By Maryam Mumladze
Imagine being completely alone in an unknown country far from your loved ones, without close friends and family members, and suddenly being stuck in your room. No one knows when you can go back home or what the future will bring. This uncertain time might be even harder - even more challenging - if you experience it as a foreign exchange student.
This project focuses on the personal experiences of international students, including Maryam Mumladze, the author of this photo project, who were in Aalborg, Denmark during the coronavirus pandemic.
Each student has his or her own way to deal with loneliness, boredom, insecurity, fear and despair. Their decision to create a home away from home unites them, but their response to isolation was unique and largely based on their unique culture, social background, interests and traditions.
For instance, Proiti and Khayal, both from India, buy ingredients from Middle Eastern grocery stores and spend hours cooking and eating the food they love.
“We often get together to recreate what we miss about home. It is an escape from reality and a way for us to feel a sense of calm in a troubled world.”
Juan, from Colombia, who has been living abroad for 12 years, uses the family photos, letters and special rocks and seashells he always takes with him to create a spiritual corner wherever he goes.
“As I grow older I realize that this is what helps me carry my home with me, like a snail.”