strongly advise that you consider returning to your permanent place of residence now, if you have not already made plans to do so.”

This email comes shortly after the university announced plans to cancel all teaching next week.

One student on placement in Russia, however, has made the decision not to return. Joe Blood, 3rd year, Russian and Spanish says: “I don’t think I’ll be returning back to the UK from my placement in Russia. The situation at home is far worse than in Russia at the moment and I want to do my degree properly and improve my Russian here. I’m shitting it that they’ll shut the UK border and I’ll be stuck in Russia with no legal status once my visa runs out.”